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Land Grant Compact Will Provide Access to Missouri Residents

New grants underscore MU's pledge to fulfill its land-grant mission by offering more competitive, affordable education to Missourians

MU Land Grand Compact 2017

Chancellor Cartwright joined MU leaders for the announcement. Credit: Enrollment Management Communications. 

Portrait of Chancellor-designate Alexander N. Cartwright

Alexander Cartwright, Ph.D., assumed the role of MU Chancellor on Aug. 1, 2017. Prior to MU, Dr. Cartwright served as provost and executive vice chancellor of SUNY.

Dr. Pelema I. Morrice

Pelema Morrice, Ph.D., joined MU Sept. 2016 as vice provost for enrollment management. Dr. Morrice previously served as chief enrollment officer at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsyvania.

As part of the compact, MU will offer the Missouri Land Grant and Missouri Land Grant Honors for Missouri residents. The Missouri Land Grant will cover all tuition and fees for all Pell-eligible Missouri residents who qualify for admission to MU. Missouri Land Grant Honors will meet 100 percent of unmet financial need, including tuition, fees, books and room and board, for Pell-eligible students enrolled in the Honors College.

The compact means that thousands of Mizzou students will be able to attend the university tuition-free. Based on current enrollment, it is expected that more than 3,500 MU students from Missouri will qualify for the grants annually.

“As the founders of this university did nearly 180 years ago, today we are reaffirming our pledge to provide access to higher education with the belief that an educated citizenry is the key to advancing the state of Missouri, our nation and world,” said Cartwright, who began his role as chancellor earlier this month. “It is a tremendous honor as chancellor to sign this historic compact and invest in attracting the state’s best and brightest.”

The grants are an homage to MU’s status as a land-grant university. The first public university west of the Mississippi River, MU was awarded land-grant status in 1870 through the Morrill Act. The act was intended to provide a broad segment of the population with practical education that has direct relevance to their daily lives.

Morrice said the grants will play an important role in attracting Missouri’s top talent who are heavily recruited by universities outside the state.

“We already know that the Pell Grant program is transformational for our students and opens pathways for many to attend MU who couldn’t otherwise,” Morrice said. “These grants are intended to build on the Pell program and create competitive financial awards for all Missouri residents who qualify.”

Most federal Pell Grants are awarded to students whose families make less than $30,000 annually. Pell Grants usually provide a maximum of $6,000 in higher education assistance annually, leaving significant gaps for some individuals and their families.

Mizzou invests about $12 million per year on need-based financial aid to promote access and affordability in higher education. MU students graduate, on average, with $8,000 less in student debt than the national average.

“Keeping higher education affordable and addressing student debt has been a focus at Mizzou for many years,” said Nick Prewett, executive director of the Office of Student Financial Aid. “We have a strong commitment to help students identify the financial resources necessary to fund a Mizzou education, resulting in students graduating with the least amount of debt. This helps put them on a great path as they begin their careers.”

The Missouri Land Grants will be available to students beginning in fall 2018. They are open to incoming freshmen as well as continuing and transfer students.