UM System sets up scholarship fund after lawsuit

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 | 8:58 p.m. CST; updated 8:02 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

COLUMBIA — If you attended one of the University of Missouri campuses between 1995 and 2001 and were a Missouri resident between the age of 16 and 21 at the time, you may be eligible for a $530 scholarship.

The University of Missouri System has $10 million to give out this year due to a lawsuit settled in 2005. The class-action lawsuit was brought in 1998 against the UM System by then-students Douglas Sharp, Sandra Lynn and Frederick Eccher, who claimed the system could not legally charge students tuition under Missouri law.

The law in question, which the state legislature amended in August 2001, dates back to 1872, as previously reported by the Missourian. The law made tuition free for all “youths” who then only had to pay entrance costs, library fees and other fees of that nature.

The system argued they weren’t charging tuition but rather “education fees,” but the court ruled against it. However, instead of having to pay back the tuition for all eligible students, the court allowed the system to set up a scholarship fund.

Eligible students and their spouses and children will be able to use the money as credit toward classes at any one of the universities or online. The scholarship application for the 2008 summer and fall semesters must be submitted online by Feb. 15.

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