It seems college students aren’t catching any breaks from Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens as he proposes another major cut in funding to higher education. With state funding down to less than 30 percent forcing more budget cuts to Northwest, it seems the college experience is only becoming even more unobtainable.
This isn’t the first higher education cut proposed by Greitens. In June 2017, the governor proposed a funding cut from universities and colleges to redistribute $48 million to fund elementary, middle and high schools, according to the Associated Press. While primary and secondary education is important, these budgets will only further the gap of students who leave high school without attendance of university or college.
Degree programs offered at colleges and universities administer highly educated individuals, who are specifically qualified for career based initiatives that, in return, become some of the building blocks of a stable and prosperous economy.
Public education is the foundation of college education, but sacrificing the necessities of universities and colleges will lead to a crippling deficiency in quality and resources amongst the institutions.
The Missouri education system as we know it will drastically change, as more students will choose falling into entry level workforce instead of pursuing degree programs due simply to the inability to afford the increased tuition fees.
This will be a paralyzing blow to the state’s economic status, creating a seemingly endless cycle of funding cuts and redistributing in efforts to save a failing economy, which has seldom highly skilled individuals to correct the mistakes.
Missouri universities are left powerless as state funding continuously dwindles, relying heavily on donations and tuition cost, while still providing the state with immense economic benefits. Northwest’s continued success in affordability, retention rate, degree completion and post graduation job placement is proof that as public institutions, Missouri universities are keeping their end of the bargain. Yet keeping these universities running smoothly is more reliant on money from students’ and parents’ pockets instead of its benefactors.
Instead of removing money from public universities and colleges budgets, an increase in funding is needed. In nearly 30 years, Northwest has seen state funding drop by more than 40 percent. Yes, the redistribution of funds to public education and state foster programs are areas well-deserving of increased funding, but the conditions and obligations Greitens is proposing are steep.
The college experience isn’t just factual and educational learning. It is developing life lessons, strengthening young adult independence and producing well-rounded young leaders who are prepared for anything.
It is the state’s responsibility to contribute to enabling the creation of our state and our countries’ leaders by providing sufficient support to universities and colleges they claim as ‘public.’