Information on Scholarships and Grants for Florida Students
Nearly every state government funds and administers one or more key college scholarships and/or grants, and like many other states, there are plenty of unique opportunities that are only available to Floridans.
The overall mission for states is to build a sturdier state economy. One of the key ways to achieve that goal is to support the higher education of students while trying to retain talent in the state.
The Florida Department of Education is in charge of student financial aid in Florida, and many details of their programs can be found at Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) website. Be sure to check their website consistently, as programs and program rule change each year.
The Florida OSFA website also offers a way for you to plug in your demographic information, and filter search results for various scholarship and grant programs. This service is invaluable for finding out which scholarships you’re actually eligible for, not just which scholarships are available.
Flagship Bright Futures Scholarships
The Bright Futures Scholarship is Florida’s flagship gift aid program, a collection of scholarships aimed at supporting and encouraging the educational success of a broad base of Florida students. Thanks to the Florida Lottery, these awards help thousands of state resident students annually.
- Florida Academic Scholars award is given to those students with minimum 3.5 GPAs, the required number of community service hours, a completed battery of college prep coursework as determined by the Florida State Legislature, and other meritorious credentials. Awards vary from academic year to academic year and are based on current state funding levels.
- Florida Medallion Scholars award is designed to provide a wide range of financial assistance to students pursuing education at one of Florida’s public or private institutions. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA, have met various scoring metrics on the SAT/ACT exams, and have various other academic merits or honors in combination with the above. Unlike the Academic Scholars, there is no community service requirement attached to this scholarship.
- Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award is provided to students who have met various eligibility requirements through vocational/technical credits and curricula. Other requirements include minimum 3.0 GPA, a rigorous college prep program, and certain minimum exam scores. Awards vary based on current funding.
Bright Futures Scholarships can be renewed from year to year, and reinstated should you fail to meet program criteria during any given year. Just because you don’t maintain your GPA one year doesn’t mean you’re out of luck on the scholarship.
The Bright Futures Scholarships must be applied for while you’re a senior in high school. Period. Apply for consideration with the Florida Financial Aid Application, a state-specific gift aid form.
Make sure you also complete and file the FAFSA. Yes, without it you exclude yourself from many other state scholarships and grants, particularly those based on financial need.
For more detailed information and applications visit the Florida Student Scholarship and Grants Program website.
Other Aid Programs in the Community and through Foundations
The government isn’t always the best place to go for scholarships. Charitable foundations and other corporations also offer money for kids (or adults) to go to school, and unfortunately, many people miss out simply because they haven’t heard of the scholarship.
These are some other scholarships that you can qualify for based on either special achievement, academic merit, or financial need. The award amount and qualifications often vary from year to year, but you can still use these as a start to research and find out more specific award information.
- Alan Cober Memorial Scholarship
- A.G. Edwards Community Scholarship
- Art & Frame of Sarasota Educational Supply Scholarship
- Artist Series Music Scholarship
- Catherine P. Cornelius Scholarship
- Fred E. Pennell Memorial Scholarship
- Occupational Therapist & Physical Therapist Tuition Reimbursement Program
- Axel Hendrickson Scholarship