Students express concerns amid possible MU budget cuts

Possible MU Budget Cuts

As MU leaders brace for possibly millions of dollars in cuts, students are expressing concerns over the effects that will have on their tuition. 

Yesterday, Gov. Eric Greitens released his plan for the 2018 fiscal year. The proposed budget will reduce funding for higher education by more than $100 million. 

As ABC 17 News previously reported, Interim MU Chancellor Hank Foley believes the school will receive $22 million less in FY 2018, if the budget passes without change. Tuition makes up about 80 percent of MU's budget, which means students could feel the result of the state's budget cuts. 

"That really sucks and I don't think they should've done that at all... a lot of kids that are here--we're really providing for ourselves so passing things like this--it just seems like it makes it harder on us," MU student Michele Akskalyan told ABC 17 News. 

"Our government decides to misuse our taxes and then instead of doing it in a way that can benefit everyone, they pass the burden down to us and make people who haven't even gotten the chance to start going into the real world pay for their mistakes," MU student Sean Dorrance told ABC 17 News. 

MU professor John Gahl, who is also on the MU faculty council, said our state has a law that puts a cap on raising tuition prices over .07%. The university can ask to increase it more, but he said, realistically, they can't increase it to the point where it has a negative effect on enrollment since enrollment at MU is down. 

He added that budget cuts for higher education are not singular to our state. 

"Approximately two thirds of the states in the union right now have similar problems with shortfalls. And so there's reductions that are going on everywhere," Gahl said. 

During an MU Faculty Council meeting yesterday, Foley said controlling cost and boosting enrollment would help the school manage the shortfall. He also told ABC 17 News that he understood the governor's need to balance the budget and trusted Greitens' commitment to higher education. 

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