Home » News » News Item

July 19, 2019

Updates to Bright Flight and Access Missouri student eligibility requirements

Over 50,000 students expected to receive state grants and scholarships for 2019-2020

More students are expected to receive the Missouri Higher Education Academic Scholarship, commonly known as Bright Flight, during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Current projections indicate a growth rate of slightly more than 5 percent over last year. Over 10,500 students are estimated to meet the eligibility requirements once the June ACT test scores are processed. Students who score in the top 3 percent on the ACT or SAT test are eligible to receive the estimated award of $3,000 – the maximum scholarship amount – to attend a qualifying Missouri college or university.

“State financial aid is essential to helping many students earn a college degree,” said Leroy Wade, deputy commissioner of higher education. “Missouri is fortunate to have a number of grant and scholarship programs, and funding for several of those programs has increased in recent years.”

Of those eligible, approximately 7,800 students are expected to receive the Bright Flight Scholarship this fall.

An increase in state funding in the FY 2020 budget and a decline in the percent of eligible students receiving an award will allow the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) to extend the application deadline and raise the Access Missouri Financial Assistance program award level during the 2019-2020 academic year.

More than 43,000 students are projected to receive the Access Missouri award this fall.

For the first time since the 2016-2017 academic year, students who filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on or before April 1, 2019 are eligible for the program. In addition, awards have increased from 70 to 75 percent of the statutory maximums. The maximum grant award is estimated to be $980 for students attending a public two-year college and $2,140 for students attending a four-year college, State Technical College of Missouri, and independent institutions.

Final award amounts will be announced in August.

Access Missouri grant amounts are determined primarily by available state funding and the number of students eligible to receive the grant each year. Specific award amounts are determined by students’ financial need, the type of college they attend and other financial aid they receive.

Helping more Missourians access student financial aid is one way the department is working to make college more affordable and move Missouri toward its big goal of 60 percent of working-age adults having a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2025.

For more information about state financial aid programs – including all eligibility requirements – visit https://dhe.mo.gov/ppc/grants/.

About the Missouri Department of Higher Education: The department seeks to build Missouri’s future by degrees and coordinate higher education policy that fosters a quality postsecondary system. More information about MDHE can be found at https://dhe.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @MoHigherEd.