Thursday, August 21, 2008

Blunt Responds to Zweifel, Nixon on Higher Ed

Gov. Matt Blunt's office said that statements made by Attorney General Jay Nixon and State Treasurer candidate Clint Zweifel about the cost of college tuition in Missouri are inaccurate.
"Both Attorney General Nixon and State Representative Zweifel have falsely claimed that Missouri has the highest public tuition of any state in the Big 12 Conference. Missouri’s public four-year institutions do not have the highest average in-state full-time undergraduate tuition and fees of any state in the Big 12 Conference," said Blunt spokesperson Jessica Robinson.

"According to 2007-2008 data, Iowa owns this Big 12 record. The University of Missouri-Columbia also does not have the highest tuition and fees among the individual Big 12 schools. This record is held by Baylor, a private institution, followed by the University of Texas at Austin, a four-year public institution," she added.
The release points to this January 15, 2008 statement by Nixon: "It is now more expensive to go to a public four-year college in Missouri than in any other Big 12 state."
It then points to a quote by Zweifel on August 18th: "Missouri has the highest public tuition of any state in the Big 12 Conference."
"Responsible elected officials check the facts before they make these kinds of assertions,” Gov. Blunt said.
According to data provided by the Department of Higher Education provided through the Governor's office, Iowa leads all Big 12 states in average tuition and fees for public four-year institutions with a cost of $6,215. In Missouri, the average cost is $6,003. Among the individual Big 12 schools, the private institution Baylor leads the Big 12 with tuition and fees of $24,645, followed by University of Texas at Austin, a public four-year institution with tuition and fees of $7,670. Tuition and fees at the University of Missouri-Columbia are $7,603.
The Blunt administration is including a private school in its calculation, which traditionally have much higher tuition fees than public schools.

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