MCC, M-U & StL Community Colleges Sued by Immigrant Students
October 14, 2015

(AP) – Immigrant students on Tuesday sued three Missouri public colleges for charging them higher tuition, a change prompted by a new state law aimed at blocking students without lawful immigration status from paying less than international students.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed the suits in several circuit courts against the University of Missouri Board of Curators, the Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City and St. Louis Community College on behalf of three students, who were identified as either “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” in the lawsuits.
The lawsuits claim the students were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and now are lawfully present through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, although that doesn’t grant them legal status. Some have lived in Missouri for years, or previously qualified for resident tuition rates.
Instead of receiving the same lower tuition rates as other students who live in the state or nearby a college, they had to pay more than twice the cost of tuition they had expected, the lawsuits allege.
For example, a student previously enrolled at the Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City said she dropped out in the fall semester because her tuition was raised from $95 per credit hour to the out-of-state rate of $229 an hour.
“Our Missouri public institutions of higher learning exist to open the doors of opportunity to hard-working students striving to get ahead. Now, there are extreme financial burdens being put on the backs of students already struggling to achieve their goals of higher education,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri, in a statement. “To punish students who had no say in how they arrived in this country is not only mean-spirited, it is against the law.”
At issue is a law signed in May that guides state spending on public colleges and universities. An introduction to the legislation includes a provision that colleges receiving state money must charge students without a lawful immigration status nothing less than the international rate of tuition.

Obama Says 42,00 Missourians With Student Loans Will Benefit from College Rreforms
October 26, 2011

A release from the white house says 42,00 current students will benefit with some of the college student loan reforms he announced today.

A White house release says that’s the number of Missourians who  have a chance to reduce their monthly student loan repayments under the ‘Pay As You earn’, program. The program  marks the  student loan monthly repayment bill to the amount of money the graduate is earning at the time

That plan was already on the books. But The president used an executive order to accelerate its implementation from 2014  to 2012.

The plan it not without its critics.  Joy Pullmann, a Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute said, “Obama’s ‘generosity’ comes at taxpayer expense. Student loans and debt do need to be addressed, but the answer is not pushing more unprepared students towards ever-deteriorating public colleges and financing their adventures with public money.”

On the UMKC campus today, it was not unusual to meet students who expect to face steep debt when they graduate. Tyler Gulledge, a first year law student, says he took out a $39,000 loan for this year. he expects to do the same for his second and third years in law school.

“I’ll probably be paying that off for the next 30 years,” he said.

College costs have been rising steadily.

At the University of Missouri-Columbia, the tuition cost per credit hour has risen 52%  from 2001-2011. In three of those years,  2008-2010, the tuition rate was frozen by the state and the MU administration, or it might have been higher.

At the University of Kansas, tuition costs have risen 69% over the same period. Those costs might have also been higher, but in 2007, KU  started  to offer a ‘tuition compact’ for incoming freshman. That compact sets a four-year price plan in order to stabilize tuition costs.