College students in Florida might soon be facing new requirements and smaller scholarship amounts if the legislature in Tallahassee can’t figure out how to balance their budget goals with the reality of declining tax revenues and a rapidly shrinking economy.

While the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship has provided generous financial assistance for academically qualified students for many years, the amount being spent on this program is growing as quickly as the cost of tuition – and that means its growing a lot faster than the stagnant or deflating economy.  While its been expected for many years that the current scholarship rates are unsustainable, the time is now here that something needs to be done in balancing the budget and politicians in Florida just love to cut anything remotely attached to education!  Despite previous minor cuts to the program, it looks like some more significant ones are headed down the political pipeline…

The Tampa Bay Times reports some of the biggest changes being proposed:

  • SAT score requirements would rise by 80 points – giving students all the more reason to practice for their standardized tests
  • Students would face stricter requirements to only spend scholarship money on classes that are specifically required for graduation.  This means any classes taken outside of the major requirements or any credits above the degree requirement would have to be paid out of pocket.
  • Future year’s scholarship funds probably won’t include any more money per student than the current year’s – despite the fact that restrictions and eligibility requirements are getting tougher and in-state tuition is expected to rise by as much as 15% in just the next academic year.

But its not time to start panicking yet, these proposals are just that:  ideas being considered by politicians who need to cover up a huge budget deficit in any way that they can.  So if you’ve got a strong opinion of this, you should go ahead and contact your representative in Tallahassee and let them know how you feel about the Bright Futures Scholarship.

Are there places other than the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program that they can cut the budget, or is it worth raising taxes in a deflationary economic environment?  I can’t say for sure, but its definitely a matter of assigning priorities and making your opinions known to the people who will ultimately make the decisions affecting our college students in the coming decade.

6 Responses to “Florida seeks Bright Futures Scholarship cuts and eligibility changes”

  1. Scholarship money should only be spent on beer and not classes right?! I believe lowering the amount of bright futures scholarships could be highly detrimental to young peoples futures. I was on a scholarship at my university and I would of never been able to afford my education without it. People from low socio-economical backgrounds need a boost like this.
    Hope they don’t cut it.

  2. My daughter worked hard for her Bright Futures scholarship, only to see it cut her freshman year in college. Even with Bright Futures and the prepaid tuition plan her parents paid for, a significant portion of her expenses is not covered. Thanks to the recession, only one of her parents is working now and she has trouble finding jobs that fit with her class schedule. As the Legislature contemplates cutting this program, it also proposes shifting millions of taxpayer dollars to private schools and creating more upheaval in the public schools with a teacher salary structure tied to — what else? — standardized tests. I hope Florida voters will promise to oust lawmakers who vote for these wrong-headed priorities and make good on that promise if the measures pass.

  3. Sometimes, funding for education becomes the least priority for politicians because they don’t see any visible positive results today. Let us be reminded that education builds the hearts & minds of our kids so in the future they can build a better society. This is long-term gain.

  4. I believe professors are now under pressure to lower grades. If it’s my paycheck or your parents…your parents loose.

  5. My daughter worked hard for her Bright Futures scholarship, only to see it cut her freshman year in college .

    you are right my friend , the scolarship is great way to promoto a child in future

  6. This is not surprising, given the state of our economic situation. USA continues to struggle to recover its status and with employment at almost record low the situation remains bleak. Education, health, in fact any social services are at risk.

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>