Missouri higher education officials say more college students are expected to receive merit-based state scholarships this year and students who qualify for a need-based scholarship will get more money.

The Department of Higher Education on Friday announced it’s planning on giving 7,800 students Bright Flight scholarships.

High school students who score in the top 3% on the ACT or SAT tests qualify for the up-to-$3,000 scholarship.

Officials say fewer students qualified for a need-based scholarship called Access Missouri this year. So the department has more money to give out and is expanding eligibility to students who filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid by April 1.

The agency is giving out 75% of the maximum amount possible for Access Missouri, up from 70% this past academic year.

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