6 CSR 10-2.080 - Higher Education Academic Scholarship Program

6 CSR 10-2.080. Higher Education Academic Scholarship Program

PURPOSE: This amendment updates the definition of approved institution to reflect statutory revisions.

(1) Definitions.

(A) Academic year or the period of the scholarship is the period from July 1 of any year through June 30 of the following year.

(B) ACT means the American College Testing Program.

(C) Applicant is anyone who applies to the MDHE for a scholarship under the academic scholarship program and who qualifies under section 173.1104, RSMo, excluding undergraduate status.

(D) Approved institution means any institution located in the state of Missouri that meets the requirements set forth in subdivision 173.1102.1(2) or (3), RSMo, and that has been approved under 6 CSR 10-2.140.

(E) Approved student deferment period or deferment is a period of time up to the maximum time allowed in section 173.250, RSMo, during which an eligible initial or renewal recipient may cease enrollment without losing scholarship eligibility. The deferment shall begin on July 1 of the academic year for which the student's deferment was approved or July 1 following the most recent academic year that the student received scholarship assistance.

(F) Certificate of high school equivalence shall be a certificate that is awarded to an applicant who has successfully completed and passed the General Educational Development (GED) examination as established by the Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials of the American Council on Education (ACE).

(G) Completed secondary coursework or completion of secondary coursework shall be graduation from high school or the virtual public school established in section 161.670, RSMo, receipt of a general education development (GED) diploma, completion of a program of study through homeschooling, or any other program of academic instruction that satisfies the compulsory attendance requirement under section 167.031, RSMo.

(H) Consortium agreement means a written agreement between two (2) or more approved institutions that allows students to take courses at a school other than the home school and have those courses count toward the degree or certificate at the home school that complies with the United States Department of Education requirements for federal student financial assistance.

(I) Continually enrolled shall be enrollment as a full-time student who receives scholarship assistance at an approved institution for at least one (1) semester, trimester, or quarter, not including summer terms, in the academic year for which the scholarship award was offered.

(J) CBHE means the Coordinating Board for Higher Education created by section 173.005, RSMo.

(K) Expenses shall be any education-related expenses including, but not limited to, tuition, fees, and room and board.

(L) Full-time student shall be defined by the approved institution as a postsecondary student who is enrolled in and is carrying a sufficient number of credit hours or its equivalent (minimum twelve (12) credit hours) at the approved private or public Missouri institution to secure the degree or certificate toward which the student is working in accordance with paragraph (2)(A)5. of this rule. Provided, however, that an otherwise eligible student having a disability as defined by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101-12213) who, because of the student's disability, is unable to satisfy the statutory minimum requirements for full-time status under Title IV student aid programs shall be considered by the approved institution to be a full-time student and shall be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress, as defined in subsection (1)(W) of this rule, while carrying a minimum of six (6) credit hours or their equivalent at the approved institution.

(M) Higher Education Academic Scholarship Program or academic scholarship program shall mean the academic scholarship program provisions created by section 173.250, RSMo.

(N) Initial recipient shall be any applicant who meets the eligibility requirements and is awarded an academic scholarship under the academic scholarship program in the academic year immediately following completion of secondary coursework.

(O) Medical need shall be a verified illness, disability, pregnancy, or other medical condition that prevents an eligible applicant from enrolling as a renewal recipient or which requires a recipient to cease all attendance at an approved institution in the academic year for which the scholarship award was originally offered.

(P) MDHE shall be the Missouri Department of Higher Education created by section 173.005, RSMo.

(Q) Missouri test takers shall be all Missouri high school students taking the ACT examination or the SAT during the student's senior year in high school.

(R) Nonprofit organization shall be any organization which is organized under the laws of its home state as a not-for-profit corporation or organization, such as a charitable, scientific, or literary organization.

(S) Qualifying score shall be a composite score on the ACT examination or the SAT achieved in an eligible student's high school sophomore, junior, or senior year that is in the top five percent (5%) of Missouri test takers, as established at the beginning of an eligible student's final year of secondary coursework.

(T) Renewal recipient shall be any applicant who received an academic scholarship as an initial recipient under the academic scholarship program and meets the eligibility requirements under the provisions of this rule and requirements as defined by the approved institution and is awarded a renewable academic scholarship under the academic scholarship program.

(U) Resident of Missouri is any person who meets the requirements for resident status for Missouri set forth by the CBHE in 6 CSR 10-3.010.

(V) SAT means the Scholastic Aptitude Test of the College Board.

(W) Satisfactory academic progress shall be a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least two and one-half (2.5) on a four-point (4.0) scale, or the equivalent on another scale, and, with the exception of grade point average, as otherwise determined by the approved institution's policies as applied to other students at the approved institution receiving assistance under Title IV financial aid programs included in the Higher Education Act of 1965. The calculation of CGPA shall be based on the approved institution's policies as applied to other students in similar circumstances.

(X) Scholarship assistance or award shall be an amount of money paid by Missouri to a qualified applicant pursuant to the provisions of this rule.

(Y) Service-related expenses shall be any allowable expenses related to room, board, travel, and personal costs of the applicant necessary to satisfactorily provide and complete a service to a nonprofit organization, or a state or federal government agency.

(Z) Student exchange program shall be any recognized international or national secondary-level exchange program recognized by the student's high school that is available to qualified students to continue their educational studies.

(AA) Sufficient documentation shall be documents including, but not limited to, letters of participation, application materials, copies of orders or release papers, or a statement of medical need provided by the student exchange program, the nonprofit organization, a state or federal government agency, any branch of the armed forces, or a practicing medical physician that verifies a student's status to the satisfaction of the MDHE.

(2) Basic Eligibility Policy.

(A) To be eligible for initial or renewed scholarship assistance under the academic scholarship program, an applicant must meet the following conditions:

1. Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;

2. Be a resident of Missouri;

3. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time postsecondary student at an approved institution for the period of the scholarship and be in compliance with section 173.1104, RSMo, excluding the requirement of undergraduate status;

4. Not be enrolled or intend to use the award to enroll in a course of study leading to a degree in theology or divinity; and

5. Be allotted scholarship assistance for one (1) academic year, but an applicant shall be eligible for renewed assistance until the applicant has obtained a baccalaureate degree; provided, the scholarship assistance shall not exceed a total of ten (10) semesters or fifteen (15) quarters or their equivalents.

(B) To be eligible for initial scholarship assistance, an applicant must also:

1. Have completed secondary course-work and have achieved a qualifying score;

2. Be offered and receive a scholarship award as a first-time, full-time, first-year postsecondary student the academic year immediately following completion of secondary coursework; and

3. Complete and submit all requested eligibility information to the MDHE according to the provisions of this rule.

(C) To be eligible for renewed scholarship assistance, an applicant must also:

1. Be continually enrolled in an approved institution full-time, excluding periods of enrollment during summer terms, as a second-, third-, fourth- or fifth-year student, or other student meeting the eligibility requirements of this rule;

2. Have continually received an academic scholarship subject to the availability of state-appropriated funds; and

3. Maintain satisfactory academic progress in the applicant's course of study.

(D) To be approved for a deferment, initial and renewal recipients who cease all enrollment due to participation in a student exchange program, provision of a service to a nonprofit organization, a state or federal government agency, or service on active duty in any branch of the armed forces of the United States or because of medical need must meet the eligibility requirements for scholarship assistance in accordance with the provisions of this rule, with the exception of continuous enrollment. Prior to the student's change in status, the student must-

1. Contact the CBHE in writing to request a student deferment of eligibility; and

2. Complete and submit the deferment of eligibility form that is provided by the MDHE, along with sufficient documentation indicating the renewal recipient ceased all attendance or the initial recipient was unable to enroll and receive scholarship assistance at an approved institution in the academic year for which the scholarship was originally offered.

(E) To satisfactorily complete the approved student deferment period, applicants and recipients must meet the following requirements in the academic year immediately following the student deferment period:

1. Notify the MDHE by submitting sufficient documentation verifying the approved student deferment period was satisfactorily completed within the maximum time frame allowed in section 173.250, RSMo;

2. Complete and submit all requested eligibility information to the MDHE according to the provisions of this rule;

3. Have met all other requirements established for eligibility to receive an initial or renewal scholarship;

4. Enroll as a full-time student at an approved institution within the time frames referenced in section 173.250, RSMo; and

5. Submit sufficient documentation verifying to the MDHE that the student was not compensated for other than service-related expenses for a service that was provided to a nonprofit organization.

(3) Responsibilities of Approved Institutions. Institutions participating in the Higher Education Academic Scholarship Program must meet the requirements set forth in 6 CSR 10-2.140, Institutional Eligibility for Student Participation.

(4) Application and Evaluation Policy.

(A) The MDHE shall prescribe the form of and the time and method of filing applications under the academic scholarship program.

(B) An application for scholarship assistance under the academic scholarship program shall be made in the form and method prescribed by the MDHE.

(C) The MDHE will determine if an applicant has achieved a qualifying score and is eligible for an award as an initial recipient by evaluating the official ACT or SAT test scores from national test dates, approved special test dates, or census test dates in comparison to the Missouri high school senior score report provided by ACT or the College Board. Verification of the initial recipient's test scores from national, special, or census test dates must be provided by ACT or the College Board, or by an official at the high school from which the initial recipient graduated or a financial aid officer at the approved institution in which the initial recipient is enrolled or plans to enroll based on documentation from ACT or the College Board. Failure to provide official test score verification will result in the application being incomplete.

(D) If an eligible applicant has been offered or has received a scholarship award under the provisions of this rule and if the applicant's qualifying composite test score has officially been cancelled and is determined to be invalid by ACT or the College Board then the applicant will be declared ineligible for further award by the MDHE for the scholarship program.

(E) All applicants and renewal students will be evaluated by the MDHE according to the eligibility criteria under the provisions of this rule, the information submitted by the approved institution, and on any other information received by and deemed reliable by the MDHE.

(F) The deadline for having completed eligibility information on file will be published annually by the MDHE for each academic year. Completed eligibility information must be on file with the MDHE on or before the published deadline to be considered on time and for the applicant to have priority consideration. Incomplete records received by the MDHE will not be processed.

(G) Eligibility information completed after the annual deadline published by the MDHE will be awarded provided program funds are available, based on a review by the MDHE.

(5) Award Policy.

(A) The maximum academic scholarship program award amount for each applicant per academic year shall be the amount(s) referenced in section 173.250, RSMo.

(B) Awards at approved institutions utilizing trimester academic programs shall be evenly distributed over the three (3) terms.

(C) Financial need shall not be used by the MDHE in determining eligibility for awards under the academic scholarship program for an applicant.

(D) If program funds are insufficient to award to all recipients in the top three percent (3%), the award amounts will be reduced equally for those recipients until all funds have been expended. All students in the top three percent (3%) of all Missouri test-takers shall receive the maximum academic scholarship program award amount referenced in section 173.250, RSMo, before any student in the top fourth and fifth percentiles receives any award.

(E) If program funds are insufficient to award to all recipients in the top fourth and fifth percentiles, the award amounts will be reduced equally for those recipients until all funds have been expended.

(F) A student who has been denied an academic scholarship award for lack of satisfactory academic progress may not receive another academic scholarship award until the enrollment period after the applicable standard has once again been met.

(G) The award amount for any given academic year will be disbursed to the approved institution equally according to the number of semesters at the approved institution and awarded for each semester of enrollment.

(H) Awards will not be made for periods of enrollment during summer terms.

(I) Awards will be issued only after certification of full-time attendance of the student by the institution. For a student enrolled as part of a consortium agreement, the student must be considered to be enrolled full-time at the home institution to be certified.

(J) An applicant may change the approved institution choice by the established deadline and may transfer between approved institutions during the academic year. Failure to notify the MDHE of such action may result in loss of the award.

(K) Award notifications will be sent to initial applicants and renewal students by the MDHE once the awards have been determined. Notification of initial and renewal awards also will be sent to the student financial aid office at the approved institution where the applicant plans to enroll or has enrolled.

(L) The applicant's award will be sent to the approved institution to be delivered to the student's account. The institution shall retain the portion of the award that the student owes for expenses and promptly give the applicant any remaining funds.

(6) Information Sharing Policy. All information on an individual's academic scholarship program application will be shared with the financial aid office of the institution to which the individual has applied or is attending to permit verification of data submitted. Information may be shared with federal financial aid offices if necessary to verify data furnished by the state or federal governments as provided for in the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. sections 552, 552a.

(AUTHORITY: section 173.250, RSMo Supp. 2010.* Original rule filed Nov. 14, 1986, effective Feb. 28, 1987. Amended: Filed Feb. 3, 1988, effective April 28, 1988. Amended: Filed Dec. 5, 1988, effective March 1, 1989. Amended: Filed Aug. 15, 1989, effective Nov. 15, 1989. Amended: Filed Oct. 14, 1992, effective May 6, 1993. Amended: Filed Sept. 29, 1994, effective March 30, 1995. Amended: Filed Jan. 12, 2007, effective July 30, 2007. Amended: Filed Dec. 15, 2008, effective June 30, 2009. Amended: Filed Dec. 10, 2010, effective June 30, 2011 . Amended by Missouri Register October 17, 2016/Volume 41, Number 20, effective 11/30/2016 Amended by Missouri Register June 17, 2019/Volume 44, Number 12, effective 7/31/2019)

*Original authority: 173.250, RSMo 1986, amended 1988, 1990, 1991, 2007, 2010.

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