Victoria Easley

To the editor:
I am pleased to announce that we, the independent sector, successfully protected the Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program.

In my March 4 letter, I explained that there had been a legislative effort to alter Access Missouri, drastically cutting funding for students attending private schools. If a student cannot pick a school that fits them best due to the fact that they cannot get aid to attend that school, the student will not have a positive college experience and will not become a well-rounded, qualified member of the Missouri workforce.

Hundreds of students, families, educators and administrators successfully shifted the dialogue, making it about lower-income Missouri students trying to realize the dream of a college degree. As a result, Senate Bill 390 died in the Senate Education Committee, while House Bill 792 was never assigned to a committee.

We anticipate there will be another effort next year to alter Access Missouri awards. I am, once again, encouraging everyone to join the Keep Me in College coalition at Access to higher education leads to a stronger economic future for Missouri; we in the independent sector must continue to have a strong presence so Missouri students will have access to college education.