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Missouri raises ACT score needed for top college scholarship

The score will increase from 31 to 32 for high school students graduating in 2023. That means the change will kick in for this year's junior class.
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ACT college entrance test with pencil and graduation cap

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri high school students will have to score a little higher on the ACT exam in the future to receive the state's main merit-based college scholarship.

The state higher education department said Wednesday that the ACT score needed to receive the maximum $3,000 from the Bright Flight scholarship will increase from 31 to 32 for high school students graduating in 2023. That means the change will kick in for this year's junior class.

Under state law, the maximum scholarship is reserved for those scoring in the top 3% of Missouri students who take the ACT or SAT standardized tests. The qualifying score on the ACT had remained at 30 for more than two decades before rising to a 31 in 2008.

The department said it hasn't yet received the information needed to determine the qualifying SAT score for 2023 seniors. But fewer students take the SAT in Missouri.

Beginning with the 2023 graduating class, the department said it also plans to begin accepting ACT super scores to determine Bright Flight eligibility. The ACT consists of exams in four subject areas — English, reading, math and science. Students can take the ACT multiple times. A super score takes the average of a student's four best subject scores across all tests taken, instead of using the composite score from a single test.

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