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Effective July 1, 2011: FAFSA Required for Florida Bright Futures!

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM

If a Florida student applies for and/or receives a Bright Futures scholarship, he or she will be required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The change to the application for Bright Futures applies to incoming freshman, to students graduating from high school in 2012, and to students renewing their Bright Futures scholarships.

Even though the Bright futures program is a merit-based scholarship rather than a need-based one, if you don’t fill out the FAFSA, you will not receive any Bright Futures dollars.

The FAFSA is also required for students getting Florida Resident Access Grants and Access to Better Learning and Education Grants.

What is the FAFSA? It’s a federal financial form used to determine student eligibility for need-based federal student financial aid. Before this year, FAFSA was never required for Bright Futures. Lawmakers say they’ll use FAFSA to gather more demographic information about students who are attending college on taxpayer money. Whether or not you think it’s more red tape, you have to submit it. Students will surely need their parents’ help to complete the FAFSA, whose information requirements are quite detailed.

If you have a questions about the FAFSA requirement, contact a college or university financial aid counselor, or a college admissions expert.

Detailed information is also available at the FAFSA website:

But wait! That’s not all! Bright Futures is also increasing the test score requirements (for high school graduates in 2013 and beyond), and the total number of community service hours completed. Here’s the breakdown:

Requirements & Awards
for students graduating high school in 2012 and later
  Florida AcademicScholars Award Florida MedallionScholars Award Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award
Test Scores
Sections of the SAT, ACT, or CPT from different test dates may be used to meet the test criteria
SAT: 1270 (R+M) or ACT: 28 (Composite)
Score requirements will increase for students graduating high school in these years:
2013 graduates
SAT: 1280 (R+M) or ACT: 28 (Composite)
2014 and beyond
SAT: 1290 (R+M) or ACT: 29 (Composite)
SAT: 980 (R+M) or ACT: 21 (Composite)
Score requirements will increase for students graduating high school in these years:
2013 graduates
SAT: 1020 (R+M) or ACT: 22 (Composite)
2014 and beyond
SAT: 1170 (R+M) or ACT: 26 (Composite)
Higher scores required of homeschooled students
Students must earn the minimum score on each section of the CPT or SAT or ACT. Sections of different test types may not be combined.
  • Reading 83
  • Sentence Skills 83
  • Algebra 72
  • Reading 440
  • Math 440
  • English 17
  • Reading 18
  • Math 19
Community Service 100 hours 75 hours 30 hours

Topics: Common Application College Application


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