UM Curators Cut Budget in 2019 Proposal

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COLUMBIA - Amid overall lower enrollment numbers, the UM Board of Curators will vote on the FY 2019 budget at Thursday's annual meeting, cutting the budgets of some departments by roughly 12 percent.

To help the roughly $49 million budget gap, the Board of Curators voted in May to increase tuition by roughly 1 percent for in-state students, roughly 2 percent for out-of-state students and up to 6 percent for some graduate students.

Christian Basi, the MU director of media relations, said for an undergraduate, in-state student taking 15 credit hours per semester, their tuition for the entire year would increase by about $85.

He said the increase in tuition prices will be offset by lower costs in other areas, like lowered dining hall fees, the reduced costs of living in residence halls, and the prices of textbooks.

"Most students who are coming here will actually see a decrease in their net costs to attend college," he said.

Basi said overall enrollment at MU will still be lower than the previous year because a significant amount of students graduated in May. Freshman enrollment, however, will likely increase in the 2018-2019 school year.

"We're looking at a potential significant increase in freshman students over last year's freshman class, which is really good news that's helping us with some of these other budget decisions," he said.

Abigail Loe, a prospective freshman student, toured MU on Wednesday. She said affordability and the general atmosphere of the campus are factors she's considering before deciding on what college she wants to attend.

"It was more just about where I was going rather than how much it costs. Mizzou also offered a lot of great opportunities for scholarships to make it more affordable," she said.

If the Board of Curators approves the FY 2019 budget, it would include terminating more than 185 positions, about 30 of which would be layoffs.

Part of Thursday's meeting is expected to also focus on approving amendments to the Transition Assistance Program, which provides funding and resources to MU employees who are laid-off.