Missouri State students react to cost reductions around campus

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri State unveiled a new five-point plan to reduce student costs Thursday headlined by expanding scholarships and reducing the number of credits students need to graduate.

The university says 450 current students will benefit from the expanded scholarships, and shaving off five credit hours should save a student $1,000.

“I think that shows the University doesn't just care about collecting money,” John Whitworth, a junior, said. “They care about their students and the education.”

The other three pillars of the plan call for some cheaper textbooks in the school bookstore, price freezes on three residence halls, and reducing the rate that meal plans increase in price every year.

MSU’s president, Dr. Cliff Smart, said that these measures would hopefully neutralize potential tuition increases.

“We decided on let's focus on what we can control,” Dr. Smart said. “Let's work before the next budget comes out to be able to say that we're working on a series of things that will make college less expensive for folks, especially if that has to be offset by tuition and fee increases.”

Dr. Smart says an increase is still possible. They expect to learn their budget from Jefferson City next week.

Students say that even if the tuition goes up, they appreciate the effort to control costs.

“It's nice to know that the university is taking a hard look internally to make sure that we can find some inefficiencies and reduce those and find some internal ways to reduce that cost of higher education,” Brandon McCoy, MSU’s student body president, said.

One of the most popular features with current students is the reduction in credit hours needed to graduate. Many wondered why Missouri State required 125 when 120 seemed to be a more natural number for a four-year school.

"My roommate, when we were sitting at home the other night, she was dropping classes because she no longer needed them because of the credit hour requirement," MSU's student body vice president Caitlin Schaefer said.

Some upperclassment say that the plain is skewed to help younger students more, but still gave the university credit for trying to cut costs where they saw it was possible.

"I give 100 percent credit," MSU junior Derric Durham said. "It's very great that they're doing this. Live to leave a legacy. Leaving a legacy for the incoming freshmen is what's great."