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Bright Futures expansion rests with Gov. Scott

Some 40,000 students and families are waiting to see if Gov. Rick Scott will save them a lot of money for college. Sitting on his desk is an expansion of the Bright Futures scholarship program.

The proposal would pay 100 percent of tuition to state universities and colleges and throw in another $300 for books and supplies.

More than 750,000 Bright Futures scholarships have been awarded since the program’s inception in 1997. There are three levels of scholarships awarded with the amount of each determined by how much money is available.

The state spent $217 million on the program this year. The Senate proposed a 47 percent increase to the top award, the Florida Academic Scholar, to boost the per-credit-hour award to $198 for universities and $106 for colleges.

Bright Futures is funded with lottery money. The general requirement for a scholarship is a weighted high school GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0-scale, 100 hours of community service and an ACT score of 29 or a SAT score of 1290.

Scott has until June 20 to decide whether to sign the bill.

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