The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program was created by the Florida Legislature in 1997 and offers several award levels. The program was designed to assist eligible Florida students with the cost of postsecondary education in Florida. Eligibility requirements for a Bright Futures Scholarship include minimum academic achievement, residency and community service hours.

Residency

Any student applying for a Bright Futures Scholarship must be a full-time Florida resident, as well as a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen. Eligibility of noncitizen applicants will be determined by the postsecondary institution.

Diploma

Applicants must possess a standard Florida high school diploma or a qualified equivalent, awarded by a Florida public or Florida Deparment of Education registered private high school.

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Enrollment

Applicants must enroll in a Florida public or eligible private postsecondary school within three years of graduation. For graduates who go directly into active military duty, the three-year time limit begins on their official military separation date.

Academics

A minimum weighted GPA of at least 3.5 is required to qualify for a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. This GPA must come from a combination of Bright Futures required courses, and must include at least 16 credits of college preparatory academic courses.

Postsecondary Enrollment

Bright Futures Scholarship recipients must be enrolled in their chosen postsecondary institution for a minimum of six semester credit hours, or the equivalent. A total of 24 semester hours must be earned during the entire academic year.

Community Service

To qualify for a Bright Futures Scholarship, students must present evidence of at least 75 eligibile community service hours.

Award Levels

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program offers awards of various levels, depending on student eligibility. Each level offers a specific award amount and includes additional requirements.

Criminal Record

Students found guilty of or have entered a plea of nolo contendre to any felony charge are considered ineligible unless granted clemency by the governor of Florida.

About the Author

Jeff O'Kelley is a professional photographer and writer, currently based in the Tampa, Florida area. His images and words have been featured by websites and publications such as CNN, Creative Loafing and Tampa Bay Times. O'Kelley holds associate degrees in telecommunications and website design from St. Petersburg College.