6 CSR 10-2.150 - Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program

6 CSR 10-2.150. Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program

PURPOSE: This amendment updates gender-specific language and clarifies the policy for award disbursement and delivery.

PURPOSE: These amendments update the definition of approved institution, and revise the basic eligibility and award policies to reflect statutory revisions.

(1) Definitions.

(A) Academic year shall be from July 1 of any year through June 30 of the following year.

(B) Access Missouri shall mean the Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program set forth in sections 173.1101-173.1107, RSMo.

(C) Access Missouri award means an amount of money paid by the state of Missouri to a qualified applicant under the Access Missouri program.

(D) Applicant means a student who has filed a complete and accurate application to receive an Access Missouri award as prescribed by the CBHE and who qualifies to receive such award under section 173.1104, RSMo.

(E) Approved institution means any institution located in the state of Missouri that meets the requirements set forth in subdivisions 173.1102.1(2), (3), or (4), RSMo, that has been approved under 6 CSR 10-2.140, and that has been approved to participate in the federal student financial assistance programs created in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

(F) Award year shall be from July 1 of any year through June 30 of the following year, excluding summer terms.

(G) CBHE means the Coordinating Board for Higher Education created by section 173.005, 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 and that complies with United States Department of Education requirements for federal student financial assistance.

(I) Department means the Department of Higher Education created by section 173.005, RSMo.

(J) EFC means Expected Family Contribution, the amount of money a student and family should pay toward the cost of post-secondary education as calculated annually by the United States Department of Education as a result of an official federal need analysis based on the student's federal need-based aid application form.

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

(L) Full-time student means a student who is enrolled in at least twelve (12) semester hours, eight (8) quarter hours, or the equivalent in another measurement system, but not less than the respective number sufficient to secure the certificate or degree toward which the student is working in no more than the number of semesters, or their equivalent, normally required by the institution for the program in which the student is enrolled. 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)(Q) of this rule, while carrying a minimum of six (6) credit hours or their equivalent at the approved institution.

(M) Initial recipient means a student who qualifies under section 173.1104, RSMo, has filed an accurate and complete application by the deadline established by the CBHE for the Access Missouri program, and has not received an Access Missouri award in any prior academic year.

(N) Increment group shall mean a group organized by EFC in five hundred dollar ($500) increments into which all eligible applicants are placed.

(O) Renewal recipient means a student who received an Access Missouri award, who meets the requirements set forth in section 173.1104, RSMo, and who has filed an accurate and complete application by the deadline established by the CBHE for the Access Missouri program.

(P) Residency, for the purpose of this rule, shall be determined by reference to the standards set forth in the determination of student residency rule, 6 CSR 10-3.010.

(Q) 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.

(2) Responsibilities of Institutions of Postsecondary Education. Institutions participating in the Access Missouri program must meet the requirements set forth in 6 CSR 10-2.140 Institutional Eligibility for Student Participation.

(3) Basic Eligibility Policy.

(A) To qualify for an Access Missouri award, an initial or renewal recipient, at the time of application and throughout the period during which the recipient receives the award, must meet the requirements set forth in section 173.1104, RSMo.

(B) Initial or renewal recipients attending an approved virtual institution that fails to meet all of the requirements in subdivision 173.1102.1(4), RSMo are not eligible for assistance under sections 173.1104 and 173.1105, RSMo.

(4) Application and Evaluation Policy.

(A) The department shall annually prescribe the time and method for filing applications for financial assistance under the Access Missouri program. It shall make announcement of its action in these respects.

(B) Students shall apply annually for financial assistance under the Access Missouri program by completing and submitting the federal need-based aid application form as prescribed by the United States Department of Education.

(C) The department will evaluate each student's application for an Access Missouri award according to the student's EFC as calculated based on information provided in the student's federal need-based aid application form completed and submitted as prescribed by the United States Department of Education.

(D) Annual award amounts for renewal recipients may be increased or decreased based on a change in the financial condition of the applicant, the financial condition of the applicant's spouse or parents, or availability of funds for distribution during that award year.

(E) Exceptions to the department's procedures applicable to the Access Missouri program and reconsideration of applicants' need will take place only in unusual circumstances, such as death or disability of a wage earner, illness, or other economic reversal, and will be considered on an individual basis only upon written request, submitted to the Missouri Department of Higher Education, Access Missouri Program, PO Box 1469, Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469.

(5) Award Policy.

(A) Access Missouri awards shall be allotted for one (1) award year.

(B) A renewal recipient may continue to receive a grant under the Access Missouri program so long as the applicant:

1. Maintains satisfactory academic progress;

2. Otherwise meets the criteria of the Access Missouri program; and

3. Has not exceeded-

A. Five (5) semesters at two (2)-year institutions; or

B. A total of ten (10) semesters or fifteen (15) quarters at a four (4)-year institution or any combination of institutions.

(C) Initial and renewal recipients who meet the eligibility requirements set forth in sections 173.1101 through 173.1107, RSMo, and this rule shall be eligible for an Access Missouri award, with minimum and maximum annual award amounts as referenced in section 173.1105, RSMo, subject to the availability of funds appropriated by the legislature.

(D) A student with an EFC of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) or less shall receive at least the minimum annual award amount for the institution in which the student is enrolled, subject to the availability of funds appropriated by the legislature. Maximum annual award amounts for recipients with an EFC above seven thousand dollars ($7,000) shall be reduced by ten percent (10%) of the maximum EFC for the student's increment group.

(E) Any award amount shall be reduced by the amount of a student's payment from the A+ schools program or any successor program to it.

(F) Maximum annual award amounts will be reduced as provided in section 173.1105, RSMo, across all institutional groups in order to ensure the total funds awarded through the Access Missouri program do not exceed the funds appropriated. If sufficient funds are appropriated, the department shall increase the number of recipients by raising the EFC cutoff once the statutory maximum awards have been met.

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

(H) No Access Missouri awards will be granted to a student after-

1. A baccalaureate degree has been granted to the student;

2. The hours, or the equivalent to the hours, required for a baccalaureate degree have been completed by a student; or

3. The student has completed one hundred fifty (150) semester hours or the equivalent, or two hundred twenty-five (225) quarter hours or the equivalent of coursework.

(I) Access Missouri awards will be made for use during the normal academic year, but no funds for Access Missouri awards will be granted for use for summer school.

(J) No Access Missouri award will be made retroactive to a previous academic year. An Access Missouri award will be made retroactive to a previous semester only upon the sole discretion of the department.

(K) Access Missouri 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.

(L) Only one-half the annual Access Missouri award will be issued in a semester of that award year.

(M) 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.

(N) An applicant's failure to provide required information by the established deadlines may result in loss of the Access Missouri award.

(O) The CBHE has the discretion to withhold payments of any Access Missouri awards after initiating an inquiry into the eligibility or the continued eligibility of a student or into the approved status of an institution.

(P) A student may transfer the Access Missouri award from one approved public or private institution to another without losing eligibility for assistance, but the CBHE shall make any necessary adjustments in the amount of the award.

(6) Information Sharing Policy. All information on an individual's Access Missouri 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 173.1103, RSMo Supp. 2010.* Emergency rule filed Aug. 28, 2007, effective Sept. 7, 2007, expired March 4, 2008. Original rule filed Oct. 12, 2007, effective March 30, 2008. 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: 173.1103, RSMo 2007.

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