Martin announces free tuition for low-income students in Missouri and Southern Illinois

| Managing Editor

Low-income students from Missouri and Southern Illinois will be able to attend Washington University for free starting in the 2020-2021 school year, Chancellor Andrew Martin announced in his inaugural address, Oct. 3.

In order to be eligible for the program, students must be admitted to Washington University as a full-time student, be a resident of Missouri or Southern Illinois and fit the financial criteria.

Martin expressed that he hopes to encourage students to stay in the area post-graduation and contribute to the local economy with this new program.

“Our hope and expectation is that these students will come to the University, have an exceptional experience and then, post-graduation, choose to stay in the region to work, start their own businesses, conduct important research or practice their craft,” Martin said in his pledge. “This will boost the St. Louis regional economy and deepen our local talent pool.”

Vice Provost of Admissions and Financial Aid Ronne Turner believes that this initiative will have a positive impact on not just the Washington University community but St. Louis as a whole.

“We want talent here at Wash. U. regardless of someone’s financial situation,” Turner said. “Wash. U. does a lot in this region, but I think it’s important for us to continue to do more. We are in St. Louis, we’re of St. Louis, I think it’s really important for us to continue to do what we can to ensure that we’re a good partner.”

With this new initiative, students who come from a family making less than $75,000 per year will be Pell Grant eligible. The announcement follows Chancellor Martin’s original statement approving Washington University’s startup grant in January.

“[This makes] Wash. U. an affordable option or provides additional assistance to all students who fall in those categories,” Turner said. “I think we’re doing a lot of great work, I hope that we can continue to do work to make Wash. U. a more affordable institution.”

The initiative will also benefit current students enrolled at the University effective fall 2020.

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