A+ Information for Participating Postsecondary Schools

This program provides scholarship funds to eligible graduates of A+ designated high schools who attend a participating public community college or vocational/technical school, or certain private two-year vocational/technical schools.  The information on this page is effective for the 2014-15 academic year, unless otherwise noted.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for assistance you must meet the following requirements:

      High School Students

        Initial Postsecondary

        Students

      Renewal Students
  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or lawfully present in the U.S.
  • Enter into a written agreement with your high school prior to graduation.
  • Attend a designated A+ high school for 3 consecutive years immediately prior to graduation.1
  • Graduate with an overall grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Have at least a 95% attendance record overall for grades 9-12.
  • Perform at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring, of which up to 25% may include job shadowing.
  • Maintain a record of good citizenship and avoid the unlawful use of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Beginning with the high school senior class of 2015, have achieved a score of proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end of course exam or a higher level DESE approved end-of-course exam in the field of mathematics.3
  • Continue to meet the eligibility requirements for initial students.
  • Maintain a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and otherwise maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school.4
  • Make a good faith effort to secure all available federal financial aid by completing theFree Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)each academic year.  If you are attending a school that does not participate in Title IV programs you must complete theFAFSA4caster, which is a tool for estimating your level of need for federal financial aid. 

1If one of your parents is a member of the military on active duty or has retired from the military and relocated to Missouri within one year of their retirement, you are exempt from this requirement. However, you must attend an A+ designated high school in the school year immediately preceding graduation and meet all of the other high school eligibility requirements.

2If you have already received an associate degree or baccalaureate degree you are not eligible for the A+ scholarship program.

3Beginning in 2015, if you meet all of the eligibility requirements except the end of course exam requirement, you may establish eligibility by achieving a qualifying score on the COMPASS exam published by ACT, Inc. or the mathematics component of the ACT test.   You may achieve the qualifying score as a high school or postsecondary student.  If you achieve the score as a postsecondary student you may be eligible for an award in the same term that you take the test.  The MDHE will announce the qualifying COMPASS and ACT scores annually.  The following table displays the qualifying scores for the 2015 high school seniors.

                        Exam                                   Minimum Score

ACT Math Subscore

17

COMPASS Pre-Algebra

43

COMPASS Algebra

1

4A renewal student is someone that has received an A+ payment, or who was eligible but whose award was reduced to zero after federal, non-loan aid was applied to tuition and fees, in a prior academic year. If this is the first academic year in which you have received an A+ payment, you are not subject to the renewal minimum GPA requirement but you must meet the GPA requirement defined in your school’s satisfactory academic progress policy.

How much can I receive?

The scholarship will reimburse, within the limits described in the following paragraph, the unpaid balance of your tuition and general fees after all available, non-loan federal financial assistance, such as the federal Pell grant, has been applied to your account. This may result in a zero award if your Pell grant is sufficient to cover all tuition and general fee charges.General fees are fees that are charged to all students and do not include fees specific to an individual program or group of students.

 The tuition amount eligible for reimbursement is capped at the published standard per credit hour tuition rate charged by Linn State Technical College. For the 2013-14 academic year, the maximum rate is $158 per credit hour or $4.20 per clock-hour. The maximum credit and clock hour rates for the 2014-15 academic year have not been established to date.

The amount reimbursed may be reduced if there are insufficient state appropriations.  The following factors may also affect the amount you are eligible to receive:

  • Reimbursement will be made for completed coursework, including remedial coursework, for which a standard grade was assigned and that is required by your school for the completion of the degree or certificate.
  • Coursework that is part of a higher level certificate or degree program taken after receipt of a certificate will be reimbursed if it is related to the original certificate.
  • The amount of reimbursement paid for coursework for which a standard grade was not assigned (dropped coursework), including coursework from which you officially or unofficially withdrew, will not be reimbursed.
  • Repeat coursework, which includes courses for which you have already received a grade (including a failing grade), will not be reimbursed.

How can I apply?

You do not have to complete a paper A+ Scholarship application for the MDHE.  Check with your community college or vocational/technical school to see what materials they require in order to confirm your A+ eligibility.  In most cases your school will require at least an A+ seal/stamp on your high school transcript.

In addition, you must complete the FAFSA each year.  If you are attending a school that does not participate in Title IV programs you must complete the FAFSA4caster, which is a tool for estimating your level of need for federal financial aid. 

The MDHE receives electronic FAFSA records for Missouri residents directly from the federal government.  Late filing may jeopardize your payment as well as eligibility for other state aid programs. 

For the summer term, check with the school you are attending to see which academic year (July 1 to June 30) contains the summer term. For example, if the 2014 summer term is part of the upcoming academic year (called a “header”), you would need to file a 2014-15 FAFSA in order to receive a summer award. If the 2014 summer term is part of the prior academic year (called a “trailer”), a 2013-14 FAFSA is required.

Although you must file a FAFSA for the correct academic year based on your school’s academic year, the MDHE will always provide funding for the summer term after July 1, even if your school considers summer to be a trailer to the previous academic year.

How will I know if I am eligible?

The MDHE does not provide notice to students of eligibility. Contact your high school A+ Coordinator for your eligibility status based on the high school eligibility criteria. Contact the financial aid office at the school you attend for your postsecondary eligibility status.

How will I receive my award?

Your community college or vocational/technical school will submit a reimbursement request to the MDHE by the deadlines established for each term (summer, fall and spring). The MDHE will then disburse the funds to the school and the school will apply the funds to your account.

How long can I receive an award?

Your eligibility expires when the earliest of the following occurs:

  • 48 months after the graduation date documented on your high school transcript.
      • Students providing service to any branch of the U.S. armed forces can defer their eligibility (see “Can the scholarship be deferred?” below).
      • Students graduating from high school in mid-year may be eligible for a spring award if their high school transcripts indicate the mid-year graduation date.
  • Receipt of an associate’s degree
  • Completion of 105% of the hours required for the program in which you are currently enrolled

105 % includes the following:

  • All hours, including developmental/remedial hours, taken at your current school

  • All known hours, including developmental/remedial hours, taken at any other A+ eligible school

  • Hours taken at any non-eligible A+ school, including out-of-state schools, that your current school accepts in transfer

105 % excludes the following:

  • Hours earned for work performed before high school graduation, including (but not limited to): dual credit, dual enrollment, technical education articulation, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate

  • Hours from a non-eligible school not accepted in transfer by your current school

If you complete a certificate and progress to a higher-level certificate or degree in a related field, the 105% calculation will include:

    • Hours earned at any institution (A+ eligible or non-eligible) prior to receipt of the initial certificate that transfer into the new program

    • Hours taken at any A+ eligible school, including your current school, after receipt of the initial certificate.  This includes any developmental/remedial hours completed.

    • Hours taken at any non-eligible A+ school, including out-of-state schools, after receipt of the initial certificate

After receipt of an initial certificate, the 105% will not include:

    • Hours earned for work performed before high school graduation, including (but not limited to): dual credit, dual enrollment, technical education articulation, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate

    • Hours completed at any institution (A+ eligible or non-eligible) before receipt of the initial certificate that do not transfer into the new program.

How do I renew my award?

You may renew your award annually.  To renew you must complete the FAFSA, or FAFSA4caster if applicable, each year in order to make a good faith effort to secure a Pell grant or other federal aid. You must also maintain a 2.5 grade point average and otherwise maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school.

If you are an initial student who has been denied A+ reimbursement for failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the school, or a renewal student denied for failure to maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average or the school’s other satisfactory academic progress criteria, you may receive the award in the term following the school’s determination that the standard has been regained.  Schools have different policies for how frequently they monitor satisfactory academic progress.  You will need to check with your school to determine when your award might be reinstated.

How do I transfer my award?

If you choose to transfer to a different participating Missouri school, either between academic years or semesters, you must contact the MDHE at (800) 473-6757, option 4. Failure to notify the MDHE of the transfer may reduce the total amount you receive under the scholarship.

Can the scholarship be deferred?

If you are unable to attend school due to active duty service to any branch of the armed forces of the United States, you may qualify for a deferment of your scholarship eligibility. The deferment will ensure you receive 48 months of eligibility (see “How long can I receive an award?” above).  You must return to full-time status within 12 months of the end of your military service and provide a copy of your DD214 to verify the length of your service in order to resume your eligibility.

To defer your eligibility you must submit a written request to:

Missouri Department of Higher Education
ATTN: A+
P.O. Box 1469
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469