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Missouri A+ Scholarship Program

Letter to A+ Scholarship Students Regarding Program Changes

 

The A+ Schools program provides post-secondary financial benefits for students who graduate from a public Missouri high school that has been designated as an A+ school by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. To learn more about the A+ program visit the Missouri Department of Higher Education homepage!

The Missouri A+ Scholarship allows for payment of eligible tuition, technology and activity/support services fees that are not otherwise paid by the Federal Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

Students should regularly monitor their myMACC online account and their MACC issued student email account for correspondence from the Financial Aid Office.

Tuition and fees are due on the first day of each semester unless you have guaranteed financial aid in place. The Financial Aid Office does not guarantee that financial aid will be in place by the first day of class if you miss the deadlines established for each semester. Priority processing dates are: fall: June 1; spring: December 1; and summer: May 1. This means that all applications and supplemental information for each financial aid program for which you are applying must be received within the Financial Aid Office by the priority processing dates. Any account remaining unpaid after classes begin is subject to a $50 late fee, collection activity, being dropped from classes, having transcripts withheld, and holds on future enrollment.

The State of Missouri imposes deadlines which require MACC to submit reimbursement requests for charges for A+ eligible students. Any student seeking funding to cover tuition and fees from the A+ Scholarship must have ALL required documents submitted AND complete for processing by the A+ Scholarship deadline. In the event a student fails to submit any of the required documents by the A+ Scholarship deadline, he/she will not be eligible for the A+ Scholarship. Additionally, student's are responsible for any and all charges not covered by the A+ Scholarship, including, but not limited to, late payment fees, late registration fees, charges for tuition and fees for courses not required for the declared degree, or repeated courses previously paid for by the A+ Scholarship.

A+ Scholarship Deadlines: Summer: June 15; Fall: September 15; Spring: February 15

 

All students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for A+ funding:

1.) Request your high school to submit an official high school transcript with the A+ designation seal (first semester at MACC only).

2.) In addition, transfer students must submit an official copy of all college work completed. All college transcripts must be evaluated.

3.) Apply for federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A new FAFSA must be completed each academic year (fall, spring summer). (NOTE: The summer semester is the conclusion of a financial aid award year and the last possible date to submit the required FAFSA for the summer semester is June 30 – refer to the Summer Financial Aid Guide for the correct FAFSA for the summer semester)

4.) Submit additional information if requested by the Financial Aid Office. This may include, but is not limited to, additional worksheets and tax forms.

5.) Enroll and attend full-time in courses required for your degree. (Full-time is defined as twelve (12) credit hours for fall and spring semesters and six (6) credit hours for the summer semester). Full-time status will be determined by the enrolled and attended hours at the conclusion of the last day to drop with a 50% refund based on the program of study in which the student is enrolled (which is the end of the second week of the regular fall or spring 16 week semester, or the equivalent ratio of other sessions).

6.) Enroll in a program of study leading to a Certificate or Associate Degree at MACC.

7.) Complete MACC's A+ Enrollment Form with your Academic Advisor.

To maintain eligibility, an A+ student must:

1.) Enroll, attend, AND COMPLETE full-time. Full-time status will be determined by the enrolled and attended hours at the conclusion of the last day to drop with a 50% refund based on the program of study in which the student is enrolled (which is the end of the second week of the regular fall or spring 16 week semester, or the equivalent ratio of other sessions).

2.) Maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.50 or higher, including all college course work. Developmental courses are not calculated in the CGPA. (Developmental courses include: Fundamentals of English I and II, Fundamentals of Math, Fundamentals of Algebra and Fundamentals of Critical Reading). Initial (first time) recipients during the summer or fall must have at least a 2.0 GPA at the end of the fall semester; if a 2.0 is not achieved, an initial recipient will not be eligible for the spring.

3.) Complete the FAFSA and submit additional forms requested by the Financial Aid Office before the beginning of the academic year for which the A+ Scholarship is intended to cover.

4.) Only enroll in courses that are required for the declared degree.

5.) When enrolling in your final semester, either the degree or certificate will be completed or A+ eligibility expires, complete the acknowledgement on A+ Enrollment Form with your Academic Advisor.

Transferring Institutions:

A student may be eligible for the Missouri A+ Scholarship when transferring between/to eligible institutions as long as the student meets all requirements for eligibility. Failure to meet all requirements will result in the student not being eligible for A+ funding until requirements are met. Also see the definition for "Guest/Visiting Student (Summer Enrollment)" below. When transferring institutions, please contact the Financial Aid Office to determine which FAFSA application is required. If you transfer between participating institutions, you must contact MDHE at 800-473-6757, option 4. Failure to do so may result in reduced benefits.

Losing Eligibility:

Initial (first time) recipients must have at least a 2.0 GPA at the end of the fall semester; if a 2.0 is not achieved, an initial recipient will not be eligible for the spring.

Renewal - A+ students who do not maintain a Cumulative GPA of 2.50 or above will lose eligibility for A+ funding. This includes all grades earned after high-school graduation regardless if the student attended an A+ eligible post-secondary institution or not. In addition, A+ students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with MACC's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy; a copy of which is available from the Financial Aid Office or online from our "Financial Aid Forms" page.

Reinstatement of A+ Eligibility:

Students who have lost eligibility for funding may be reinstated if they enroll in subsequent terms and earn a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA. In addition, if a student loses eligibility because he did not complete 12 credit hours, he will also have to complete the hours he was deficient in the subsequent term to regain eligibility for the following period of enrollment. For example, a student completes 9 hours in the fall semester and loses eligibility for the spring semester; must complete at least 3 hours in the spring semester to regain eligibility in the next period of enrollment (the summer or fall following that spring semester).

Students are responsible for all costs incurred during terms of enrollment in which reinstatement is being sought.

Students requesting reinstatement should complete the reinstatement request on the front of the enrollment form for the semester they are seeking reinstatement of their benefits. The student's benefit will be reinstated once the requirements have been satisfied. In addition, A+ students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with MACC's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy; a copy of which is available from the Financial Aid Office or online from our "Financial Aid Forms" page.

Timeline of Eligibility:

Benefits expire 48 months from the date of high school graduation. A student called to Active Duty (National Guard and/or Reserve) will have their eligibility extended for the length of time spent on Active Duty status if they return to full-time status within 12 months of the end of their military service. Contact MDHE for a deferment at 800-473-6757, option 4. Benefits expire once the student has completed their first Associate Degree or Certificate Program (unless the student continues in a related degree upon completion of the Certificate Program). Benefits expire once the student has completed 105% of the credit hours required for the program in which the student is enrolled, regardless if the student has completed the degree.

Eligible Charges:

The A+ Scholarship pays for eligible tuition and common student fees such as the activity and technology fees. The A+ Scholarship will pay for developmental courses; however, grades from these courses will not be used to calculate the cumulative GPA for eligibility, in accordance with college policy. A+ students are responsible for reporting all schedule changes (adds, drops, total withdraws). Failure to report changes may result in fees due by the student. MACC cannot guarantee reimbursement of allowable charges for students failing to report schedule changes.

Non-Eligible Charges:

The A+ Scholarship does not pay for lab fees, textbooks, supply items, meal plans, dorm charges, late fees, parking fees, graduation fees. The A+ Scholarship will not pay for repeated courses (any course previously paid for by the A+ Scholarship) or non-required courses (including courses satisfactorily completed and being retaken to improve CGPA). The A+ Scholarship will not pay for high school dual college credit courses. The student is responsible for these costs.

Dropping courses/completed courses:

A+ will only cover the cost of completed courses. A completed course is one in which the student remains enrolled and in attendance through the end of the semester and for which a grade is assigned (A, B, C, D or F). If an A+ student establishes the full-time enrollment status criteria, and then voluntarily or involuntarily drops a course he/she will be responsible to pay for the course. Payment for the dropped courses will be due immediately to MACC. Students should always discuss the consequences of dropping a course with an academic advisor, financial aid staff or business office staff. An exception may apply if the student's tuition and fees were fully funded through another financial aid program. Other consequences may include: Failure to make financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress – which impacts future eligibility for A+ and other federal and state financial aid programs; If payment for the dropped course is not made, before the end of the semester in which the course was dropped, the student will not be allowed to enroll in subsequent semesters; If payment for dropped course(s) is not made the balance may be referred for collection activity. If a student is reported as never attending (NA) a course and if the never attended course reduces the student's status to less than full-time, the student will lose all A+ funding for the semester.

Guest/Visiting Student (Summer Enrollment):

Students wishing to use A+ during the summer must be registered as degree-seeking at MACC and be enrolled in the required number of hours (6), and the courses must be required for the degree the student is seeking at MACC.

Students using A+ during the summer session ARE REQUIRED to have any eligible Pell Grant funds applied to their charges before A+ is considered. If you transfer to another institution, it is your responsibility to advise them if you used Pell Grant funds for summer enrollment. Students may not use A+ benefits during the summer if they have attended, and intend to return, to a 4-year institution. A full transfer to MACC is required. "Visiting students" attending MACC for the summer semester only are not eligible for A+ benefits. A "visiting student" is defined as any student who attends an ineligible post-secondary institution other than the institution granting their certificate or degree.

 

Important information for A+ students!

Full-time status requirement:

  • A+ students are required to enroll, attend, and COMPLETE full-time in courses that are required for their declared degree; exceptions are made for students with disabilities and for students that do not have enough courses available in their degree program in which to enroll.
  • Full-time status will be determined by the enrolled and attended hours at the conclusion of the last day to drop with a 50% refund based on the program of study in which the student is enrolled. (This is the end of the second week of each regular fall and spring 16 week semester, or the equivalent ratio of other sessions).
    • Classes added after the date identified above are not eligible for the A+ Scholarship.
  • If, at any point in the semester, a student is reported as never attending a course and if the never attended course reduces the student's status to less than full-time, the student will lose all A+ funding for the semester.

Dropping courses/completed courses:

  • A+ will only cover the cost of completed courses.
  • A completed course is one in which the student remains enrolled and in attendance through the end of the semester and for which a grade is assigned.
  • If an A+ student establishes the full-time enrollment status criteria, and then voluntarily or involuntarily drops a course he/she will be responsible to pay for the course.
  • Payment for the dropped courses will be due immediately to MACC.
  • An A+ student should always discuss the consequences of dropping a course with an academic advisor, financial aid staff or business office staff. An exception will apply if the student’s tuition and fees were fully funded through another financial aid program.
  • Other consequences may include:
    • Failure to make financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress – which impacts future eligibility for A+ and other federal and state financial aid programs;
    • If payment for the dropped course is not made before the end of the semester in which the course was dropped, the student will not be allowed to enroll in subsequent semesters;
    • If payment for a dropped course is not made the balance may be referred for collection activity.


NOTE: other community colleges may choose to deduct the payment for the dropped course(s) from a subsequent semester the student receives A+ Scholarship.

 

The Missouri Department of Education announced on September 4, 2015 the following changes.

  1. Require students to complete 12 semester credit hours or the equivalent (6 hours during the summer term) each semester in order to maintain eligibility for the next semester. A course is considered complete if the student earns a standard grade for the course, including a failing grade but excluding a grade at withdrawal prior to completion. A student that does not complete the required number of credit or clock hours during a term would be ineligible for the following term of enrollment. This means a student that does not complete 12 credit hours in the fall term will be ineligible for a spring 2016 award. During the spring semester of ineligibility, the student would need to complete at least enough credit hours to total 12 credit hours when combined with the fall term in order to regain eligibility for the next period of enrollment. For example, a student that completed 9 credit hours in the fall term would have to complete a minimum of 3 credit hours in the spring term to regain eligibility for the next period of enrollment.
  2. Require all students whose first A+ eligible enrollment is either a summer or fall term to achieve at least a 2.0 semester grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at the end of the fall term. Students who do not achieve at least a 2.0 grade point average during the initial terms of enrollment will be ineligible to receive an A+ award until their cumulative grade point average is at least a 2.5. Students must still achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or the equivalent by the end of their first academic year in order to maintain eligibility for the following academic year.

 

Tuition Cap

  • The cap limits payments under the program to the standard tuition rate charged by State Technical College of Missouri, which for the current year is $166.00 (2017-2018).


NOTE: A waiver may be granted by the MDHE on a program-by-program basis for programs that are more costly to deliver and that have high student and employer demand. The OTA program is currently not approved for a waiver.

 

Length of eligibility:

The limit will expire at the earliest of the following:

  • 48 months from high school graduation,
  • Receipt of an associate’s degree, or
  • Completion of 105% of the credit hours required for the program in which the student is currently enrolled.
  • If a degree requires 64 credit hours then 105% = 67 credit hours. Once the student reaches 67 credit hours, he/she will no longer be eligible for A+ funding.
    • The A+ Scholarship will pay for all eligible courses during the semester in which the student has reached the 105% limit. For example, a student is 3 hours away from the 105% limit, but enrolls in 12 hours that are required for the student’s degree, the A+ Scholarship will pay for all 12 hours.
    • Calculation of the percentage shall include all known credit hours completed at any institution, including remedial courses, if those hours are accepted in transfer.
    • The calculation will exclude any credit hours earned prior to high school graduation.
    • If a student completes a Certificate program, and then enrolls in a related, higher level degree (i.e. ADN or AAS), the hours required for both the original certificate and the higher level degree shall be combined when calculating the percentage.

      Example #1: student attempted 50 credit hours while seeking an AA degree; then student gets accepted into the A.D.N. program. The ADN program is 75 credit hours. (105% = 79) Student used 50 of the 79 hours while seeking the AA, therefore the student has 29 hours of eligibility remaining on the A+ Scholarship.

      Example #2: student attended MU the first year after high school graduation, then decides to make a full transfer to MACC and seek an AA degree; the hours earned at MU and accepted in transfer at MACC are computed when calculating the percentage.

 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A+ students are now expected to meet the institution’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)policy standards(as applied to all other students receiving federal and state financial aid programs) in addition to maintaining a 2.50 Cumulative Grade Point Average. If a student is on Financial Aid Suspension, they are no longer eligible for A+.

  • The 2.50 Cumulative Grade Point Average requirement does not apply to students during their first year of A+ eligibility.
    • The first year of eligibility may apply to a new high school graduate or a transfer student that has not had the option to use A+ before due to attending an ineligible institution.
  • The CGPA will be as it appears on the MACC transcript.
    • Includes dual credit grades in the CGPA;
    • Does not include courses that are not accepted in transfer.

If a student is on Financial Aid Suspension, they are no longer eligible for A+.

Example: student withdraws from all classes and goes on financial aid suspension; in the past, if the CGPA was 2.50 or higher, the student would still maintain A+ eligibility. Now, the suspension status will make the student ineligible for A+ as well as other federal and state financial aid programs.

For questions please contact:

Amy Hager, Director of Financial Aid
660.263.4100, ext. 11237