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MU announces affordability initiative for students living on campus

Most common housing/dining plans will be reduced 3.5 percent; students will be able to live and eat on campus for approximately $1,000 a month

November 3rd, 2017

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Many University of Missouri students living on campus will see reductions in their living and dining expenses next year due to expanded dining options and a reduction in housing rates, university leaders announced today.

Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said base housing rates for more than one third of campus housing options will be reduced next year. More than 650 community-style, double rooms (1,300 beds) will drop 2.2 percent while rates for 232 double rooms (464 beds) in Hatch Hall are dropping 5 percent—creating a new economy housing option. All other housing rates will remain flat.

In addition, the university is offering new dining plans that include cheaper and more flexible options. As a result, students who elect economy living and dining plans will be able to live and eat on campus for approximately $1,000 a month.

University leaders expect the plan will result in an overall 3.5 percent reduction in cost for the university’s most commonly selected housing and dining plans.

“We take very seriously our role to be good stewards of investments made in us. These changes are a result of listening to feedback from students and their families, looking carefully at the cost of providing services, and determining ways we could economize,” said Gary Ward, interim vice chancellor of Student Affairs and vice chancellor of Operations. “The result is that many of our on-campus residents will see lower bills next year.”

Cartwright praised the cost-saving initiative, adding that he understands the economic challenges students face.

“When I was a student working my way through college, I had to be mindful of every dollar,” Cartwright said. “I understand the tremendous financial pressure our students face, and I have challenged my team to look for opportunities to enhance the value we provide, making the world-class education offered at Mizzou both accessible and affordable. That is our responsibility not only as the University of Missouri, but the University for Missouri.”

Maggie Recca, president of the University of Missouri Residence Halls Association, said the new options and reduced housing rates will benefit students and their families.

“The Residence Halls Association serves as an advocate for students and their families,” she said. “These changes are very exciting as they will help to reduce the cost of a Mizzou degree and give students and their families even more confidence in choosing Mizzou.”

As a result of the new options and reductions, room rates—including utilities, internet, cable, laundry and cleaning of common areas— now start at $714 a month, nearly $350 less annually than the least expensive option currently. Dining plans start at $283 a month, nearly $300 less a year than the smallest plan available now.

Other changes announced today include an option for students to live in select halls year-round and eliminating the dining plan requirement for returning students.

“Our goal is to ensure that our options are competitive and reduce costs for students and families,” Ward said.

MU will replace the Block 175 and 225 dining plans with Block 200 to better meet students’ needs (meaning 200 meals per semester).

The housing and dining initiative is one of several changes Mizzou has made this year to increase affordability, including:

  • The Missouri Land Grant Compact, which covers the tuition gap for any Pell-eligible Missouri resident.
  • Changes to student charge that prevent students from accumulating debt for non-academic expenses.
  • A textbook initiative encouraging Open Educational Resources (OER) in classes, as well as to use the AutoAccess option for textbooks at all four campuses. As a result, textbooks at the Mizzou Store this fall are, on average, 18 percent cheaper than they were in fall 2016.

In recognition of the value MU provides, the university recently was named a “Best Buy” by the Fiske Guide to Colleges. This indicates that not only is the university affordable, but it provides a quality education. Only 20 public universities in the country were recognized as a “Best Buy.”

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