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MSU Offers Free Dual Credit to Lower-Income High School Students at SPS and Beyond

Bailey Vassalli

Lower-income high school students in Springfield Public Schools and several dozen other districts across the southern portion of Missouri have a new opportunity to earn college credit free of charge.

Missouri State University has joined hands with Springfield Public Schools to offer eligible students high school and college credits at the same time—at no cost to those qualifying students.

The pilot program is also available for students in districts that provide dual credit through Missouri State University-West Plains, officials said.  This link listing those districts shows a total of 46 school districts, mostly in south-central and southwest Missouri.

While making the announcement in Springfield Tuesday afternoon, MSU President Clif Smart described the opportunity as a “game changer.”

“We wanted, at Missouri State, to do something to level the playing field. That’s what public education is all about—whether you’re at the K-12 level or the public university level,” Smart said.

The dual credit scholarship program is available immediately for qualifying students, said SPS Superintendent John Jungmann Tuesday.

Credit Bailey Vassalli / KSMU
Dr. John Jungmann, superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MSU Tuesday in Springfield.

“We offer more than 40 dual credit courses with MSU right now. So the doors are opening for our students,” Jungmann said.

To qualify for the free dual credit at MSU, a student has to:

  • Have a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Qualify for free or reduced lunches, which is based on household income
  • Be enrolled in one of the qualifying schools or programs

Jungmann said parents who are interested can ask their school counselors or principals for more information.