Bright Flight scholarship for Class of 2023 undergoes changes


Starting with the Class of 2023, the eligibility requirements for the Bright Flight scholarship has increased. For more information about Bright Flight and other scholarship opportunities, students could go to the College and Career Office, located in Room 121.

Eshwar Murali, Digital Content Editor

The Bright Flight Program is a scholarship program made by the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development. Approved by Missouri General Assembly in 1986, Bright Flight awards scholarships to Missouri high school seniors depending on their ACT score.

The score to get Bright Flight eligibility is determined by the percentile of the score. Specifically, the top 3% of scores in Missouri get a $3,000 scholarship to any participating Missouri school. Additionally, scores in the 4th and 5th percentile receive a $1,000 scholarship. The scholarship can be renewed for 10 semesters or when the student completes their bachelor’s degree.

In past years, a 31 ACT score would’ve qualified students for the $3,000 scholarship and a 30 would’ve qualified them for the $1,000 scholarship. However, for the Class of 2023, the scores needed have been raised. Now students need a 32 ACT score for the $3,000 scholarship and a 31 for the $1,000 scholarship.

In addition, superscore ACT results will be accepted for the scholarship. A superscore is the average of best scores in each test section across every ACT test a student has taken. Previously Bright Flight eligibility was determined by a student’s composite score, which is only based on a single ACT test a student had taken.

Despite the increased score, Dusenberry doesn’t believe that the increased standards will affect students very much.

“[Eligibility requirements] haven’t increased as much as it feels because superscores are being accepted this year, because on average the superscore is higher than the composite. It will still affect some students, but it’s not going to affect students as much as I felt when the information came out [regarding the eligibility requirements],” College & Career Counselor, Alex Dusenberry, said.

Students don’t apply for Bright Flight, they send their scores to the MDHEWD.

“The MDHEWD receives your score if you send a participating Missouri school your score when you sign up to take the ACT. If you don’t send a score to a participating school then, at some point, you will need to send your score to the MDHEWD directly. They will send out letters to qualifying students in the spring of their senior to notify them of getting Bright Flight eligibility,” Dusenberry said.

Senior Bryce Davis believes Bright Flight incentivizes more students to go to Missouri schools.

“I think [Bright Flight] encourages students to stay instate because keeping money in mind while applying to college is pretty important. I’d say I’m thinking about going to a Missouri college because of Bright Flight,” Davis said.