Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday announced a new plan to improve Missouri’s Bright Flight scholarship program and keep more high-achieving students in the state to attend college and work after college.
Nixon’s plan, called Bright Flight Boost, would devote $15 million of the state’s fiscal year 2015 budget to offering Bright Flight scholarship recipients an additional $5,000 of financial aid per year on the condition that they pursue employment in Missouri after graduation. Currently, Bright Flight scholarship recipients are eligible for $2,500 in aid per year.
To qualify for Bright Flight, a student must be a Missouri resident and United States citizen or permanent resident and score among the top 3 percent of all Missouri students on the ACT or SAT. For each year students receive the supplemental $5,000 award, they would have to work full-time for one year in Missouri. Graduates that pursued employment outside of Missouri before completing their in-state work commitment would have to pay back the unearned portion of their award to the state.
“College affordability has been among my administration’s top priorities, and by strengthening this successful scholarship program, we’ll keep more of our best and brightest here at home so they can contribute their talent to our 21st-century economy,” Nixon said in a statement.