Florida expands Bright Futures scholarship eligibility. Here’s what’s new

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs HB-461 in Tampa

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs House Bill 461, expanding Florida Bright Futures scholarship eligibility. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday expanded Bright Futures scholarship eligibility for working high school students and updated qualifications for tuition coverage.

The governor signed House Bill 461 at Hillsborough Community College Ybor City with Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. and Senate President Wilton Simpson in attendance.

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DeSantis said during the bill-signing ceremony that there are high school students from low-income families who do not have “the luxury of being able to just do volunteer hours.”

“We think that if you’re somebody that is having to actually work, particularly as a high school student to be able to help your family, that those hours should also count toward the community service hours so that you too can be eligible for the Bright Futures scholarship,” the governor said.

He said the state has seen a decline in the number of eligible high school seniors and part of the reason is the volunteer hours requirement, so the new law will make sure the scholarship is “helping to lift people up.”

The bill also covers 100% of the tuition students who qualify for the second highest scholarship, the Florida Medallion Scholarship, which used to cover 75% of a school’s tuition.

“When you’re talking about helping people go into those pathways, Medallion Scholars, I mean, these have been good students, I mean, so to give them 100% at the state colleges, that’s going to make a world of difference to produce more nurses to produce more people in these vital fields where there is a deficit of qualified people right now,” he said.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.