Bright Futures Eligibility May Toughen

By: The News Service of Florida
By: The News Service of Florida

Tallahassee, Florida -- March 17, 2011 --

The popular Bright Futures scholarship may become more difficult to obtain. Bright Futures, primarily funded by the Florida Lottery, offers several merit-based scholarships to eligible Florida students. But as the Legislature grapples with spending cuts, it is considering toughening Bright Futures eligibility requirements again. The Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee wants to raise the standard SAT score to apply for an academic scholarship from 1280 to 1300, the 90th percentile of test-takers, and the required SAT score to apply for a Medallion scholarship from 1020 to 1170, the 75th percentile. Volunteer hour requirements would also be boosted from 75 to 100. The committee expects to have final recommendations next week.


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  • by Brianna Location: Miami on Mar 29, 2011 at 02:23 PM
    I currently receive Bright Futures and I have a 3.88 GPA. I need that money to continue to get my Bachelor's Program in Criminal Justice. This is just another way for Florida politicians to make more money.
  • by Anonymously on Mar 21, 2011 at 05:43 PM
    We'd have enough money to reward academic merit if it was not relocated into other programs. The lottery has become a pot of gold for special interests and was never intended to be. If we want to attract international businesses to this state we need an educated work force and to do that we need to honor commitments to education. We do not need to play musical chairs with education funds.
  • by Stephanie Location: Miami on Mar 18, 2011 at 12:38 PM
    As a student, I think this is the BEST thing to do. There are many students who receive bright futures that I can honestly say don't deserve to. Students that want to achieve more will work harder and have higher grades and SAT scores. I currently receive 100% Bright Futures but I never got the extra $400 for books because they stopped doing that so they can pay for more students' scholarships. Why should I receive less for mediocre students? My mediocre friend who managed to get the 75% BF has a .7 GPA in college now. Nice investment.
  • by Robin Location: Tallahassee on Mar 17, 2011 at 10:10 AM
    Hey, "anonymous." How are the grades inflated, exactly? Further, since BF doesn't evaluate FCAT tests in its eligibility criteria, I'm not sure how "focusing solely on tests" has a lot to do with anything. I agree completely that teaching standardized testing is a horrible way to educate, but that doesn't really have a lot to do with Bright Futures. I'm sorry that your career has left you so jaded to these students who "think they are a lot smarter than they actually are." How sad. I am personally very proud of students who perform their academic best and who would not be able to afford college without this "racket passing as a scholarship." I don't mean to sound harsh, but EVERY student deserves an education, even the "mediocre" ones. You apparently work in education. You should advocate that.
  • by Robin Location: Tallahassee on Mar 17, 2011 at 10:10 AM
    Hey, "anonymous." How are the grades inflated, exactly? Further, since BF doesn't evaluate FCAT tests in its eligibility criteria, I'm not sure how "focusing solely on tests" has a lot to do with anything. I agree completely that teaching standardized testing is a horrible way to educate, but that doesn't really have a lot to do with Bright Futures. I'm sorry that your career has left you so jaded to these students who "think they are a lot smarter than they actually are." How sad. I am personally very proud of students who perform their academic best and who would not be able to afford college without this "racket passing as a scholarship." I don't mean to sound harsh, but EVERY student deserves an education, even the "mediocre" ones. You apparently work in education. You should advocate that.
  • by anonymous on Mar 17, 2011 at 09:34 AM
    BF is currently a racket passing as scholarship. Students learn little in FL high schools as teachers are forced to focus solely on tests, not on knowledge building. Having worked with many of these BF recipients, I find that they think they are a lot smarter than they actually are. Grades are often inflated, leading a student to believe that his/her mediocre work is good and resulting in BF awards that are not warranted. This really does the student a disservice because when they enter college, their true lack of ability shows.
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