Missouri State Senate

Perfected

SCS/SB 378 - This act modifies the A+ Program, the Higher Education Academic Scholarship Program (Bright Flight), and the Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program.

A+ PROGRAM: For a student who graduates from high school during the 2016-2017 school year and after to be eligible for A+ reimbursements, the student must have achieved a score of proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end-of-course assessment and on the English I end-of-course assessment, unless the student's high school has met all of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's waiver requirements. Alternatively, the student may have achieved a qualifying score on the COMPASS exam or ACT. Students with an IEP or Section 504 plan may demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and English by meeting criteria established by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

A student must successfully complete at least twenty-four credit hours during the first twelve month period of enrollment and at least twenty-four credit hours each subsequent twelve month period of enrollment to receive renewed scholarship benefits. An eligible student who is unable to successfully complete at least twenty-four semester credit hours in a twelve month period may seek a waiver from this requirement due to serious and unusual personal circumstances by appealing to the designated person or committee at the student's institution.

This act adds provisions allowing an eligible student who is unable to enroll or ceases attendance because of illness, disability, pregnancy, medical need, service to a nonprofit organization, service to a state or federal government agency, or military service to maintain eligibility if certain criteria, as described in the act, are met. Verification by a healthcare provider must be provided in the cases of illness, disability, pregnancy, and medical need.

This act also changes several references to the Commissioner of Education to the Department of Higher Education to reflect that the administration of A+ reimbursements was transferred by executive order to the Department of Higher Education.

BRIGHT FLIGHT: For a student who graduates from high school during the 2016-2017 school year and after to be eligible for a Bright Flight scholarship, the student must have achieved a score of proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end-of-course assessment and on the English I end-of-course assessment, unless the student's high school has met all of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's waiver requirements. Alternatively, the student may have achieved a qualifying score on the COMPASS exam or ACT. Students with an IEP or Section 504 plan may demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and English by meeting criteria established by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

A student must successfully complete at least twenty-four credit hours during the first twelve month period of enrollment and at least thirty credit hours each subsequent twelve month period of enrollment to receive renewed scholarship benefits. An eligible student who is unable to successfully complete at least twenty-four semester credit hours in a twelve month period may seek a waiver from this requirement due to serious and unusual personal circumstances by appealing to the designated person or committee at the student's institution.

ACCESS MISSOURI: For a student who graduates from high school during the 2016-2017 school year and beyond to be eligible for financial assistance, the student must have achieved a score of proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end-of-course assessment and on the English I end-of-course assessment, unless the student's high school has met all of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's waiver requirements. Alternatively, the student may have achieved a qualifying score on the COMPASS exam or ACT. Students with an IEP or Section 504 plan may demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and English by meeting criteria established by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

This act reduces, from ten to eight, the number of semesters a student may receive financial assistance through Access Missouri. Also, the number of quarters a student may receive financial assistance through Access Missouri is reduced from fifteen to twelve.

Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, a student must successfully complete at least twenty-four credit hours during the first year of enrollment to receive renewed financial assistance. A student may receive a second renewal if he or she has completed fifty-four credit hours and a third renewal if he or she has completed eighty-four credit hours. An eligible student who is unable to successfully complete the required number of semester credit hours as provided in the act may seek a waiver from this requirement due to serious and unusual personal circumstances by appealing to the designated person or committee at the student's institution.

This act adds provisions allowing an eligible student who is unable to enroll or ceases attendance because of illness, disability, pregnancy, medical need, service to a nonprofit organization, service to a state or federal government agency, or military service, to maintain eligibility if certain criteria, as described in the act, are met. Verification by a healthcare provider must be provided in the cases of illness, disability, pregnancy, and medical need.

This act is similar to HB 745 (2013) and provisions contained in HCS/SB 67 (2013).

MICHAEL RUFF

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