A+ Information for Participating Postsecondary Schools
The administrative rule for the A+ Scholarship Program became effective on October 30, 2011. It can be found in the Code of State Regulations, Title 6, Division 10, Chapter 2. The rule number is 6 CSR 10-2.190.
The MDHE will continue to use the initial budget form that has been required in the past to assist in projecting program expenditures. The budget forms are due July 1 for the summer term, October 1 for the fall term and February 16 for the spring term. The budget forms may be faxed to the MDHE at (573) 751-6635, emailed to a financial assistance staff member or mailed to P.O. Box 1469, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-1469. The final payment form is no longer required as verification of the amount requested now occurs at the time the payment request is submitted to the MDHE.
New to the A+ Scholarship Program is the requirement that reimbursement be capped at the standard credit hour rate at State Technical College of Missouri, or the clock hour equivalent as calculated using the federal credit to clock hour conversion rate. For the 2014-2015 academic year, reimbursement is capped at $158 per credit hour and $4.20 per clock hour. The calculation of the cap (number of hours in the payment period x cap amount) should be made after the student’s non-loan federal aid, primarily the Pell grant, has been applied to the student’s tuition.
Institutions with programs affected by the cap may request a waiver of this requirement on a program by program basis by submitting a written request to the commissioner of higher education. The request should include at a minimum documentation of the program’s high demand by students and employers, as well as justification for the program’s cost, particularly in relation to comparable programs offered at other types of A+ participating institutions.
Certification in FAMOUS
There are two ways in which to request A+ funds in the FAMOUS system. The first method involves uploading a file of eligible students into FAMOUS. The A+ File Layout for FAMOUS provides detailed information about the content of each field in the A+ Certification Template.The A+ Certification Template is the spreadsheet used to create the upload file for requesting funds. The template must be saved as a CSV file before uploading to FAMOUS. Basic A+ Certification Upload Instructions are available here, and more detailed instructions will be provided in the FAMOUS User Manual for Postsecondary Institutions at a later date.
The second method involves entering the certification information directly into the student’s record in FAMOUS. Corrections to a student’s disbursement must be made directly into FAMOUS, even if the original disbursement was requested using an upload file. Basic A+ Manual Certification Instructions are available here, and more detailed instructions will be provided in the FAMOUS User Manual for Postsecondary Institutions at a later date.
The tuition amount eligible for reimbursement is capped at the published standard per credit hour tuition rate charged by State Technical College of Missouri. For the 2014-2015 academic year, the maximum rate is $158 per credit hour. For clock hour institutions, the rate is $4.20 per clock hour, as calculated using the federal credit hour to clock hour conversion rate.
Creating a Student Record in FAMOUS
There will be some circumstances in which you will need to request funds for a student who does not have a record in FAMOUS. Primarily this will occur if the student files the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after the date the MDHE stops downloading FAFSA records, or if the student is attending an institution that does not participate in the federal Title IV programs.
In either of these circumstances, you may create the student’s record in FAMOUS using a process similar to uploading a certification file. Instructions for creating a student record in FAMOUS are available here and more detailed instructions will be provided in the FAMOUS User Manual for Postsecondary Institutions at a later date. The Create Student Record File Layout provides detailed information about the content of each field in the Create Student Record Template. The Create Student Record Template is the spreadsheet used to create the upload file for creating the student’s record. The template should be saved as a CSV file before uploading to FAMOUS. Once the student’s record is created, you will need to follow the instructions for certifying the student.
Return of A+ Funds
Institutions returning A+ funds from previous academic years should complete the Institutional Refund Form and submit it along with the check. This form replaces the correction form used by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.If your institution needs to return A+ funds for the 2011-2012 academic year, please use the return process in FAMOUS. Instructions for returning funds in FAMOUS are available in Section 8.3 of the FAMOUS User Manual for Postsecondary Institutions.