Students at Missouri colleges and universities are breathing a sigh of relief. Next fall they will not have a tuition hike. On Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon announced he is freezing tuition for Missouri undergraduates for the 2016-2017 school year.
UMKC students who talked with 41 Action News are pleased.
"Thank God, I'm so happy, that's really great to hear because I worked all four years I've been in college and I haven't taken out a loan yet," said UMKC senior Natalie Thoman.
UMKC senior Joe Chapman said he thinks it's a good idea because it will mean more kids will be able to attend college.
Even without a tuition increase, many students are still struggling financially. Some students are working full-time and others have part-time jobs to pay tuition and living expenses. Others are taking out student loans to pursue their dreams of graduating from college and getting their dream jobs.
Despite challenges, UMKC junior Jeremiah Hayden said he is determined to complete his education and be a success.
"I have too many people counting on me and believing in me," said Hayden.
Nixon announced several key points during his Monday news conference:
- Missouri ranks No. 1 in the nation for holding down tuition increases at public universities.
- The recent increase in the percentage of Missourians with a college degree ranks among top 10 in the nation.
- Finally, the 2017 budget includes an additional $55.7 million, a 6 percent increase, in performance funding for higher education, which will bring a total of state funding for higher education to a record $985 million next year.
The Spencer Chemistry Building on the UMKC campus will receive state money for improvements.
Cynthia Newsome can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.