COLUMBIA, Mo. — Students attending a school within the University of Missouri System will be paying more for certain degrees by 2023. 

The UM System Board of Curators unanimously approved a differential tuition plan Tuesday during a special meeting. This means that students will pay less to get a degree in education compared to a major in engineering or nursing.

The price would be based on what it cost the university to teach that major and the job market for that field once the student graduates. 

This plan also consolidates supplemental course fees. Right now, the fees are different for students based on the courses he or she takes, making it hard to pinpoint the overall bill. Under this plan approved Tuesday, there would be a flat rate of fees for full-time students. This means the universities will incentivize the student to take 15 or 18 credit hours because it would cost the same as taking 12 hours. 

“We wanted simple and predictable pricing for our students, we wanted to improve time to completion and then also improve our overall completion rates,” said the executive vice president of the system’s financial services said. “We also wanted to have the ability to price on the market and cost to deliver specific degree programs.”

Curators said this flat rate will help students graduate faster and offer students more flexibility to explore other courses. 

The board said it is waiting until next spring to decide the rates for the different tiers at its campuses in Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis, as well as the University of Missouri Science and Technology in Rolla.


Mizzou would have three different tiers: 

  • Tier 1 
    • College of Arts and Science in the departments of history, geography, communications, philosophy, English, anthropology, international studies, and general studies
    • Education
    • Health professions like social work
    • Pre-majors for the College of Human Environmental Sciences, 
    • Agriculture, food, and natural resources in the department of parks, recreation, and sport and applied social science
  • Tier 2 
    • College of Arts and Sciences in the departments of biological science, chemistry, economics, mathematics, school of music, statistics, theatre, physics, geological sciences, and psychological sciences.
    • Business, excluding accounting 
    • Pre-majors for engineering 
    • Journalism
    • Pre-majors for nursing 
    • Agriculture, food, and natural resources in the departments of plant sciences, animal sciences, agriculture biochemistry, and natural resources and environmental studies. 
  • Tier 3
    • Business in the department of accountancy 
    • All engineering majors 
    • All nursing majors

Missouri S&T would also have three tiers but include a freshman rate where UMSL and UMKC would have more. 

“I think it will be easier for individuals to understand that as we move forward,” Rapp said. “We have 64 supplemental course fees for undergraduates. It would really help our students know when looking at enrolling upfront what that cost will be.”

Only Missouri S&T and Mizzou would offer that flat rate and would allow students to take 15 or 18 credit hours for the price of 12 credit hours. 

As for next year, tuition at all four universities will be increasing by 4.5% for undergraduates. This means a student at Mizzou taking 15 credit hours will see an increase of $217.50 a semester. UMKC will increase tuition by $14 per credit hour, Missouri S&T by $14.30, and UMSL by $17.10 per credit hour. 

Tuition for graduate students will also be increasing across the board. Resident graduate students will pay $20.70 more per credit hour at Mizzou, $21.15 at UMKC, $22.50 at Missouri S&T, and $26.10 per credit hour at UMSL. 

Curators also agreed to continue its “test-optional” policy. This will allow students to be accepted to Mizzou and Missouri S&T without submitting a standardized test score. Last year, more than 900 students were admitted to MU last year that did not submit a test score.