Is your homeschooler college-bound? Did you know that your graduate may be eligible for a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship? That's right -- many Florida homeschool grads earn Bright Futures! Yours can, too!
The key to Bright Futures eligibility lies in meeting a set of minimum requirements. And because requirements may need to be satisfied over time, families are urged to start the preparation process early on -- ideally as early as 8th or 9th grade - to have all requirements met by graduation day. In addition, since Bright Futures eligibility requirements can change from year to year, it is important to visit the web site regularly, looking for updates that might affect the student over time, even altering the course of study during the high school years. Preparation is the name of the game!
In general, homeschooler requirements for Bright Futures are fairly straight-forward. They include filing both the federal financial aid form (called FAFSA) and filing a state financial aid form (called FFAA). Homeschoolers must also meet the cut-off for minimum SAT scores, which vary depending on graduation year and the level award being sought. Finally, homeschooled graduates must have accumulated enough volunteer hours to meet the community service requirement for each tier of the scholarship awards.
Keep in mind that several levels of Bright Futures awards are offered; thus, even students who do not graduate in the very highest bracket may still receive a partial award. The only way to find out is to apply!
For information about Florida Bright Futures, begin with the Florida Department of Education's pages for Florida Student Scholarships. Then, click on the Bright Futures icon in the center of the page to read more specific details about the program. Finally, be sure to pay attention to any special requirements just for homeschoolers, as these could be slightly different than the procedures for Florida public schoolers.
Related links also include:
FAFSA Official Site for Free Federal Student Aid
FFAA Official Page for Florida Financial Aid Application
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To learn more about homeschooling, pick up a copy of Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau's homeschooling book, Suddenly Homeschooling, available at Amazon and other online book retailers. Or, visit Dr. Moreau's author web site, Quick Start Homeschool for your autographed copy.