Bill proposing changes to Bright Futures scholarship program

Tallahassee, FL., — State Senator Dennis Baxley, a Republican from Ocala, has recently filed new legislation to make big changes to the Bright Futures scholarship program.

Senate Bill 86 is intended to reduce the cost of the Bright Futures scholarship program.

This bill would force the Board of Education and Board of Governors to create a list of degree programs that they determine to be in high demand when students graduate and lead directly to employment.

Students whose selected majors are on this list will remain eligible for full financial aid from the state.

Students who decide to take career paths that are not included in this list would be limited to 60 hours of financial aid.

The bill establishes the program for Pell Grant-eligible students in a certificate or associate degree program who still owe tuition and fees at Florida colleges or career centers after the student has applied all federal gift aid and state financial assistance.

The additional award covers tuition and fees, plus a book stipend, and is awarded on a first-come first-served basis.

“We want all of our students to succeed in meaningful careers that provide for their families and serve our communities. As taxpayers we should all be concerned about subsidizing degrees that just lead to debt, instead of the jobs our students want and need. We encourage all students to pursue their passions, but when it comes to taxpayer subsidized education, there needs to be a link to our economy, and that is the goal of this legislation,” said Senator Baxley.

This proposed bill modifies the Florida Academic and Florida Medallion Scholars awards to an amount specified in the state budget.

If approved, this legislation would impact students beginning in the 2022-23 academic school year.