Nixon to press against big college tuition hikes

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Gov. Jay Nixon said he will use the powers of his office to try to hold down tuition increases at Missouri colleges and universities.

Missouri's higher education institutions are in the second year of a tuition freeze as part of a deal to avoid deep funding cuts by the state.

Nixon said Wednesday that he expects colleges and universities will have to take "substantial cuts" in the next state budget. But he's not expecting them to respond with substantial tuition increases. Instead, Nixon said he will pressure them to keep tuition hikes reasonable.

Nixon also is encouraging colleges to eliminate lightly used degree programs, to collaborate on redesigning common courses and to try to boost the number of people obtaining college degrees.