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Senator Roy Blunt Discusses Higher Education Costs at MSSU - KOAM TV 7

Senator Roy Blunt Discusses Higher Education Costs at MSSU

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Joplin, MO -

     The cost of higher education was the purpose of Senator Roy Blunt's trip to Joplin, today.
     Missouri Southern, to be exact.
     An institution that knows all-too well lately about funding struggles.
The Pell Grant was Senator Roy Blunt's big topic - and re-instating it as a year round grant to help cover costs in the summer.
For students like MSSU senior Stormi Potts, that kind of funding, is essential.
Stormi Potts, MSSU Student: "I pay for everything myself, and I provide for myself so I can see that being a slight issue. 
Senator Blunt says it's not the federal government's responsibility to fund higher education but he does say the government needs to look at programs that penalize states causing them to spend education money, somewhere else."
Senator Roy Blunt, (R), Missouri : "The federal government should be aware of that as we look at how we're going to change programs or penalize states if they don't do some of those other things because education, in our constitution is supposed to be the number one priority."
Senator Blunt says he's pleased with steps Missouri is taking, however, to try and improve higher education funding.
His biggest concern was the break during the summer - where many students took up projects or full-time work, making it more difficult to return to school in the fall.
That's why students like Potts, are excited for some extra help.
Potts: "I get to graduate a semester early and i can actually take my summer classes without having to worry about where I'm going to come up with the little extra money I need." 
Despite the recent 15% hike in tuition at Missouri Southern - she's managed to take advantage of a few other funding sources to help offset those costs.
Potts: "Otherwise, I honestly wouldn't know how I'd be able to go to college without working four jobs and being more sleep deprived than I am now.
While the extension of the Pell Grant doesn't solve higher education funding issues - Senator Blunt says it's a step to keep more students - like  Potts - in school and on track to get their degrees.
     The Senator also met, today, with students and staff from Crowder College.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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