STEM Funding

Bottom Line

Any Missouri STEM hiring a Missouri graduate or student for an internship or full-time position becomes eligible to have up to $10,000 of its yearly tax liabilities reallocated from the general revenue fund to a STEM fund. The employer can apply to do so through the DHE. Money in the Stem fund will be used for scholarships and experimental programs for Missouri students. 60% of funds used must benefit students “demonstrating financial need”. The goal is to incentivize Missouri STEM businesses to recruit Missouri STEM graduates, and to create a fund that can be used to boost interest in STEM with Missouri K-12 students. 

Key Details

Legislation: HB 696

Fiscal Impact: $200,000 or less

Progress in prior session: Passed out of Rules Committee


  • In 2012, ASUM helped create the STEM fund in Missouri statute. However, the funding mechanism was vetoed. This funding mechanism would allow money to be funneled into the account without a line item request front the budget committee each spring.
  • Missouri’s economy has been moving towards STEM occupations for many years. There is a shortfall in qualified workers willing to fill positions that are opening because Missouri STEM graduates continue to find work in other states. If this continues Missouri will lose valuable businesses that are essential to our state economy. 
  • The average advertised salary for entry-level STEM jobs requiring a BA or higher is $66,123 compared to $52,299 for non-STEM jobs. This difference of approximately $14,000 represents a 26% premium. 
  • Agriculture, a STEM heavy field, in Missouri’s number 1 industry.

Relevance to the UM System Student Body

  • College affordability was labeled as the #1 issue important to students in our 2019 Annual Student Issues Survey. As such, any chance we have to make college more affordable or to increase financial resources for students is one we should take. 
  • As the job market narrows during the current recession, it is important to encourage job recruiting in Missouri so that UM System students have placement opportunities within their field of interest. 
  • With differential tuition being considered at the four UM System campuses it is important to increase financial aid for degree programs where tuition will be increased. Most of the programs that are considered expensive to offer and will have increased tuition fall into the STEM category. Examples include Engineering and Nursing.