Are you interested in becoming a Florida Bright Futures Scholar? Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship.
It's no secret that paying college tuition can be one of the first stresses you'll face throughout your post-secondary experience. But paying post-secondary tuition is not always a problem you'll have to face alone - especially with the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship.
If you're a Florida high school graduate looking for help paying your post-secondary tuition, the Florida Bright Futures Program is an excellent program to pursue. Read on to learn how you can receive up to 100% of funding for your education with the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship.
The Florida Bright Futures Program is a lottery-based grant system that provides scholarly funding for Florida's post-secondary graduates. While the funding differs based on the award, some students may be fortunate enough to have their entire college education funded!
However, there is a catch - the award will only be granted to students attending a college or any other post-secondary institution in Florida.
Since its inception in 1997, the Florida Bright Futures Program has helped over 725,000 Florida residents continue and complete their post-secondary education. In the previous school year, 16% of eligible recipients received funding.
The Florida Bright Futures Program provides financial grants per credit or course taken throughout a student’s post-secondary career. Those eligible are first granted the funds within their first year of post-secondary schooling. They must renew their eligibility each year by maintaining a specific grade point average.
The GPA requirement differs for each award–with this said, The Florida Bright Futures Program offers four different types of scholarships awards:
We will explain these types of scholarship awards below.
The Florida Academic Scholars Award (FAS), possibly the most prestigious and competitive of the four, provides up to 100% tuition reimbursement for eligible recipients. On average, successful applicants of this award use it to fund their undergraduate degree.
Those enrolled in a Florida public university will have their tuition and fees completely reimbursed, including activity and service fees, and health and financial aid fees. Those that attend a private post-secondary institution will receive a comparable amount.
The Florida Medallion Scholars Award provides 75% funding for those pursuing an undergraduate degree and 100% for those pursuing an associate's degree.
Like the FAS award, those attending a public university in Florida will have their tuition and affiliated fees reimbursed up to 75%. Similarly, those attending a private school in Florida will receive a comparable amount.
The Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award funds career education or certificate program students. Its primary recipients are students pursuing a science or technology associate degree at a technical or community college.
Like the GSVC, the Gold Seal CAPE Award is funded primarily for those enrolled in career education or certificate program. If a student completes an associate's degree in a science-related program, they will be eligible to receive additional funding towards 60 credits to bridge to an undergraduate degree within the same program.
For example, if a successful applicant receives the GSC and completes an associate's degree in science, the GSC will provide funding for up to 60 credits. This allows them to complete their education and pursue a bachelor of applied science program.
Both awards will only be granted to students enrolled in post-secondary institutions that offer an applied technology diploma, a technical degree program (i.e., an associate’s degree in applied science), or a career certificate program.
The GSVS and the GSC offer funding on a per-credit-hour basis. Students can receive anywhere from $39 to $48 per credit hour per semester, depending on the type of program they wish to pursue.
Regardless of the type of scholarship award, specific requirements are mandatory to be considered for the Florida Bright Futures Program.
According to the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship handbook, a successful award winner must:
The four different awards offered by the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship have different requirements. For comparison, you will find a comprehensive table listing the requirements below.
It's important for Florida students to understand the specific eligibility criteria for each award in order to maximize their chances of receiving a Bright Futures Scholarship.
While the steps to apply for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship may seem extensive, the reward is worth it!
Once you have determined your eligibility and have met the preliminary requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Program, your next step is to send in a formal application! To apply for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, you will need to:
The application should be error-free. Any errors will result in a delay in processing time or disqualification of any of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship awards. If a student does not complete a FAFSA form, they will not receive any funding from the Florida Bright Futures Program.
Once a student successfully submits an application during their senior year, it is their responsibility to ensure that they continue to meet all of the Florida Bright Futures requirements up until graduation.
Once a scholarship has been granted to a student, it remains the student’s responsibility to ensure that they continue to meet the scholarship’s renewal requirements throughout their post-secondary career.
Should these requirements not be met, or if a student withdraws from their courses, the Florida Bright Futures program reserves the right to revoke funding.
Now that we’ve gone over everything there is to know about the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and its requirements, let’s go over some FAQs to answer any questions you may still have.
While the requirements for each award are different from one another, the general requirements to be considered are as follows:
The four levels of The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship are as follows:
While the GSC Scholars Award doesn’t have a minimum GPA requirement, the FAS, FMS, and GSV Scholars Awards have different minimum GPA requirements. They are as listed:
Even though the qualifications for each award are different, students must first meet regulatory qualifications to be eligible for the program. Students who hope to apply must meet the following requirements:
The amount of funding a successful applicant receives depends on their qualifying award.
Those that receive The Florida Academic Scholars Award (FAS) may receive 100% of funding for their undergraduate education. In comparison, those that receive the Florida Medallion Scholarship may receive up to 75% of funding for their undergraduate education.
Those that receive the Gold Seal Vocational Award and the Gold Seal CAPE Award will receive a fixed amount of funding per credit. Depending on the associate's or certificate program the student decides to pursue, the amount offered may be enough to fund 100% of their schooling.
The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship is an incredible way to receive a portion of or even free funding for your post-secondary education.
Receiving the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship can change one's life for the better. Successful award recipients receive a head-start on their adult life, as they can leave the worry of paying for most or all of their post-secondary education behind them.
While the program can be competitive, there is no denying that the benefits of receiving a Florida Bright Futures scholarship are worth the time, effort, and sacrifices taken to meet all requirements.