The primary function of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri (ICUM) is to represent its members before the Missouri General Assembly and its Executive branch of government as well as the Congress and the Federal Executive offices. 

In so doing, professional lobbying will represent the best interests of the member’s colleges and universities by fulfilling these functions:

  • Promoting and/or supporting legislation that defends or enhances the role of independent higher education.
  • Monitoring and rallying support against any proposed legislation, regulation, or rule which is detrimental to the role and causes of independent higher education.
  • Working with similar organizations as appropriate, to further independent higher education’s interests on national or regional issues.
  • Working with public higher education when projects or legislation give evidence of benefiting independent and public colleges and universities.

The mission of ICUM will be best fulfilled if all eligible institutions are members.  To that end, a professional lobbyist, guided by and responsible to the membership must provide such leadership and work within a guarded budget, so as to make member benefits obvious and membership fees reasonable.



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Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri
P.O. Box 1865
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1865
(573) 635-9160
Fax: (573) 635-6258

Independent Colleges and Universities’ role in higher education and the economy is crucial. Our institutions represent a great public good by making Missouri competitive for the 21st Century at virtually no public expense. We understand that the more highly educated the population, the lower the rate of unemployment. College graduates earn better wages and consequently provide more tax revenue to states.

Missouri is fortunate to have a remarkably strong presence of independent institutions. Independent colleges and universities do not receive the state subsidies that enable public institutions to offer lower, taxpayer-funded tuition rates.

On average, independent institutions set tuition at 60 percent of the actual cost to educate a student. In fact, the average net tuition at independent colleges and universities has actually declined over the past 10 years, once grant aid amounts are subtracted and dollar amounts are adjusted for inflation.

Here are some other important facts:

ICUM institutions are leaders in producing graduates

  • Independent institutions enroll 35 percent of Missouri’s college and university students. At the post-baccalaureate level, 61 percent of students are enrolled at independent institutions.
  • Independent institutions produce nearly half of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in Missouri, 68 percent of master’s degrees and more than half of the doctorates or first professional degrees.
  • Independent institutions are leaders in producing graduates in areas of state and national need – graduating 51 percent of education professionals and 53 percent of healthcare professionals annually.

ICUM institutions serve a highly diverse student population

  • Independent institutions award more bachelor's degrees to minorities and first generation students than their public counterparts. 
  • Independent institutions serve a greater percentage of low-income students than their public counterparts.

ICUM institutions are key contributors to Missouri’s economy

  • Independent institutions are key drivers of economic stability and development for our localities and regions, with a direct annual impact that exceeds $3.4 billion.  
  • Independent institutions collectively employ more than 22,000 workers in communities across Missouri.

ICUM institutions are centers of innovation – attracting talent and research dollars from around the world

  • Washington University and Saint Louis University account for nearly 84 percent of all National Institute of Health grants made to Missouri institutions.
    • Washington University
      • $550 million in total research support (FY2008)
      • Includes $440 million in federal obligations; nearly 80 percent of all NIH research dollars awarded to Missouri
    • Saint Louis University
      • $63.5 million in total research support (FY2008)
      • Includes $44.8 million in federal obligations; 3.5 percent of all NIH research dollars awarded to Missouri
  • Technology Transfer
    • Nearly $11 million in patents, licenses, and industry-sponsored research arrangements