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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Florida Bright Futures Scholarship

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, funded by the state of Florida, provides scholarships based on high school academic achievement. The program has different award levels, each with its own eligibility criteria and award amounts. Awards are per credit hour.

Eligibility & Requirements | Program Types | Exceptions | Timeline | Summer Funding | Renewal and Reinstatement | Repayment | Appeals

How to Apply for Bright Futures

Students must apply for the scholarship by submitting the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) no later than August 31 after high school graduation.

NOTE: In order to receive the Bright Futures Scholarship award, your post-secondary institution selection on the Initial Student Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) must be stated as “PSI – 161 The University of North Florida.” If you have selected another institution on the FFAA and you are planning to attend UNF, you must update your institution name selection to reflect “UNF”. To update your post-secondary institution name, you may visit the Florida Department of Education, Office of Student Financial Assistant (OSFA) website or call 1-888-827-2004.

Bright Futures Eligibility and Requirements

Pro Tip: To avoid delays to your Bright Futures awarding, please complete a Florida residency declaration. For further information regarding Florida residency please visit UNF's Residency webpage.

Bright Futures Requirements

Each award has different academic criteria for eligibility and provides a different award amount and/or number of semester hours. In order to qualify for one of these awards, you must:

  • Be a Florida state resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Complete the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) by 8/31 the year of your high school graduation
  • Earn a standard Florida high school diploma or its equivalent from a Florida public high school or a registered Florida Department of Education private school
  • Not have been convicted of (or pleaded no contest to) a felony charge
  • Be accepted by and enroll in a degree or certificate program at an eligible Florida public or independent postsecondary institution
  • Be enrolled for at least six (non-remedial) credit hours per term
If you meet all of the above requirements, you’re on the right track to getting your own Florida Bright Futures awards.

Eligibility

Eligibility and application criteria are available from your high school guidance office, or the Florida Bright Futures Program website.

Students are not required to submit a FAFSA in order to receive both initial and renewal Bright Futures eligibility. Students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA to learn of potential eligibility for additional state and federal aid.

Note: Gold Seal (Cape/or Vocational) Scholarships are not offered at UNF as we are a postsecondary institution specialized in degree programs.

Types of Bright Future Scholarship Programs

Florida Academic Scholars (FAS)

This is the most competitive Bright Futures scholarship and the most generous one. Florida Academic Scholar (FAS) recipients may receive funding for up to five years from high school graduation for a maximum of 120 semester hours toward the completion of a first baccalaureate degree. The Florida Academic Scholar with the highest academic ranking in each county will also receive the Academic Top Scholars Award.

For the 2020-2021 academic  year, the Florida Academic Scholars will receive an award amount equal to 100% of tuition and applicable fees in fall, spring and summer. Applicable fees include activity and service fee, health fee, athletic fee, financial aid fee, capital improvement fee, campus access/transportation fee, technology fee and tuition differential fee. Florida Academic Scholars will receive an additional amount of $300 per term (fall and spring only) as a book stipend. For the 2021-22 academic year, the Florida Academic Scholars will receive an award amount equal to 100% of tuition and applicable fees. Applicable fees include: activity and service fee, health fee, athletic fee, financial aid fee, capital improvement fee, campus access/transportation fee, technology fee and tuition differential fee. The book stipend of $300.00 per term will no longer be available.
The Florida Academic Scholars Award is $207.73 per credit hour.
The Academic Top Scholars Award is $44 per credit hour.

Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS)

This scholarship is less competitive than the FAS, but it still has relatively high minimum test score and GPA requirements. Florida Medallion Scholar (FMS) recipients may receive funding for up to five years from high school graduation for a maximum of 120 semester hours toward the completion of a first baccalaureate degree.

For the 2021-22 academic year, Florida Medallion Scholars will receive an award amount equal to 75% of tuition and applicable fall, spring and summer fees. Applicable fees include activity and service fee, health fee, athletic fee, financial aid fee, capital improvement fee, campus access/transportation fee, technology fee and tuition differential fee. Florida Medallion Scholar awards will not receive the $300 book stipend.

The Florida Medallion Scholars Award is $155.79 per credit hour.

 


Exceptions to Bright Futures Requirements

Students who have less than six credit hours of remaining Bright Futures eligibility, or who need fewer than six credit hours to graduate, may be funded if enrolled for less than six credit hours.

Students who are about to graduate will need a completed graduation application to be awarded for less than six credit hours. 

A FAS or FMS scholarship recipient, who graduates with a baccalaureate degree in seven or fewer semesters, or in 105 semester hours or fewer, may receive funding for one semester of graduate study, not to exceed 15 credit hours paid at the undergraduate rate. Graduate school funding must be used within the applicable scholarship length.

Bright Futures Timeline

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Additional Financial Aid Important Dates


UNF begins awarding estimated Bright Futures awards for incoming First Time In College (FTIC) students in April for the upcoming academic year that begins in August. Continuing renewal students will receive an estimated when awarding begins for the next academic year starting in November.

From November to the end of May, these estimates are based on previous eligibility for continuing renewal students. 

UNF will load the Master Eligibility List (MEL) from Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) which includes students who received the Bright Futures Initial Award Letter from OSFA. Incoming FTIC students on the MEL will be awarded in April.

For students who we estimated an award but whose final determination has not yet been made by Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) on the MEL, will have their estimated Bright Futures award cancelled. 

UNF receives weekly updates from OSFA so students who are added to the list can expect an award to be made within about a week from OSFA’s final determination.

Summer Funding for Bright Futures Scholars

The Bright Futures Scholarship allows Bright Futures Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) and Bright Futures Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) students to receive award funding during summer terms.

FAS students will receive an award that covers 100% of tuition and applicable fees for the summer term. FMS students will receive an award that covers 75% of tuition and fees.

To be considered for summer funding, select UNF as your preferred institution for the appropriate summer term on the Florida's Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) website. Continuing students should select Term 6 of the 2021-2022 year, while recent high school graduates should select Term 0 of the 2022-2023 year.

Summer Bright Futures awards will initially post upon enrollment in six credit hours. Once student registers and/or after the end of the add/drop week, the award amount will update based on the actual credit hours.

Funding Requirements

In order to receive summer funding, FAS and FMS students:

  • Must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours.
  • Students with less than 6 credit hours required for graduation, may receive FAS and FMS by completing a graduation application .

Renewal & Reinstatement / Restoration

Renewal Eligibility

Renewal eligibility is an automatic process that occurs at the end of the spring term for those students who received funding during the previous year. Renewal students must earn the GPA and the required hours on all college coursework attempted, including transient enrollment hours. The student may request the exclusion of dual enrollment courses completed while attending high school from the GPA, if needed, to meet requirements.

Learn more about Renewal Eligibility

Reinstatement and Restoration

An eligible student who did not receive funding during the prior year and would now like to apply for scholarship funding is a reinstating student. A student is eligible to apply for reinstatement up to five years from high school graduation.  If a student does not meet the scholarship’s GPA requirements, they may be eligible to apply for a one-time restoration — but only if the failure to renew occurred at the end of the student’s first year of funding. 

Learn more about Reinstatement and Restoration

Repayment for Dropped or Withdrawn Courses

Institutions are required to recalculate Bright Futures awards when a student withdraws or drops one or more classes after the Drop/Add period ends.

  • Students whose awards are already disbursed will owe the funds back to UNF for classes that are withdrawn and/or dropped.
  • Failure to pay back the university will result in loss of future eligibility for Bright Futures.
  • Repayment for the cost of dropped and/or withdrawn courses is required to renew a Bright Futures award for a subsequent academic year.
  • Florida Department of Education (OSFA Repayment Deadline – Students must pay UNF before the end of the spring term to be reported automatically. Payments after the end of the spring term will require the completion of the Scholarship Action Request Form.

Scholarship Appeals Procedures

If a student does not meet the renewal GPA and/or required hours due to an extenuating circumstance beyond the student’s control, an Enrollment Services Appeal may appeal by completed with supporting documentation. The extenuating circumstance(s) that affected the term(s) in question must be documented.

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