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Title XI EDUCATION AND LIBRARIES

Chapter 173

Effective - 28 Aug 2019 bottom

  173.2553.  Grant established for postsecondary education — definitions — eligibility — implementation of program — criteria — sunset provision. — 1.  There is hereby established a "Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant", and any moneys appropriated by the general assembly for this program shall be used to provide grants for Missouri citizens to attend an approved Missouri postsecondary institution of their choice in accordance with the provisions of this section.

  2.  The definitions of terms set forth in section 173.1102 shall be applicable to such terms as used in this section and section 173.2554.  In addition, the following terms shall mean:

  (1)  "Board", the coordinating board for higher education;

  (2)  "Eligible program of study", a program of instruction:

  (a)  Resulting in the award of a certificate, undergraduate degree, or other industry-recognized credential; and

  (b)  That has been designated by the coordinating board as preparing students to enter an area of occupational shortage as determined by the board;

  (3)  "Eligible student", an individual who:

  (a)  Has completed and submitted a FAFSA for the academic year for which the grant is requested;

  (b)  Is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;

  (c)  Is a Missouri resident as determined by reference to standards promulgated by the coordinating board;

  (d)  Is enrolled, or plans to enroll, at least half-time as a student in an eligible undergraduate program of study offered by an approved public, private, or virtual institution, as defined in section 173.1102;

  (e)  Has an adjusted gross income, as reported on the FAFSA, that does not exceed eighty thousand dollars for married filing joint taxpayers or forty thousand dollars for all other taxpayers; and

  (f)  Is twenty-five years of age or older at the time of enrollment or has not been enrolled in an educational program for the prior two academic years;

  (4)  "FAFSA", the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, as maintained by the United States Department of Education;

  (5)  "Fast track grant", an amount of moneys paid by the state of Missouri to a student under the provisions of this section;

  (6)  "Graduation", completion of a program of study as indicated by the award of a certificate, undergraduate degree, or other industry-recognized credential;

  (7)  "Qualifying employment", full-time employment of a Missouri resident at a workplace located within the state of Missouri, or self-employment while a Missouri resident, with at least fifty percent of an individual's annual income coming from self-employment, either of which result in required returns of income in accordance with section 143.481;

  (8)  "Recipient", an eligible student or renewal student who receives a fast track grant under the provisions of this section;

  (9)  "Renewal student", an eligible student who remains in compliance with the provisions of this section, has received a grant as an initial recipient, maintains a cumulative grade point average of at least two and one-half on a four-point scale or the equivalent, makes satisfactory academic degree progress as defined by the institution, with the exception of grade point average, and has not received a bachelor's degree.

  3.  Standards of eligibility for renewed assistance shall be the same as for an initial award of financial assistance; except that, for renewal, an applicant shall demonstrate a grade point average of two and one-half on a four-point scale, or the equivalent on another scale.

  4.  Eligibility for a grant expires upon the earliest of:

  (1)  Receipt of the grant for four semesters or the equivalent;

  (2)  Receipt of a bachelor's degree; or

  (3)  Reaching two hundred percent of the time typically required to complete the program of study.

  5.  The coordinating board shall initially designate eligible programs of study by January 1, 2020, in connection with local education institutions, regional business organizations, and other stakeholders.  The coordinating board shall annually review the list of eligible programs of study and make changes to the program list as it determines appropriate.

  6.  The coordinating board shall be the administrative agency for the implementation of the program established by this section and section 173.2554.  The coordinating board shall promulgate reasonable rules and regulations for the exercise of its functions and the effectuation of the purposes of this section and section 173.2554.  The coordinating board shall prescribe the form and the time and method of filing applications and supervise the processing thereof.  The coordinating board shall determine the criteria for eligibility of applicants and shall evaluate each applicant's eligibility.  The coordinating board shall select qualified recipients to receive grants, make such awards of financial assistance to qualified recipients, and determine the manner and method of payment to the recipients.

  7.  The coordinating board shall determine eligibility for renewed assistance on the basis of annual applications.  As a condition to consideration for initial or renewed assistance, the coordinating board may require the applicant and the applicant's spouse to execute forms of consent authorizing the director of revenue to compare financial information submitted by the applicant with the Missouri individual income tax returns of the applicant, and the applicant's spouse, for the taxable year immediately preceding the year for which application is made, and to report any discrepancies to the coordinating board.

  8.  Grants shall be awarded in an amount equal to the actual tuition and general fees charged of an eligible student, after all federal nonloan aid, state student aid, and any other governmental student financial aid are applied.  If a grant amount is reduced to zero due to the receipt of other aid, the eligible student shall receive an award of up to five hundred dollars or the remaining cost of attendance as calculated by the institution after all nonloan student aid has been applied, whichever is less, per academic term.

  9.  If appropriated funds are insufficient to fund the program as described, students applying for renewed assistance shall be given priority until all funds are expended.

  10.  A recipient of financial assistance may transfer from one approved public, private, or virtual institution to another without losing eligibility for assistance under this section, but the coordinating board shall make any necessary adjustments in the amount of the award.  If a recipient of financial assistance at any time is entitled to a refund of any tuition or fees under the rules and regulations of the institution in which he or she is enrolled, the institution shall pay the portion of the refund that may be attributed to the grant to the coordinating board.  The coordinating board shall use these refunds to make additional awards under the provisions of this section.

  11.  Subject to the requirements of subsections 2, 3, and 4 of this section, a student is eligible for a fast track grant under this section if the student meets all of the following criteria:

  (1)  The student has successfully completed counseling explaining the benefits and obligations of the program under this section, including the terms and conditions of the promissory note under subdivision (2) of this subsection and the consequences of noncompliance specified in section 173.2554; and

  (2)  The student executes a promissory note acknowledging that the fast track grant moneys awarded under this section will be converted to a loan, and agreeing to repay that loan if he or she fails to satisfy the following conditions:

  (a)  Maintenance of at least half-time enrollment in an eligible program, with an interruption of qualifying enrollment of no more than twelve consecutive months from the last day of the most recent payment period during which the student received a fast track award;

  (b)  Graduation from an approved institution; or

  (c)  Residency within the state of Missouri within twelve months after the date of the student's graduation and for a period of not less than three years and qualifying employment within twelve months of the student's graduation and for a period of not less than three years.  Residency and qualifying employment obligations may be deferred if the recipient's studies continue after graduation.

  12.  Persons who receive fast track grants under this section shall be required to submit proof of residency and qualifying employment to the coordinating board for higher education within thirty days of completing each twelve months of qualifying employment until the three-year employment obligation is fulfilled.

  13.  Under section 23.253 of the Missouri sunset act:

  (1)  The provisions of the new program authorized under this section shall sunset automatically three years after August 28, 2019, unless reauthorized by an act of the general assembly; and

  (2)  If such program is reauthorized, the program authorized under this section shall sunset automatically six years after the effective date of the reauthorization; and

  (3)  This section shall terminate on December thirty-first of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the program authorized under this section is sunset.

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(L. 2019 S.B. 68)

Sunset date 8-28-22

Termination date 12-31-23


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2019 ----

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