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Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Essay

The http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/ssfad/bf/Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program provides scholarships based on high school academic achievement. It has three award levels: the Florida Academic Scholars Award, Florida Medallion Scholars Award, and Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award.

Each award has different academic criteria for eligibility and provides a different award amount and/or number of semester hours. The Florida Academic Scholar with the highest academic ranking in each county will also receive the Academic Top Scholars Award.

Eligibility and Application:

Eligibility and application criteria are available from your high school guidance office, or the http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/SSFAD/bfFlorida Bright Futures Program website.
For the 2013-14 academic year, students are no longer required to submit a http://www.fafsa.ed.govFAFSA in order to receive both initial and renewal Bright Futures eligibility. Students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA to learn of potential eligibility for additional state and federal aid.

Award Amounts:

For 2016-17:

  • The Florida Academic Scholars Award is $103 per credit hour.
  • The Florida Medallion Scholars Award is $77 per credit hour.
  • The Academic Top Scholars Award is $44 per credit hour.

For the 2017-18 academic year,

  • The Florida Academic Scholars will receive an award amount equal to 100% of tuition and applicable fees. This includes summer funding. Applicable fees include: activity and service fee, health fee, athletic fee, financial aid fee, capital improvement fee, campus access/transportation fee, technology fee and tuition differential fee. Florida Academic Scholars will receive an additional amount of $300 per semester (fall and spring only) for textbooks and college-related expenses. Additional information can be found http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/news/2017-18-bright-futures-update/here.
  • The Florida Medallion Scholars Award is $77 per credit hour.
  • The Academic Top Scholars Award is $44 per credit hour.


Students will be required to repay their award hours for any course dropped or withdrawn, unless an exception is recommended by the student’s home postsecondary institution, and the student does not receive a refund of fees which would repay the amount due. An exception will be granted only for a verifiable illness or emergency beyond the control of the student.

Repayment for the cost of dropped or withdrawn courses is required to renew a Bright Futures award for the subsequent academic year. Hours repaid for dropped or withdrawn courses are added back to the student’s total semester hours available, and are not included in the student’s total credit hours required to renew the award. Nonpayment of dropped or withdrawn Bright Futures award hours may also affect renewal eligibility for other state programs.

Renewal Requirements

All Bright Futures recipients are required to meet minimum credit hour and GPA requirements to renew their award each year. Students enrolled full time for both semesters are required to earn at least 24 semester hours in order to renew their award at the end of each academic year. For students not enrolled full time for both semesters, the hours required to renew are prorated.

Renewal RequirementsFlorida Academic Scholars AwardFlorida Medallion Scholars AwardFlorida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award
Minimum Cumulative GPA (unrounded & unweighted)3.0*2.752.75
Minimum Hours Required Per Term, if funded Full Time (12+ hours)12 semester earned hours12 semester earned hours12 semester earned hours
Minimum Hours Required Per Term, if funded Three-quarter Time (9-11 hours)9 semester earned hours9 semester earned hours9 semester earned hours
Minimum Hours Required Per Term, if funded Half Time (6-8 hours)6 semester earned hours6 semester earned hours6 semester earned hours

*Florida Academic Scholars with 2.75-2.99 will renew as Florida Medallion Scholars.

The new SFA http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/types-of-aid/bright-futures/bright-futures-renewal-predictor/Bright Futures Renewal Predictor tool offers another way for students interpret their renewal requirements for the next academic year.


Students who lose their Bright Futures scholarship may be eligible for a ONE-TIME ONLY scholarship restoration of their award.

Bright Futures eligible 2008-09 high school graduates and earlier:

  • May use summer term grades/hours for a ONE-TIME ONLY restoration of award eligibility, unless a previous restoration has been used

Bright Futures eligible 2009-10 high school graduates and thereafter::

  • May ONLY restore their award if the award is lost due to insufficient GPA, during the first year of funding

An eligible student who did not receive scholarship funds for the previous academic year (fall through spring) is eligible for “reinstatement.”

Students who qualify for restoration or reinstatement must complete a Reinstatement/Restoration application available on the http://www.FloridaStudentFinancialAid.orgOSFA website.

Bright Futures for Transient Students

In order to receive Florida Bright Futures as a transient student, you must be enrolled at least halftime in any State of Florida university or college. In addition, you are required to provide the following 3 documents:

NOTE: All forms and documents must be dated and signed after the Drop/Add period of all institutions attended during the term.

  1. A completed transient form from http://www.flvc.orgFlorida Shines. Your transient form must include sections completed by your Academic Advisor, Home Institution Registrar, Prep Advisor, and Transcript Evaluator. Once all sections have been completed and signed electronically, you must print or save your transient form as a PDF and submit it to the University of Florida Office for Student Financial Affairs.
  2. An official certification of enrollment from the Registrar at your host school.
    NOTE: A fee statement for your class schedule is not certification of enrollment.
  3. A copy of your class schedule for the semester in which you have enrolled at the host school.

Documents may be submitted in either of the following ways, but must always include your UFID:

  • Mail
    University of Florida
    Office for Student Financial Affairs
    ATTN: Transient Coordinator
    P.O. Box 114025
    Gainesville, FL 32611-4025
  • Fax: 352.392.2861
    ATTN: Transient Coordinator

After the completed transient form, official certification of enrollment, and class schedule have been received, your Florida Bright Futures Scholarship will be awarded and disbursed via direct deposit. If you have any questions, please contact your financial aid advisor at (352) 392-1275 or visit /?p=116SFA’s contact page.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: You are responsible for meeting any registration and fee payment deadlines at the host school.

Innovation Academy & Bright Futures

Students admitted to an Innovation Academy cohort in Spring, 2012 and thereafter will be eligible for Spring and Summer semester funding of their Bright Futures award. These cohorts of students will not be eligible to receive Bright Futures funding for the Fall semester.

Graduate Funding

Bright Futures Scholarship recipients who graduate with a baccalaureate degree in the 2010-11 academic year or thereafter may be funded for one semester of graduate study, not to exceed 15 semester hours paid at the undergraduate rate if they meet the following requirements:

  • Earn their baccalaureate degree in seven semesters or fewer


  • Earn their baccalaureate degree in 105 semester hours or fewer


  • Have time remaining on their program

Florida high school seniors should take advantage of the new SAT scores and apply for the Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship program. The Bright Futures Scholarship is still using the old scores for eligibility even though the raw scores on the new SAT test are significantly higher than the old. In other words, students who would have received an 1100 on the old SAT are now seeing a score of 1170 if they took the new, redesigned SAT exam. Getting this higher score will make high school seniors eligible for the Bright Future scholarships. Students should take advantage of this before the eligibility requirements are changed. The last SAT date for seniors to take the test is June 4, with late registration being on May 25.

Florida high school students who qualify for the Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) award need to have scored 1290 on the SAT. Students who qualify for the Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) award need to have scores 1170 on the SAT. Students cannot combine scores from the old and the redesigned SAT, but they can use scores from either the old or redesigned SAT exam.

Students should take advantage of the higher scores on the new SAT as soon as possible. We believe that at some point the scholarships will make the adjustments.

The Bright Futures Scholarship program is available to eligible students who live in the state of Florida. This award was designed to make college more affordable to promising high school graduates and may be used at any in-state institution.

The new SAT test was given for the first time in March 2016. These new SAT test scores are on a 1600-point scale rather than a 2400-point scale. To move from the 2400-point scale to the 1600-point scale, the scores for the Reading and Writing sections were combined into a single section with a maximum score of 800. The Math section is still scored out of 800. The SAT essay was redesigned and is now optional. The essay is scored on a scale that goes from 2 to 8. This score is separate from the 1600-point score and not included when calculating the Florida Bright Futures eligibility.

Students wondering how their score on the new SAT compares with scores on the old SAT can easily compare them using the Official SAT Score Converter mobile app and/or online tool to compare scores. The Converter is from the College Board, the private company that produces the SAT test. After entering the SAT score and getting the results, students will also be able to see the comparable ACT scores.

With the state of Florida paying out up to $103 per credit hour each semester for the Florida Academic Scholars and up to $77 per credit hour each semester for the Florida Medallion Scholars, earning the Florida Bright Futures award can save families thousands of dollars over the course of a four-year college degree.

For more information on Florida’ Bright Futures Scholarship program, SAT testing and/or college admissions, visit https://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com or call 954-414-9986.

About International College Counselors

The college advisors at International College Counselors help students from all over the world find, apply to, and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert educational consultants at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college admission process.

Filed Under: Financial Aid & Scholarships, International College Counselors blogTagged With: Bright Futures eligibility, bright futures scholarship, Florida Bright Futures, Florida scholarship, new SAT, redesigned SAT

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