State Scholarship Levels Drop

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COLUMBIA - The MU Student Financial Aid office said Wednesday Bright Flight scholarships are being offered at higher levels than last year. But that word comes at the same time the Missouri Department of Higher Education reported another state scholarship decreased to the bare minimum levels this year.

The state said Access Missouri scholarships are offered at lower levels compared to previous years due to state budget cuts. The Missouri Department of Higher Education reported students at public universities will receive $1,000, the minimum by state law. Students at private universities will receive $2,070, and students at community colleges will receive $300-$450.

The MU Student Financial Aid office said about 5,450 students were awarded the need-based Access Missouri scholarship, and 1,935 students were awarded the merit-based Bright Flight scholarship.

Nick Prewett, Associate Director of Student Financial Aid, said though levels are lower than the maximum allowed, the MDHE was able to allocate extra money to the two scholarships this year. He said totals for the Access Missouri scholarship increased by about $10 from what was offered last year, so students at MU receive $1,010 rather than the state minimum of $1,000.

Prewett also added the slight changes in dollars offered doesn't much affect parents and students at MU. He said before they extend offers to prospective and current students, the Financial Aid office ensures the dollar amount will not decrease, though it is possible students could see an increase at some point during the year. Those increases, Prewett said, don't always happen, and the financial aid office cannot speculate whether that will happen this year.