Bright Futures Scholarship Program

Bright Futures is the name of a scholarship program in the state of Florida. It is funded by the Florida Lottery and was first started in 1997. The Bright Futures program allows Florida high school seniors with "academic merit" to earn a scholarshipment to any public college/University in the state. This scholarship does not apply if the student chooses to attend college outside the state of Florida. Many private colleges in Florida offer Bright Futures recipients fully-paid tuition.

A certain SAT score or ACT score and high school GPA is required to earn a Bright Futures scholarship.

The scholarship only applies to undergraduate coursework (unless some graduate level classes are required for a bachelor's degree). Summer semesters are currently not eligible for bright futures funding, even though most Florida Public Universities require at least six credits to be earned through summer study. This requirement can generally be satisfied by Advanced Placement or CLEP examination.


The Bright Futures Scholarship was first created in 1997, and was meant to emulate neighboring state Georgia's HOPE Scholarship. Originally the Program dispersed just above 42,000 scholarships for about $70 million dollars. Over the last decade the cost for the scholarship has ballooned substantially. The Scholarship currently costs the lottery's coffers more than $436.1 million, with about 170,000 students taking advantage of the program. The requirements for attaining the scholarship were meant to increase each year but have not, resulting in the current state of the award.


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