Earlier this week, I visited a St. Louis Community College center located next to Vashon High School. It was a cold and snowy day when I stopped by, but that didn’t matter. The center was packed. Students – of all ages, races and backgrounds – were there, working hard to learn new skills and earn degrees.
They were there because they knew that a college degree isn’t just a requirement for many jobs these days. A college degree is a ticket to a whole world of opportunity.
Unfortunately, too many families these days simply can’t afford a college education. In some states, tuition has spiked by double digits. Families can’t keep up with those skyrocketing prices.
Here in Missouri, we’re tackling the issue of college affordability head on. During my State of the State address this month, I announced a proposal to expand our successful A+ Scholarship program to cover tuition and fees at public community colleges for students from low-income families – regardless of what part of our state they call home.
Since 1997, A+ has helped more than 50,000 kids attend college. But thousands of Missouri students are ineligible – through no fault of their own – simply because they attend high schools that haven’t earned the A+ designation. That isn’t fair. And it must change.
Our proposal would allow every student who meets the demanding A+ achievement criteria and comes from a low-income family to apply for an A+ Scholarship – even if their school hasn’t earned the A+ designation. Across our state, ministers, educators, business leaders and others are stepping forward to endorse this plan because of the new opportunities it will provide to Missouri children.
Every high-achieving, hard-working Missouri student deserves the opportunity to earn a college degree – no matter what ZIP code they grow up in, or what their parents do for a living. It’s our responsibility to make that opportunity possible.