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UM curators OK lower housing, dining rates, text books

The University of Missouri Board of Curators on Thursday approved reduced housing and dining rates for the coming school year.

For the second straight year rates will be reduced for a third of available rooms, according to board meeting documents. The curators met Thursday and Friday at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The weighted average cost of a double room per academic year will drop 1.1 percent to $6,653, the board packet said. The cost of the least-expensive rooms will drop about $430 compared to last year.

Rates will increase in some single rooms, suites and high-demand halls.

MU had a 94 percent residence hall room occupancy rate this fall and students are living in all but one residence hall, which is being leased by MU Health, according to board documents. The occupancy rate had dropped sharply in the few years following the 2015-2016 academic year when protests rocked campus and the UM System president and MU chancellor resigned.

Dining plan rates will also be lowered for most students by 3.2 percent.

Curators also approved a partnership with textbook publisher Cengage. The partnership gives students access to 22,000 digital course materials for $50 per semester.

“This is a new and innovative contract with Cengage that we anticipate will save our students a total of $3 million each year,” said Steve Graham, senior associate vice president for academic affairs. “We expect to implement the new agreement this coming spring, so students will see an immediate impact.”

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