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On December 14, 2007, Governor Matt Blunt announced that for 2008 he was proposing a 27.5 million dollar increase in the Access Missouri Scholarship Program, a state-funded need-based scholarship program. If the Missouri General Assembly supports the proposal, $100 million dollars will be available annually for Missouri residents attending the Stateís private and public colleges and universities.
The College Boardís Trends in College Pricing, 2006 and 2007, reports that for the past thirty years college costs have significantly increased over inflation and that the largest increase has been in the past five years. Compounding the problem, in the past several decades, the federal and state governments and colleges and universities have reduced funding for low income students.
Although this proposed increase in available funds for needy students will not meet the needs of Missouriís low income students; this is a step in the right direction and a recognition that the state is aware of and responding to the problem.
We need to contact our state senators and representatives and ask them to support Governor Bluntís proposal to increase funding to the Access Missouri Scholarship Program.
(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.