Missouri Governor Jay Nixon spoke to students at Northeast Nodaway about the state's "A Plus" program.
The high school is one of 35 "A Plus" schools in the state.
If seniors have a grade point average above 2.5 and meet attendance and behavioral guidelines, the state will pay for them to go to a two-year community or technical college program.
Governor Nixon says going to college has become crucial to succeed in today's economy.
"You don't get the benefit of getting to compete with just folks down the street or of your same zip code. It's a world economy," Nixon told the audience. "And that means we have to compete in a world economy. The best way to compete in that world economy is education."
Governor Nixon also took a tour around Northeast Nodaway School.
He then visited other "A Plus" schools in the region, including the high school in Albany.