COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The University of Missouri is helping its employees finish their high school diplomas at the university's expense.

Employees from the University of Missouri, MU Health Care, MU Extension and UM System in Columbia can finish their high school diploma work through MU High School, a two-year online pilot program that started this week.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports MU High School includes more than 180 high school courses and is operated by the university's College of Education, which is funding 25 percent of the tuition costs for pilot project participants. The other 75 percent is paid by the university's tuition assistance benefit program.

The university says if the pilot project is a success, the program could be expanded to Kansas City, St. Louis and Rolla campus employees.