Officials at Missouri Southern State University say they welcome a new proposal on higher education from President Barack Obama.
Last week, the President targeted the soaring cost of higher education and unveiled a broad new government rating system for colleges and universities, judging them on their affordability.
“His plan will measure college performance through a new ratings system so students and families have the information to select schools that provide the best value,” said Missouri Higher Education Commissioner David Russell. “And after this ratings system is well established, Congress can tie federal student aid to college performance so that students maximize their federal aid at institutions providing the best value.”
Some college leaders fear their rankings could cost them money if the ratings are based on affordability. However, Missouri Southern officials say they have no such worries.
“Missouri Southern for many years has been the most affordable four-year public institution of higher learning in the State,” said MSSU Interim President, Dr. Alan Marble. “We strive to make our classes offer the best possible education at an excellent price for our students.”
As a result of the Lion Pride Tuition Plan instituted last year, the same in-state cost is available to students from Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma and a large part of the state of Illinois.
“There are students in these areas who will see our affordability as a major plus,” Dr. Marble said. “We welcome them to contact us to see what we can do for them when they’re making plans for a college education.”
In June a U.S. News Campus report named Missouri Southern State University among the top ten of the nation’s schools with the most affordable out-of-state tuition. According to the ranking, even Missouri Southern’s out-of-state costs are less than in-state tuition at the majority of higher education institutions in the nation.
President Obama called college affordability “an economic imperative.”