MSU waives application fee, expands scholarship for Boys & Girls Clubs members.The Bear Crew helps new students with their belongings during move at Missouri State University. A series of new efforts were announced this week to help other students apply and pay for college. (Photo: Andrew Jansen/Springfield News-Leader) Missouri State announced additional steps this week aimed at making it easier to apply and pay for higher education. The university will immediately drop the $35 application fee for undergraduate students, which allows students to apply to multiple institutions through a single portal — and expand scholarships to high school students across Missouri who belong to Boys & Girls Clubs. “We’ve really been trying to lean into access programs in part because of anecdotally what has happened around the country that shows the playing field is just not level. Folks who are affluent get a huge advantage in applying for college and getting funding for college, whether they need it or not,” said MSU President Clif Smart. “We really want to level the playing field.” The changes come on the heels of another change: Missouri State recently announced plans to waive the dual credit fees, starting this fall, for Springfield and West Plains high school students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Currently, it’s $70 per credit hour. The option will roll out to low-income high school students across the rest of Missouri in January. “We’ve got tremendously positive response to that,” Smart said. “Our dual credit, we are up 500 students for the fall, and I presume most of that is from Springfield.” Earlier this year, Missouri State announced it will offer scholarships for Springfield high school students who belonged to Boys & Girls Clubs. Eligible members can receive a freshman scholarship of $2,000, and the Youth of the Year winner will receive $4,000. This week the university announced the scholarship offers will be available for members of all of Missouri’s Boys & Girls Clubs. The scholarships can be renewed for up to three years. “When a young person sees college as a reality, a whole new world opens up, enabling them to see their dreams come true,” said Kelly Sears,Read more on Nigeria Nysc Requirements.
director, organizational development, Midwest, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in a news release. “And what an incredible gift to be able to reach those dreams with less of a financial burden.” Smart said the university doesn’t want college to “feel overwhelming and inaccessible” to students. He noted club members learn leadership and team-building skills and often mentor younger members. Clif Smart, president of Missouri State University (Photo: Submitted Photo) “These are students who have shown hard work, interest, commitment and stuck with the clubs through high school,” he said. “We think these are great kind of students for Missouri State, that they really fit our model of community service and ethical leadership.” He noted many of the club members may also come from disadvantaged backgrounds and may be the first in their family to go to college. “There is an intentionality about serving those students.” Smart said the university’s leadership is excited about waiving the application fee of $35 for undergraduate students. “We want people to take a look at the university to see if it’s a good fit for them, if it’s something they can afford and do they feel comfortable here and they’ll learn about our academic programs,” he said. “We hope we’ll get more applications so instead of getting 8,000 applications, maybe we’ll get 12,000 applications and more people will figure out if this is the place for them to go to school.” More education news: Springfield district’s homeless student count soars to 2,283 in 2018 MSU expands free dual credit offer to low-income students across state Federal grant paves way for $2.5 million expansion .