Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is asking for an additional $2.5 million for the A+ Scholarship Program, which lets students attend community college for free.
Nixon visited Metropolitan Community College’s Penn Valley campus Wednesday to meet with students who are using the scholarships to pay for school.
“I won’t even have to work a year to pay off my debt,” Marshall Morris, a student in the electric utility lineman program, said.
He told the governor he probably wouldn’t have gone to college without the A+ program.
Nixon says in an ideal world, Missouri would also pay for students to get four-year degrees, but since he took office in a recession, he made it his goal to at least expand the community college program. It’s now in most Missouri high schools.
“What that means is more students can qualify for that two year tuition-free scholarship, and guess what? They are,” Nixon said. “We’re up 44 percent in the number of students who are taking that scholarship, and consequently, we’re having to come up with additional resources.”
The additional funding for A+ Nixon has included in his budget is part of a larger, $55.7 million higher education funding increase he’s hoping lawmakers will approve.
He’s offering the state’s colleges and universities more money in exchange for a tuition freeze.
Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.