Mo. Senate backs 4.8 percent cut to colleges

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s public colleges and universities would take a 4.8 percent funding cut next year under a budget plan passed by the state Senate.

The reduction approved Wednesday is less than the 7 percent cut originally proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon and passed by the House. That means the two chambers must reconcile their differences before sending a final budget plan to the governor.

Senators lessened the proposed state funding cut as part of a deal with higher education officials to soften the financial hit to students. Many institutions already are planning tuition hikes next year, but they agreed to try to increase scholarships or reduce course fees for students.

The Senate budget plan would rely on $30 million from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority to help fund state scholarships.

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