Bright Futures scholarship requirements adjusted, SAT concerns remain

Education

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida officials are adjusting the eligibility requirements for Bright Futures scholarships amid continued impacts from coronavirus.

The Florida Department of Education issued an emergency order on Wednesday night addressing concerns brought by parents and students surrounding deadlines and other requirements like volunteer hours.

DOE commissioner Richard Corcoran signed the order, suspending the mandate requiring volunteer hours. In their place, students can submit a form from an authorized administrator explaining that the student intended to complete the volunteer hours but was unable to due to coronavirus impacts.

One of the key alterations in the emergency order is that the deadline for qualifying ACT and SAT scores has been extended from June 30 to July 31.

“ACT has been working with DOE to open more testing sites, and are prioritizing current seniors,” said DOE spokeswoman Taryn Fenske. “They even told us that in June 19,000 students have signed up. DOE is coordinating between ACT and districts and colleges to help open any additional sites needed.”

While ACT tests are scheduled for June and July, parents have reached out to WFLA wondering how their students will meet the new deadline when the next scheduled SAT exam date isn’t until Aug. 29— nearly a month later.

“Unfortunately, The College Board recently let us know they weren’t going to do tests in June and July and we hope this order drives both ACT and SAT to increase opportunities for seniors working hard to take the tests,” Fenske said.

But according to The College Board, they currently have no set plans to add dates.

“Earlier this spring, we announced that we will provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August,” said spokeswoman Sara Sympson. “As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we will continue to monitor and provide updates if circumstances change closer to the test dates.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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