UMKC legislative representative talks budget, tuition

Tuition hikes and budget slashing are typically contested issues when it comes to higher education. In the Missouri State legislature, there are reportedly no more plans to cut the budget or raise student tuition.

In fact, according Brandon Henderson, the student representative for UMKC in Jefferson City, legislatures are trying to help students get more scholarships. He said more scholarships would help UMKC focus on attracting the best and brightest students. The other hope is that these students are willing to stay in the state and make it a better place.

“The Bright Flight Scholarship is awarded to those students with a top ACT score currently at or above 31,” said Henderson. “The legislature is trying to expand the scholarship to reach more students and turn it into a loan program, with the promise of students staying in Missouri for four years after they graduate.”

Another form of financial aid allowed to many students is federal work study. This allows students who fill out FAFSA to work on campus, gaining work, and potentially networking skills.

Departments granted work study positions can hire students to help with administrative tasks without the money coming from their budgets.

Currently, the majority of work study jobs on campus focus on administrative duties, but representative Kip Kendrick hopes to change that.

“There is currently a bill being sponsored by Kendrick that would allow work study to be used off campus, if students wished to do that,” explained Henderson.

Henderson has been lobbying down in Jefferson City this past year on behalf of college students with Associated Students of Missouri Kansas City. However, he has decided to not be the representative for next year and hopes other students will get involved.

“I never thought students would have accomplished so much,” Henderson said.

 Interested students can contact Henderson at brandon.henderson@mail.umkc.edu  for details about applying to be the UMKC representative.

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