Bright Futures Scholarship & Other State Financial Aid Programs
Below is a PDF file of the state of Florida Bright Futures scholarship program eligibility information based upon graduation year. Remember that the scholarships require a minimum 3.5 GPA in your academic core for the Florida Academic Scholars award and a 3.0 GPA for Florida Medallion Scholars award. The Gold Seal Vocational award has different criteria and usage guidelines. The application is completed after October 1st during your senior year, however, you are continuously working towards one of these scholarships from 9th grade through high school graduation. So, make every grade count! This information can also be found on the Bright Futures website.
FAFSA – “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”
The FAFSA, or “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”, opens on October 1st this year. Seniors and college students must complete this form prior to and during each year that they are enrolled in college, in order to potentially qualify for and receive federal student aid. The state of Florida requires that seniors complete the FAFSA prior to May 15 in order to receive consideration for certain state program funds. Remember, seniors and parents must each create a secure PIN, or electronic signature, in order to process or access the student’s “error-free” FAFSA. Click on the FAFSA link to file your FAFSA for the given funding year. Seniors/parents, do you need assistance completing your FAFSA? You can call the federal government FAFSA customer service help line at 1-800-433-3243.
FAFSA Customer Service Hours (one-on-one assistance)
College Housing Assistance Programs
The Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF) provides rent-free housing opportunities for income-eligible students and proudly serves students attending four major universities in Florida: Florida A&M University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida State University, and the University of Florida. They also serve students attending Tallahassee Community College and Santa Fe College. The deadline to apply is April 2016. For more information and to apply, visit the Southern Scholarship Foundation (SSF).
The Cooperative Living Organization or CLO is a low-cost housing option for incoming UF and Santa Fe College students in Gainesville, Florida. Student residents of this program pay about half as much in rent as their peers in on-campus housing and enjoy a meal plan, parking, internet, and utilities included as well. CLO is located only a block north of UF’s main campus. Applications and further details are available on the CLO website.
Other Scholarship/Sources of Aid
BestColleges.com(Great source for over 19,000 scholarships)
Comparative college information
College Net Mach 25
Database contains listings of 500,000 private sector awards
Financial Aid Information Page
Free service of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Quest Bridge is an organization which assists academically outstanding low-income students to prepare for attendance at selective colleges. They offer the College Prep Scholarship which helps student become successful applicants to the nation’s most selective colleges by giving them the tools they need to prepare an effective application, and by showing them that a top college education is possible through strong financial aid offered by these schools. For more information and to apply, visit: www.questbridge.org. Application deadline is March 2017.
Database for scholarship search and information