More Scholarships for SEMO

More Scholarships for SEMO
By: Mike Shain
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. --Southeast Missouri State University colleges students will have much more scholarship money available in the future under legislation proposed by Governor Matt Blunt.  The governor told a Cape Girardeau news conference today that the number of scholarships at Southeast would increase from 300 this year to 1,900 under his Access Missouri plan now being considered by legislators.
Blunt says Access Missouri also would do away with much of the red tape and confusion surrounding the present scholarship plan.  A university official says that plan favors students attending high tuition private universities while students at  Southeast and other schools get what is left over.
Access Missouri is part of an omnibus education package that also includes money for the university's River Campus for the Performing Arts overlooking the Mississippi River.   Southeast would receive $17.2-million for the project which is expected to be finished by fall.  It incorporates the historic St. Vincent Seminary mentioned in the writings of Mark Twain and others.  The money would come from the sales of some assets in the state scholarship fund, called MOHELA.  The university went ahead with building despite not having state money, financing the work with bonds.  Higher student fees would be charged to pay off the bonds.
At his news conference at the University Center, Blunt says he is encouraged at support for MOHELA in the legislature and feels certain the plan will be approved.  A number of other projects at Southeast also are dependent on MOHELA funding.  They include $4.5-million for a business incubator,  just over  $2-million for an autism treatment center serving the region and a dental hygiene program at the Sikeston campus to serve residents of the Bootheel area where there is an acute need for dental care.