Missouri Senate Approves Fast-Track Grant for Another Seven Years | News
The Missouri Senate passed legislation allowing the Fast-Track Grant to be available to some students for another seven years on Feb. 24.
Ryan DeBoef, assistant to the president for government relations at Missouri State University, said the bill was already passed three years ago under state law, but it there had been a sunset over the bill until recently when it was approved. According to Britisha sunset is a legal provision that provides for the automatic termination of a government program, agency, or law on a certain date unless the legislature positively acts to renew it.
DeBoef said the sunset was to see how the program would develop and see if the program would be successful.
Although approved by the Senate, DeBoef said the bill still has to go through the House of Representatives.
“We hope he crosses the finish line during this legislative session,” DeBoef said.
According to MSU Mature Student Services, the Fast-Track Grant is intended to ensure that mature students’ tuition and fees are fully covered while they work toward a degree.
There are certain requirements students must meet to apply for the scholarship. Students must be 25 years old or have not been enrolled in an education program at any level in the past two years, enrolled at least half-time in an institution participating in a program designated as eligible, have not yet graduated bachelor’s degree or earn no more than $40,000 per year as a single filer, or no more than $80,000 per year as a joint filer.
Communication junior Sandy Crombie said the grant could benefit non-traditional students.
“Student loans add up so fast,” Crombie said. “When you are pursuing a higher level degree, these amounts are frightening.
Crombie, who came to MSU after graduating from Ozarks Technical Community College last semester, said she plans to apply for student affairs in the master’s of higher education program.
Charity Sterry, a second-year industrial-organizational psychology graduate, said she didn’t apply for scholarships like the Fast-Track grant. However, she said she had many friends in graduate school where scholarships are critically important to their ability to pursue graduate studies and their success in the program itself.
“Due to the demands of higher education, substantial scholarships can make life easier for students, leading to reduced stress, improved performance, and a more successful learning environment overall,” Sterry said.
DeBoef said there are challenges for adult students pursuing higher education, particularly finances, work and child care.
“The thought of paying tuition and fees to get an education to better yourself can be daunting,” DeBoef said.
Crombie said it can be scary to see the amount of tuition and fees as a single mother.
In addition to age, enrollment status, and income requirements, there are also requirements for the program of study the Fast-Track grant can be used for. Missouri State has a total of 47 majors for students to choose from, including nursing, management, and elementary education.
The Fast-Track program can help students graduate and advance in their careers, DeBoef said.
“There’s always an increasing amount of educational requirements for jobs,” DeBoef said. “Many unfilled jobs have educational requirements, including bachelor’s degrees and more.”
Non-traditional students interested in the Fast-Track Grant can contact Missouri State Adult Student Services at 417-836-4126.
Follow Makayla Malachowski on Twitter, @MMal2024.
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