Bright Futures Scholarships
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program is a state scholarship awarded to Florida high school graduates who demonstrate high academic achievement. Awards are issued by the state of Florida directly to the eligible institution.
Applications and eligibility criteria are available at your high school guidance counselor office or from the Florida Department of Education website at www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org.
In order to receive funding for a Florida Bright Futures Award, a student must:
- be a Florida resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen as determined by his/her college, university or vocational school
- be enrolled as a degree/certificate seeking student
- enroll in a minimum of six semester (nine quarters or the equivalent in clock) hours per semester by the end of the school's drop/add period.
- not owe a repayment or be in default under any state or federal grant, loan or scholarship program.
After the end of the drop/add period, funds are either applied to the student's account at the institution or returned to the student via the CF One card. CF receives electronic award information about eligible CF student scholars from the Florida Department of Education and includes the award in their aid package. Actual payment depends upon the program regulations and the amount of tuition and fees assessed for the semester.
Please note, Bright Futures does not cover remedial classes (prep coursework) and these credit hours are not included in the minimum requirement of hours per semester.
Each award level has different academic criteria for eligibility. You may receive only one award:
Florida Academic Scholars Award: Pays per credit hour (including vocational credit hours) of community college-level tuition and requires a 3.0 cumulative grade point average to renew. For fall and spring semesters, the Florida Academic Scholars Award pays 100 percent of tuition and applicable fees as well as $300 for additional educational expenses, such as text books. For the summer semester, the award pays tuition only, with no funds for additional educational expenses.
Florida Medallion Scholarship: Pays per credit hour tuition of community college-level tuition to degree- seeking students and a specific amount per credit hour for vocational coursework. Renewal requires a 2.75 cumulative grade point average. The Florida Medallion Scholarship is available for the fall and spring semesters.
Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award: Pays per credit hour of vocation program tuition and requires a 2.75 cumulative grade point average to renew. The Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award can no longer be upgraded to the Florida Medallion Scholarship. Florida Gold Seal students initially awarded for the 2012-2013 academic year forward may be funded for up to the maximum hours of their program of study in Career Educational Programs. These include Associate in Science degrees, Associate in Applied Science degrees, College Credit Certificates and Career and Technical Certificates or Diplomas (formerly referred to as Postsecondary Adult Vocational/PSAV). The Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award is available for the fall and spring semesters.
Academic Top Scholars Award: The high school senior with the highest academic ranking in each county shall receive a pre-determined scholarship amount per credit hour per semester, in addition to the Florida Academic Scholars Award, prorated by semester and hours.
Dropped or Withdrawn Hours: Students will be required to repay to the college the cost of any course/hours dropped or withdrawn unless an exception is recommended by the home postsecondary institution.
- A Bright Futures student who drops or withdraws from course hours that were funded by a Bright Futures award after the last day of the add/drop period will be responsible for reimbursing the postsecondary institution for the cost of course(s) dropped or withdrawn.
- A student may make a written appeal, however, for hours dropped or withdrawn (due to verifiable illness or emergency) after the last day of the add/drop period. CF will make an appeal recommendation for a repayment exception to the Florida Department of Education. A recommendation for an exception is based on received documentation of a verifiable illness or emergency beyond the student's control.
- The Florida Department of Education may accept or deny the postsecondary institution's recommendation for repayment exception. Nonrefunded hours may affect the student's renewal eligibility.
- For first-year students, summer grades and hours earned after spring evaluation may be used if necessary to meet the scholarship renewal requirements of GPA improvement. A student must ask a financial aid specialist to submit a grade and hours update to the Florida Office of Student Financial Assistance indicating any adjusted postsecondary institutional cumulative GPA.
Repayment calculations are based on the current Bright Futures award amount per credit hour. For information regarding current scholarship requirements and award amounts, go to http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/ssfad/PDF/BFHandbookChapter1.pdf.
Criteria for Renewing Award: To continue to receive Bright Futures awards, students must meet minimum requirements for credit hours earned. Full-time students must earn 24 semester credit hours in the fall and spring terms. The requirements are prorated for part-time students.
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