Florida high school students can apply for the state's Bright Futures Scholarships, which can reduce or even eliminate the cost of tuition at a Florida college or university. The state evaluates students' academic records and categorizes them into one of three categories. Each category connects to a specific award amount for each semester credit hour a student takes. In short, the better a student performs in high school, the more money she earns through the Bright Futures program.
Academic Top Scholars
The student ranked highest academically in each Florida school district earns the designation of an Academic Top Scholar. These students receive funding through Bright Futures on top of the Florida Academic Scholars money they already earned. Students earn an additional $53 a semester credit hour in any four-year, two-year, Florida college baccalaureate or career or technical program of their choice.
Florida Academic Scholars
Florida Academic Scholars receive the most money per semester credit hour through Bright Futures. These students receive $125 a credit hour at a four-year school, $77 a credit hour at a two-year school, $86 a credit hour at baccalaureate programs at Florida colleges and $63 at career or technical schools. Students designated as Florida Academic Scholars must earn a 3.5 weighted high school GPA as well as a 1270 on the SAT or 28 on the ACT.
Florida Medallion Scholars
Florida Medallion Scholars receive $94 per semester credit hour at a four-year school and $58 per credit hour at a two-year school. Students who pursue an associate degree at a Florida college receive $77 a credit hour, while students at the same schools working toward a baccalaureate degree receive $64. Students at career or technical schools earn $47 a credit hour. Florida Medallion Scholars must have a minimum 3.0 weighted GPA and a 970 SAT score or 20 ACT score.
Gold Seal Vocational Scholars
Students designated as Gold Seal Vocational Scholars receive $94 a semester credit hour at a four-year Florida school, $58 a credit hour at a two-year school, $64 a credit hour at Florida college baccalaureate programs and $47 a credit hour at career or technical centers. To be eligible as a Gold Seal Vocational Scholar, a student must have a 3.0 weighted GPA in core courses and a 3.5 unweighted GPA in at least three career or technical education high school courses. Students also must earn the minimum score on the SAT or ACT.
- Florida Student Financial Aid: 2010-11 Award Amounts Per Credit Hour
- Florida Student Financial Aid: Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award
- Florida Student Financial Aid: Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) Award
- Florida Student Financial Aid: Florida Academic Scholars Award
- Florida Student Financial Aid: Academic Top Scholars (ATS) Award