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Changes To Bright Flight Scholarship Qualifications

Students seeking the Bright Flight Scholarships will need to aim for a higher score on their ACT Scores.

The ACT score requirement for the Higher Education Academic Scholarship, also known as Bright Flight, will be increasing to 32 or above for students graduating from high school in 2023. Since 2008, students have needed a score of 31 or above on the ACT to receive the maximum $3,000 award.

The Bright Flight scholarship is a merit-based program.  In accordance with Missouri statutes, eligibility is based on a “composite score on the ACT or the SAT achieved in an eligible student’s high school sophomore, junior, or senior year that is in the top five percent of Missouri test-takers, as established at the beginning of an eligible student’s final year of secondary coursework.”

Students must achieve a score on the ACT or SAT in the top 3 percent of test-takers in order to receive a maximum annual award, which is $3,000.  Students scoring in the top fourth and fifth percentiles are eligible for an award of up to $1,000. The final award amounts are dependent on the amount of funds allocated for the program during each legislative session.  The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development awarded more than $17.6 million to 7,840 Bright Flight recipients during FY 2021.

High school students graduating in Spring 2023 will have approximately 18 months to prepare for this change and improve their test scores.

The department has not yet received the information necessary to determine the qualifying SAT scores for the 2023 seniors from the College Board, but due to the small number of students taking the SAT, any score change should not impact students that qualify with only an SAT score.