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Student Advocacy Group Wants To See More Scholarships For Minority Students

A student advocacy group wants to reform how Missouri awards scholarships to top-performing students.

Right now any student who scores a 31 or higher on the ACT and stays in-state for college is eligible for a Bright Flight Scholarship worth about $3,000.

But Faith Sandler with St. Louis Graduates says these scholarships are being disproportionately awarded to students whose families can afford to pay for college.

“Students from rural parts of our state, as well as students of color, aren’t seeing the benefits of this scholarship, though they are bright, though they are capable,” Sandler told KCUR’s Steve Kraske Thursday on Up To Date.

Sandler says a better system would be to award the scholarships geographically or according to GPA.

“What if we allowed a certain number of awards for students from every high school in our state, for instance, so students are competing against their classmates, not every other part of the state?” Sandler suggested.

Sandler was in Jefferson City Wednesday to ask lawmakers to make changes. But many state legislators expressed reluctance to change a program that incentivizes top students to stay in-state.

Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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