A scholarship program intended to serve college students in far eastern Kentucky has been expanded.
What was originally called the Appalachian Scholarship Fund has been expanded to all coal-producing counties in Kentucky, including those in the western portion of the state. The program applies to students in the last two years of their education who attend a university, public or private, in a coal-producing county.
The intent was to keep eastern Kentucky students from leaving the area for college. But in order to get money for the program, House Speaker Greg Stumbo had to agree to the expansion.
The program has also lost its General Fund appropriation, meaning all scholarship funds must come from either coal severance money or private donations.
Out of 120 Kentucky counties, 38 of them are coal-producing.