What is MO Reach?
Beginning in the 2011 fall semester, the Missouri Department of Social Services (MO DSS) and the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) started offering eligible youth a waiver that may be applied to offset the tuition and fees at Missouri public colleges and universities.
Who is eligible for a voucher?
- Legal residents of Missouri, who have been in foster care or other residential care under the Department of Social Services, Children’s Division, on or after:
- The day they graduated from high school or received a GED; or
- The day preceding (before) their 18th birthday; or
- The day of their 14th birthday, if the student was eligible for adoption. and
- Students must have graduated from high school or passed the GED examination within the previous three years.
- Students must apply before their 21st birthday
- Students must be currently accepted by or attending a Missouri public college or university.
- Priority will be given to students who have earned 30 college credits and have a 2.5 or higher GPA prior to applying for MO Reach.
Are there additional requirements?
- Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually and also apply for other student financial assistance; other than student loans, in compliance with federal financial aid rules, including the federal Pell grant.
Is the Tuition Waiver a loan that must be paid back?
- MO Reach is an investment in the recipient’s future, it does not have to be paid back; however, recipients of the MO Reach Tuition Waiver must complete one hundred (100) hours of community service or a public internship within a 12-month period beginning September 1st each year they receive the waiver.
Finding a job after college requires more than just having a degree; students must have a resume that sets them apart from peers. Meaningful community service or a public internship will help shape MO Reach recipients’ connection between coursework and the workplace and it will give them options after graduation they would not otherwise have. MO Reach recipients will have the financial resources to attend school full-time and through an internship or volunteer work begin building a resume with experience and contacts that may lead to employment upon graduation.
How does one apply?
- Interested candidates complete an online application and the Community Service/Public Internship interest form and submit a letter of reference from a professor or academic advisor. Applicants complete a financial aid request release form to authorize their college to submit required financial documentation and they request an official transcript to be sent to the MO Reach Program. As needed, the program may request additional information. Applications are incomplete until all documentation has been received.
What will the Tuition Waiver cover?
- In addition to tuition, the waiver will include student fees. It does not cover on-campus housing or a meal plan.
What is the timeline for receiving the waiver?
- Recipients will be selected upon review of their completed application. Once selected, waiver funding will be sent directly to the institution. A MO Reach Coordinator will work with students to develop the community service component. At the end of each semester, program participants resubmit financial aid information for the upcoming semester and an official transcript.
- Recipients must reapply annually starting July 1st for each school year.
- Assuming all program requirements have been met, recipients may receive waiver funding for up to four years.
- Program funding is subject to funding from the State of Missouri.
Click HERE to begin the application process.
Download your application documents HERE.
For more information, call 800-585-7115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our fax number is 855-773-8302.