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There is an enormous amount of money placed aside for college scholarships.  With a little effort, many students will qualify for some merit-based aid.  Scholarships can be divided into different areas:

Guaranteed Scholarships:

Some institutions will automatically offer an award to students who meet specified criteria, often a combination of cumulative GPA and SAT scores.  Students need not apply for the scholarship directly; all applicants to the college will be considered.

School-Specific Scholarships/Scholars Programs:

These programs require separate applications and often require a counselor recommendation.  In addition to financial rewards, many scholars receive special perks, ranging from exclusive dorms, study abroad opportunities, priority course registration, or stipends for summer travel or research.

Regional or Local Scholarships:

Many community organizations offer money to local students.  Occasionally membership in the professional or social organization is required.  Most of these applications require an essay, brag sheet, and school transcript

National Scholarships:

Major businesses and other organizations offer scholarship competitions for excellent students.  Again, the scholarship application often consists of an essay, brag sheet, school transcript, and counselor recommendation

Other Resources:

Search for more scholarship opportunities using FASTWEB.

Summer Scholarship Tasks for High-school students

Creating a Successful Private Scholarship Search Approach

10 Colleges Where Most Students Receive Merit Aid


Florida Bright Futures:

There are two levels of Bright Futures scholarships based on GPA and SAT scores.  The criteria is outlined below.  Note that the Bright Futures GPA calculation may be different than the ODA GPA, as Bright Futures utilizes a different formula... some variation will occur.  If you have questions about your Bright Futures GPA calculation, please speak with Mr. Runge or Mr. Harding AFTER you have completed the FFAA.

The required "Initial Student Florida Financial Aid Application" (FFAA) will be available online December 1st through the Department of Education.  ALL SENIORS should complete the online application by early January to be eligible for the initial Bright Futures review.  You will not be considered for Bright Futures if this form is not complete.

Initial Student Florida Financial Aid Application (online version)

Mrs. Chait will enter all seniors' transcripts into the Dept. of Education Bright Futures database.  It is the students' responsibility to fill out the FFAA in order to complete the application process.  Seniors will have the opportunity to work with their college counselor to complete the FFAA during Issues in Contemporary Society (Senior Seminar) within the December - January timeframe.

For more information about the Bright Futures scholarship and application process, please see visit the Florida Department of Education website. Additionally, please make note of recent changes to the program (increase community service hours, increased SAT/ACT requirement, etc.).

It is highly recommened that you fill out the FFAA even if you are only applying to out-of-state colleges. If received, the award is saved in case you come back to Florida at some point during your undergraduate education.  However, students cannot apply for the Bright Futures Scholarship after high school graduation. 

Note that the Initial Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) required for Bright Futures evaluation is NOT the same as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The FAFSA is required for all families interested in need-based financial aid at schools all over the country, including schools within Florida.  Bright Futures/FFAA is merit-based and completely separate from need-based financial aid consideration.

Please review the two levels of Bright Futures Awards:

Florida Academic Scholarship (FAS) [$103 per credit hour]

Qualification Requirements

  • 3.5 weighted GPA using the core academic classes (according to the Bright Futures grading scale)
  • 100 hours of community service
  • 1290 SAT or 29 ACT (written sections will not be used)
  • Not have been found guilty of, or plead nolo contendere to, a felony charge
  • Student must be a Florida resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

Florida Medallion Scholarship (FMS) [$77 per credit hour]

Qualification Requirements

  • 3.0 weighted GPA using the core academic courses (according to the Bright Futures grading scale)
  • 75 hours of community service
  • 1170 SAT or 26 ACT (written sections will not be used)
  • Not have been found guilty of, or plead nolo contendere to, a felony charge.
  • Student must be a Florida resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

Florida Resident Assistance Grant:

This non-need based grant provides funds for tuition and fees at Florida's private colleges and universities. Eligibility requirements include legal Florida residency for parents & students, valid U.S. residency and full-time enrollment in an undergraduate degree-seeking program. The FFAA must be completed.  Many of the private colleges and universities participating in the Florida Resident Assistance Grant (FRAG) program will require a supplemental application also be completed with the college for this award.  The award amount is $2,500 annually.

For more information about the Florida Resident Assistance Grant, please download this brochure.

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