Bright Futures Legislative Changes
Karen Fooks, Director, Office for Student Financial Affairs
The Florida Bright Futures program has undergone recent changes that will have a dramatic impact on students. The changes below apply to all students on the program, and are effective for the 2009-10 academic year. Please share this information with all faculty and staff who may advise students about course scheduling, adding or dropping courses.
- The program will no longer pay 100% or 75% of a student’s tuition and fees but rather a fixed amount per credit hour. Students who are Florida Academic Scholars will be awarded an hourly rate of $126 per credit hour. There is no longer a stipend that accompanies this scholarship. Students who are Florida Medallion Scholar’s or Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholar’s will be awarded an hourly rate of $95 per credit hour. Gold Seal Scholar’s will only receive funding for up to 90 semester hours.
- Students will be required to repay Bright Futures funds for a course or courses they drop once the drop/add period has ended. Additionally, they will be required to repay Bright Futures funds if they have a full-term withdrawal. In either case, repayment will be required before they can be eligible for renewal for the next year. Failure to repay the funds promptly can also result in financial holds on the student’s record that may prevent class registration, release of transcripts, etc. It is important you are aware of these changes if you are advising students about dropping a class or withdrawing once drop/add has ended. If they have documented medical circumstances or have had an emergency beyond their control, they may request an exception.
- Students who enroll full-time fall and spring semesters must earn at least 24 semester hours in order to renew their award for the following year. For part-time students, the number of credit hours required to complete is prorated based on their enrollment status.
Although there have been changes to the Bright Futures Scholarship program, it continues to be a valuable resource for students. If you have additional questions, please contact Donna Kolb in the Office for Student Financial Affairs at (352) 392-1275.