KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Governor Jay Nixon wants the state's best students to live and work in the Show-Me State.
In his budget proposal, the governor today announced adding $15 million in scholarships to the state's Bright Flight program. At Lincoln College Prep the governor told students he doesn't want to see them saddled with debt.
Missouri students who score in the top three percent on their ACT or SAT college entrance tests would be eligible to receive up to $7,500 a year for four years to pay for tuition at any Missouri public college. The only condition: They must pursue employment in the Show-Me State after they graduate.
The Bright Flight program has been around since 1986. But it only offers students $2,500 a year in scholarships. With the continuing climb in college education costs, the governor says fewer Missouri students have been taking advantage of the program and instead accepting scholarships in other states.
This Bright Flight boost is a way to help ease the burden of student loan debt. Seniors like Asha Aweys says cost is a huge consideration in determining where she will go to school.
"Money is very important," Aweys said. "Not only when you are deciding your career but afterwards it helps you decide the career you want to go into. Your career is $7,500 less. That's what governor Nixon said. You don't want to walk across that stage and have a banker waiting for you."
Anyone who looks for a job outside of Missouri after getting this scholarship would have to pay it back. Asha says she's going to UMKC, so $7,500 a year is a huge incentive to keep her costs down.
The governor chose Lincoln College Prep to make his announcement because the school recently scored 100 percent on the state's new Missouri School Improvement Program 5 standards.