Mizzou signs pact to cover tuition for low-income students

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BRANSON MO NEWS: The University of Missouri-Columbia announced a grant to help low-income students afford to obtain a degree.(Photo: File photo)For Rachel Slings, the news came with an immediate sigh of relief.The 2017 graduate of Branson High School saved paychecks from part-time jobs and made top grades in the toughest classes to help pay for her first year of college at the University of Missouri-Columbia.Slings was notified recently that Mizzou signed the Missouri Land Grant Compact, a promise to cover tuition and fees for the lowest-income students.”When I first read it, I was just floored,” said Slings, 18, speaking by phone on her way to class Friday. “… I thought about how many lives it’s going to change. I was really happy they were going to do it.”The Missouri Land Grants will be awarded annually starting in fall 2018 to new, transfer and continuing students.”The landmark decision by the University of Missouri allows me to pursue the broad undergraduate education that will prepare me for my career without fear of crippling debt,” she said.Mizzou announced that based on current enrollment, more than 3,500 undergraduate, in-state students — including 51 from Springfield and Branson — will qualify for the grants annually.Rachel Slings (Photo: Submitted)“As the founders of this university did nearly 180 years ago, today we are reaffirming our pledge to provide access to higher education with the belief that an educated citizenry is the key to advancing the state of Missouri, our nation and world,” said new University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, in a  release. “It is a tremendous honor as chancellor to sign this historic compact and invest in attracting the state’s best and brightest.”The announcement was made at a time when Mizzou is trying to regain enrollment after a series of racially-charged protests in fall 2015, which prompted …


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