Governor Jay Nixon (D) has signed into law a bill that aims to help Missouri college students earn an undergraduate degree in four years.  Bill sponsor David Pearce (R-Warrenburg) says it will enable students to take 15 credit hours per semester for eight semesters to graduate.


Sen. David Pearce (Photo courtesy of Missouri Senate)

Pearce hopes students will have less student loan debt when they are finished.

“The statistics are compelling that the longer that students drag out their college education, the more likely they are to drop out. Of course the longer they are in, the more they are going to have to pay for it and more than likely they are going to have more student debt,” said Pearce.

The measure also requires schools to provide financial incentives for students to complete on time and reduce the number of credit hours required for students to graduate.

“Private institutions do a very good job of creating a partnership with students and their parents for traditional students to get them in and out in four years. We’re saying the public schools probably need to focus on that as well,” said Pearce.

The bill creates a scholarship fund to help low-income students take dual-credit courses while they are still in high school. It also makes it easier to transfer credits between colleges and universities.