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A+ Program COTA Conference 2/1/2013. Agenda Historical Perspective A Look Ahead Program Overview Proposed Amendments Hot Topics Q&A.

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Presentation on theme: "A+ Program COTA Conference 2/1/2013. Agenda Historical Perspective A Look Ahead Program Overview Proposed Amendments Hot Topics Q&A."— Presentation transcript:

1 A+ Program COTA Conference 2/1/2013

2 Agenda Historical Perspective A Look Ahead Program Overview Proposed Amendments Hot Topics Q&A

3 Historical Perspective 1993 Outstanding Schools Act created the A+ Program – High school improvement program – Scholarship as incentive Executive Order transferred the program from DESE to MDHE effective August 28, 2010 – Program changes reflect new ideas of the scholarship’s purpose

4 Historical Perspective FY 2012 – $29.4 million appropriated – 11,587 students received $25.9 million in A+ funds FY 2013 – $29.4 million appropriated – 8,965 students have received $13 million to date – Fall and spring requests incomplete

5 A Look Ahead 402 high schools currently designated 58 high schools currently in designation pipeline 65 high schools currently undesignated – March 29, 2013 DESE “self-certification” deadline – Governor’s proposal to make all Missouri public high school graduates eligible for A+ Scholarship

6 A Look Ahead Future uncertainty – Will there be sufficient funding? – How will the process to identify eligible students need to change? Governor’s proposed FY 2014 budget $30.4 million – $1 million increase from FY 2013

7 Program Overview High School Eligibility Criteria Enter into a written agreement with the A+ designated high school prior to high school graduation Have at least a 95% attendance record overall for grades 9-12 Have maintained a record of good citizenship and avoidance of the unlawful use of drugs and/or alcohol

8 Program Overview High School Eligibility Criteria Graduate with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent. – Grade point average should not be weighted Have performed 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring. – Up to 25% may be job shadowing

9 Program Overview High School Eligibility Criteria For high school graduating class of 2015 – Score proficient or advanced on the official Algebra I EOC Exam May be taken more than once OR – Complete the requirements of an eligibility alternative

10 Program Overview High School Responsibilities Establish: – Written agreement signed by students – Definitions of attendance and good citizenship Option for review committee – Policy to include or exclude job shadowing in 50 hours of tutoring/mentoring May specify types of acceptable jobs/job shadowing

11 Program Overview High School Responsibilities Collect attendance information for students transferring from any public or private Missouri high school – Not required for students that are home schooled or transferring from out-of-state Provide high school transcript with A+ seal (a.k.a. stamp) to postsecondary institution – Graduation date on transcript used to determine start of 48 months of eligibility

12 Program Overview Postsecondary Eligibility U.S. citizen/permanent resident Make a good faith effort to secure federal financial aid each year – Completion of a FAFSA Sufficient to calculate an EFC, or Sufficient for loan eligibility, if parents refuse to provide data when required – Completion of FAFSA4Caster If student’s postsecondary institution does not participate in federal Title IV programs

13 Program Overview Postsecondary Eligibility Be admitted as a regular student at a participating postsecondary institution – Cannot be a “visiting” student – Summer immediately following high school graduation may be reimbursable even if student attends a different type of institution in fall Renewal students - Maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA and satisfactory academic progress as otherwise defined by the postsecondary institution

14 Program Overview Postsecondary Eligibility Enroll full-time – 6 semester credit hours (or equivalent) for summer – 12 semester credit hours (or equivalent) for fall and spring – Based on school policy if school requires more than 6 or 12 hours for full-time enrollment

15 Program Overview Postsecondary Eligibility Exceptions to full-time enrollment – Student meets Title II requirements of the ADA (must be enrolled in at least 6 hours) – Student is enrolled in all hours available for his program during a given term – Student is participating in a required internship – Student is enrolled in pre-requisite coursework

16 Program Overview Postsecondary Eligibility Not be enrolled or intend to use the award to enroll in a course of study leading to a degree in theology or divinity. Not have a criminal record preventing receipt of federal Title IV student financial aid.

17 Program Overview A+ Award Maximum award – Tuition Covers actual in-district or out-of-district tuition Capped at standard tuition rate at Linn State Technical College – $155/credit hour; $4.10/clock hour – General fees General fees are those that are charged of all students enrolled Does not include group- or program-specific fees

18 Program Overview A+ Award Award calculation Actual tuition and general fees Minus - Pell and other non-loan federal aid Minus - Amount paid for incomplete or withdrawn coursework from previous term Equals - Reimbursement Amount

19 Program Overview A+ Award A+ can only be applied to cover tuition and general fee costs Pell and other federal aid MUST be applied before A+ – Other federal aid excludes loans and work study – A+ will cover remaining tuition and general fee costs – A+ award may be reduced to zero by this process

20 Program Overview Length of Eligibility Eligibility expires on the earliest of: – 48 months from high school graduation – Receipt of an associates degree – Completion of 105% of the required hours for the student’s current program of study

21 Program Overview Length of Eligibility 48 months – Maximum time frame to receive an award Calculation based on high school graduation date on transcript – Delayed or interrupted enrollment results in scholarship eligibility of less than 48 months – Students qualifying for a military deferment may defer eligibility for the length of active military duty service Application for deferment through MDHE – If this benchmark falls within a term, students will be reimbursed for that term but will be ineligible in the next term

22 Program Overview Length of Eligibility Receipt of an associate’s degree even if: – A+ paid for only a portion of the degree – The associate’s degree was not obtained at an A+ participating postsecondary school

23 Program Overview Length of Eligibility 105% includes: – All hours, including developmental/remedial hours, taken at the student’s current institution – All known hours, including developmental/ remedial hours, taken at any other A+ eligible institution – Hours taken at any non-eligible A+ institution, including out-of-state institutions, that the student’s current institution accepts in transfer

24 Program Overview Length of Eligibility 105% excludes: – Hours earned for work completed before high school graduation, including (but not limited to): Dual credit Dual enrollment Technical education articulation Advanced Placement International Baccalaureate – Hours from a non-participating institution not accepted in transfer by a participating institution

25 Proposed Amendments Definition of full time student – Includes summer and clock hour programs Definition of renewal student – Includes students eligible for A+ with zero award due to receipt of Pell Satisfactory academic progress requirements – Clarifies SAP for initial & renewal students and institutional verification of SAP – Replaces definition of SAP

26 Proposed Amendments Algebra I EOC – Allows waiver when DESE’s testing requirement is waived – Allows qualifying scores on DESE-approved higher level math EOCs (geometry and Algebra II) – Revises alternative Achievement of minimum score on COMPASS or ACT math subtest Score may be achieved before or after HS graduation Newly eligible postsecondary student may receive reimbursement in same term score is achieved

27 Proposed Amendments Clarifies eligibility expires 48 months from high school graduation date on transcript Revises the calculation of the 105% eligibility limit to maximize eligibility for students pursuing a higher level certificate or degree Clarifies the military deferment language

28 Proposed Amendments Specifies reimbursement & 105% calculation made by institution providing the highest outcome if student seeking more than one certificate or degree – Student may provide written notice specifying otherwise Amends reimbursable coursework policy – Includes reimbursement for Incompletes – Specifies unofficial withdrawals ineligible for reimbursement – Provides two additional options for institutions to handle adjustments for withdrawn coursework

29 Proposed Amendments Requires institutions to always reduce A+ based on federal non-loan aid received on behalf of a student – Ensures students attending under multi- institution agreements are treated equitably with students attending one institution

30 Proposed Amendments CBHE approved proposed amendments 12/5/2012 – Tab E of board book on dhe.mo.gov Published January 15 Missouri Register – 2/v38n2.asp 30-day public comment period – 1/15/2013 to 2/14/2013 Effective for academic year

31 Hot Topics Distinguishing students eligible under EOC alternative from students meeting all high school criteria Effect of changes to A+ high school designation process Definition of 3-year attendance

32 Questions State Aid Connie Bestgen, Program Specialist (800) , option 4 (573) Amy Haller, Program Specialist (573) Kelli Reed, Student Assistance Associate (573) General MDHE P.O. Box 1469 Jefferson City Phone Fax: (573) Info. Center: (800)


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