The state senate moves to let combat veterans of recent conflicts get a big break when they go to college.
Senator Maida Coleman tells the story of Lee’s Summit marine Sam Weber, who dropped out of college to join the marines after the 2001 terrorists attacks. When he came back, he hoped the GI Bill would help him return to college. But Coleman says Weber could not make ends meet on the GI Bill’s allotment. She says he is holding a full-time job while taking a full load of classes and maintaining a 3.4 grade point average.
The senate has advanced her bill saying veterans would not have to pay more than 50-dollars per credit hour for public college tuition. That could be a considerable savings.
The state higher education department says the lowest public community college tuition is 61 dollars an hour. Four-year tuition rates go from 135-dollars an hour at Missouri Southern to more than 240-dollars an hour at Truman.
Coleman says she has worked with Missouri’s public higher education institutions and the only one opposing her bill is the University of Missouri system.
Senators rejected what they consider a killing amendment backed by the University of Missouri. One senator called the school "the gimme, gimme, gimme university."
The bill is SCS/SB830.
The Department of Higher Education website listing tuitions at public and private institutions of higher learning in Missouri is: