Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

January 20, 2006

Lawmakers begin consideration of proposals to increase Bright Flight scholarship

Companion bills in the House and Senate have been introduced to double the $2,000 Bright Flight scholarship, designed to encourage the state’s best and brightest students to stay in Missouri for post-secondary education. 

In 1987, when the scholarship was enacted, tuition at UM was $1,485 and the $2,000 scholarship funded all tuition, required fees and some books. Today, that same undergraduate pays $6,495 in tuition plus additional fees and books, but the Bright Flight scholarship is still only $2,000. It provides less than one-third the cost of tuition.

The University of Missouri has encouraged lawmakers to increase the award, and student organizations including the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) have advocated for an increase so that it becomes a true incentive to keep students in the state.

The scholarship, given to students who score in the top 3 percent on ACT or SAT tests in the state, was awarded to 8,390 students last year. More than one-third of those students attended a campus of the University of Missouri, with MU attracting the highest number at 2,514.

SB662, introduced by Sen. Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau) is scheduled to be heard before the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The House bill, HB1428, was introduced this week by Rep. Ed Robb (R-Columbia) and several co-sponsors. It is expected to be assigned to the House Higher Education Committee and should be heard in the coming weeks.

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