Starting next spring, students applying for Lincoln University's new bachelor of science in nursing degree program will have to pay a $25 fee.
LU curators approved the new charge Thursday.
"This fee will cover the administrative cost of evaluating admission packets and admitting students to the BSN program," Connie Hamacher, the nursing science department's head, explained in a memo.
A chart showed curators that seven other Missouri nursing schools charge application fees ranging from $25 to $100.
The BSN program is an addition to LU's long-standing nursing education work, which has a high rate of graduates succeeding in their post-school careers.
"They've never had a fee before," Ann Harris, LU's interim vice president for Academic Affairs, told the board shortly before their vote approving the new applications fee.
Curators also listened to, but took no action on, a presentation from three representatives of the proposed ACE Charter School in Kansas City.
Charter schools are independent public schools, intended to provide extra educational challenges and benefits to students whose learning may have been hurt by attending poor-performing schools.
Missouri law allows charters only in St. Louis and Kansas City, and they must be sponsored by an educational institution.
"I think there are a number of benefits, potentially" for Lincoln to sponsor a charter school, Curator Dana Cutler of Kansas City explained. "One, it fits into our mission of educating.
"Number two, it gives us the opportunity to create good, solid, urban education venues for (our) student teachers."
As a land-grant school, Lincoln has agriculture programs and degrees that urban students never may have considered, Cutler notes, so an LU sponsorship could create opportunities for urban students to learn about things "they may not, normally, have an opportunity to do."
And sponsorship could lead to charter school students deciding to attend LU when they go to college.
"ACE" means African Centered Education, Kevin Bullard told LU curators.
"It's to take the curriculum and to center the (urban) student within the cultural context, the cultural world view of their ancestry and their origin," he explained.
But, Cutler later told a reporter, that choice isn't an effort to segregate students.
"It is, to me, no different than if you chose to go to a language school," she said. "If you went to the French charter school, you're going to be immersed in the language, the culture and the history - and, from that background, still be able to perform."
The ACE program, which Bullard, his mother, Audrey Bullard, and educator Brenda Harris already have taught successfully in the Kansas City public schools, aims to reach students of all backgrounds.
"A lot of people hear "African centered' or "African history,' and they think this starts with slavery," Cutler said. "This program starts at the dawn of time and comes forward.
"It is a world history."
The ACE school is one of three that have approached Lincoln about being a sponsor, and Cutler told curators that LU is "in the process of applying to be a sponsor" with the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
She said the State Board of Education may approve Lincoln's application at next month's meeting, which then would give LU curators a chance to decide at their December meeting if they want to sponsor the ACE school proposal, to begin next fall.
She told the News Tribune sponsoring a charter school shouldn't be a financial burden to Lincoln.
"Charter school programs, if well-run, and charter school centers - what the universities have - if well-managed, take care of themselves and fund themselves, without impacting the (college) budget," she said.
LU would have to provide some "seed money to start the program," she added, but that should be repaid within five years.