New Requirements For Bright Futures


Maya Zohar, Staff Writer

Bright Futures is a scholarship program for the state of Florida that started in 1997. The Florida Lottery funds bright Futures to reward high school graduates for their high academic achievements. To get a chance at receiving the scholarship, students must meet the requirements. Unfortunately, standards have been raised regarding the SAT and ACT scores needed to qualify, and the class of 2021 is struggling to adapt.


To be considered for Bright Futures, the student must meet the following basic requirements, not including credits and standardized tests. They must be:

  • Florida resident and US citizen 
  • Complete FFAA (Florida Financial Aid Application) before high school graduation
  • Have a high school diploma
  • Not been found guilty of crimes
  • Be enrolled in a certificate program at a Florida school 
  • Be enrolled for at least six non-remedial semester credit hours


Initially, there are three different types of Bright Future scholarships. Usually, students tend to achieve either the Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) or the Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS). The other scholarship opportunity, Florida Gold Seal Vocational, according to the Bright Futures Handbook, “may only be used at post-secondary institutions that offer an applied technology diploma, technical degree education program (associate in science-A.S. or associate in applied science-A.A.S.), or a career certificate program.” To be considered for either FAS or FMS, the student must have completed the following classes: 

  • 4 English (three with substantial writing)
  • 4 Math (at or above Algebra 1)
  • 3 Natural Science (two with laboratory)
  • 3 Social Science 
  • 2 World Languages (sequential in the same language)


The Florida Academic Scholars is more challenging to achieve than the Florida Medallion Scholars, but it offers 100% tuition coverage. For the student to be eligible for FAS, they are required to have the following:

  • Weighted GPA of 3.5 
  • SAT of 1330  
  • ACT of 29
  • 100 Community service hours


Unlike FAS, the Florida Medallion Scholars is much more comfortable, but it only offers a 75% scholarship rather than 100%. To have a chance at receiving the scholarship, the student must meet the requirements listed below:

  • Weighted GPA of 3.00
  • SAT of 1210 
  • ACT of 25
  • 75 Community Service hours 

Unluckily, this year’s graduating class and future graduating classes will have a more challenging time getting the Bright Futures 

Scholarship than anyone before them. During the years of 2018-2019, the SAT scores needed to apply for FAS were 1290 and an ACT of 29. The FMS needed an SAT score of 1170 and an ACT of 26 to qualify. It is unfair to the class of 2021 that they are now expected to make 40 points better than any class before them, and they are not getting the same opportunities because of it. 


Fortunately, West Boca offers AICE and AP diplomas, which automatically make a student eligible for bright futures. According to the Bright Futures handbook, “Students who have demonstrated academic merit through a recognition program may be eligible for Bright Futures without having to meet one or more of the requirements.” Many students at West Boca have been working towards either an AICE or AP diploma; therefore, all their hard work was not in vain. Nevertheless, countless others who were either not aware of the benefits a specific diploma could give them or were expecting the standardized testing score required for Bright Futures to be lower, are put at an unfair disadvantage. The graduating class of 2021 is not only missing out on significant high school milestones due to COVID-19, but now they are also being cheated by the new unjust requirements.