College scholarship makeover heads to House

The Senate has approved a $5.9 million makeover of the state’s college scholarship system.

Senate Bill 1027 would move this money into an expanded Opportunity Scholarship program, a $3,000-a-year scholarship awarded to 357 students in 2011-12.

The plan reduces the maximum award to $2,000 a year — but the idea is to greatly expand its reach and help more students attend college. The State Board of Education hopes to award 3,000 to 4,000 of the new Opportunity Scholarships at a time.

Gone by the wayside would be the state’s Promise Scholarship, which awarded $200 a semester for the first two years of college.

The scholarship plan passed 32-0, and now goes to the House.