By Morgan Hughes
Via- Wyoming News Exchange
CASPER —The state-sponsored Hathaway Scholarship for college-bound high school students received another update this legislative session, but the public will get to weigh in on how the new rules are written.
The change affects students who wish to begin racking up credits toward the Hathaway scholarship before they enter the ninth grade.
Previously, junior high students were limited in what credits they could earn toward the merit-based award. The changes as written remove requirements that a student be in the ninth through twelfth grade for the courses to count.
The draft rules can be found at the Wyoming Department of Education website.
The proposal, brought by Rep. Jamie Flitner, R-Greybull, received unanimous support from the state Senate and a 54-7 vote in the House.
The public has until Aug. 30 to provide the Wyoming Department of Education feedback on the rules. Those interested in commenting can do so online or through the mail.
The Hathaway scholarship has undergone other changes in recent years in an attempt to create more avenues for students to succeed after they graduate.
In 2019, the legislature passed a law allowing career and technical education credits to count toward the scholarship’s elective requirements — a change championed by state superintendent Jillian Balow, who frequently touts the need for stronger workforce training in the state.
The scholarship enrolled just under 2,400 students in its most recent year across four merit-based tiers, ranging in awards from $840 to $1,680 per semester.
Those awards are based on a student’s grade point average, ACT or other test scores and what classes a student took in high school.
While the rule change affects those not yet in high school, seniors taking summer credits may still be eligible for the scholarship if they meet the course requirements through those classes and those classes are listed on their official high school transcript.
The website hathawayscholarship.org provides a calculator that estimates whether students could qualify and the scholarship amount they could earn.
That calculator asks students to input their grade point average, ACT or 12+ Workkeys score and a list of classes they took in high school.
More information on the scholarship can also be found at hathawayscholarship.org.