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Robin L. Stimac Student Financial Aid Manager Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods 816-604-3068 WELCOME TO SMITHVILLE HIGH SCHOOL’S A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM.

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Presentation on theme: "Robin L. Stimac Student Financial Aid Manager Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods 816-604-3068 WELCOME TO SMITHVILLE HIGH SCHOOL’S A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM."— Presentation transcript:

1 Robin L. Stimac Student Financial Aid Manager Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods WELCOME TO SMITHVILLE HIGH SCHOOL’S A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM PRESENTATION

2 THE A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM The A+ Schools Program was established as part of the Missouri Outstanding Schools Act of 1993 in order to provide incentives for local high schools to raise academic expectations, reduce their dropout rate, establish relationships with the business community, and provide better pathways for students to post-secondary education. Students who commit to the rigorous program requirements for A+ eligibility and who graduate from an A+ designated high school (such as Smithville) may qualify for state-paid financial incentives to assist them with the costs of attending any public community college or vocational/technical school or certain private two-year vocational/technical schools in the State of Missouri.

3 THE A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM (CONT.) You should know that: financial need is not a factor in determining an A+ student’s eligibility for benefits. However, all A+ students are required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to determine eligibility for non-payback financial aid (i.e., Federal Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant) each year that the student plans to utilize their A+ benefits. receipt of institutional and private scholarships will not affect an A+ student’s eligibility for benefits. some four year colleges and universities may also offer financial incentives for students who meet A+ eligibility criteria. However, those incentives are funded by the institutions themselves and not by the A+ Schools Program.

4 THE A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM (CONT.) As an A+ student, you are under no obligation to use your A+ Schools Program financial incentives (but if you’ve earned them, you really should take advantage of the benefits that have been afforded to you)! Financial incentives for the A+ Schools Program will be provided as long as state funds are appropriated by the Missouri legislature.

5 WHAT ARE THE BASIC STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS? Students must: be a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident or lawfully present in the U.S. and eligible to receive Title IV aid. be registered with the Selective Service (if applicable). enter into a written agreement with your high school prior to graduation. attend a designated A+ high school for three consecutive years immediately prior to graduation. Exceptions from three year requirement – * Active military dependents * Dependents of retired military who relocate to Missouri within one year of retirement Exceptions must attend an A+ high school and meet all other requirements during the year immediately preceding graduation.

6 WHAT ARE THE BASIC STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS? (CONT.) graduate with an overall 2.5 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 or higher scale. (A cumulative GPA of 2.49 will not be rounded.) have at least a 95% attendance record overall for grades 9 – 12. (An attendance rate of 94.9% will not be rounded.) perform at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring to younger students, 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. make a documented good faith effort to apply for non-payback financial aid by completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) preferably prior to the end of the second semester of the senior year.

7 WHAT ARE THE BASIC STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS? (CONT.) Students graduating in the Class of 2015 & beyond must score proficient or advanced on the state level Algebra 1 End of Course Exam or by achieving a qualifying score on the mathematics component of the ACT test. The following table displays the qualifying scores for the 2015 high school seniors: ExamMinimum Score ACT Math Sub Score17 COMPASS Pre-Algebra43 COMPASS Algebra1

8 WHAT ARE THE BASIC STUDENT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS? (CONT.) NOTE: A student who graduates at the end of the first semester of their senior year is eligible to receive their A+ financial incentives for the semester immediately following their graduation, as long as the student has met all program eligibility requirements, including filing a FAFSA for the appropriate semester, and making sure that their official A+ high school transcript indicates their mid-year graduation date. These students will be required to complete and submit a separate FAFSA for the current academic year prior to completion of the end of the first semester of their senior year in order to be able to utilize their A+ financial incentives during the next semester.

9 A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM FINANCIAL INCENTIVES A+ Schools Program financial incentives PAY FOR in-district or out-of-district tuition (capped at $158 per credit hour for the academic year) plus general fees that are assessed to all students each semester Your eligibility for A+ benefits expires when the earliest of the following events occurs − * 48 months after the graduation date documented on your high school transcript * Receipt of a post-secondary certificate or associate’s degree * Completion of 105% of the required hours for the program of study in which you are enrolled. Federal Pell Grant funds will be applied to you student account balance first; if any eligible costs remain, they will be billed to A+. In other words, you cannot receive A+ financial incentives in addition to a Pell Grant if the Pell Grant pays for all A+ eligible tuition and fees.

10 A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM FINANCIAL INCENTIVES (CONT.) How A+ is applied: If you are receiving full tuition through Federal/State grants, which includes: Full tuition Standard Fees Individual Course Fees No A+ benefits will be utilized to pay for your tuition and general fees If you are receiving partial tuition through Federal/State grants, this includes: Partial Tuition and Standard Fees with the remaining balance covered by A+ benefits If you are not eligible for Federal/State grants, A+ pays for your tuition (capped at $158 per credit hour) Standard Fees You will be responsible for paying for your books and supplies (unless you qualify for enough money in Federal/State grants to cover theses costs as well) You will be responsible for paying for your individual course fees plus books and supplies

11 A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM FINANCIAL INCENTIVES (CONT.) A+ Schools Program financial incentives DO NOT PAY FOR: Courses taken as a visiting student except for the summer semester immediately following the student’s high school graduation. NOTE: These students must be enrolled full-time (minimum 6 credit hours), have their official A+ transcript and all college transcripts for dual credit coursework completed while in high school sent to the A+ eligible school they plan to attend immediately following graduation, and complete and submit a separate FAFSA for the academic year using information from 2013 taxes as well as a FAFSA for the academic year using information from 2014 taxes Books, supplies, miscellaneous fees, lab fees or online course fees

12 A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM FINANCIAL INCENTIVES (CONT.) Repeated coursework Coursework taken beyond 105% of your degree requirements * Includes all hours completed at any institution, including developmental/remedial coursework * Does NOT include credit hours earned before high school graduation Dropped coursework or for coursework for which the student is no longer enrolled

13 A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM FINANCIAL INCENTIVES (CONT.) If you drop a course before the payment request for your A+ benefits has been submitted to the Missouri Department of Higher Education by the school, you immediately become responsible for paying the school for the cost of the dropped course during the current semester. In addition, If dropping that course reduces your enrollment to less than full-time, you immediately become responsible for paying the school for the entire cost of all courses in which they are enrolled during the current semester (since you will no longer be meeting the full-time A+ Schools Program eligibility requirement). If you drop a course after the payment request for your A+ benefits has been submitted to the Missouri Department of Higher Education by the school, your A+ benefits for the next semester will be reduced by the costs of the dropped class. NOTE: You should always check with the financial aid office first before attempting to drop any class!

14 USING YOUR A+ FINANCIAL INCENTIVES 1.Apply for Admission to any public community college or vocational/technical school or certain private two-year vocational/technical schools in the State of Missouri. 2.Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Be sure to include the school where you plan to use your A+ benefits Both the student and a parent must request PIN Numbers at If you are planning to use your A+ financial incentives during the Summer immediately following graduation, you must complete two FAFSAs – one for and one for

15 USING YOUR A+ FINANCIAL INCENTIVES (CONT.) Review the Student Aid Report Acknowledgment that you will receive either by or by regular mail as a result of filing the FAFSA Check to see if your application was selected for verification or if there are any other unresolved issues that need to be addressed Contact the Financial Aid Office at the school you plan to attend to identify yourself as an A+ student and to see what documentation (if any) is needed in order for you to complete the verification process prior to high school graduation. NOTE: A+ will not pay any financial incentives to the school on your behalf until the verification process has been completed. For timely processing and payment of A+ financial incentives, you are required to submit all requested documentation as soon as possible but no later than 2 weeks after the start of classes. Remember to complete the FAFSA each year that you plan to use your A+ benefits

16 USING YOUR A+ FINANCIAL INCENTIVES (CONT.) 3.Have all of your academic transcripts sent to the school you plan to attend Request that your official A+ high school transcript which contains the A+ Certification Seal is sent to your school as soon as you graduate Request that all official dual credit transcripts from any colleges or universities be sent to your school once you have completed their coursework 4.Complete your initial Placement Testing (if applicable) 5.Schedule an appointment to participate in a New Student Enrollment Group where you will declare your degree plan and enroll as a regular full-time student 12 or more credit hours during the fall/spring semesters 6 or more credit hours if you plan to take classes during the summer term

17 USING YOUR A+ FINANCIAL INCENTIVES (CONT.) 6.Make arrangements to pay for the difference due for your tuition charges, your books, supplies, miscellaneous fees, lab fees or online course fees that A+ will not cover 7.Plan to attend New Student Welcome Activities or New Student Orientation

18 MAINTAINING YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR A+ FINANCIAL INCENTIVES Only enroll in courses required for your declared certificate or degree plan Visit with an Academic Advisor each semester for assistance in selecting degree or certificate related courses. Enroll full-time each semester and check with the Financial Aid Office before dropping any classes. 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 (which is the end of the regular fall or spring 16 week semester, or the equivalent ration of other sessions). As an initial student, remember that you must achieve a 2.5 cumulative grade point average by the end of your initial year and meet the school’s Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements As a renewal student, remember that you must have achieved a 2.5 cumulative grade point average by the end of your initial year AND must maintain your 2.5 cumulative grade point average and meet your school’s Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements throughout the completion of your degree

19 MAINTAINING YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR A+ FINANCIAL INCENTIVES If you should lose your A+ eligibility, you can get it back within your 48-month eligibility period by re-establishing your 2.5 cumulative grade point average and/or improving your completion rate at your own expense. (A+ will not pay for coursework taken while you are working to re-establish your eligibility.) Remember that you will be required to complete a “Renewal” FAFSA and submit any additional forms requested by the Financial Aid Office each year that you plan to use your A+ benefits. Finally, when enrolling in your final semester (either your certificate or degree will be completed or your A+ eligibility expires), visit with an Academic Advisor to assist you with your Completion of A+ Eligibility Form.

20 ANY QUESTIONS??? Please feel free to contact me: Robin L. Stimac Student Financial Aid Manager MCC-Maple Woods Phone: Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to visit with you this evening!


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