ST. LOUIS – Big news for St. Louis Community College students as they’ll soon receive a 5 percent reduction in tuition.
Governor Mike Parson is expected to sign Missouri HB 2003 on Friday, giving higher education exactly 5 percent of the 9 percent in funding that former Governor Eric Greitens had planned to take away.
The community college system is going to give that 5 percent back to their students.
“Those that have a balance will have that amount reduced from their account. Those who have paid will get a refund,” said Dr. Jeff Pittman, Chancellor of St. Louis Community College.
That 5 percent equals $1.7 million in total tuition dollars. Dr. Pittman said it was an easy decision, considering how important their students’ futures are and how much national student loan debt exists.
“Student debt in our nation has topped $1.3 trillion,” Pittman said. “We don’t want to add to any burden for our students by creating any debt for them.”
St. Louis Community College trustees had approved a 5 percent increase in tuition back in March, trying to make ends meet with Greitens’ budget, but now can breathe easier and so can their students.
“We’re incredibly excited for our students. They’re the big winners here, but it’s mainly because of strong support by the Missouri legislature and Governor Parson to restore the budget bill.”
Pittman said he hopes the core funding will be maintained into future years, adding that Governor Parson’s priorities of infrastructure and workforce development are a perfect fit for what St. Louis Community College focuses on with its curriculum.