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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Beginning July 1, the standards to qualify for the Bright Futures scholarships will become more strict.

They will take effect on the high school class of 2014; however, the University of South Florida’s analysis obtained by the Florida College Access Network looked at how the changes would affect current recipients if they were held to the same standards.

About 60 percent of Hispanic students and about 75 percent of black students currently eligible for Bright Futures would no longer qualify if held to the new standards. By comparison, about 40 percent of white students and 40 percent of Asian students who have a Bright Futures scholarship would not be eligible, according to the analysis.

Students will need to score an 1170 on the SAT or a 26 on the ACT. The current standards require a 1020 or 22.

Kate Pivacek, a UF 20-year-old journalism sophomore, said students stay in state because they have Bright Futures, but receiving the funds is more difficult, she said.

According to the analysis, about 87 percent of Hispanic freshmen met the current standards, but about 35 percent would qualify after July 1. About 2,700 black freshmen met minimum criteria for Bright Futures for Fall 2012; however, 650 would meet the minimum criteria set for Fall 2014.

“Those standardized tests aren’t a good indicator for who deserves scholarships,” said Ciara Lepanto, a 19-year-old UF English sophomore.

UF would see between 65 percent and 90 percent of its students still qualifying, compared with other Florida schools, which would have less than 25 percent of their freshman eligible for Bright Futures, according to the analysis.

Contact Alexa Volland at

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