Bright Futures, prides itself as a national health promotion initiative dedicated to the principle that every child deserves to be healthy and that optimal health involves a trusting relationship between the health professional, the child, the family, and the community as partners in health practice.

bright futures scholarship

In an attempt to take this show of social responsibility to the next level, the Bright Futures Scholarship was initiated. The Bright Futures Scholarship was first created in 1997 and it basically establishes lottery-funded scholarships to reward Florida high school graduates for high academic achievement. Initially the Program disbursed just above 42,000 scholarships for about $70 million, but the last decade the cost for the scholarship substantially increased.

The interesting part of the Bright Futures Scholarship is that it is solely funded by lottery proceeds, and was appropriated 329.4 million through the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund for 2012 – 2013. The scholarships provided by the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program is based on high school academic achievement. It has three award levels through which it awards the scholarships. They are: the Florida Academic Scholars Award (FAS), Florida Medallion Scholars Award (FMS), Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award (GSV), and Gold Seal CAPE Scholars (GSC). Each of these have their eligibility criteria and requirements. In order to be a part of any of them, here are some things you have to know about each.

The Florida Academic Scholars Award of the Bright Futures Scholarship

The Florida Academic Scholars Award, is given to students in Florida who have displayed splendid academic performances. Scholarship award amounts are set in the General Appropriations Act each year. Recipients will receive a fixed cost per credit hour based on award level, institution type, and credit type. Students who are designated as the Academic Top Scholar in their district will receive a bonus per credit hours award. The basic criteria to get into this are that the potential recipient must have a:

  • Minimum high school weighted GPA of 3.5
  • Minimum ACT/SAT score of 29 or SAT score of 1290
  • Minimum 100 hours of community service

Other general criteria include:

  • Graduate high school from a Florida public high school with a Florida Standard 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);
  • Complete the required high school coursework;
  • Achieve the required minimum high school grade point average (GPA);
  • Achieve the required minimum score on either the ACT® or SAT® college entrance exam; and
  • Complete the required number of service hours

The Award Amount per Credit Hour for FAS of the Bright Futures Scholarship is stated at $103. Note that this is based on the cost per credit hour for four-year universities and are from the 2015-2016 academic year.

Florida Medallion Scholars Award of the Bright Futures Scholarship

The Florida Medallion Scholars Award is awarded by the Florida Department of Education, Office of Student Financial Assistance. Scholarship award amounts are set in the General Appropriations Act each year. Recipients will receive a fixed cost per credit hour based on award level, institution type, and credit type. The eligibility requirements to be part of this is what distinguishes it from every other Bright Futures scholarship. They are that he or she must have a:

  • Minimum high school weighted GPA of 3.0
  • Minimum ACT/SAT score of 26 or SAT score of 1170
  • Minimum 75 hours of community service

Other general criteria Include:

  • Graduate high school from a Florida public high school with a Florida Standard 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);
  • Complete the required high school coursework;
  • Achieve the required minimum high school grade point average (GPA);
  • Achieve the required minimum score on either the ACT® or SAT® college entrance exam; and
  • Complete the required number of service hours

Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award of the Bright Futures Scholarship

The Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars (GSV) is another one of the Bright Futures Scholarship. Generally, it can only be used to fund a career education or certificate program. Also targeted to Florida high school students, those who wish to qualify for the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars program award must meet certain eligibility requirements as well. According to the Bright Futures Scholarship official website, they include – He or she must:

  • Meet the General Requirements for Bright Futures scholarship as portrayed in FAS and FMS above
  • Achieve the required weighted minimum 3.0 GPA in the non-elective high school courses
  • Take at least 3 full credits in a single Career and Technical Education program
  • Achieve the required minimum 3.5 unweighted GPA in the career education courses
  • Achieve the required minimum score on the ACT®, SAT®, or Florida Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (P.E.R.T.) exams and
  • Complete 30 service hours out of the total hours offered

Gold Seal CAPE Scholars of the Bright Futures Scholarship

This is a relatively new Bright Futures Scholarship. The Florida Gold Seal CAPE Scholars award (GSC) can only be used to fund a career education or certificate program as well. As provided on the official site, after completion of an associate in science degree program any GSC scholar may also receive an award for a maximum of 60 credit hours toward a Bachelor of Science degree program. Again, upon completion of an associate in applied science program, a GSC Scholar may also receive an award for a maximum of 60 credit hours toward a bachelor of applied science degree program.

Just as the others, the Florida students who are interested in this, have to meet certain eligibility criteria. He or she must:

  • Meet the General Requirements for Bright Futures as specified above
  • Earn a minimum of 5 postsecondary credit hours through CAPE industry certifications which articulate for college credit and
  • Complete 30 service hours out of the required hours

Other scholarships are available for Non-Traditional Students, however. You can check out the Bright Futures Scholarship website.

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