Truman Launches "Investing in Students" Initiative to Provide More Aid as State Budget Crisis Looms

Truman State University has launched the “Investing in Students” initiative designed to provide increased financial assistance to students in advance of an anticipated state funding crisis.

The special fund drive will generate gifts from University constituents – alumni, friends, faculty/staff, corporations and the Kirksville area – to provide extra support for students who will be facing additional hardships during the 2009-2010 academic year.

“The cost of education is requiring a greater commitment from students and their families,” said Dr. Darrell Krueger, Truman president. “In recent years, federal grant and loan programs have deteriorated, and coupled with the anticipated reduction in state aid, this combination will create hardship for many families.”

Truman students may apply for the special awards program that will provide an additional $1,000 grant for the 2009-2010 school year. The program will be administered by the Office of Financial Aid. Students must meet certain application guidelines that demonstrate financial need, including a filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

The fund has been established with $100,000 in advance commitments, including a $30,000 pledge from Krueger and his wife, Nancy, to assist 30 Truman students with financial need next year.

“These are extraordinary times, and the global financial crisis has reached Missouri and Truman,” Krueger said. “This initiative is designed to proactively lend a helping hand to our most financially needy students in preparation for what appears to be a very difficult budget year ahead.”

Last month, presidents of all state public universities in Missouri were asked by state legislative officials to develop state appropriation reduction scenarios in increments of 15, 20 and 25 percent for the next fiscal year.

For Truman, a 15 percent decline in state appropriation translates into a $6.2 million reduction in funding, while a 25 percent drop means $10.4 million in reduced funding.

“While the University continues to deal with the complex and ongoing economic realities from a position of strength and confidence, there are many variables in play as we begin preparation for next year’s budget,” Krueger said. “The campus community is working together to protect the quality of Truman, a rare gem among higher education institutions whose distinctive qualities must be preserved.”

Krueger has also spoken with student leaders about the possibility of asking students to partner with the University to help create solutions to the state funding crisis through a per credit hour student fee. The fee would contribute to the enhancement and preservation of the Truman experience, while simultaneously beginning discussions of how to streamline University processes and programs to assure and advance Truman’s quality. Students will also participate in that process.

The initiative is part of Truman’s Bright Minds Bright Futures fundraising campaign that opened in the summer of 2006. The five-year, $30 million effort has generated $15.9 million in advance commitments and will begin the public phase later in 2009. Student scholarships have been a significant priority with $3.01 million in cash and $5.61 million in deferred gifts received to date. To discuss this initiative, please contact the Office of Advancement at 660-785-4133.

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