Bright Futures Scholarship Amount and Requirements
The Bright Futures Scholarship is one of the State-funded scholarships offered to Florida high school graduates as an incentive for their high school academic achievement. To qualify for the Bright Futures Scholarship, students must enroll in an eligible Florida public or private post-secondary educational institution.
If you wish to get more information about the Bright Futures Scholarship or any other State-funded scholarship, you can contact your high school counselor or call the Florida Department of Education at 1-888-827-2004 (toll free).
ALSO TAKE NOTICE: Both the Florida Academic Scholars and Medallion Scholars version are now available during the Summer semester.
Bright futures scholarship requirements
Students who wish to apply for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship must meet the following eligibility requirements:
#1. Student must be a Florida resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, as determined by the student’s postsecondary institution.
#2. Complete the FFAA no later than August 31 after high school graduation.
#3. Earn a standard Florida high school diploma, or its equivalent, from a Florida public high
school or a registered Florida Department of Education (FDOE) private high school; or
complete a home education program.
#4. Not have been found guilty of, or pled nolo contendere to, a felony charge, unless the student has been granted clemency by the Governor and Cabinet sitting as the Executive Office of Clemency.
#5. Be accepted by, and enroll in a degree or certificate program at, an eligible Florida public or
independent postsecondary institution.
#6. Be enrolled for at least six non-remedial semester credit hours (or the equivalent in quarter or clock hours) per term.
#7. If not funded in the academic year immediately following high school graduation, apply within five years of high school graduation to have your award reinstated.
Specific Requirements for the Florida Academic Awards/Bright Futures Scholarships
Florida high school students who wish to qualify for the Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) award
or the Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) award must meet the following initial eligibility
#1. Graduate high school from a Florida public high school with a standard Florida high school diploma (high school graduation requirements), graduate from a registered Florida Department of Education private high school, earn a GED, complete a home education
program, or graduate from a non-Florida high school (OOS);
#2. Complete the required high school coursework;
#3. Achieve the required minimum high school grade point average (GPA);
#4. Achieve the required minimum score on either the ACT or SAT college entrance exam; and
#5. Complete the required number of service hours.
What happens if you withdraw from a class?
If you withdrew from a class, then you are responsible for repaying any Bright Futures funds you may have received for that class.
To assist you in calculating the number of hours and GPA required to renew your scholarship, enter your fall and spring enrollment information on our Bright Futures Renewal Predictor. Include all hours that you received Bright Futures funding, but do not include credit hours that you withdrew from and repaid to the Bright Futures program.
Your cumulative GPA and earned hours will be sent to the State of Florida within 30 days after the end of the spring term.
Note: Your information will be sent as long as you were paid Bright Futures at USF in the fall and/or spring.
The information USF sends is a “snapshot” of your academic history at that time.
You are responsible for submitting the Bright Futures/Florida Scholarship Grade and Hour Evaluation form if your GPA or earned hours are updated after the transmission due to grade changes or receipt of academic transcripts.
The Bright Futures Grade and Hour form will not be available until after grades and hours are transmitted to the State of Florida.
The State of Florida will determine your renewal eligibility, and post your status to your student account on their website.
What does bright futures cover
Recipients should be advised that, prior to disbursement, the amount which appears on the student’s account is an amount based on an estimated 13 credits of enrollment. Students will be paid based on actual enrollment after the drop/add deadline. If you have not accepted additional financial aid to pay this residual amount, it is your responsibility to pay the balance by the semester’s last day to pay deadline to avoid a late payment fee of $100.00.
Students are no longer required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before offering or disbursing the Bright Futures Scholarship. Offer amounts are listed below:
- Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) – Scholarship will pay 100% of tuition and applicable fees during Fall/Spring semesters if enrolled in at least 6 credit hours.
- Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) – Scholarship will pay 75% of tuition and applicable fees.
Florida Bright Futures Graduate Study
Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) and Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) earning a baccalaureate degree in the 2010-11 academic year and thereafter in 7 semesters or fewer (or the equivalent in credit hours) may receive funding for 1 term of graduate study, not to exceed 15 semester hours, paid at the undergraduate rate.
Florida Bright futures renewal requirements USF
- You are required to enroll full time and be paid your scholarship in consecutive fall/spring terms in order to renew your award each year.
- You must earn 30 USF credit hours during each academic year (fall/spring/summer) and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA for USF coursework.
- Spring Admits – Students beginning in the spring term must be attend and enroll full-time in the spring and earn at least 15 USF credits during the remainder of the academic year (spring/summer). Spring admits must also maintain a 3.0 USF GPA. In subsequent academic years (fall/spring/summer) students will be required to complete 30 USF credits while maintaining a 3.0 USF GPA.
- Enrollment at another school will not count for renewal purposes. Exceptions may be made for USF sponsored study abroad, internships and co-operative education programs via an
- Undergraduate Scholarship Petition if needed to meet renewal requirements.
- Grade Forgiveness/Repeating Courses may help your GPA but will reduce your earned hours required for renewal.
- Advanced Placement credits, dual enrollment or transfer credits from other colleges/universities will not count toward your annual earned hour renewal requirement.
- At the end of an academic year (fall/spring/summer), students who fail to meet the scholarship renewal requirements will forfeit his/her scholarship(s).
Renewal Evaluation, Notifications and Undergraduate Scholarship Petitions
- If you meet the renewal criteria at the end of the spring, your scholarship will be automatically renewed for the following academic year or until you have received eight (8) semesters.
- If you do not meet the requirements at the end of spring, you may use the summer term to meet the academic renewal requirements.
- Your grades and/or earned hours may be changed after a renewal evaluation has occurred due to missing grades, grade corrections, grade replacement, etc.
- You must notify the Office of Financial Aid to re-evaluate your grades and earned hours after your academic history has been updated by the Registrar.
- If you need the summer semester to meet renewal requirements, an evaluation will be conducted after all summer sessions have ended in August and you will be notified of the result by email.
- If you do not meet the renewal requirements by the end of summer, you may submit an Undergraduate Scholarship Petition if:
- You had a documented illness or emergency beyond your control during the academic year that affected your academic performance.
- You participated in USF sponsored study abroad, internship or co-operative education program with appropriate documentation.
Renewal criteria must be met each academic year. Failure to meet the renewal criteria will result in the loss of your Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. If a student fails to meet renewal criteria when grades and hours are reported to the State at the end of the Spring term, a student may be able to attend summer semester in order to attempt a restoration of their scholarship for the next academic year. Click for more information on renewal criteria and eligibility.
How Do Bright Futures and Florida Prepaid Work Together?
Bright Futures (and any other accepted financial aid) will be applied to your FAU balance around 2-3 weeks into the semester.
Florida Prepaid will be applied around 3-4 weeks into the semester to the remaining balance.
If there is an overage of payment (with the combination of Bright Futures/Financial Aid and Prepaid) you will receive any excess funding in the form of a refund.
If there is still an FAU balance after both Bright Futures and all pending financial aid has paid out, you are responsible for covering the remaining balance by the published deadline.
Keep in mind that the Bright Futures amount listed on your student account summary is an ESTIMATED figure. The Florida PrePaid Contribution Schedule will give you the EXACT amounts that Florida Prepaid will disburse based on the number of credits the student is enrolled for the semester (after the drop/add deadline).