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NEWS FLASH! – Will Bright Futures
Grow Dim for Some Florida Students?

Last Updated: Apr 1, 2019 4:08:32 PM

On March 6th, the Florida Senate Committee on Education unanimously approved a Senate bill (SB 190) which changes Bright Futures Scholarship (BFS) awards. There are still legislative hurdles to overcome before it could be presented to the governor for his signature, but its unanimous, bipartisan passage in committee strongly suggests that it – or something closely comparable – will eventually become law.

As SB 190 is currently written, the changes would take effect in the 2020-21 school year – impacting current sophomores and younger students – in a “mixed bag” of good and bad for students. Of greatest immediate effects on Florida students are the changes to the SAT score requirement:

 

Florida Academic Scholar

Florida Medallion Scholar

 

100% tuition

75% tuition

Current SAT Requirement

1290

1170

Proposed SAT Requirement

1330

1200

Current ACT Requirement

29

26

Proposed ACT Requirement

29

25

SAT vs. ACT: Which is better for your child? (PDF)

The SAT adjustments were needed because state law requires BFS recipients to have test scores that meet certain national percentiles, and, according to College Board, 1330 on the “new” SAT released in March, 2016 is the same percentile (89%) as 1290 on SATs administered prior to March, 2016; similarly, 1200 on the new SAT is the same percentile (75%) as 1170 on the old SAT.  The ACT score requirement will not change because the currently required score of 29 approximates the 89th percentile needed for the higher scholarship, while the ACT score needed to qualify for the lower scholarship might actually drop from its current 26 to 25. These scores are based on the SAT-ACT concordance released by both testing agencies last year.

Florida State Senator Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, who sponsored SB 190, stated that the percentile changes resulting from the new SAT means that some Florida students have been earning BFSs with scores lower than the state intended and that state law mandates. She has  admitted that “ultimately … it would be a little more difficult” to qualify for a BFS if SB 190 passes.

One other thing of note about SB 190 — Students have five years after high school graduation – instead of the current two years – to start using a BFS.

The increased SAT score requirement highlights the need for effective SAT preparation to qualify for a BFS. Helping students do well on the SAT and ACT is one of our specialties, so call us today, and let’s get started planning for your success.

SAT vs. ACT: Which test is better for you?


Topics: ACT SAT Test ACT/SAT Bright Futures Scholarship

 

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