Niki Cain – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- With colleges sending out acceptance letters and applications winding down, what’s next for Mustang seniors? For some it’s figuring out how to pay for school.

Scholarships can determine how much of his or her own money a student will pay in order to go finish college and how much debt they will be in once they graduate.

Some scholarships are awarded by colleges once the student is accepted. Most Florida schools provide in-state merit-based scholarships which considers a student based on Grade Point Average (GPA) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)/American College Testing (ACT) scores.

Merit-based scholarships provided by colleges are granted to the student attending the specific institute.

Out-of-state colleges also provide merit-based scholarships based on Grade Point Average (GPA) and standardized college test scores once a student is accepted.

Alongside institution-based scholarships, there are global, national, and state scholarships available to senior students.

Bright Futures is a state scholarship given to Florida residents prior to their entry into their chosen postsecondary institution.

Students must be a Florida resident and have a high school diploma from a high school in Florida. There are three levels of Bright Futures: The Florida Academic Scholars Award, The Florida Medallion Scholars Award, and The Academic Top Scholars Award.

All awards are based on high school credits completed, weighted GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and service hours completed.

The Florida Academic Scholars Award covers 100 percent of a student’s tuition and applicable fees and provides the student $300 extra per semester for college-related expenses.

The Florida Medallion Scholars Award provides students $77 per credit hour.

The Academic Top Scholars Award provides students $44 dollars per credit hour.

Some scholarships can be found and applied for online. These scholarships have specific deadlines and amounts. These are usually general scholarships that almost anyone can apply for.

General scholarships may require an essay, proof of GPA and SAT/ACT scores, or even a simple 100-word response to a prompt.

With tuition covering only around one-third of college expenses, scholarships are a great way to get room and board, food, and books paid for all four years in college.

Some helpful scholarship sites include –

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