Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares announced he is launching a civil rights investigation into seven Virginia schools that delayed notifying students they had received merit awards.
"Getting in the college is stressful enough, so the fact that these students weren't even notified and were denied the ability to get these scholarships and these opportunities, that's troubling, whether it's an administrative error or something else," Miyares said on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" Tuesday, explaining why his office is moving forward with this investigation.
The schools that withheld awards from top-performing students included Annandale, West Potomac, John R. Lewis, Edison, Thomas Jefferson for Science and Technology, Westfield, and Langley High, according to the Daily Mail. Some of the schools, like Thomas Jefferson, eventually notified students but waited until after important deadlines for college scholarships had passed.
National merit awards are among the most prestigious honors a high school student can receive, with just 50,000 students from the top 1.5 million PSAT scores receiving them.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares joins “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” to discuss several schools delaying students’ merit awards. (Getty Images)
Miyares estimated roughly a thousand students have been affected by the decision to delay notification of merit awards.
"Education is the doorway to the American dream. And we know there's at least one Virginia college that we know of that will give a full four-year ride if you're a National Merit Award recipient. And so that's close to $100,000 of benefits that a student could have applied for," Miyares said.
American Federation for Children Sr. Fellow Corey DeAngelis discusses a VA school accused of depriving merit-based scholarships to students, how the pandemic has impacted children’s education and what it means for them long-term.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin assured his support of an investigation into the schools and demanded justice for the merit award recipients.
"We need to get to the bottom of what appears to be an egregious, deliberate attempt to disadvantage high-performing students at one of the best schools in the country," Youngkin said in a statement last week. "Parents and students deserve answers and Attorney General Miyares will initiate a full investigation. I believe this failure may have caused material harm to those students and their parents, and that this failure may have violated the Virginia Human Rights Act."
Fox News' Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.