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Due to budget changes, Missouri's Bright Flight scholarship funds set to reach more students

Mizzou Legacy Circle at the Mel Carnahan Quadrangle on the campus of University of Missouri in Columbia is seen Tuesday.
Michael B. Thomas
Getty Images
The campus of Missouri University in Columbia.

The Bright Flight scholarship, which is awarded based on ACT or SAT scores, gives $3,000 a year to the top 3 percent of scorers in Missouri. Now, the top 4th and 5th percent of test-takers will be eligible for money for college.

Bright Flight is an award that encourages high-achieving high school students to stay in-state for their college education.

According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development, students from the class of 2022 who are both enrolled in a Missouri college or university and who scored a 30 on the ACT or its equivalent SAT score are eligible for $1,000 dollars a year for their undergraduate education.

Students who scored a 31 or higher are eligible for the full $3,000. The Missouri legislature increased the budget for the program by $3.5 million.

When the Bright Flight program was introduced in 1986, the award amount was $2,000 dollars, while the tuition and fees at the University of Missouri were just over $1,400. Today, Mizzou calculates that tuition and fees alone will cost over $12,000 for Missouri residents. With the cost of housing adding another $10,000, the $3,000 dollar award makes a much smaller dent than it used to.

Josh Conaway is a graduate of Missouri State University with a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Affairs. He works as a news reporter and announcer at KSMU. His favorite part of the job is exploring the rich diversity of the Ozarks and meeting people with interesting stories to share. He has a passion for history and running.