Introducing South’s A+ program

By Mira Asllani

The Jag

Being a high school student is hard and stressful. School work, jobs, relationships, friendships, are confusing on their own, but it suddenly gets more confusing when you are a senior and don’t know what you are going to do with your life. As the cost of college (and the stress levels of high school students) in America continue to increase, it is important to apply for scholarships and join programs, a few years before reaching the final year of high school. 

One way to help you avoid crippling debt by the time you graduate college is joining the A+ program. As the name itself suggests, this program is designed to provide help to ambitious and hard-working students who plan on attending a public community college or vocational/technical school, or certain private two-year vocational/technical schools. There obviously are criteria to be fulfilled, some of which include being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, entering into a written agreement with your high school prior to graduation, attending an A+ high school for 2 years before graduating and having a 2.5 or higher point average. Other things required are a 95% attendance record for grades 9-12, performing at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring, and more. This scholarship covers the unpaid balance of your tuition and general fees after all available, non-loan federal financial assistance, such as the federal Pell grant, has been applied to your account and pays tuition and common fees for two years at any participating community college.

 A few of the colleges in Missouri that accept this program are some Metropolitan Community Colleges such as Blue River, Penn Valley, Maple Woods, and other, 2-year public colleges such as Crowder College, East Central College, Jefferson College etc. If interested in 4-year colleges with scholarships based on A+ certification, Avila University, Central Missouri State University, KC Art Institute, Columbia College, Truman State University, and a few more are on the list as well. Junior South student, Rachel Black, who is doing this program, talks more about her college interests. 

“I would like to go to an in-state university. Currently I am venturing out looking for more opportunities. I have been looking at colleges in the state to get a perspective on things. I am interested in Missouri State University.”

And lastly, with Blue Springs South being an A+ program high school, there are already South students who have benefited and are going to. Black tells us more about the program. “I chose this program because it is a wonderful opportunity for me to get some community college experience paid for free. Also, it allows me to work with younger students to gain more patience and understanding.” 

She further on talks about how tutoring for this program works. “We are allowed to help students with reading, math, and writing. Sometimes students learn at different paces and need extra help, and A+ tutors can be that” she said. Students who are currently in grades 10, 11 can enroll during the fall. Students in 9th grade can enroll in the program in the beginning of the second semester. If interested in this particular program, more in depth information about it can be found online, or you can meet up with your counselor, or meet with Ben Baier, South’s A+ coordinator.