As many of our students depend on Bright Futures in order to pay for college, it is important to make everyone aware of some recent changes to the application process. Unlike in the past, all students must complete a FAFSA form in order to receive the scholarships. The FAFSA is the Free Application for Financial Student Aid and it can be found at FAFSA.gov. As this has been common practice with entry for other financial aid outlets such as Pell Grant and others like it. On top of the new requirement of completing the form, it must also be error-free. So, please be aware that not completing an error-free FAFSA will end up in your student not receiving money for the upcoming Fall 2011 semester. This applies to students who currently receive Bright Futures and to new applicants.
Other things to take note of with the new changes to Bright Futures:
There has been an increase in the community-service requirement (and hours increase for Florida Academic Scholars) for all three Bright Futures award levels. These changes are highlighted below:
- Florida Academic Scholars – 100 hours
- Florida Medallion Scholars – 75 hours
- Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars – 30 hours
The Florida Department of Education is required to approve home education community service hours for Bright Futures initial eligibility. So be sure to turn-in your community service hours as soon as possible for approval to decrease the chance of late entry.
All changes can be found at this link: Florida Bright Futures
What are your reactions to these changes? Does your child currently receive the Bright Futures and how will this affect your and your child’s application process this year?