Seven Pacific High School seniors qualified for the Missouri Higher Education Academic Scholarships, known as Bright Flight.

The merit-based program encourages top-ranked students to attend Missouri colleges.

Students earn the distinction by scoring 30 or higher on the ACT tests.

Introducing the students at the April 16 school board meeting, Tom Sauvage, PHS principal, said Bright Flight is much more than a chance to boast about high test scores.

The program provides scholarship loans with up to $3,000 that don’t have to be repaid, he said.

In addition to high test scores, the Bright Flight scholars are among the busiest students on campus, Sauvage said, participating in clubs, Student Council, band, drama, academic competitions, such as scholar team and Model UN, and many play several sports.

“These are the top-ranked students and we congratulate them,” Sauvage said.

Clayton Baumgarth, Ashley Brinker, Ashley Hail, Christopher Klenke, Adilenne Licona, Tiffany Mesa and Travis Zerna earned the scholarships with high academic achievement.

Baumgarth, who has a GPA of 3.8 and scored 30 on the ACT test, has been accepted at Drury University in Springfield.

Brinker, with a GPA of 4.57, scored 33 on the ACT test. Brinker is an all state track star and all-district cross-country runner. She plans to attend the University of Tampa to run track.

Hill, who carries a 4.32 GPA and scored 32 on the ACT test, has been involved in basketball, volleyball, Student Council, DECA and Model UN. She plans to attend St. Louis University.

Klenke, who carries a 3.6 GPA and scored 32 on the ACT, has been active in football, basketball, Student Council, DECA and Model UN. He says he will probably attend Missouri State University.

Licona scored 31 on the ACT. She has been active in yearbook and band. She played the trombone for seven years. She will attend the University of Missouri-Columbia this fall.

Mesa scored 32 on the ACT. Her PHS extracurricular activities include band, the fall musical stage crew and yearbook. She is committed to the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Zerna scored 32 on the ACT. He participates in scholar team, FBLA and the school’s fishing club. He plans to attend Missouri S&T in Rolla.