JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's students would have two new ways to pay for college under a bill approved by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.
One provision of the bill would create the MOSTARS Higher Education Savings Program, which is similar to college savings plans adopted by several states.
Parents could set up an account with MOSTARS, which would invest those funds to achieve long-term returns to be used for higher education expenses. Up to $8,000 in tax deductible contributions could be made to a student's account each year.
Another provision in the bill would create the Advantage Missouri Trust Fund. The state would forgive up to $10,000 in loans for college students who enter occupational areas of high demand in Missouri upon graduation. The House already has approved this part of the bill.
"The Advantage Missouri Program helps students address the problem of the increasing cost of higher education," said Nadia Morey of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri. "This bill also provides an incentive to college graduates to stay in the state of Missouri, which would be advantageous to Missouri's future economy."