Responding to college-cost audit, Nixon touts affordability

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A recent state audit says Missouri is making in-state and out-of-state students bear more of the costs at public universities and colleges, prompting Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon to respond that the state is a national leader in college affordability.

Nixon touted Missouri’s lowest-in-the-nation in-stte undergraduate tuition increases since 2008. He says including money for scholarships and capital improvements, state spending on higher education went up 3.9 percent between fiscal years 2009 and 2015.

Auditor Nicole Galloway confirmed Missouri’s rank as top in the nation for keeping in-state undergraduate tuition down. But noted that funding per full-time student, both in-state and out-of-state, dropped 19 percent and net tuition and required fees for all students went up 25 percent between fiscal years 2009 and 2015.

Missouri ranks toward the bottom nationally in terms of spending per full-time student and spending per $1,000 in personal income.

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