SB 1087 – This act creates the Non-Traditional Student Educational Expense Repayment Program to be implemented and administered by the Department of Higher Education. The Department may award up to $500,000 per year in educational expense repayments to eligible individuals. An individual may qualify for up to $10,000 in repayments per year. Repayments may be used to cover an eligible student's tuition, fees, books, and laboratory expenses. The Department will only provide repayment for courses completed with an A or B grade, or an equivalent.
Eligibility requirements include United States citizenship or permanent residence, Missouri residence, at least twenty-five years of age, being enrolled in and attending a public or private non-sectarian postsecondary vocational or technical school, a community college, or a college or university located in Missouri, employment of at least thirty-five hours per week in Missouri while attending school, and completion of an application annually. In addition, the individual must have an annual income of less than the average wage in the individual's county of residence prior to completing coursework. An individual may not qualify for repayments if he or she is a long-term student as defined in the act. An individual may not receive repayments if he or she is participating in a similar program or a loan forgiveness program through another government agency or through his or her employer. The Department will promulgate rules, regulations, and standards to implement this act and may add additional eligibility standards or requirements. The Department of Higher Education must enter into a contract with the individual specifying the terms of the repayments. The Department must provide repayments semi-annually by July 15 and January 15. Individuals who receive repayments must verify semi-annually that they have qualified employment in Missouri.