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Changes in Bright Futures scholarships expected to impact minority students

According to a new report released by Florida College Access Network, at least 60% fewer Hispanic students and 75% fewer African American students will have the opportunity to attend college with the financial support of Bright Futures scholarships in 2014.

Based on analysis done by the University of South Florida, changes in the eligibility requirements for Bright Future that will take effect for students graduating from high school next year will especially impact Hispanics and African American students.

The new eligibility requirements to obtain the scholarship require a minimum score of 1170 on the SAT or 26 on the ACT, and a high school GPA of 3.0. The current standards require a 1020 on the SAT or 22 on the ACT.

The study estimates these changes will impact all students as follows:

  • Between 2,700 and 3,000 Hispanic students are projected to meet the new criteria in 2014, compared to 7,000-7,500 Hispanic freshmen who met the criteria for Bright Futures for Fall 2012. This represents a drop of over 60% in scholarship eligible Hispanic students.
  • Only about 650 African American freshmen are projected to meet the minimum criteria, compared to approximately 2,700 students in the Fall 2012. This represents a drop of more than 75%
  • White freshmen are projected to have a less significant percentage drop in in eligible students of about 41%  - going from 17,000 students who met the criteria in Fall 2012 to 10,000 that would meet the requirements for Fall 2014.

Among the different colleges in Florida, the institutions projected to be most affected are University of Central Florida, University of North Florida, and University of South Florida where at least 50% of students won't classify under the new requirements to receive Bright Futures scholarships.

Research indicates minority students in general face more challenges enrolling in higher education and this change in eligibility requirements for Bright Future scholarships will definitely have an impact on many students' ability to afford a college education.

To find out more, read the press release here.

 

 

--Maira Martelo