Parents and students counting on The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program for the 2009-10 academic year need to take notice of the new changes that have come as a result of The 2009 Florida Legislative Session.
The changes to Bright Futures will affect both incoming freshmen and students who started in Florida state schools after fall 2006.
Among other changes, the Program will NOT raise funds to cover the tuition hikes coming this fall.
This means that the FAS award (100%) now covers a fixed amount of $126 per semester hour no matter what Florida schools you attend. This will NOT cover the entire tuition any more. It will not cover the tuition differential nor the 15% increase for the coming year. The difference in cost will need to be covered by students.
Florida Prepaid and other forms of financial aid can be used to cover the costs.
On the website, the word “IMPORTANT” is next to this change:
Students who drop or withdraw from a class paid for by Bright Futures will now have to repay the state the same amount Bright Futures awarded the student per credit hour if the class was dropped after drop/add period. The only exceptions will be based on a verifiable illness or emergency beyond the student’s control. In the past, Florida students have had the ability to drop classes with no penalty other than receiving a W on their transcripts.
According to its web site, Bright Futures will also discontinue the allowance that covered textbooks and other college related expenses.
You don’t have to be a college advisor to know that the students who receive financial aid could potentially be hit the hardest. Depending on a student’s income and the income of his or her parents, the student might not receive enough aid to cover the new costs. If students think they are going to need aid, they should apply early to get the best financial aid package.
The state will be mailing information regarding the changes to the Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship Program to parents of Florida students this fall. To see the updated information go to the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program official website at:
If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the Bright Futures office toll-free at 1- 888-827-2004
If you have any other college admissions questions for a college counselor, I’d be happy to answer them. I work with international students (9 countries and counting!) as well as those in the U.S. Please write me here or at my personal email which can be found on my International College Counselors college counseling website.
Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors
By the way, my college advising company is opening a new branch of International College Counselors in NYC so now you can visit our college advisor NYC as well.