Mizzou Offers New Scholarships for Low Income Students

By Free Radical

Student protests resulted in a series of progressive reforms at Mizzou.

Student protests have resulted in a series of progressive reforms at Mizzou.

Last week, Mizzou chancellor Alexander Cartwright announced that the school would provide full tuition and fees for Missouri residents who are eligible for Pell grants starting in Fall 2018. Pell grants are generally offered to students who come from families that make less than $30,000 a year. But children whose parents make more can still be eligible depending on various factors such as additional dependents.

According to the Missouri Land Grant Compact, Mizzou will use a combination of federal, state, and university resources to cover the remaining funds owed on a student’s tuition and fee balance after a Pell grant is applied. Pell grants cover a little less than $6,000 while Mizzou’s in-state tuition is about $11,000. Students would still have to pay room and board. Those who qualify for the Mizzou Honors College however will have all fees including room and board paid for.

Mizzou has been rocked by controversy as a series of racist incidents in 2015 resulted in robust student demonstrations which caused the ouster of system president Tom Wolfe. This resulted in a precipitous 6.2% decline in student enrollment at the campus. The fallout and enrollment reductions from all university campuses is said to be about $60 million in revenue cuts and a loss in 474 jobs according to the kansascitystar.com.

The college however contends that this policy change is independent from any controversy it faced in the past. The university spokesperson Christian Basi expressed, “This is something that has been in the works for a significantly long time. It is not in response to any recent news. We are thrilled about this announcement.”

However, the university has been forced to respond to student protests particularly those of Concerned Students 1950 who issued a number of demands in 2015 calling for greater diversity on the campus. Their activism resulted in a $1 million faculty diversity initiative, the creation of the university’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with its head Kevin McDonald, and now this new tuition program which will grant access to scores of low income students.

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