"The higher costs of a college education will close the doors to many students"
When Gov. Bob Holden pushed legislators to increase funding for public education this year, he clearly ignored higher education. While increasing the foundation formula that funds public education, Holden and his cohorts took the axe to higher education. The results will be profound.
As Holden increased public education funding he also cut higher education funding by almost 20 percent. That translates into $286 million less for the universities in Missouri and believe me, someone will have to pay for that shortfall.
All universities have announced tuition increases and education surcharges. That means thousands and thousands of parents and students will have to come up with thousands of additional dollars per student in the coming year. Plus the schools are also cutting services.
But the worst news came Thursday when University of Missouri President Manuel Pacheco said that one of the four campuses in the university system may have to be closed if more cuts come next year. Pacheco wasn't trying scare tactics - he means business.
The higher costs of a college education will close the doors to many students and put a substantial financial burden on others. High education in Missouri faces its largest crisis in memory and it won't end soon.
Holden may have helped public education with his funding increases but he clearly ignored higher education with his slash and burn budget. It remains to be seen if students can absorb these higher costs. In many instances, they simply cannot.
Higher education will face an unparalleled challenge in the months ahead. They can thank Gov. Holden for this challenge.