Florida Bright Futures Scholarship
Updated: Sep 6
The state of Florida offers a generous merit-based scholarship, Bright Futures. The scholarship is designed to keep talented Florida high school students in the state when they go to college.
What is the Bright Futures Scholarship?
The Bright Futures Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship for students who are Florida residents.
Who Should Apply for a Bright Futures Scholarship?
Anyone who thinks they qualify for a Bright Futures scholarship should apply. Students can only use the scholarship in Florida, but they should still apply for it if they plan to attend college out-of-State. That way if the student later decides to transfer to a college in Florida, the student will likely be able to still use it.
How Do I Qualify for a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship?
Florida Bright Futures offers generous scholarships for Florida residents to attend either public or private colleges and universities located in Florida. The scholarship has historically been for up to 110 percent of the tuition cost of a Florida public university. Here are the basic requirements:
A Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.5,
Meeting a testing threshold of at least 29 on the ACT or 1330 on the SAT (soon to be a 1340 minimum), and
100 hours of community service or 100 hours of work experience (students cannot combine volunteer and work hours to reach the 100-hour minimum).
In lieu of a test score, students may qualify by earning an International Baccalaureate (IB) or Cambridge AICE diploma. This is an important exemption from the test score requirement. Staff with Cambridge AICE indicate that most students who qualify for Bright Futures using the AICE diploma do not have a test score high enough to qualify for Bright Futures. Florida offered work experience hours as an alternative to community service beginning in June 2022.
For details on the eligibility requirements, please see: Bright Futures Student Handbook (floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org). Students complete the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) by August 1 to receive this scholarship. The FFAA can be found at: https://www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org/SAPPRFILE/SAPPRFILE.
Florida Medallion Scholarships
Florida Medallion Scholarships are another vehicle to earn a merit scholarship for Florida residents to attend either public or private colleges and universities in Florida. The eligibility thresholds are lower but so is the size of the scholarship.
Fickle Florida Legislature
The website for these merit scholarships includes an important note: “These eligibility requirements are subject to change with each legislative session.” Florida’s legislators have a lot of “self-confidence” in making dramatic changes to laws very quickly without obtaining much input from others. In the past, the legislature came close to restricting use of Bright Futures scholarships to students who had vocational-related majors (this would have excluded students majoring in subjects such as English) in college. The legislature was only stopped because of an onslaught of resistance from families.
For more information about financial aid in general, please visit our website at Paying for College | Educ8Fit Consulting. For information about financial aid in Florida in general, please see our website at You Can Save Money on Florida Tuition (educ8fit.com). Please contact us at Educ8Fit Consulting at either Jim@Educ8Fit.com or College Admission Counseling | Educ8fit Consulting | United States, contact for a free 30-minute consultation.