To help with the economic challenges many students are facing, officials at Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) will offer a gas voucher program beginning this fall.

The program is for all degree-seeking students who take at least six credit hours of seated classes and live more than 25 miles away from campus. Students who qualify can receive up to $50 per month, university officials said.

“Throughout the summer we have seen prices soar on nearly everything we buy, including gasoline, and we’re mindful of the impact this current economic climate is having on our students. We want to do what we can to help students achieve their academic goals,” said MSU-WP Chancellor Dennis Lancaster.

Students can apply for the voucher now online at the university’s financial aid website, WP.MissouriState.edu/FinAid. Those who have been approved for the vouchers can pick them up beginning Sept. 15 at the financial aid office in Cass Hall, 515 W. Cass Ave.

The vouchers can then be used at participating gas stations. A list of those stations will be available in the financial aid office on Sept. 15.

“Although we offer many online and blended classes that can reduce the number of times students come to campus, we realize that not all classes can be taken online,” Lancaster said. “Through this voucher program, we hope to make those trips to campus a little more affordable and alleviate some of the financial concerns these students have for attending college.”

The program will continue while funds are available, Lancaster said, adding the need for will be reassessed periodically.

Area residents who would like to join MSU-WP in this effort are welcome to make a gift toward the program by calling 417-255-7234 or emailing WPAdvancement@MissouriState.edu.

“We are grateful for the folks in our community who continuously support our students and see the need to help with this initiative,” said Rachel Peterson, director of development and annual giving at MSU-WP. “Any gift will help, no matter how big or small.”

For more information about the gas voucher program, call the MSU-WP financial aid office at 417-255-7243 or email WPFinancialAid@MissouriState.edu.

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