Bright Futures Scholarship FAQ

What is the Bright Futures Scholarship

In 1997, the Florida Legislature created the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program to reward students for their academic achievements during high school by providing funding to attend post-secondary education in Florida.

How & when do I apply?

To qualify for a Bright Futures Scholarship, a student must graduate from a Florida public high school or a registered Florida Department of Education private high school. However, homeschooled students, GED recipients, and students who go to school out of state due to a parent’s military or public service assignment may still qualify for a Bright Futures Scholarship.

A student must apply during senior year in high school (beginning December 1) by completing the Initial Student Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) available on the Internet at www.FloridaStudentFinancialAid.org. This application gives the Department of Education permission to evaluate the student’s high school transcripts for Bright Futures eligibility. A student who does not apply during senior year will forfeit all future eligibility.

As of July 2013, students are no longer required to submit the FAFSA for Bright Futures.

Additional documentation is required for homeschooled, GED, and out-of-state applicants.

How do I check my application status?

Applicants will receive a user ID and PIN so they can access the Office of Student Financial Assistance website – www.FloridaStudentFinancialAid.org – to monitor the status of their Initial Student Florida Financial Aid Application and award. If you have questions, call the Office of Student Financial Assistance at (888) 827-2004.

What are the academic requirements?

Each of the three Bright Futures Scholarships has its own academic eligibility requirements, award amounts and funding length. A student may receive funding for only one award – the highest one earned. In addition to meeting specific program eligibility requirements, students must also meet general eligibility requirements for receipt of state aid.

Public high school students may access their Bright Futures evaluation on FACTS.org. This web access allows them to review their academic progress toward meeting initial eligibility requirements and their progress toward meeting State University System course requirements for admission.

Requirements & Awards 
for students graduating high school in 2015
  Florida Academic
Scholars Award
Florida Medallion
Scholars Award
Florida Gold Seal 
Vocational Scholars Award
Weighted GPA

Weighting: ¼ point for each higher level, more challenging semester course

GPA is not
rounded.
3.5 weighted GPA using the credits listed below 3.0 weighted GPA using the credits listed below 3.0 weighted GPA using the 16 credits listed below for a 4-year diploma and a 3.5 unweighted GPA in a minimum of 3 Technical & Career Education credits in one vocational program (taken over 2 academic years), combined with the test scores listed below.
Required Credits

Courses must include 16 credits of college  preparatory academic courses.

  • 4 English
  • 4 Math (Algebra I & above)
  • 3 Natural Science (2 with substantial lab)
  • 3 Social Science
  • 2 Foreign Language (in the same language)
May use up to 2 additional credits from courses in the academic areas listed above and/or AP, IB, or AICE fine arts courses to raise the GPA

Credits must include 16 core credits required for high school graduation.

  • 4 English
  • 4 Math (incl Algebra I)
  • 3 Natural Science
  • 3 Social Science (W Hist, Am Hist, Am Gov, Econ)
  • 1 Art
  • 1 PE + Health
Plus a minimum of 3 Career & Technology Education credits in one vocational program taken over at least 2 academic years
Test Scores
Sections of the 
SAT, ACT, or 
CPT from 
different test 
dates may be
used to meet the 
test criteria
           

SAT: 1290 (R+M)
or
ACT: 29 (Composite)

           

SAT: 1170 (R+M)
or
ACT: 26 (Composite)

Students must earn the minimum score on each section of the PERT or SAT or ACT. Sections of different test types may not be combined.

    PERT:
  • Reading 104
  • Writing 99
  • Math 113
    or SAT:
  • Reading 440
  • Math 440
    or ACT:
  • English 17
  • Reading 18
  • Math 19
Community Service 100 hours 75 hours 30 hours
Award $101/semester hour (4-year) / $62/semester hour (2-year) $76/semester hour (4-year) / $47/semester hour (2-year) $76/semester hour (4-year) / $47/semester hour (2-year)

Bright Futures doesn’t cover the full cost of tuition. For example, FAU charged $159.81/credit each semester, as of July 2011; that year a Florida Academic scholar would have paid tuition of about $882.15 per semester for 15 credits. Tuition is higher at some other state universities, including FSU, UCF, and UF.

Full-time students must carry 12 hours/semester to qualify for renewal.

For other ways to qualify, visit http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/ssfad/bf/

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