Proposed legislation would require certain college major tracks to get Bright Futures money

Proposed legislation in the state would change who is eligible for thousands of dollars in college funding for college.

Every college campus is made up of a number of college students who are studying a number of different disciplines.

“I want to go into forensic psychology,” Kalle Wheat said.

“At first, I studied environmental science,” biology major Brenda Proenza said. “But after taking biology, I really liked it, so I changed my major.”

“Myself, I started with engineering,” entrepreneurship major Jose Lopez-Marrero said.

Lots of these students could not study what they study or study at all without Florida Bright Futures, the merit-based scholarship that helps tens of thousands of students pay for college.

“It’s kind of the reason I’m able to go here,” Wheat said. “I just kind of need — I need what I can get.”

Wheat knows lots of students do, which is why she’s not a big fan of Florida Senate Bill 86. The proposed legislation would require Bright Futures students to select a major the state says will “lead directly to employment.”

MORE: SB 86: Student Financial Aid

“Truly make their futures bright by shaping them towards open careers that are begging for people,” said Florida Sen. Dennis Baxley, who filed the bill.

We asked Baxley what’s an acceptable major and what’s not?

“Well, I’m really going to leave a lot of this to the educational community,” Baxley said. “I’m asking them by this incentivization, so by the end of your educational journey, you’re not sitting there with a pile of debt.”

Some people who are in college worry a decision like that can’t be forced.

“I question my own major all the time,” Proenz said. “You never know when your path will change.”

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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