A+ Funding Increase
According to an announcement by the Missouri Department of Higher Education on Monday, students eligible for the A+ scholarship program will receive tuition reimbursement for all but one credit hour for the Spring 2015 semester.
Earlier this year, Moberly Area Community College administrators received word from MDHE officials that state funds may not be available to cover the entirety of the scholarship program. At the time, state officials estimated that budget shortfalls would account for a 4 credit hour cut in scholarships. The increase in funding comes as a result of Governor Nixon's release of $2 million that was held back to maintain the state's balanced budget.
"The A+ Program helps thousands of qualified Missouri students cover the cost of higher education every year," David Russell, Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education said in a press release on Monday. "Several factors – including the growing popularity of the program – have contributed to a potential shortfall in funding this year."
The MACC Financial Aid department sent emails to students this week to alert them of the improved financial situation. The College is working with students to allow them to pay the one-credit hour balance by the end of the spring semester instead of requiring payment by the first day of classes. The change impacts over 1500 A+ eligible students currently enrolled at MACC. Classes begin January 12, 2015.
"This is very good news for our students and I am pleased that the A+ program continues to be a priority in Jefferson City," said MACC President Dr. Jeffery Lashley. "In the coming year fully funding the A+ program will continue to be a priority for MACC and the Missouri Community College Association. The A+ program has been tremendously successful and provided an important pathway to higher education for many Missouri high school graduates."
Since 1993, the A+ program has grown to nearly 14,000 students, state-wide. The scholarship reimburses tuition and fees not already covered by federal financial aid. To participate in the A+ Program, Missouri high school students must attain certain proficiencies and meet a series of goals including grade point average, attendance and citizenship.