SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- (01/18/2017) While colleges around the nation are increasing their education costs, Missouri State University is taking a different approach by implementing five affordability measures to help students pay less for their learning.
"We have frozen housing costs for the fall for about a third of our residence halls. We've renegotiated our dining services package so the annual increases will be significantly smaller. We're rolling out an electronic textbook program that will help students save significant money over time," said MSU President Clif Smart.
MSU is also looking out for their future students as they plan to increase their scholarships offered to incoming freshman by one $1.5 million.
Perhaps the change generating the most excitement on campus, however, is the one taking effect today. Current students will now be required to only take 120 credit hours in order to graduate instead of the previous 125. This will save them over a $1,000.
"You know, I have one more year left. So, being able to cut five credits off, that's good," said current MSU junior, Derrick Durham.
"Having a university that's really taking a hard look at themselves to become more efficient, reduce internal costs and not just pass on that rising costs to students through tuition and fees, it really gives me a lot of pride," added MSU senior, Brandon McCoy.
Affordability will remain a focus of the university as MSU plans to keep helping students lighten their financial burden.
"We know how important it is to focus in on these issues, and so we can't abandon that," said Smart.
Other than the reduced hours to graduate, most of these changes will be effective starting this coming fall. However, the university said that even though this is just the beginning, they are already seeing the positive effect that these changes are having.