Students, chancellors say they want more financial aid
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Lobbyist Money Help  

Students, chancellors say they want more financial aid

Date: April 1, 2009
By: Nathan Higgins
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 390

Intro: A senate bill moving through committee would give more financial aid to students attending public universities, but at the expense to those attending private universities.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

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OutCue: SOC

Students in need would receive up to 700 dollars from the Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program.

But, to balance this gain money would be taken away from students in private universities.

Bill sponsor, Columbia Republican Senator Kurt Schaefer said he believes the bill is necessary for public education.

 

Actuality:  SHAEFER5.WAV
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Description: "The Constitution requires us to fund them at a level that provides a meaningful education to the citizens of this state who seek education from a four year institution."


The Senate Commerce committee heard testimony from more than twenty supporters of the bill and will hear opposition to the bill next week.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News radio 11-20 KMOX.


Intro: Public university students and chancellors gathered to show support for a bill that would give them more state financial aid.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol.

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At the expense of students in private universities, MU and other public university students could receive an extra 700 dollars in financial aid.

Many students testified in support of the bill including M-U student Amanda Shelton.

Shelton said the extra money would help her focus on school, quit her second job, and shows the State government's commitment to students.

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Description: "It's a message to me from the State that it's willing to make an investment in my future. And, that they believe that I will be able to repay my community, not in financial terms, but in the education I receive."

Although the Senate Education committee heard no opposition Wednesday, opponents said funding is currently equal.

The committee will hear opposition next week.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20, KMOX.


Intro: A bill redistributing state financial aid received approval from public universities, but opponents say the playing field is already equal.

Nathan Higgins has more from the State Capitol. 

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OutCue: SOC

The measure would shuffle financial aid received from the Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program.

Students in need who attend public universities would receive up to 700 dollars in aid, but students in private universities would lose it.

Bill sponsor, Columbia Republican Senator Kurt Schaefer says he believes the bill makes financial aid distribution equal.

 

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Description: "Missouri ranks forty-seventh in our funding of our public institutions, our public four-year institutions. Forty-seventh. Yet, we rank fourth in this country in the amount of public dollars that we give to private four-year institutions."

Schaefer said the state is obligated to provide fair and equal funding to all students, and these rankings show inequality.

However, opponents like Connie Farrow from the Independent Colleges and Universities Coalition say these numbers aren't right.

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Description: They're mixing apples and oranges. They're throwing these numbers out there as fact and they're simply not. Access Missouri has only been in effect for two years. There is no data at this point that is relevant to Access Missouri.

Farrow said the aid given to students in private schools is proportionate to those in public schools because of the tuition difference.

One Westminster College student said she coudln't afford to go there if the state passes this bill.

Students from public universities repeatedly said the extra money would allow them to take another class, quit their second job, and focus more on school.

Although Farrow opposed the bill, she does sympathize with the cause.

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Description: "It's really unfortunate that they have introduced this bill which would pit students against students. Our state does best when we support all students."

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton says he hopes the bill passes because the extra money will allow more students to attend public colleges in Missouri.

Opponents to the bill won't testify until next week.

In Jefferson City, I'm Nathan Higgins, News Radio 11-20 KMOX.