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New University of Missouri Chancellor Introduces Initiative to Help Pell-Grant Students

Nathan Lawrence
University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander Cartwright delivers a speech at his May 2017 introduction.

Chancellor Alexander Cartwright started work early last month at the University of Missouri as the first permanent chancellor since R. Bowen Loftin stepped down amid protests in November 2015. Chancellor Cartwright and the university have since announced a major initiative called the Missouri Land Grant Compact.

The Missouri Land Grant Compact plans to make higher education more affordable for Pell Grant eligible in-state students. The compact will cover tuition and fees for any eligible student who is admitted to MU. More than 3,500 students from Missouri will qualify.

According to a press release, the program will meet all unmet financial need, including tuition, fees, books and room and board, for Pell-eligible students enrolled in the Honors College.

At an event for the media on Sept. 6, Chancellor Cartwright said future funding will be determined as the university sees the initial numbers for the program.

“We put the compact in place and we want it to continue indefinitely. We don’t have any plans on it going away. And if we get more students than what we expected than we’re going to have to figure out ways to get that money,” Cartwright said.

In May 2017, MU increased in-state tuition by 2.1 percent. Cartwright said this makes the new program all the more important.

“If I look at the increases that have been at Mizzou, they are lower than a lot of other institutions. And the tuition has been controlled now for quite a number of years and very modest increases over time. But the truth is that, for some students, it’s still not affordable,” Cartwright said.

The Compact will be available for students beginning in fall 2018 and will be open to incoming freshmen as well as continuing and transfer students.

Hannah Haynes is studying convergence radio reporting at the University of Missouri. She spent this past fall interning for a radio program and print publication in Brussels, Belgium.