University of Missouri

49-43: Access Missouri

Missouri Students Association

University of Missouri – Columbia

Bill #49-43

WHEREAS, Missouri is currently 45th in the nation for per-capita support of public higher education and 4th in the percentage of state need-based aid that is provided to students attending private institutions, and

WHEREAS, The Project on Student Debt recently reported that students in the Missouri public university class of 2007 graduated with an average of $18,394 in debt, not including loans from private lenders, and

WHEREAS, The Access Missouri program currently provides $92.6 million in need-based grants to 43,280 college students across the state, and

WHEREAS, In the 2007-08 academic year, 4,214 students at the University of Missouri-Columbia received the Access Missouri grant, more than at any other public or private higher education institution in the state, and

WHEREAS, Access Missouri provides grants of up to $1,000 for 6,610 students attending public 2-year colleges, $2,150 for 23,560 students attending public 4-year colleges, and $4,600 for 11,961 students attending private 2-year and 4-year colleges, and

WHERAS, private school students account for 29% of Access recipients but receive 52% of the program’s total funding, and

WHEREAS, Missouri Senate Bill 784 and House Bill 1812 would balance Access Missouri funding between students attending 4-year public and private colleges at $2,850, and

WHEREAS, These bills would allow equal access to need-based state funding and improve access to public institutions of higher education, and

WHEREAS, These bills eliminate a deterrent for students who desire to attend a public school but who currently receive less than half in scholarship aid than their private school counterparts.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Missouri Students Association, on behalf of 23,869 undergraduate students at a public university, supports Senate Bill 784 and House Bill 1812 to ensure equal access to Access Missouri funding, and

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Missouri Students Association advocates for equal need-based public aid to all Missouri students currently making college decisions.

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Missouri Students Association commits to assist ASUM in their efforts on this important issue of concern to Missouri students, and will maintain frequent communication between the two entities to ensure that efforts remain well-coordinated and consistent.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amanda Shelton, MSA Speaker

Tim Noce, MSA President

Danielle Bellis, MSA Vice President

Evan Wood, Operations Chairman

Tyler Ricketts, Student Affairs Vice-Chair

Seth Jarboe, Student Affairs

Sami Ware, Operations

Lakeisha Williams, Multicultural Issues Vice Chair

Claire Kates, Student Affairs

Ian Krause, Academic Affairs Chair