MU announced Sept. 6 the class of 2018 would see increases in two scholarships and an additional award.
The university will increase the Curators Scholars Award for Missouri residents from $3,500 to $4,500 per year for incoming freshmen starting in the fall of 2014.
Out-of-state students will have the opportunity to receive either the Mark Twain Nonresident Scholarship or the newly added Chancellor’s Award. The Mark Twain scholarship will now range from $5,000-$10,000 per year; the scholarship previously had a range of $2,000-$5,500. The Chancellor’s Award will be worth $6,500 per year and will be given to students in the top 10 percent of their graduating class who also earn a composite ACT score of 31 or higher or the SAT critical reading and math equivalent score of 1360.
“We have been looking at the possibility of increasing our scholarships for a few years as part of our long-range enrollment plan to at least maintain our current enrollment and with the goal of continued modest growth,” Director of Admissions Barbara Rupp said in an email.
The increases, however, will not apply to currently enrolled students.
“To fund the new scholarships will require additional revenue from student enrollment growth so unfortunately the cost structure makes it so that we are unable to increase the amount of scholarships for our current students,” Ann Korschgen, vice provost of enrollment management, said in an email.
Korschgen said the university had not made significant changes to scholarships in the last 20 years.
Rupp said making the scholarship changes retroactive was not financially feasible for universities and is rarely done.
“Another way to look at it is that when we reduce scholarship amounts, which we do from time to time, we also never make that retroactive,” Rupp said in an email.
Rupp said research analysts have been modeling what scholarship increases would best help the university attract high-achieving students without going into debt.
“Mizzou is excited to be able to offer increased scholarships for students entering in the fall of 2014,” she said in an email. “New scholarships are always developed as part of an enrollment plan that is looking forward to the potential for enrolling new and additional students. We have been actively working on this project for a significant amount of time as the funding model is complex.”
Currently enrolled students had mixed reactions to the news.
Sophomore Kara Tabor said she was surprised to see huge increases in scholarships.
“In the case of the out-of-state scholarships especially, it’s definitely obvious that the school is looking to gain more interest from students around the country,” she said.
Some current freshmen said not making the increases retroactive was unfair.
“As a student at Mizzou, you would expect equality for everyone concerning tuition or scholarships,” freshman Daniel Chacko said. “It’d be kind of cruel for the class of 2017 and other students to not get the equivalent amount as new students coming in because all the extra work that people have put in is not being rewarded like the new students are.”
Freshman Daniel Kim said he thought the university could spend that money in other ways.
“The school can invest their money on academics to improve their education system, which can allow all the students to benefit from the money equally, instead of just increasing scholarships to attract students,” he said.
However, some students, like junior Bryndon Minter, said they appreciate the university recognizing the increasing cost of higher education.
“Although it's unfortunate that we won't see that change in our scholarship packages, it's a nice gesture to entice students that were in the same situation as I was, graduating from a Kansas high school,” he said. “I think we'll see even more out-of-state students coming to the university after the changes.”