State Representative Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, is concerned about creating the governor’s proposed Fast Track program when he says Missouri’s three college financial aid programs are significantly underfunded. Bright Flight, A+ and Access Missouri are the state’s current programs.

State Rep. Kip Kendrick

“Access Missouri – this is our only need-based aid program in the state of Missouri. It’s currently being funded at 72 percent,” says Kendrick, the ranking Democrat on the state House’s Budget Committee.

Republican Governor Mike Parson’s Fast Track financial aid program would provide tuition assistance to eligible Missourians to get or grow into high-paying, high-demand fields like advanced manufacturing, computer science, and healthcare.

Kendrick says Parson’s program could cost more than $22 million – a number Parson announced during January’s State of the State Address.

Kendrick wants to move $12 million from the proposed Fast Track program to Access Missouri.

“It would bring funding (of Access Missouri) up to around 84 percent. That’s still significantly underfunded and that’s money coming directly out of the pockets of some of our lowest-income individuals attempting to improve their lives and escape poverty by obtaining higher education,” says Kendrick.

He goes on to say the Fast Track program has some merit.

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