Access Missouri is a state-funded, need-based scholarship program for students attending the public and private colleges and universities in the state. KWMUíS Marshall Griffin reported recently that both the Missouri House and Senate committees have approved increasing the eligibility for the program from familiesí earning from $72,000 to those earning $200,000. This could become a costly mistake for many needy college students and their families in the state.
The Access Missouri maximum annual award for public two-year college students is $1,000, for four-year public college students itís $2,150 and for private college students itís $4,600. Thus the maximum award for a college student going to a State private university is over 2 times more than for those going to a public four-year institution and over 4 times more than for a student going to a public-two year institution.
If this bill passes, the incentive for students to attend public institutions may decrease in preference for attendance at private institutions. Further, the funds available under the program will diminish quickly and thus fewer Missouri students with financial need will receive assistance.
Iím contacting my state senator and state representative to request that the Access Missouri Program family maximum eligibility income limit be returned to the 2007-2008 level of $72,000.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Lowe "Sandy" MacLean is vice chancellor emeritus, University of Missouri, St. Louis, and is active in local political and community organizations, including the Grand Order of Pachyderms (GOP), a service organization for the Republican Party.