Scholarships & Grants in Florida
Many senior high school students in Florida has the same question on their mind, “How am I going to pay for college?” Luckily, Florida offers a lot of options as far as scholarships and grants to help answer this question.
Many such programs also use the same application, so students only have to fill it out once to be considered for multiple scholarships and grants. Students in Florida wishing to apply for the multitude of opportunities available need to fill out an Initial Student Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA), located here.
Completing this application allows the applicant to be considered for several need based scholarships, the merit based Florida Bright Futures program, and several special interest scholarships and grants.
José Martí Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund
This scholarship is available to Hispanic students enrolled in their senior year of high school. Applicants must be a Florida resident, as determined by their postsecondary institution, can not be in default of any other loans or grants, be of Spanish culture, have earned a 3.0 unweighted cumulative grade point average by the end of their seventh semester in high school, and enroll as a degree-seeking student at an eligible Florida postsecondary institution.
In addition to the FFAA, students wishing to apply for this scholarship must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to demonstrate significant financial need. The award is typically $2,000 a semester and the amount of awards given out is based on the amount of contributions and funds the grant fund receives.
Rosewood Family Scholarship Program
Students who are direct descendants of Rosewood families affected by the incidents of January 1923 have a unique opportunity to receive this award. It is given to a maximum of 25 students who can prove their heritage and complete the FFAA.
Applicants can not be in default to any other loan or scholarship program, can not have previously received a baccalaureate degree, must enroll full-time in a participating post-secondary institution, and must prove their ancestry by April 1 of each calendar year. Students must also complete the FAFSA to be considered for this award, since it is a need-based scholarship. Recipients of the award typically receive tuition and fees for 15 credit hours, not to exceed $4,000.
First Generation Matching Grant Program
Students who are the first generation of college-bound children in their family are elligible for this grant program. Applicants must be Florida residents, not be in default to any other loan programs, not have previously received a baccalaureate degree be accepted to a Florida state univeristy or community college, and be a first generation college student.
First generation is determined by confirming that neither of the applicants parents earned a college degree. Because it is a need-based scholarship, applicants must also fill out the FAFSA in order to prove financial need. The award amount is based on the student’s financial need after any other scholarships or grants have been applied.
Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program
Students interested in community colleges or career centers operated by a school district can apply for this grant. Applicants must be Florida residents, in good standing with other loan programs, and demonstrate financial need through the FAFSA. The minimum award is $200 and the maximum award is $2,069.
Florida Student Assistance Grant Program
This program is need-based and supports students entering public and private universities as well as community colleges and career centers. Students must be Florida residents, in good standing with any other loan programs, and can not have received a previous baccalaureate degree. The minimum award is $200 and the maximum award is $2,069.
Applicants must demonstrate financial need through the FAFSA and the award recipients are determined individually through each participating institution. This award includes federal funds through the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership and the Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership. The Talented Twenty Program recipients, which are high school students graduating in the top 20% of each high school class, are given priority in this grant program.
Florida Work Experience Program
The FWEP is a program aiming to supply work experiences to eligible Florida students in order to reinforce their educational goals. Each participating institution determines the application procedure, but applicants must demonstrate financial need through the FAFSA.
Applicants must be a Florida resident, be in good standing with any other loan programs, not have previously received a baccalaureate degree, enroll for a minimum of six credit hours per term at an eligible institution OR enroll no less than half-time in a career certificate program.
Or you can enroll as no less than a half-time student in good standing at an eligible educator preparation institute. Students applying through an educator preparation institute may have previously received a baccalaureate degree. Recipients are eligible for 110% of the amount of credits needed to complete the program or until receiving the first baccalaureate degree, which ever comes first.
Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship Program
Applicants for this scholarship program must demonstrate financial need through the FAFSA and attend Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, Florida A&M University, or Florida Memorial University. Each participating institution determines the application procedures and chooses the recipients.
In order to be eligible, applicants must be a Florida resident, be in good standing with any other loan programs, not have previously received a baccalaureate degree, enroll at one of the specified colleges, and maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. The annual award varies based on funds, but averages approximately $3,000 a year.
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
All Florida high school seniors are eligible for this scholarship program. It is merit based and has three different tiers. The requirements for each tear change occasionally, so students interesting in knowing how to qualify for these awards should inquire at their schools for up-to-date information.
The Florida Academic Scholars Award includes the Academic Top Scholars award is awarded to seniors graduating with high weighted GPA’s (3.5 or higher), a minimum amount of community service hours logged as determined that year, and earn an International Baccalaureate )IB) Diploma or complete the IB curriculum and earn a minimum SAT or ACT score as determined that year OR earcn the AICE Diploma or complete the AICE curriculum and earn a minimum SAT or ACT score as determined that year OR be a National Merit or Acievement Scholar or Finalist or be a Hispanic Scholar. Florida Academic Scholars recipients receive 100% of tuition at public Florida universities or colleges and a fixed amount of money if they attend a private Florida university or college.
The Florida Medallion Scholars Award is given to seniors graduating with a weighted 3.0 GPA or higher who have completed the IB curriculum and earned a minimum SAT or ACT score as determined that year OR completed the AICE curriculum and earned a minimum SAT or ACT score as determined that year OR are National Merit or Achievement Scholar or Finalist or are a Hispanic Scholar with no documented community service hours. Recipients receive 75% of tuition at public Florida universities or colleges and a fixed amount of money if they attend a private Florida university or college.
The Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award is awarded to students earning a weighted GPA of 3.0 who have completed a program that includes a minimum of three vocational job-prep classes or technology education courses. Applicants must have achieved a 3.5 GPA in the three vocational or technology courses and score a minimum score on the CPT, SAT, or ACT as determined that year. Recipients are awarded 75% of tuition at a public Florida universitie or college and a fixed amount of money if they attend a private Florida university or college.
In addition to the need-based and merit-based programs outlined above, several special interest programs are included in the FFAA application. Children of veterans or disabled police officers or fire fighters are eligible for multiple programs. Also, students entering into programs with high demand, such as teachers or nurses, are eligible for various funding opportunities.
Individual institutions offer many more funding opportunities based on merit and need and various organizations throughout Florida do so as well. Students needing assistance to attend a post-secondary institution in Florida simply need to do a small amount of research and some time filling out applications in order to make the best of these many opportunities.