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Missouri backs off proposed scholarship change

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri higher education officials are backing off an attempt to make scholarships available to students at an online university.

The Department of Higher Education has withdrawn a proposed rule change for scholarship eligibility that would have redefined what it means for an institution to be “located in Missouri.” The intent was to make Access Missouri scholarships available to students at Western Governors University-Missouri, an online only school.

A legislative committee had been scheduled to meet Wednesday to decide whether to block the proposed rule.

A group of private Missouri colleges and universities opposed the scholarship change, partly because of fears that an expanded pool of eligible students would mean less money for each recipient.

An education department memo says the proposal was withdrawn to provide time for further discussions.