As a second year honors student and Political Science major at Florida State University, you can bet that the second I heard about the possible expansion of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship I started monitoring it and the Florida legislature very closely. Most people first heard about the possible expansion from a Facebook post by Representative Amber Mariano stating that she was excited to announce full tuition coverage for Bright Futures Academic Scholars for the Fall, Spring, and Summer 2017-2018 semesters plus a $300 textbook stipend.
Many people in the comments were asking for the bill that this was linked to and they received minimal response. Some thought this was a joke. Even I thought it was too good to be true. I asked some of my other political science friends about what bill this was attached to and they pointed to the higher-education bill that Governor Rick Scott was supposed to sign about a week after this Facebook post was made. The Bright Futures expansion was included in the bill to ensure permanent full tuition coverage for recipients.
The bill was vetoed on June 14th, 2017.
BUT…don’t be disappointed just yet. I’ve done my research and turns out you and I are still getting our scholarships! Although the bill was vetoed, there was a budget amendment made earlier this year that put money towards expanding Bright Futures for the 2017-2018 school year. So what does that mean? Bright Futures will cover the full tuition plus the book stipend, however it is only guaranteed for the 2017-2018 school year. Governor Scott is pushing the Florida Legislature to create a new bill for the next session to expand Bright Futures permanently so that families can plan future expenses.
Ok cool, so we’re getting full coverage, but you might be wondering why there have been no changes made on your student account to cover your tuition. I called FSU’s Office of Financial Aid about three weeks ago and they told me that they are aware of the change, however they cannot put the updated Bright Futures amount on your student account until the state sends them an official document of how to move forward. The office said that we will definitely give our full amount that was promised and we should see it on our accounts by the end of July or early August 2017.
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