Missouri college student funding plummeting

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State higher education funding per full-time student has dropped more than 26 percent in Missouri over the past five years, according to data compiled by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. That puts our state about 15 percent under the national average for per-student funding. Today’s college student…

State higher education funding per full-time student has dropped more than 26 percent in Missouri over the past five years, according to data compiled by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

That puts our state about 15 percent under the national average for per-student funding. Today’s college student is paying more and more in order to attend school. In our view, Missouri sorely needs to commit to an investment in higher education.

That opportunity is now before the Legislature.

Gov. Jay Nixon has said that higher education is a priority for the next fiscal year’s budget. His proposal would mean about $1.3 million more for Missouri Southern State University and about $416,000 for Crowder College. In addition, Nixon has also asked the Legislature for $3 million to fund a satellite dental program as proposed by MSSU. That endeavor would be operated through the University of Missouri-Kansas City but would allow students to attend classes at MSSU. That program, on top of the medical school, would give MSSU real drawing power.

Leaders at MSSU and Crowder aren’t celebrating yet. Nor should they, not until the state budget has been approved.

If we really want to keep young people on the path to college, we need to commit a bigger portion of state tax dollars to higher education in order to keep tuition affordable.

Now is the time to let your voice be heard by writing a letter to your local legislator or to this newspaper for publication.


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