Bill Limiting Florida Bright Futures Funding

Certain majors cut from receiving aid

Lexia Thomas, Staff Writer

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program is a program that establishes lottery funded scholarships to Florida high school graduates for high academic achievements.

In order to receive Bright Futures, you must keep a 3.0 weight GPA, or 3.5 unweighted, have completed 30 community service hours by graduation, and must take at least three full credits in a single career/educational program.

According to FSUNews.com, the Ocala State Rep. is trying to pass a bill to where Bright Futures will not cover the cost of certain majors due to the job possibilities they may have.

If this bill is approved, then the Florida Board of Governors and the State Board of Education will then sit down and approve a list of degrees where it will lead the student to direct employment right after graduation.

If the student is going into a degree not funded by Bright Futures, they will only get credited 60 hours (only half of a normal bachelor’s degree).

Their logic being that crediting students those hours will potentially lead them into a path and degree that is funded.

A lot of people have different opinions when it comes to this topic and I am one of them. Us as college students, we were always told growing up that we should follow our heart and passion.

There are so many degrees out there for us to choose from so that we can have a job and career that we are truly passionate about.

The positives of this new bill is that it is saving the government a lot of money and allowing them to make more by putting students into businesses that are successful.

This bill is going to make it to where we keep the employment of thriving businesses alive, and the neglected ones can be removed easily. However, with a positive outlook comes the negative perspective.

If this bill is passed, it will hinder us as students from doing something we genuinely love.. This allows the government to have more control over us as citizens in forcing us into a workplace we despise.

Here at CF many students have Bright Futures that help their families not have to worry about the expense and they get to love what they are doing at the same time.

Anderson Torres is a Bright Futures student here at CF majoring in nursing. He is thankful for Bright Futures because it has helped him become more determined in getting his degree.

“As a kid that is a first-generation college student and doesn’t exactly have the parents that could pay for my classes it is a significant help to me,” said Torres.

Torres also believes that it is absurd that just because a certain group of people do not see a degree important that it does not matter to the student who is genuinely passionate about it.

No matter the workplace or how much business you get, you should not say a degree is not considered important just because of your opinion. Bright Futures was created to push high school students to take harder classes and to improve Florida’s postsecondary education system.

So why would we create something to push students to succeed just to tell them once they accomplished that, that their degree does not matter.

I emailed the CF Financial Aid Director, Mrs. Maureen Anderson, about this topic and her response was the following:

Students work hard to maintain the GPA they have and if they choose to drop out, they must pay back their funds. “Students are not just squandering this money,” said Anderson.

Anderson also went on to say she suspects that there is a lot of data backing up Bright Futures and what it offers. To restrict it to only certain majors is devastating.

“The job market is not the same across the state so it will be difficult to craft a list of programs that benefit the entire state,” said Anderson.

It is still very early in the legislative process to where things can possibly change. “It is possible that this will change many times and/or never make it through at all,” said Anderson.

If you would like more information and updates on this bill, you can visit any of these following websites: https://www.fsunews.com/story/news/2021/03/07/new-bill-introduced-fl-senate-may-impact-bright-futures-financial-aid/4619228001/

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/editorials/os-op-florida-bright-futures-tuition-bill-degrees-20210226-vfrmllpvlrblnhpy7uxkctimx4-story.html

Also, if you have any questions for CF’s Financial Aid Director, Maureen Anderson, you can email her at [email protected] You can also visit https://www.cf.edu/ for more information about CF.