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About half as many students will qualify for Bright Futures scholarships when the school year begins this fall as they did during the current year, according to new estimates from the Florida College Access Network.
That’s because lawmakers have steadily increased the requirements for primarily lottery-funded scholarships, raising the minimum required scores on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams. Candidates must score at least 1170 on the SAT or 26 on the ACT to qualify for a scholarship this fall. That’s more than 970 on the SAT and 20 on the ACT in the 2008-2009 school year.
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
One in three high school students qualified for scholarships in 2009. This fall, it is estimated that only one in eight graduates will meet the new minimum requirements.
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“The value and need for a highly skilled and educated workforce has been heavily emphasized by our state leaders in Tallahassee in this session,” Florida C.A.N.! That’s what lead researcher Troy Miller says in a statement. “If these drastic cuts to financial aid go through as planned, our state will be at a competitive disadvantage.”
“There is so much money for education. If you give an award based on merit, it should go to the best students in the state,” state Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale, told The Sun-Sentinel.
The new requirements would reduce the cost of the scholarship program to $180.4 million in the 2017-2018 school year, according to estimates by the Florida College Access Network. That’s less than the $429 million for the 2008-2009 school year.
Last year, research from the University of South Florida found that half of the black and Hispanic students who qualified for scholarships in 2012 would no longer have met the new, more stringent requirements by 2013.
Half As Many Students Will Meet Tougher Bright Futures Scholarship Requirements
Seeks to inform and engage communities with broadcast and online news that focuses on how state government decisions affect their lives. TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A controversial Senate proposal that would reduce state-funded Bright Futures scholarships for students in programs that don’t “lead directly to employment” has been put on hold and is expected to undergo changes.
Sponsored by Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, the bill (SB 86) would require the State Board of Education and the regents of the state university system to create lists of programs “determined to lead directly to employment.” The two boards oversee higher education in the state.
Under the bill, if students at state colleges and universities enroll in programs that are not on the “approved” program lists, they would not be eligible for Bright Futures grants. Students who have not chosen programs will be entitled to have 60 hours of courses covered by the scholarship.
The 60 hours will generally be the amount needed to complete an associate of arts degree, but about half of what is required for a four-year degree.
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The Senate Education Committee was scheduled to address the bill on Tuesday, but the hearing was postponed to Monday night. Introducing a bill before its first committee hears it can sometimes cause problems, but Baxley said that’s not the case with the higher education bill, and he’s “absolutely” certain it will return to the legislative session. .
“We got a lot of different input, and some of it seems interesting. I thought we should hit the brakes and check some of this out. There may be a few things we could do to make this much more understandable and appreciated by affected people,” Baxley told reporters on Thursday. Tuesday.
At least some of that information comes from a group of prospective college students who oppose the bill called Save Bright Futures. High school students, primarily, created a website, SaveBrightFutures.org, and are backing a petition that has garnered more than 75,000 signatures. The petition is titled “Keep Bright Futures Scholarships Available, Regardless of Major.”
“No matter what program they’re in, everyone deserves a fair chance at an education and to pursue their passions instead of worrying about the number on their paycheck. People deserve to pursue what they want to do,” shared Kaylee Duong, an Orlando senior. , who is part of the group, told The News Service of Florida in an interview Monday.
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“The list is specifically selected by the board and the state board of education, which are selected by the governor. Doing a little research, these groups are mostly lawyers, doctors,” said Truong, also from Orlando. “We want to emphasize that any education you can get from higher education is important. There should be no education that isn’t funded by Bright Futures, especially if you’ve already earned it.”
The proposal urges state boards to “consider national, state, and regional industry demand for certificate holders and graduates of such programs” when preparing lists of qualified degrees.
Another part of the bill that raises concerns would change the current system of providing aid in a tiered structure with 100 percent or 75 percent of tuition and fees. Baxley’s proposal would tie the amount of students’ Bright Futures scholarships to the amount allocated in the state budget.
“There’s a lot up in the air about how much scholarship students get. So even if you get accepted, even if you work hard to get the scholarship… they don’t guarantee a certain percentage of your tuition,” Duong said. .
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Baxley said she’s “not ready to be specific” about what changes are being considered for the measure, but she outlined her vision for what she wants to accomplish.
“Some of that is adjusting some of the composition of those paths. I think everybody’s going to try to make that list with their programs and they may add some things,” Baxley said Tuesday. you like art and you may just want to study art. But if we could set up that program so you could take some courses that would also qualify you to teach art, now you have a career.”
When asked who had given him his opinion on the bill, Baxley said it hadn’t just been parents or students in certain programs.
“I think it’s really all the people who like the way it serves them now and are nervous about the change. And it kind of all started when we tried to cut the show. That’s a separate question, I’m not advocating for I’m advocating that we shape this issue so we know it meets the needs of the workplace and helps families gain independence,” Baxley said.
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Requirements 2022
The proposal received immediate support from Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, when it was introduced on February 23. A Senate news release described the measure as an effort to “maximize value to the student and to Florida taxpayers through a focus on targeted programs that lead directly to employment.”
“Too often, the debate around higher education focuses on the cost to the student, in terms of tuition and fees, but never the cost to the taxpayer or the real value to the student. The reality is that a degree does not guarantee a job. This legislation rebalances state aid programs to cover the cost of tuition and fees for general education requirements and then for specific programs that we know will create jobs in our communities,” Simpson said in the prepared statement.
“There are no useless titles. But there should be a way to include profitability in this because people have to make a living,” Baxley said.
“Incoming fire shows that you’re compromised. You don’t get shot at if you don’t do something. But if you mess with the things that matter and try to make them better, somebody’s not going to like it. Because they set in so quickly,” Baxley said.
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