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DeSantis signs bill to expand Bright Futures eligibility in Florida

The new law takes paid work experience into consideration for Florida high school students applying for the scholarship.

TAMPA, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis says qualifying work experience will be taken into consideration for students looking to apply for a Bright Futures Scholarship to help pay for their college education in the state. 

DeSantis signed HB 461, which alters the requirements for Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, during a news conference Monday at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor City Campus. 

Before this change, students had to complete, depending on what level of scholarship, either at least 75 or 100 hours of volunteer service before graduation to be eligible for the scholarship, among other requirements. 

Now, 75 or 100 hours of paid work experience will be an added option for students to qualify. Another major change this new law makes to the scholarship is removing the requirement for students to identify a "social or civic issue or a professional area" that interests them. Instead, it's now an optional part of the application. 

 "What we don't want is to take a scholarship and make it out of reach of a student just because of their family circumstances," DeSantis said Monday. "In fact, those are the students who probably will benefit the most from having these [scholarships]."

Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. and Senate President Wilton Simpson were also in attendance for the bill signing. 

You can watch the governor's full announcement below and on our YouTube and Facebook pages.

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