State auditor finds loophole in education law

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JEFFERSON CITY - The state auditor is urging the legislature to look into a loophole in Higher Education Student Funding Act, which gives universities and colleges a cap on tuition, but that does not limit supplemental fees.

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway said, "Supplemental fees are charged to students when you take a certain course, or enter a certain program. So these supplemental fees has increased at a rate of about 138 percent over 2009 to 2015."

The supplemental fees can increase whenever a university or colleges chooses to, which creates the loophole.

University of Missouri student Jonathan Coleman said, when college students are looking into different schools they are looking at the set tuition. Students are not thinking of supplemental fees in addition to the set rate, he said.

"I think when students come in they really do get overwhelmed with all these extra fees on top of that," Coleman said.

MU student Sophie Kilgiriff said it would be a lot more convenient to have additional fees included in tuition.

"As a college student, no one wants to pay extra costs or have to deal with it. 

Galloway is asking the General Assembly to look closely at the current law and, "consider supplemental fees as required fees in the calculation trying to keep college affordable and accessible."

This is the second in a series of four higher education audits.