We’ve spent the week looking at how Bright Futures scholarships have changed over the last fifteen years.
Bottom line: More students are getting the money, but the awards aren’t going as far as they used to in covering the cost of college or university tuition.
The program establishes three lottery-funded scholarships for high academic achievers.
Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) award, including Academic Top Scholars (ATS) award
Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) award
Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars (GSV) award
In 1997-98, the first academic year of the program, 43,110 students earned Bright Futures scholarships. By 2010-11, awards were granted to 183,274 students.
7.21% were eligible for the maximum amount under the Florida Academic Scholars award.
25.2% were eligible for the maximum amount under the Florida Medallion Scholars award.
1.03% were eligible for the maximum amount under the Florida Gold Seal Vocational award.
The Florida Legislature has raised eligibility requirements for Bright Futures scholarships. Recipients are getting less money as the cost of tuition climbs.
The awards are now calculated based on a fixed cost per credit or clock hour, and the amount varies depending on the scholarship level and institution.
- Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) award – worth up to $100 per semester hour at a 4-year university in 2012-13. Award was worth up to $125 in 2010-11 and $101 in 2011-12.
- Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) award – worth up to $75 per semester hour at a 4-year university in 2012-13. Award was worth up to $94 in 2010-11and $76 in 2011-12.
- Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars (GSV) award — worth up to $75 per semester hour at a 4-year university for renewals in 2012-13. Award was worth up to $94 in 2010-11 including non renewals and $76 in 2011-12.
Total Bright Futures funds disbursed to students over the years:
1997-98 = $69,566,969
1998-99 = $93,332,570
1999-00 = $131,850,932
2000-01 = $164,769,347
2001-02 = $174,914,917
2002-03 = $202,204,806
2003-04 = $235,188,754
2004-05 = $268,944,369
2005-06 = $306,335,218
2006-07 = $347,014,439
2007-08 = $379,874,911
2008-09 = $429,012,109
2009-10 = $423,532,776
2010-11 = $423,269,545
Click here for more information about the use of Bright Futures scholarships at Florida colleges and universities.