Opportunities to advocate for policies that support students with financial need
Access Missouri is the state's primary need-based financial aid program. To qualify, students must, among other requirements, have an Expected Family Contribution of $12,000 or less. The amount of the Access Missouri award varies, based upon the number of students eligible annually and the total budget. Authorizing legislation does allow for greater awards to those with lower EFCs. Funding for Access Missouri has remained flat for the past two years due to contributions from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) and an increase in General Revenue funding. However, the total Access Missouri budget for Fiscal Year 2013 is about two-thirds of what it was in 2009. At the same time, demand for Access Missouri has increased with the economic downturn. As a result, average grant awards have shrunk. In FY2013 the average grant award is expected to be $1,000, down from $2,140 in 2009.
The federal Pell Grant is the primary financial aid award to low-income students. More than 9 million students received Pell Grants in 2011, a 52% increase from 2008. For 2012-13, the maximum Pell Grant award amount is $5,550. Increased demand for Pell Grants at a time of legislative interest in deficit reduction has put funding of Pell Grants at risk.
Encourage others to Take Action to protect need-based financial aid. Link to this page using the St. Louis Graduates logo.