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.
- Florida Academic Scholars (FAS)
- Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS)
- 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