June 26, 2016

SEDALIA—State Fair Community College President Joanna Anderson today praised a new state educational initiative that authorizes nonpublic high schools to apply for certification as A+ schools.

The A+ scholarship program covers tuition costs for two years at Missouri public community colleges for qualified students from eligible high schools.

On June 22 Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 638, which includes this initiative among several others.

“This is great news for the many students who attend nonpublic high schools across our service area, but we are especially excited for students from Sacred Heart and Applewood Christian high schools,” said Anderson. “We already have a close working relationship with Sacred Heart students through our dual credit program and the State Fair Career and Technology Center and look forward to continuing to serve them when they graduate.”

SFCC has participated in the state’s A+ scholarship program since 1998. In fall 2015, more than 552 students who attended SFCC received A+ funds. SFCC has an enrollment of nearly 5,000 students and serves a 14-county area in central Missouri.

“The A+ scholarship program is a remarkable benefit for high school students,” said Anderson. “It has opened the door to higher-education opportunities, made going to college more affordable and raised the educational attainment levels for Missouri citizens.

“I applaud the governor, senators and representatives for working together to extend the program to nonpublic high schools and seeing the exceptional value of community colleges. It is an investment that will strengthen Missouri’s future leaders and workforce.”

To be eligible to receive A+ funds, students must attend a designated A+ high school for three consecutive years immediately prior to graduation and have entered into a written agreement with their high schools. They must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, graduate with an overall grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale and have at least a 95 percent attendance record overall for grades 9-12. Students are required to perform at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring, of which up to 25 percent may include job shadowing, and they must maintain good citizenship and avoid the unlawful use of drugs and alcohol.

Beginning with the high school senior class of 2015, students must achieve a score of proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end-of-course exam or a higher level Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved end-of-course exam in mathematics. However, students who have an active-duty military parent may be exempt from this requirement.

Visit http://dhe.mo.gov/ppc/grants/aplusscholarship.php for complete requirements