The Missouri Department of Higher Education announced Friday that there will be sufficient funds available to fully fund the A+ Scholarship Program for the Spring 2015 semester.

Department officials notified colleges and high schools in December that students participating in the program for the Spring 2015 semester might have to cover the cost of tuition and general fees for one credit hour to avoid exceeding available program funds. Department officials said they would reassess the situation after reimbursements for the Fall 2014 semester were made and unused funds were returned to the department.
“The A+ Scholarship helps make higher education possible for thousands of Missouri students, so we are pleased that there are sufficient funds remaining in the A+ Scholarship Program to fully reimburse eligible students for tuition and general fees for the Spring 2015 semester,” said David Russell, Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education.
Because the A+ Scholarship is a reimbursement program, final funding numbers are not available until after a semester is completed and all reimbursements to students have been made. Once final expenditures for the Fall 2014 semester became available, department officials determined that there will be enough funds remaining in the program to reimburse all tuition and general fees for the Spring 2015 semester.
Returned funds also have an impact on the amount of funding available for the A+ Program. Funds previously distributed to higher education institutions are returned to the program when students drop classes or become ineligible for the program. The funds that are returned can be redistributed to other, eligible students.
About 14,000 Missouri students are expected to receive funding through the A+ Program during the 2014-2015 school year, compared to 12,500 students during the 2013-2014 school year.
While full funding is available for the current semester, long term program funding will continue to be a concern.
“We will continue to monitor projected demand and the proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget as it moves through the Missouri General Assembly to determine the level of funding available for the 2015-2016 school year,” Russell said.
To participate in the A+ Program, students must meet a number of qualifications:
·         Attend a designated A+ high school for three consecutive years immediately prior to graduation
·         Earn a 2.5 grade point average
·         Have at least a 95 percent attendance record for grades 9-12
·         Perform at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring
·         Maintain a record of good citizenship
Beginning with the high school senior class of 2015, students also must score proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end-of-course exam or higher level end-of-course math exam or earn a qualifying score on the Compass test or ACT test.
Students with questions about the A+ Program should contact their high school counselor or school financial aid adviser.
For more information about the A+ Program, visit dhe.mo.gov/ppc/grants/aplusscholarship.php.
(Courtesy of Missouri Department of Higher Education)