- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Rising high school seniors who participated in the Governor’s Scholars Program this summer are protesting after changes were made to a scholarship at the University of Kentucky that now require a higher ACT score and grade point average than they were initially told.

The scholars said when they applied to the program they were told that they would receive a $40,000 Presidential Scholarship to the university provided they have a 28 ACT score and grade-point average of 3.3, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported (http://bit.ly/1JVGHA1).

Now, to get the same scholarship, governor’s scholars who enter college in 2016 will have to score at least 31 on the ACT and have a 3.5 GPA.

“It will be a grueling process to get those three points, and there are only three more chances to take the test before you apply to college,” Zachary Schwarzkopf said. Schwarzkopf spent five weeks participating in the program this summer at Morehead State University.

University of Kentucky spokesman Jay Blanton said the school makes changes to its scholarship programs at the same time each year. Blanton said the school’s scholarship website made clear this summer that scholarships were under review.

“What UK is trying to do - and what we have a moral obligation to do - is continually find ways to strike the right balance between academic scholarships, which are critically important, and financial need, which is perhaps the chief factor in determining whether a student goes to college and, as importantly, whether they stay,” Blanton said.

In protest, Schwarzkopf has put up an online petition asking the university to apply the old requirements to his class.

The program, which was started by Kentucky lawmakers in 1983 because of concern that too many top students were leaving the state, is still funded in part by the General Assembly and serves about 1,000 rising seniors on three college campuses each summer.

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