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Are You Aware Of The Changes To Bright Futures Scholarships?

Background

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program was created in 1997 in an effort to keep the best and brightest Florida high school graduates in the state by offering scholarships for postsecondary education in Florida.

The Florida Legislature created the program to reward students for their academic achievements during high school.

The merit-based program offers three levels of scholarship awards with different eligibility requirements.

  1. Florida Academic Scholars (FAS)
  2. Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS)
  3. Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars (GSV)

More than 1.5 million Bright Futures awards have been disbursed since the start of the program, totaling more than $3.2 billion.

New Eligibility Requirements

Students are now required to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

State Senators say the new FAFSA requirement is meant to collect financial data on the student recipients and their families. They say it is not an effort to move the program to a need-based scholarship.

Students must now also complete the following community service hours:

  • FAS – 100 hours
  • FMS – 75 hours
  • GSV – 30 hours


Latest Posts

Half As Many Students Will Meet Tougher Bright Futures Scholarship Requirements

The Florida College Access Network estimates about half as many students will qualify for Bright Futures this fall.

About half as many students will qualify for Bright Futures scholarships when the school year begins this fall as did during the current year, according to new estimates from the Florida College Access Network. That’s because lawmakers have steadily increased requirements for the primarily lottery-funded scholarships, raising minimum scores required on the SAT and ACT [...]

What’s In The Florida Department of Education’s Budget Request

The Florida Department of Education's requested budget would increase per-student funding and money for technology.

The Florida Department of Education wants to spend an additional $126.77 per student and $40 million on school technology, according to the agency’s preliminary budget request. The draft budget is one item on a busy State Board of Education agenda tomorrow. The board will also discuss what’s next in hiring a new education commissioner and [...]

Bright Futures Scholarships May Soon Require Less Paperwork

With no discussion or fanfare, the Senate Education Committee has approved a bill that would remove a small piece of red tape for students who want to receive Bright Futures scholarships. Under the bill, SB 680, students would not be required to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA requirement went [...]

Government Watchdog Recommends Tougher Bright Futures Requirements

Bright Futures money is being targeted again, this time by a government watchdog group that says the state should raise requirements for the merit-based scholarship program. The lottery revenues which fund the scholarships aren’t stretching as far as they used to. Lawmakers made changes to the Bright Futures program in recent years, as more college [...]

Lawmaker Changes His Mind About Bright Futures Bill

A Florida lawmaker who filed a bill that would make Bright Futures recipients stay in Florida after graduation seems to have changed his mind. A spokesman for Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, told the Orlando Sentinel that Smith will withdraw the bill that was filed this month. It would have required college graduates to stay and [...]

Bright Futures Recipients May Have To Stay In Florida After Graduation

A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill that would force most Bright Futures recipients to stay in Florida after graduation or pay back the scholarship money. Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness, wants the bill to serve as an incentive to keep Florida’s top graduates in the state. House Bill 35 says a graduate must stay and [...]

Why The Cost Of Florida Prepaid College Jumped 350 Percent In Six Years

The cost of a prepaid, 4-year university plan for a newborn in Florida has climbed more than 350 percent in the last six years. That’s what Gov. Rick Scott heard during a presentation Tuesday by the Florida Prepaid College Board. In 2006-07, the prepaid cost for 4-year university tuition and fees was $14,616. Now, it’s [...]

Florida Bright Futures Scholarships By The Numbers

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. [...]

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