State won’t extend deadline for Bright Futures Scholarship

The state will not extend the deadline for students to qualify for Bright Futures Scholarships, despite the fact COVID-19 canceled a handful of chances for graduating seniors to take the SAT.

Parents and students now must make some tough decisions.

The state decision is a blow for Mary Fox and her daughter

“Having to supplement whatever minimum federal aid was awarded to Anastasia, that’s definitely putting a financial burden on us as parents,” Fox explained.

The problem for most parents and their students is getting a qualifying SAT score.

“Anastasia missed the Bright Futures Scholarship by about 20 SAT points,” Fox said.

And she’s missing out on what could have been thousands of dollars in scholarship money all because of COVID-19.

When the pandemic hit, the college board canceled several summertime offerings.

“So the first opportunity that Anastasia could take the SAT was actually past the deadline,” Fox said.

Fox plans to send her daughter to FGCU instead of UF because of the difference in cost.

“It’s a bit disappointing, especially considering that Anastasia worked so hard,” Fox said.

But she’s not giving up. Fox wants to see the state get creative and allow seniors hurt by the pandemic to get a second chance at Bright Futures next year.

“At least give them the opportunity to earn Bright Future for their sophomore, junior and senior years,” Fox said.

More than 100,000 students earned Bright Futures money in the 2018-19 school year.

Florida Department of Education said in a statement it cannot unilaterally make that decision to extend the deadline because funding is tied to lottery trust funds.

Reporter:Gail Levy
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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