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General Requirements to Receive Bright Futures Awards

NOTE:  These requirements are subject to change with each legislative session.

To apply for a Bright Futures Scholarship, a student must:
  • Be a Florida resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, as determined by the student's postsecondary institution.
  • Complete the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) by high school graduation.
  • Earn a standard Florida high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Be accepted by, enroll in, and be funded at an eligible Florida public or independent postsecondary education institution within the specified timeframe (2 years or 3 years) from the studentís year of high school graduation.  If a student enlists directly into the military after graduation, the 2-year or 3-year period begins on the date the student is separated from active duty.
  • 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.
  • Be enrolled for at least 6 semester credit hours (or the equivalent in quarter or clock hours).
  • NEW - Submission of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is NO LONGER required; however, students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA to learn of potential eligibility for additional state and federal aid.
  • Meet the Community Service requirement for the desired award level, as described below.

Students must earn at least 24 semester credit hours (or the equivalent) if enrolled full time for the entire academic year. A student enrolled full time (12 or more semester hours or the equivalent) for only one term must earn at least 12 semester hours for that term.  If a student is enrolled part time for any part of the academic year, the student must earn a prorated number of credit hours.
    • A student enrolled three-quarter time (9-11 semester hours or the equivalent) for a term must earn at least 9 semester hours for that term.
    • A student enrolled half-time (6-8 semester hours or the equivalent) for a term must earn at least 6 semester hours for that term.

Students must reimburse the postsecondary institution for the cost of course(s) dropped or withdrawn after the initial drop/add period.  The student will be ineligible to renew his/her Bright Futures award for any subsequent academic year until repayment or a satisfactory arrangement to reimburse the institution is made.

Community Service Requirements for the Florida Academic Scholars Award (FAS), the Florida Medallion Scholars Award (FMS), and the Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award (GSV)

All initial applicants must meet the community service requirement, as approved by the school district, or the administration of the private high school, or the Florida Department of Education for home-educated students.  No waivers of this requirement can be granted regardless of the method used to qualify (National Merit and Achievement Scholars and Finalists, National Hispanic Scholars, International Baccalaureate Diploma recipients, and AICE Diploma recipients). Community service hours must be completed by high school graduation.

  • FAS initial eligibility requirements include the completion of 100 hours of community service
  • FMS initial eligibility requirements include the completion of 75 hours of community service
  • GSV initial eligibility requirements include the completion of 30 hours of community service

Home-educated students and students who are dependents of military or public service personnel on active duty outside of Florida must provide a letter from the agency or agencies where the community service hours were earned. The documentation must be on agency letterhead and include the number of hours and dates of service completed.
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