New grants underscore the University of Missouri’s pledge to fulfill its land-grant mission by offering more competitive, affordable education to Missourians

University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander Cartwright and Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Pelema Morrice signed the Missouri Land Grant Compact, which will expand higher education access and affordability at MU for Missouri residents for generations to come.

As part of the compact, MU will offer the Missouri Land Grant and Missouri Land Grant Honors for Missouri residents. The Missouri Land Grant will cover all tuition and fees for all Pell-eligible Missouri residents who qualify for admission to MU. Missouri Land Grant Honors will meet 100% of unmet financial need, including tuition, fees, books and room and board, for Pell-eligible students enrolled in the Honors College.

For Missouri students who meet the Pell Grant-eligible requirements and also are in the MU Honors College, Cartwright said the university will not only pay all remaining tuition and fees after Pell Grant dollars are applied, but will also pay for the student’s housing, food and books.

Essentially any Missouri student who qualifies could get a free or significantly subsidized education at the University of Missouri.

For state residents, tuition at MU is $11,008 a year assuming a student is enrolled in 14 credit hours per semester. Housing and dining cost about $10,808. Students typically pay about $6,148 a year for books, transportation and personal expenses.

To be eligible for the honors college, incoming freshmen need an ACT score of 31 or higher, must be in the top 15% of their class, or have a core grade point average of 3.58. Students with an ACT score of at least 29 need to be in the top 5 percent of their class or have a core grade point average of 3.91.The compact means that thousands of Mizzou students will be able to attend the university tuition-free. Based on current enrollment, it is expected that more than 3,500 MU students from Missouri will qualify for the grants annually.

Morrice said the grants will play an important role in attracting Missouri’s top talent who are heavily recruited by universities outside the state.

“We already know that the Pell Grant program is transformational for our students and opens pathways for many to attend MU who couldn’t otherwise,” Morrice said. “These grants are intended to build on the Pell program and create competitive financial awards for all Missouri residents who qualify.”

Most federal Pell Grants are awarded to students whose families make less than $30,000 annually. Pell Grants usually provide a maximum of $6,000 in higher education assistance annually, leaving significant gaps for some individuals and their families.

Mizzou invests about $12 million per year on need-based financial aid to promote access and affordability in higher education. MU students graduate, on average, with $8,000 less in student debt than the national average.

The Missouri Land Grants will be available to students beginning in fall 2018. They are open to incoming freshmen as well as continuing and transfer students.

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