Gov. Blunt Outlines Scholarship Plan
WARRENSBURG - 03/22/2007
Three-Day Statewide Tour of Campuses
Blunt’s visit to campus was part of a three-day statewide tour, which includes stops at many of the state’s four-year colleges and universities. He spoke to UCM students, faculty, staff and members of the local community during a press conference in the Ward Edwards atrium.
Plan Provides More Scholarships
“Education is my highest priority, and I will continue to enhance opportunities for all Missouri’s students,” Blunt said. “The new funding I have recommended for scholarships will significantly expand students’ access to college and higher education opportunities. Simply put, our plan provides more scholarships for more students.”
Following recommendations from the State Student Financial Aid Committee the governor recommended combining the state’s two needs based scholarship programs into one new program called Access Missouri. The program offers a scholarship solution that will level the playing field for all applicants and ensure that Missouri’s neediest students receive aid. Access Missouri will also make it easier for Missouri families to plan for college because the scholarship will be more predictable.
Substantial Increase in Needs-Based Scholarship Funding
To support the new program, Blunt recommended a substantial increase in needs based scholarship funding taking the current program from $27.5 million to more than $72.5 million. The new program will make a sizeable difference at schools across the state.
Increased Student Eligibility
At the public four-year institutions the governor will visited, the funding increase and new program is estimated to benefit a total of up to 12,992 students (as projected and estimated by each individual institution). UCM estimates it will go from 215 students receiving aid under the current program to up to 2,800 students eligible.
New Program Will Benefit Nearly 36,000 Students
Statewide estimates provided by the Department of Higher Education also demonstrate that significantly more students will have access to aide under the governor’s leadership. According to the department, the current program serves 17,000 students. The new program is expected to serve an estimated 36,000 students.
New Funding Also Recommended
In addition to his call to more than double funding for needs-based scholarships, the governor has recommended $40 million in new funding for colleges and universities and a three-year plan that increases funding by more than $110 million.