Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has announced plans to increase the money to the A+ Program by about $3.7 million dollars. He plans to increase last year's A+ budget of $37.6 million to $41 million, about a 4 percentage increase.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has announced plans to increase the money to the A+ Program by about $3.7 million dollars. He plans to increase last year's A+ budget of $37.6 million to $41 million, about a 4 percentage increase.
Greitens also proposes to expand the program so that qualified students at private schools in the state could also take advantage of the program. His proposal has gained both praise and criticism from Missourians.
The A+ Scholarship Program is a school-improvement incentive established by the Outstanding Schools Act in 1993, part of Missouri Senate Bill 380. The program is designed to encourage students to stay in school, make career plans, tutor younger students or peers, and then graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary for further education and/or career success. A+ is a tool to help students become well prepared and to pursue advanced education leading to eventual employment.
The A+ Scholarship Program provides scholarship funds to eligible Missouri gradates of A+ designated high schools who attend a participating public community college or vocational/technical school or specific private two-year vocational/technical schools. In most cases, A+ graduates who opt for a two-year community college or technical school within Missouri will receive free tuition for that two year period.
According to the A+ Coordinator at Neosho High School, Cindy Aldrich, Neosho students have received the tuition incentive since 2000.  Over the past 18 years, 1,481 Neosho graduates have met the requirements for the A+ Program.
"Currently, there are 422 students enrolled in the A+ Program at Neosho High School," Aldrich said.
To qualify to received A+ tuition incentives, students must enter into a written agreement with a A+ high school, attend a designated A+ high school for at least 3 years prior to graduation, graduate with a cumulative unweighted 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale, graduate with a 95 percent attendance rate overall for grades 9-12, complete 50 hours of school supervised, unpaid tutoring or mentoring of other students, maintain a record of good citizenship and avoid the unlawful use of drugs and/or alcohol, achieve a score of proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end of course exam or have a combined ACT math score and high school GPA according to an established scale, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Students may enroll in the program at any time by picking up an application from the A+ office at Neosho High School or by downloading the application from the Neosho School District website.
"A+ is a great program to provide tuition and basic fees for students attending a community college or tech school within the state," Aldrich stated. "Several Missouri universities also offer privately funded scholarships to A+ students choosing to go directly to a four-year institution after high school. Missouri residents are very fortunate to have this publicly funded opportunity for our students. I encourage more students to take advantage of this wonderful program."
Students who opt to pursue post secondary education with the A+ Scholarship Program are required to be full-time students with 12 or more hours per semester. The A+ program must be utilized within 48 months (4 years) of high school graduation.
"I am very thankful to our legislators who have strongly supported this program for many years," Aldrich said.
Greitens also made major cuts of about $68.1 million dollars to Missouri higher education for the second year. He has pulled funding from higher education to increase funding to elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in the state for grades K-12. The cut to higher education has many colleges and university afraid tuition and fee rate hikes will be necessary. Some may also have to drop courses from their curriculum with a reduced budget.
Crowder College, based in Neosho, with satellite campuses around the area is one of the A+ schools students can choose in Missouri.