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“MOOSE” high school scholarship program passed by NH Senate

CONCORD -- A merit-based high school scholarship program with the acronym “MOOSE” was passed by the state Senate yesterday on a 24-0 vote.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Morse, R-Salem, who championed the program, said he expects “the total cost of the scholarships” to be $22 million annually.

After passing the bill, the Senate then tabled it in order to work out with the House how much money will end up being allocated to the program in the state budget, assuming the House agrees the program is worthwhile.

“We all agree that we would like to increase access to New Hampshire higher education to our families and incentivize our children to attend New Hampshire colleges and universities,” said Morse.

The program -- called “Making Opportunities Occur for Student Excellence,” or “MOOSE,” -- is “one more tool to keep our best and brightest students in New Hampshire,” Morse said.

The program would provide scholarships of up to $1,0000 per year for full-time students and up to $500 per year for part-time students enrolled at an in the state university or community college system.

The student must have attained at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or have scored at or above the national average SAT or Achievement Test score for the year in which the student is applying.

The bill mandates the state Higher Education Commission to establish alternative criteria for home schooled students, students whose graduating class is fewer than 50 students and “exceptionally gifted students who have been accepted into an eligible educational institution without having attended high school.”

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