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Keysha is a recent high school graduate who decided to attend her local university full time. She applied for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship as a Florida Medallion Scholar. Keysha has maintained the appropriate grade point average (GPA) and met all of the credit hour requirements, so she will not have to reapply for next year’s funding.
Keysha is the perfect example of a student in good standing with Bright Futures, which means she has one less thing to worry about.
Here’s why: Bright Futures recipients must meet an annual GPA based award level (for more on that, click here) AND earn the specified number of credit hours (the Bright Futures Credit Hour Interactive Tool can help with that). Since she satisfied both requirements, Keysha will be automatically evaluated for renewal and does not need to submit a renewal application. That means more time to plan next semester’s coursework and apply for summer internships!
Sarah is also a recent high school graduate who applied for Bright Futures as a Florida Academic Scholar – the highest award level available. Sarah’s first semester went great, but she struggled during her second semester, and her GPA dropped to a 2.75. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is required to remain eligible for the Florida Academic Scholar award, and her parents are really concerned. Luckily, she did her research and is able to reassure them.
Here’s why: With her 2.75 GPA, Sarah still qualifies her for the Florida Medallion Scholarship, a lower award level, and she has the opportunity regain the Florida Academic Scholarship through the restoration process. Students who have not met one or more of the requirements to maintain their Florida Bright Futures Scholarship are given a one-time restoration opportunity. So, as long as Sarah buckles down and stays on track, her Florida Academic Scholar status can be restored. For more information on restoration, begin reading on page 6 of the Bright Futures Handbook.
Like Sarah and Keysha, Juan is also a recent high school graduate. He applied for Florida Bright Futures and learned that he was eligible for the Florida Academic Scholarship. He completes his first year of college, meeting all renewal requirements. Before he completes his degree, Juan feels called to serve his country and enlists in the military, where he serves for two years. When he returns from service, he returns to school full time and is able to pick up funding where he left off with his Florida Academic Scholarship.
Here’s why: Juan’s situation is actually very common, and there is a process in place for students who enlist in the military or engage in a full-time religious or service obligation to have their Bright Futures Scholarships reinstated. Students applying for reinstatement must complete a reinstatement application, available each February, and submit accompanying documentation. In Juan’s case, a DD Form 214 would be needed to verify time served. To learn more about reinstatement, see page 5 of the Bright Futures Handbook.
This concludes the Ready, Set, Go! Series. When it comes to scholarship funding, there are a plethora of options, and there is a great deal of information available at www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org that we hope you will explore. See you next time!