CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The board overseeing the Hope Scholarship met Tuesday in Charleston.           

Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs Executive Director Jill Upson was there.  On Wednesday, she sat appeared on Panhandle Live and talked about the increasing interest in the program, which saw 6,942 applicants for the coming school year:

Now that the program has a year’s worth of operational data to look back on, Upson says the picture looks clearer. She says despite the criticism by some that the scholarship program would only serve “elite” students or those who are well off, the numbers are showing that a range of students from varying socioeconomic backgrounds are applying for the Hope Scholarship.

She also says scholarship recipient data is on par with the state’s population:

The Hope Scholarship provides money to K-12 students leaving the public school system to use for various educational costs.

Jill Upson (photo credit:

Families receiving the Hope Scholarship now have approximately $4,488.82 they can spend on educational expenses for their students.

According to numbers presented at Tuesday’s meeting, there have been 6,942 applicants for next year.  A total of 6,024 students have now been awarded the scholarship with 231 students  declined.

Jill Upson was a guest on Wednesday’s Panhandle Live.