The Bright Futures Scholarship program is an incredible chance for Florida residents to get a free ride to college. In addition, it is an extremely lucrative job. It is also extremely competitive and has a rigorous set of rules. The criteria laid out within the Bright Futures handbook are often overwhelming, which could deter applicants from applying. We have done the job for you and have made the requirements easy to understand! Learn more regarding the Bright Futures scholarship requirements. This article focuses on all the Academic Scholars, Medallion Scholars, Gold Seal CAPE Scholars, and Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship. We will also discuss how the coronavirus pandemic altered requirements.
Requirements for all Bright Futures Scholarship
Every Bright Futures program has its own set of rules, but there are some that they all have in common. Here are the conditions you must fulfill to be eligible for any Bright Futures program. You must meet the following requirements:
- If you are, you are a Florida resident and a US Citizen or eligible noncitizen. Whatever your parents’ location resides, you are qualified so long as you are a Florida resident.
- You can earn an award from the Florida secondary school or equivalent high school. This diploma can be earned through a high public institution or a private high school accredited by a certification.
- Involved or in the process of enrolling for at least six credit hours each semester.
- Fill out your Florida Financial Aid Application by August 31, the year you graduate.
- Incorporate yourself in a postsecondary course within Florida. Florida.
- Never been found guilty of being convicted of a crime.
Differences among the Bright Futures Scholarship programs
Suppose you are able to meet the criteria listed above. Congratulations! You may be in the possibility of winning the Bright Futures scholarship. The next step is to briefly overview every Bright Futures program. We will tell you how much each award is and the types of educational programs they are designed to support; when you’ve found that program for you, read for more details about the requirements for each program.
Florida Academic Scholars
The Florida Academic Scholars program provides 100% of the funding needed to fund an academic program that is public. This includes all fees and tuition. Students who enroll in private institutions will be awarded a similar award; however, it might not cover all costs. The winners will also receive $300 each semester to cover additional costs for education. It is among the top highly competitive Bright Futures programs and has the highest standards.
Florida Medallion Scholars
The Florida Medallion Scholars program provides 75% of the funding needed for the public study program. This is 75% of the applicable fees and tuition. Students who enroll in a private institution will be awarded a similar award, but it might not be enough to cover the full 75 percent. The program is not as popular as the Florida Academic Scholars program. Therefore, even if you’re not eligible to be Florida Academic Scholar, you might still be able to pay 75% of your expenses.
Florida Gold Seal CAPE Scholars
The Gold Seal Florida CAPE Scholars program is the same amount per credit hour that varies depending on the course of study. The program is intended to help students who have earned an Associate’s degree and want to pursue a Bachelor’s. The program is less popular than Florida Medallion Scholars and Florida Medallion Scholars. This program’s GPA and test scores requirements aren’t as stringent. Based on your chosen field of study, here’s a brief overview of the number of awards you can anticipate from the award.
Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars
The Gold Seal Florida CAPE Scholars program is the same amount per credit hour, depending on the study program. This program is intended for students who want to pursue a vocational or certificate degree. It is less demanding in terms of GPA and scores prerequisites than Florida Academic Scholars and Florida Medallion Scholars. The structure of the award amount for this program is laid out in the table below.
Specific requirements for programs
Let’s take a look at the criteria for each of the programs. This will allow you to decide which award you’ll stand the greatest chance of obtaining.
Florida Academic Scholars Bright Futures Scholarship
Florida Academic Scholars must hold a minimum 3.5 GPA that is weighted. In addition, they must achieve at least a rating of 29 on the ACT or 1330 on the SAT. They should also finish at least 100 hours of service. But, there are exceptions included in this policy to accommodate coronavirus. Find out more about coronavirus changes below. Students must also complete an array of high school requirements for coursework. These requirements match the state university system’s admissions requirements. Therefore, students who are who is considered for admission to a Florida school must be able to meet these requirements. It is possible to read about the requirements in greater detail on the chart below.
Florida Medallion Scholars Bright Futures Scholarship
Florida Medallion Scholars must hold a 3.0 GPA with a weighted average. Furthermore, they must earn at least a rating of 25 on the ACT or 1210 on the SAT. They should also be able to complete at least 75 hours of service. However, some exceptions have been included in this policy to accommodate coronavirus. Learn more about coronavirus changes in the sections below.
The table below is from the Bright Futures handbook that outlines the conditions for both FMS in addition to FAS scholarships. It is important to note that the requirement for high school credits shouldn’t be a barrier to Florida university students. It’s a set of guidelines that must be met by all applicants, regardless of their scholarship status.
Alternative ways to be eligible for FMS and FAS Scholarships
Students who do not fulfill the requirements of the tests mentioned above might still be eligible for the FAS and FMS. If you have received one of the following awards, you’re exempt from the requirements for testing:
- National Merit Finalist and Scholars
- National Hispanic Scholars
- Advanced International Certificate of Education
- International Baccalaureate Diploma
Florida Gold Seal CAPE Scholars
Students must be working towards the applied tech diploma, associate’s diploma in applied sciences, an associate degree in science, or a career certificate. If students already have an associate’s diploma, they could be eligible for funding for up 60 credits toward their bachelor’s degree. They must earn a minimum of 30 hours of service before receiving the degree. Check out the following for updates to the requirements for service hours due to an outbreak of the coronavirus.
Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars
Students who meet the general Bright Futures requirements and are currently enrolled in a vocational degree or certificate course are eligible. High school students who plan to enter the career certificate or education program can be eligible if they meet the following conditions:
- Weighted minimum 3.0 GPA for non-elective high school classes
- At least three credit hours in one field and technical education programs
- Get at least a 3.5 GPA that is not weighted in your career education courses
- Meet at least 30 required Service hours (See below for COVID opportunities in the service hour requirement)
- The applicant must obtain the minimum score required on one of the below tests:
Key Takeaways Bright Futures Scholarship
- To be eligible for the Bright Futures Scholarship, you must have been a Florida resident who earns or already has a Florida High School diploma and is planning to pursue postsecondary education in Florida
- The scholarship is available at a variety of levels that have different award amounts and requirements that vary regarding coursework GPA, course work, and test scores
- To be eligible to be considered for this Bright Futures scholarship, you need to complete an application for the Florida Aid Application and Financial Aid Application before August 31 of the year you graduate.
If you’re interested in the Bright Futures scholarship, there are numerous ways you can improve your chances of winning. It is best to begin by ensuring that your GPA and test scores can be as good as possible. You can improve your scores on tests by choosing whether you want to concentrate specifically on SAT or taking the ACT. It is also crucial to pick the best tutor and figure out the ideal timing to take these tests.
It is also important to make sure that you submit your Florida Financial Aid Application before the deadline. The deadline for this is on August 31, the year you graduate. The deadline has not been altered to reflect COVID. Remember, don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Explore other scholarships, and make an application to a variety of places! The more scholarships you submit your application to, the greater chance you’ll get one.
Bright Futures Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions
I am receiving a residency waiver for in-state tuition purposes. Do I still qualify for Bright Futures?
Unfortunately, no. Residency waivers are not the same as proving Florida residency per state regulations, so you would not be eligible to receive Bright Futures. Suppose you submit residency documentation for the subsequent term and meet all other scholarship requirements. In that case, you can begin receiving the scholarship for the term residency was granted and all terms going forward.
I dropped/withdrew from a course. Will I have to repay Bright Futures?
Yes. You will owe back the amount you received in Bright Futures for those dropped/withdrawn credit hours to the school. Students who do not repay their balance for state funds will automatically lose renewal for the following year.
My scholarship covers 100% of my tuition and fees, so why do I still owe a balance?
Scholarship awards that cover 100% are only providing funding for in-state tuition and state-approved fees, meaning some specific course-related fees (i.e., distance learning, lab fees) are not covered by the scholarship. Florida state legislature determines which fees are covered by Bright Futures awards.
Does the Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) award pay at different rates?
FMS pays 100% of tuition and state-approved fees for students pursuing an associate’s degree (AA or AS). Students are seeking a bachelor’s degree or technical certificate qualify for 75% of tuition and state-approved fees.
I qualify for the Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship, so why isn’t it awarded?
Both Gold Seal Vocational (GSV) and Gold Seal CAPE Scholarship (GSC) require students to be enrolled in an AS or technical certificate program as their primary degree. If the AA Exploratory is listed as your primary degree, GSV/GSC will not be awarded on your account, or it will show up as canceled if your major has changed during the aid year.
Do I have to be full-time to receive Bright Futures?
No. Students only have to be enrolled a minimum of half-time (6 credit hours) to receive the scholarship. What does it mean to earn hours for renewal?
Students must earn the hours they enroll in to meet renewal requirements. For example, if a student is enrolled for 6 credit hours and Bright Futures pays for the 6 credit hours, they must earn a grade in all 6 credit hours (no failed courses, withdrawn hours or incomplete grades). The earned hours requirement is in addition to the GPA requirement set forth for each Bright Futures scholarship type.
I did not meet renewal requirements due to an illness or other mitigating circumstances. Can I appeal?
Students do have the option of appealing in cases of illness or a situation beyond the student’s control. You have until April 30 of the following year after receiving your ineligibility notice from the state to submit an appeal to the school. [For example, if you lost your eligibility in May 2022, you would have until April 30, 2023, to submit a completed appeal for review.] Please discuss with your campus Financial Aid office to determine if an appeal is an option for you.
I repaid my Bright Futures balance at the school, but I’m still not eligible with the state. What do I do?
Repayment information is sent to the state at least once a week throughout an aid year. Still, if payment occurs after the aid year is over, or repayment is made through a collection agency, the office may not be alerted to the repayment. Please contact the Financial Aid office at email@example.com to report your repayment. The office will update your information with the state within 24-72 business hours.
The Florida Academic Scholarship covers 100% of my tuition and fees, so why do I still owe a balance?
The Florida Academic Scholarship (FAS) covers 100% of in-state tuition and state-approved fees, meaning some specific course-related fees (i.e., distance learning, lab fees) are not included in the scholarship. In some cases, the $300 book voucher (Fall and Spring terms only) will be used to supplement the scholarship payment to cover those additional fees.
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