I live in Florida and the Senate just passed a bill to potentially change their Bright Futures scholarship in the future. One of the senators stated that there are lots of other scholarships out there. I personally do not qualify for a need based scholarship and I don’t have, although good, top gpa/scores (my scores as a junior-3.9W GPA and 29 ACT).
So, are there lots of scholarships out there for the middle student/income?

There are some scholarships from the schools (public and private), and there are a number of small, local scholarships. If you are a junior, ask your guidance counselor for a list. I also saw them in the local paper when my kids were in school, but you need to know about them BEFORE they announce the winners. There were some from local businesses - Pepsi bottlers, photographers - and a lot of the civic organization like Elks, American legion. At the end of senior year they had an awards ceremony and all these were awarded. Most were from the schools or military, but there were the unknown ones like $500 for making a safety video (I think the only ones who tried got it because no one knew about it), some for music and art, photography, essays.

Bright Futures is not going away (yet). Right now they are trying to move the funding to the general budget, and then the legislature will have more control on how much the scholarships are worth.

Thank you! I have a meeting with my guidance counselor next week so I will ask!

What a clueless person that Senator is. Scholarships like Bright Futures are not easy to find or secure. I can understand if a state’s financial situation won’t allow it to continue such a good program, but to be so cavalier about the effects is unacceptable.

It is funded from the Florida lottery system so it shouldn’t have an impact on state funding. They keep saying they aren’t taking it away but they changed the wording so they can change how much money. I heard they took away the book stipend this way.

Since OP is a junior, it’s not too late to watch the local paper for this year’s awards. That’s what I did in 2018 for DD’19- I made a list and made sure the following year that she applied for as many as she qualified for. I almost paid the $50 to join Farm Bureau so she could qualify for that one but didn’t- and they ended up having no applicants :frowning:

I also googled scholarships for our state, her major, our religious denomination. She also applied for the endowed scholarships at her college and auditioned for a theatre scholarship there. After all the hustle, she ended up with $7200 which for sure helped with freshman year. All local/state/her college.

DD’17 did get a national scholarship we found on Sallie Mae, but it was for her major and they offer a couple hundred of them a year, not just one so her chances were much greater than most of what you find on the big scholarship sites.

Once you’re at a college, apply for their endowed/department/continuing student scholarships if they have them. A lot of students don’t bother filling out even though it may be one app for hundreds of scholarships.

The current amount of Bright Futures, with the book stipend, was only changed in 2016. Before that it was a much lower amount, about half. So they had this big change and somehow didn’t count on it costing twice as much (plus the Benacquito amounts for instate and OOS NMF). I really think this is a cost correction, that the Bright Futures agency doesn’t have enough money. If they put it into the general budget, they can better control the amounts paid out.

I’m actually surprised that they aren’t making more changes. In 2013ish, they changed the qualifications, and the current program is not very inclusive of poorer and minority students. I thought that is what would get them to make the changes and return to giving less money to more students, like it was before 2013.

Thank you! This was very helpful!

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