Tallahassee, FL- Florida Representative Jervonte Edmonds (D) has filed a bill in the Florida House of Representatives that would expand eligibility for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship.
HB 25 would broaden the requirements needed to qualify for both the Academic Scholars and the Medallion Scholars Awards- Bright Future’s first and second tier scholarships.
Both scholarships are highly coveted and cherished by aspiring college students, active students, and families seeking to send their children to school in Florida. Eligibility is determined by the Florida Legislature, who have set rigorous academic and standardized test result standards.
However, Hispanic students can automatically gain eligibility for either award if they are recognized as scholars by the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition program.
The College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition program is a subset of an initiative that seeks to honor minority students or those attending school in a rural area or small town.
Representative Jervonte Edmons’ bill would expand the preferential treatment given to distinguished Hispanic students to all distinguished minority students. As such, all students recognized under any of the College Board's National Recognition programs would be eligible for Florida Bright Futures.
If approved, the bill would go into effect next academic year.
Two years ago, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) and other Democrats slammed Senate Republicans who pursued a bill that would reshape Florida’s Bright Futures college scholarship.
The failed legislation, SB86, would have determined the amount of aid students can receive for their awards depending on the student’s academic pursuits.
Currently, the Academic Scholars awards covers 100 percent of tuition at a four-year university, while Medallion Scholars covers 75 percent or 100 percent tuition at a two-year college for eligible students.