Westminster Students Rally Against Governor's Attempt to Take Away Their Scholarships

Westminster College students will be gathering tomorrow on April Fool’s Day to rally against Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s proposal to eliminate all scholarship funding for students who attend independent colleges and universities.

The Save Our Scholarships Rally will take place at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 1, in the Johnson College Inn (JCI) of the Hunter Activity Center located on The Hill section of the Westminster campus.  The public and the media are invited.

Nixon has called on the Missouri General Assembly to take all financial aid in the Access Missouri and  Bright Flight scholarship funds that keep the brightest Missouri students attending schools within the state away from private school students and give the money to students attending public colleges and universities.

Misty Todd, a freshman biology major from LaGrange, MO will act as emcee for the event.  Student speakers for the rally will include Lacey McFadden, a senior business administration major from Salisbury, MO;  Caroline Slavin, a freshman from Brashear, MO; and Nick Epstein, a freshman biology and chemistry major from Owensville, MO.

Westminster students have been manning tables in the Mueller Leadership Hall and the JCI all week gathering signature on petitions to send to Governor Nixon and encouraging students to write letters in opposition to his plan.  Tables will be set up at the rally tomorrow so more students can join the effort.   Signatures will be gathered on a banner to send to Governor Nixon’s office.

Nearly 400 Westminster students, or almost 40 percent of the student body, receive either Access Missouri or Bright Flight scholarship assistance.

Nixon’s proposal would result in Missouri students and their families having their choice to attend the best college fit for them taken away.  The proposal would make completing a college education more difficult  for the nearly half of Missouri college students that attend independent colleges and universities.  The proposal could even drive many of them to already financially stressed and overcrowded public institutions and bring new financial challenges to the economies of communities where independent colleges and universities are located.

Nixon’s action would make Missouri the first state in the nation to eliminate scholarship funding for students attending independent colleges and universities.