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April 05, 2009

Private colleges serve state’s neediest

Independent colleges and universities are an incredible value, enrolling nearly 40 percent of Missouri’s collegiate population and awarding nearly 50 percent of all degrees annually, including more than half of those in education and health care. Missouri’s financial contribution to these degrees is only $956 (32 percent of the national average) whereas for a public institution degree it is $34,144 (78 percent of the national average). Equalizing Access Missouri awards (3/31, Opinion) would decrease the $956 and increase the $34,144. Is this fiscally responsible?

Many of Missouri’s neediest students attend independent institutions, with an average family income lower than for students at public institutions. More minority, first-generation, rural and “at risk” students attend independent colleges than public institutions. Independent students are more likely to earn a degree in four years, with a 40.35 percent graduation rate for independents and 21.8 percent for publics.

Access Missouri serves students and provides them choice of the best institution for them. Don’t change it.

Marianne E. Inman
President, Central Methodist University
Fayette, Mo.



I lived in DC for 22 years and do not recall a voucher system. Do you have and more info on that, NM? As for Obama sending his kids to Sidwell, are you really serious? Do you actually think anyone in DC above the poverty line sends their kids to public school? It's as bad as KC.

OK, now for vouchers. I've explained my position on this before and it is admitedly a selfish one. As a parent who sends his children to private school in KC, I am against vouchers for two reasons; first, I think it will dilute the quality of private school education and second, it would increase the cost for parents who would not be eligible for vouchers. Vouchers would cover tuition only (about 80% to 85% of the cost for each student). The remaining funds are typically raised through grants and the annual auction, etc. So let's say there is a $2,000 gap between tuition and actual costs as is the case with, say Pembroke Hill and St. Pauls. It is unlikely that a voucher recipient could cover the $2,000 gap through addition donations and auction items so it is left to the non voucher recipients to bear that cost.


Obama opposes the voucher system, just look at D.C. where they had a voucher system in place that worked. Of course he sends his kids to private schools (rich elitist).
I have continually explained that it is not fair that some single mom that rents and does not pay proerty tax is allowed to have unlimited number of children in the public school system while the property owners pay for her children to attend and statistically are the chidlren that generally prove to have more trouble or cause more trouble in and out of school.
Vouchers, now! This would raise the bar on the public schools and afford for more equality in education. Also no more race ONLY driven scholarships.


I agree with your issue regarding non-deductible tuition. I have long thought that, since my tax dollars are partially used to support state universities, it's only fair that tuition paid to private universities should be tax deductible. Same with primary and secondary schools for that matter. If this administration is truly committed to education, they would propose such legislation, at least allow a deduction for the difference between private and publice school tuition. This would like please the pro-voucher crowd as well.


Meanwhile the rest of us get to pay for their food, housing up to $729,000, cell phones, vehicles, Nikes, concert tickets, and we receive no EIC nor assistance with college tuition for our children.
After all, scoring 90% is considered a poor mark according to the geniuses.

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