Bright Futures deadline extended for 32K Florida students

By The Numbers

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Students and parents across Florida felt great relief on Tuesday when Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order extending the deadline for students to apply for the state’s Bright Futures scholarship.

In a tweet posted Tuesday evening, the Florida Department of Education announced the deadline to apply for Bright Futures had been extended until Dec. 1. That will apply to students who have graduated in the 2019- 2020 school year.

Students will still have to fulfill the Bright Futures scholarship requirements that were in place when they graduated.

The state’s Department of Education has been working for months with The College Board, which administers the exam, to find a solution to the canceled exams. The exams have not been widely available since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In early June, the FDOE extended the deadline for Bright Futures applications to the end of July, but SAT tests were not scheduled until August and most ACT tests were canceled for July.

According to a statistical report from the Florida Department of Education, more than 46,700 students were eligible for the Bright Futures scholarship in the 2018-2019 school year.

The FDOE estimates that 32,000 Florida seniors qualified for the scholarship during the 2019-2020 school year. About a quarter of those students qualify for a 75% or 100% scholarship if they’re able to fulfill the standardized test requirement.

The College Board resumed SAT testing in Aug. 29, and will continue once each month until December.

“Governor DeSantis signed this order with the goal of providing compassion and relief to both Florida’s aspiring and current college and university students and their families, many of whom are in tremendous need of support with their postsecondary education during this period of economic recovery,” the FDOE said in Tuesday’s announcement. “For three consecutive years, Florida’s postsecondary system has been recognized as the #1 postsecondary system in the country, and it is imperative that it remain affordable for the benefit of our students and Florida’s recovery.”

At the height of the pandemic in the spring, many SAT and ACT tests were canceled, leaving nearly 1 million students across the country scrambling to figure out what they’d do without scholarship funding that required SAT or ACT scores.

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