JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Bipartisan efforts by the Missouri Legislature to restore higher education cuts to the state budget and the expected approval of the FY 2019 state budget by Gov. Mike Parson could mean money being put back in the pockets of students at St. Louis Community College.
In a press release issued Thursday, the college announced that it would be reducing tuition by five percent in the coming academic year, saving an estimated $1.7 million based on projected credit-hour enrollment.
HB 2003, the budget bill dealing with higher education, includes an emphasis on workforce development and $2 million for SkillUP, a program for SNAP recipients in Missouri that provides opportunities for education, job search training, work-based learning and vocational training.
“On behalf of the students of St. Louis Community College, I want to personally thank the state legislature and Gov. Parson for valuing the importance of higher education,” said Jeff L. Pittman, chancellor.
“Based on their actions to restore the initial cuts, the STLCC Board of Trustees authorized a potential reduction in tuition, effective immediately for 2018-2019, depending upon on the outcome of the state budget.
“Ultimately, our students are the beneficiaries of bipartisan leadership by the legislature and Gov. Parson,” Pittman said.
During the March 2018 meeting of the Board of Trustees, a five-percent increase was approved to maintenance fees in response to the recommended cuts made by then-Governor Eric Greitens, with the trustees authorized the chancellor to “reduce the fees to the fall 2017 amounts, if feasible…” due to the uncertainties of the state budget.
STLCC students who have already registered for fall 2018 were billed at that increased rate.
STLCC will reassess the fees at the lower rate to reflect the reduction, and a credit will be made to students’ accounts.
Any student who has paid in full will be refunded the amount of overpayment.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.