State budgets have been impacted hard this last year and it seems like most of the financial woes are trickling down in the form of funding cuts to various education programs. Now of course, I have come up with an alternative solution for state budget issues but for now it appears that the state of Missouri is following suit with a great number of other states and reducing the amount of money they will be providing to their students.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education has consistently provided a need based grant called ACCESS MISSOURI to Missouri students attending Missouri schools. Unfortunately though, this program used to dole out about $100 million dollars a year but after recent budget constraints they are lucky if they will be able to disburse $32 million for this coming academic year. Based upon this budget adjustment and the demand of students, it is estimated that the maximum award will be $500 for students attending public universities and $1,000 for those that are going to private colleges. The worst part about this reduction in funding is that it is going to be impacting the neediest students (since part of the qualifications are based upon your FAFSA results).
The following are the requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the Access Missouri Grant:
For New Students
- Have a FAFSA on file by April 1, 2010.
- Have any FAFSA corrections made by July 31, 2010 (if you are eligible, you may add school choices until September 30, 2010 by contacting the MDHE).
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a Missouri resident.
- Be an undergraduate student enrolled full time at a participating Missouri school. (Students with disabilities who are enrolled in at least six credit hours may be considered to be enrolled full time.)
- Have an EFC of $12,000 or less.*
- Not be pursuing a degree or certificate in theology or divinity.
- Not have received your first bachelor’s degree, completed the required hours for a bachelor’s degree, or completed 150 semester credit hours.
For Returning Students
- Continue to meet the eligibility requirements for initial students.
- Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.5 and otherwise maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school.
- Not have received an Access Missouri award for a maximum of five semesters at a 2-year school or 10 semesters at any combination of 2-year or 4-year schools, whichever occurs first.**
If you are a Missouri student that is being impacted by this reduction in funding, feel free to check out some of our approaches to assist you in bridging the gap in your educational expenses.