Missouri increases scholarship awards for 2013 graduates, Gov. Nixon announces

August 24, 2012
Jefferson City, MO

As part of his continued commitment to college affordability, Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that his administration is increasing the potential award amount for the Missouri's Bright Flight and Access Missouri college scholarships.

"Today's economy demands that students continue their education and training beyond high school," Gov. Nixon said. "I will continue to work with the General Assembly and Missouri's institutes of higher learning to keep college tuition affordable for Missouri families."

For the Bright Flight Scholarship program, award amounts will increase $250, from $1,750 to $2,000 per scholarship. This program will benefit up to 6,100 Missouri graduates. To be eligible for a Bright Flight Scholarship, the applicant must be a Missouri student and U.S. Citizen and have a composite score on the ACT or SAT in the top 3 percent of all Missouri students taking those tests.

Additionally, the Access Missouri scholarship program will see each of its three maximum award levels increase by up to 3 percent, depending upon the type of institution the student attends. Access Missouri is a financial aid program for Missouri students who are U.S. Citizens and whose family income qualifies the student for tuition assistance.

Meanwhile, Missouri's A+ scholarship program will remain fully funded while record numbers of students are taking advantage of the program. Under the A+ program, Missouri students can earn a scholarship to cover the cost of tuition and academic fees for two years at any public two-year community college or technical school in the state. To be eligible for the program, students must meet academic achievement, conduct and attendance requirements, and perform 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring service.

Gov. Nixon has ensured that continued state funding is available to provide these scholarships for the record number of students participating in A+. For fiscal year 2013, the budget proposed by Gov. Nixon makes more than $29 million available to fund the A+ program. The Governor's funding recommendation was maintained in the appropriations bill passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.

Earlier this month, the national non-partisan College Board Advocacy and Policy Center released a state-by-state analysis of college tuition rates throughout the country. The report found that during the past three years, Missouri's public four-year institutions' tuition and fee increases were the lowest in the nation. Tuition rates at all of Missouri's higher education institutions remain below the national average, while Missouri's colleges and universities continue to see strong enrollment.