The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development is preparing to implement a new scholarship to help high school students afford dual credit college courses.
The Dual Credit / Dual Enrollment A + Scholarship will be available next spring semester for high school students in Missouri following the A + Scholarship route and taking dual credit or dual enrollment courses with a college or university in State.
The scholarship, which covers tuition and fees for dual credit or dual enrollment courses, is awarded on the basis of financial need, with those demonstrating higher need given priority.
“Dual credit, dual enrollment courses offer high school students the opportunity to save time and money by getting a head start on their post-secondary education,” said Jessica Duren, Assistant Commissioner of Communications and to the awareness of MDHEWD. “This scholarship is intended to increase the use of dual credit and dual enrollment courses, with an emphasis on students for whom the cost of the course is a barrier.”
MDHEWD will prioritize scholarships based on adjusted gross income for the most recent tax year.
The amount of each scholarship depends on the actual tuition and fees after applying for non-loan assistance, but covers the full cost of tuition and fees.
The cost of tuition and double credit or double enrollment fees depends on the number of credit hours the student enrolls in and how much colleges and universities charge per credit hour.
A student taking a three-credit or dual-credit dual-enrollment English course, for example, may be charged $ 75 per credit hour for a total of $ 225 plus an additional $ 25. If the student receives $ 100 in non-loan financial assistance from the college or university, the scholarship will apply to the remaining $ 150 required to enroll in the course.
Students taking dual credit or dual enrollment courses from more than one college or university may receive the A + Dual Credit / Dual Enrollment Scholarship for each.
Most dual credit, dual enrollment college and university courses are eligible for scholarship coverage, provided they participate in the state’s student financial aid programs.
“Regarding the types of establishments that might not be able to participate, in the public category, vocational and technical schools in the region are not likely to offer double credit or double enrollment, we do not So let’s not anticipate many applications, if any. attending these schools, ”Duren said. In the category of private institutions, students attending private (for-profit) institutions, theological schools and seminaries cannot participate because they are not eligible to participate in the student financial aid programs of the State.”
Students must complete the scholarship application every semester, but are only required to send income tax documents with their first application of the year.
Duren said it was difficult to predict how many Missouri high school students would apply for the scholarship because it is different from other programs administered by the department and there are no comparable models in other states.
“Also, the mid-year program implementation and limited funding add to the uncertainty,” Duren said.
The Missouri General Assembly has allocated $ 5 million for the scholarship program to operate through fiscal year 2022, which began July 1, 2021 and ends June 30, 2022.
Duren said the entire $ 5 million budget would only be used for the next spring semester, meaning the General Assembly will need to reallocate funds to keep scholarships running for the fall semesters of 2022. and spring 2023.
The ministry proposed an administrative rule to govern the program and filed it with the secretary of state’s office in September.
This rule is now open for a public comment period until October 30.
The department will then review the public comments and file a final rule-making order with the Secretary of State in November or early December, depending on the extent of the comments.
At around the same time, the scholarship application will be available on the MDHEWD website.
The first prices will be administered at the end of January or February.
Duren said it is difficult to predict how long it will take to process applications, given the number of applicants is unknown and the administration of the funds is unlike any of the ministry’s other financial aid programs.
She said that the initial administration of the program will be largely manual due to the short timeframe for implementation.