Study: Florida Could See Sharp Drop in Bright Futures Scholarships

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New state rules may slash the number of Florida students eligible for the state's most popular type of Bright Futures scholarship, according to an analysis by the University of South Florida in Tampa.

The Legislature in 2011 toughened criteria so that students entering college in the fall of 2014 will need higher ACT and SAT scores than in the past.

Nearly 90 percent of Orange County students who entered a Florida public university in 2011-12 had high enough scores on their college entrance exams to earn a Florida Medallion scholarship — by far, the most popular of the state's four Bright Futures scholarships. Under the tougher requirements, that number could drop to about half, according to the study.

Almost all freshmen at the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida and Florida State University received scholarships last school year. But under the tougher rules, about half of the students entering UCF in 2014, two-thirds of FSU students and three-quarters of UF students would qualify, according to the USF analysis.

Almost all freshmen entering historically black Florida A&M University would not qualify in 2014.

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