Bright Futures changes coming

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Beginning this fall, to receive a Bright Futures scholarship, new and returning students will have fill out a form: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The provision is the first time the state has collected financial data on Bright Futures. Students fear it could be the first step in requiring not only good grades but financial need as well.

"That's not fair at all; cause you work for your GPA to get the money," said Daytona Beach student Miranda Wilhelm.

"So Bright Futures really helps people like me who aren't quite exceedingly rich, but not quite, you know very need- based, so I think if Bright Futures turned need based that would be terrible," added Miami student Gabriel Diaz.

Every year that there has been a Bright Futures scholarship, there has been an attempt to make it need-based.

Ormond Beach Republican State Senator Evelyn Lynn says she will fight against any attempts to require a needs analysis for the popular scholarships. "We would like to have the data on how many students actually fall into a need-based category and how many are not in that need-based category."

Glenn and Sherry Fell, who were visiting the FSU campus, said they believe their freshman's good grades are all that should be required.  "I feel if they worked for it, they deserve it," Sherry said.

But next spring, after lawmakers are armed with new financial information, the effort to make Bright Futures more need-based will almost certainly be fought again.

More than 200,000 Florida students receive the scholarship. The law takes effect July 1st.
 

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