(The Center Square) – Approximately 75% of the University of Missouri’s 5,000 freshmen in 2022 received some type of merit-based scholarship, the institution reported.
The $92.3 million in total scholarships increased 18% from the previous year’s $78.2 million. The scholarships are automatically renewed if students meet academic requirements.
The scholarships are better described as markdowns on tuition and not specifically funded by public or private sources. Students don’t have to apply for the scholarship as they’re awarded based on information students provide when applying to the university.
“These automatic, institutional, merit-based scholarships are budgeted as a discount on MU tuition, so they are not ‘paid for’ in the traditional sense,” Brian Consiglio, a research news strategist with the university, wrote in an email to The Center Square.
House Bill 3, awaiting Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s signature, will provide $506 million in state funding to the university for fiscal year 2024, compared to $435 million last year.
The estimated annual cost for tuition, housing and dining costs for a student taking 12 to 18 credit hours is between $27,672 and $31,272, according to the university’s website.
Missouri residents meeting specific ACT and SAT test scores and grade-point average requirements can receive automatic scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $7,200. Non-Missouri residents meeting eligibility requirements can receive from $3,000 to $21,500. The university’s Land Grant Program provides those eligible for Pell Grants to attend without any tuition cost.
“Institutional scholarships are not ‘capped’ on a certain number of students,” Consiglio wrote. “If a student meets the criteria, they are awarded the institutional scholarship. And just because one student is awarded the scholarship, it does not mean that a different student would not receive it. Any students who qualify are awarded the scholarships.”
In 2021, the average ACT score for freshmen at the university was 27, well above the Missouri average of 20.8 and the national average of 20.7, according to university research.
“Our scholarships help retain students, as our retention rate is nearly 90%,” Chuck May, executive director of admissions at the University of Missouri, said in a statement. “They also help students after graduation as well, as a recent career outcomes survey shows a record-breaking 95.4% of recent MU graduates found jobs or continued their education within six months of graduating.”