Why Choose a Public College or University in Missouri?
The best public colleges in Missouri offer students standout academics at an affordable price. The state features a network of 13 public colleges and universities and 16 public two-year colleges, providing students with many options to pursue higher education. In addition to their affordability, public institutions in Missouri offer strong academics and active campus life.
When weighing public versus private colleges, finances typically play a significant role in the decision-making process. The affordability of public four-year colleges allows students to enhance their career options while minimizing student debt.
Prospective students should also consider what they value in their on-campus experience. If students prioritize small class sizes and a small-town feel, a large public institution may feel overwhelming. When choosing a college, learners should ensure that their choice meets various financial, academic, and social factors.
Students interested in attending college in Missouri should consider public colleges and universities in Missouri. These schools offer affordable tuition rates and the benefits of a big college experience. Continue reading to learn more about the best public schools in Missouri.
Pros and Cons of Attending a Public College or University in Missouri
Public colleges and universities traditionally have more affordable tuition rates than private institutions. Students also usually receive more access to on-campus employment.Public institutions often feature a robust campus life with sporting events, Greek life, and various student organizations that play large roles in the school's culture.Public schools often provide diverse majors, minors, and other academic opportunities.
For some students, a large public institution's size can feel impersonal and impact academic performance.Due to large class sizes, students may have difficulty accessing their professors. Public college and university students can often expect less one-on-one time with their instructors.Sometimes navigating administrative issues at large schools can prove challenging. Due to their size and staffing shortages, completing seemingly simple tasks can be challenging.
Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Missouri
Especially for students pursuing a four-year degree, for-profit institutions typically lack the accreditation, student support, and academic credentials that nonprofit schools offer. All of the top public colleges and universities in Missouri are nonprofit institutions and meet the rigorous standards set by accrediting institutions.
While for-profit schools in Missouri advertise their accessibility and admission rates, these programs typically cost more than the best public schools in Missouri. For-profit schools can have a bad reputation because they often prioritize profits over academics and student services.
How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Public College or University in Missouri?
The cost of college can vary widely between schools. But public colleges in Missouri offer in-state students access to reasonable tuition rates and standout academic opportunities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average in-state tuition for Missouri students fell just under $9,000 for the 2019-2020 year. Students who attended private institutions paid over $26,000 that year in tuition and fees.
While non-resident students pay more than in-state learners, out-of-state tuition is often still less expensive than private tuition. NCES data also reveal that room and board costs between public and private schools are relatively similar — the vast cost difference when paying for college lies almost exclusively in tuition rates.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in Missouri
How many public colleges and universities are there in Missouri?
According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education, the state has 13 public four-year colleges and universities and more than a dozen public community colleges. As a result, Missouri offers various affordable academic paths for prospective students.
The best public schools in Missouri offer affordable tuition rates, strong academics, career services, and student support. All of the state's four-year public institutions hold accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
What is the most expensive public college or university in Missouri?
The University of Missouri-Columbia is among Missouri's most expensive public four-year institutions. According to NCES data, in-state students paid $11,475 in tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year. Out-of-state students paid over $30,000. Room and board fees cost students another $10,796 on average that year.
While college is expensive, students can reduce costs. Alongside various financial aid tools, students can complete large portions of their general education requirements at community colleges throughout the state. This option allows learners to complete academic requirements at a cheaper rate while reducing their time at four-year institutions.
What is the least expensive public college or university in Missouri?
Harris-Stowe State University is among the least expensive public four-year colleges and universities in Missouri. According to NCES data, in-state tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year averaged $5,868. Out-of-state students paid $10,500 in tuition and fees.
Various factors impact how much college costs, but public institutions in Missouri offer an inexpensive path to a bachelor's degree. Unlike private schools that often charge high tuition rates, the best public schools in Missouri offer low-cost undergraduate programs.
What is the biggest public college or university in Missouri?
The University of Missouri-Columbia, also known as Mizzou, is the state's flagship public institution with the state's largest student body. With a student enrollment of over 30,000, Mizzou is a public land-grant university that was established in 1839. Mizzou is also home to one of the oldest journalism schools in the world.
Some of Mizzou's most popular undergraduate degrees include business, health sciences, engineering, and biomedical sciences. In addition to strong academics, Mizzou is known for Division I athletics and Greek culture. Missouri's flagship school offers more than 300 programs.
Is a public college or university right for me?
Choosing a public institution is a solid choice for cost-conscious students who might prefer the hustle and bustle of a large college campus. Students enrolling in public institutions can expect strong academics and an active campus culture that involves college mainstays like sports, Greek life, and various student organizations.
If a public institution's size feels daunting, private schools might be a better choice. While the cost of private institutions can seem prohibitive, many students often have access to generous scholarship opportunities. When researching potential schools, contact admissions officials to answer questions and start a dialogue.