Legislation was filed Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009, in Missouri’s Senate and House of Representatives to reduce the maximum award for independent college students under the Access Missouri grant program by $1,750. The program, which exists to help needy students attend college, currently assists more than 1,400 Lindenwood University students.
According to the proposed legislation (SB 390 and HB 792), which is supported by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, students attending independent colleges and universities would experience a 38 percent reduction in the maximum award they could receive under the program while students at public colleges and universities would experience a $700 (or 25 percent) increase in the maximum grant they could receive. The legislation was filed by Senators Kurt Schaeffer (of Columbia) and David Pearce (of Warrensburg) and Representative Gayle Kingery (Poplar Bluff).
“This is happening as the state grapples with anticipated budget shortfalls; however, our students are facing economic hardships of their own,” said Lindenwood President James D. Evans, Ph.D. “Lindenwood remains committed to helping all of our students find the financial aid that meets their needs, and we are taking action to protect Access Missouri funding for our students.”
Evans urged Lindenwood students, parents and friends to contact their legislators to voice opposition to the proposed legislation and make their views known by other methods, such as writing letters of the editor at their local newspapers. For more information about efforts to oppose the proposed legislation, visit www.keepmeincollege.org.