MU Announces Full-ride Scholarship Plan for Every County in Missouri
University of Missouri Flagship Scholars program called “transformational”
COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton has announced plans for a new program that will make college an attainable goal for more Missouri students. The University of Missouri Flagship Scholars program ultimately will provide a full-ride, four-year scholarship to a student in each Missouri county. Students who demonstrate outstanding service and leadership and are the first in their family to attend college will receive priority consideration.
“As part of the first generation in my family to earn a college degree, I would not be where I am today without support from my family, mentors and the community,” Deaton said. “We are asking alumni and friends to provide similar opportunities to students across the state by giving to the MU Flagship Scholars program.”
Deaton announced the program details at the For All We Call Mizzou National Campaign Steering Committee meeting. Private gifts will fund all of the scholarships. A full-ride, four-year scholarship requires a $300,000 endowment. As donors are identified, scholarships will be established in all 114 counties and the City of St. Louis. The program will begin in three counties this fall: Audrain, Caldwell and Marion.
“Attaining a college degree has a profound impact on an individual’s life,” said Jo Turner, project director of the MU Flagship Scholars program. “On average, a person with a bachelor’s degree earns 60 percent more income throughout their working life than a high school graduate. The economic spillover will be transformational for our students, communities and state.”
Turner noted the program will address several critical issues:
· Missouri is falling behind concerning college access and completion. In 2006, approximately 28 percent of U.S. adults held college degrees, compared to 24 percent of Missourians. In more than half of Missouri counties, fewer than 12 percent of all adults hold degrees.
· College costs are rising and public funding for higher education is declining. In the past five years, state funding for Missouri’s public four-year universities has declined by 9 percent while inflation has increased by 10 percent.
· “First-in-family” students require extra help to reach and succeed in college. A 2006 study found that family members often had the most influence on whether Missouri students attend college.
Flagship Scholars will be ambassadors for education and for MU, in their own families as well as their communities. Recipients will commit to spending at least 20 hours a year promoting education and college attendance in their hometowns.
Editor’s Note: A student who is the first in her family to attend college is available for interviews. Danielle Copeland, junior in communications, 314-537-3814, firstname.lastname@example.org