What is the A+ program?
The Missouri Department of Higher Education has an offering called the A+ Scholarship Program. If your High School participates in the program, a student can enroll, and by fulfilling certain requirements can earn reimbursement for tuition and general fees for a two year degree at a participating community college or vocational/technical school.
Sign up for the program even if you do not plan to go to community college!
Getting your two year degree and transferring the credits to a four year college is a terrific way to save money on college costs. However, if that isn’t in your plans, and you are going to go straight to a four year college, and you are a Missouri student, you should still enroll in the A+ program. Why? Because there are many four year colleges that are offering scholarships to A+ qualified students, but your high school transcript must indicate that you are an A+ qualified student. Also, in the summer after high school graduation and before college, some students use the A+ scholarship money take general studies courses, such as math or language arts, at the community college to get a jump start on college, and doing so in smaller more intimate classroom settings, for topics that may be more challenging for them.
What are the requirements to qualify while in High School?
According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) website:
- Have a written agreement/enrollment form with your school.
- Have a GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
- Have an attendance record of at least 95%.
- Graduate with at least 50 hours of unpaid mentoring/tutoring of students, in our school district this is organized by the school.
- Beginning with the class of 2015, have achieved a score of proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end of course exam.
- Must apply for financial aid using the FAFSA form.
- Attend an A+ school for 3 years prior to graduation; exceptions are made, see the MDHE website.
- Maintain a good record of citizenship and avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Be a US citizen, permanent resident, or lawfully present in the US.
What is and is not covered
The scholarship covers tuition and general fees but does not pay for books, supplies or lab fees.
It is quite a good deal and an opportunity for families to save thousands of dollars if they use it exactly as it was set up and go to a community college or technical/vocational school. Or save hundreds if not thousands of dollars, depending on the type of scholarship you get, at the four year colleges that are offering A+ students money to skip the community college and come straight to them.