General Bright Futures Requirements

There are a few different Bright Futures awards, but these general requirements apply to all of them. In order to qualify for one of these awards, you must:

  • Be a Florida state resident and US citizen or eligible noncitizen (noncitizen eligibility is determined by your college).

  • 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.

Program Specific Requirements

In addition to the above requirements, there are curriculum, GPA, national standarized testing, and community service requirements. Please see the official Bright Futures Handbook for more detailed information regarding the requirements. 

Bright Futures Community Service

Did you know you need community service hours in order to qualify for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship? 
Community service must be tracked and entered on your transcript in order to be counted. DO NOT BEGIN YOUR COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED STEPS 1 & 2. 

Use the following steps for community service for Bright Futures:

1. Submit a proposal online with the following link:
2. Once your counselor has approved your community service, he/she will e-mail you the volunteer service agreement form which MUST be signed by your parent, your site supervisor, your school counselor, and yourself. (please see attachment below)
3. You NOW can begin your community service hours. Be sure to track your hours yourself. 
4. At the conclusion of your community service, submit your hours on agency letterhead, signed by your site supervisor and complete the final reflection with the following link:

Bright Futures Volunteer Service Hours Requirements by Scholarship Level: 

Academic Scholar Award- 100 Documented Hours
Medallion Award- 75 Documented Hours
Gold Seal Award- 30 Documented Hours
Gold Seal CAPE Scholars Award- 30 Documented Hours

Requirements for students engaging in volunteer service hours:
The high school student must be considered capable of representing the school well in the community site; be capable of participating in activities off-campus without the direct supervision of school personnel; be able to arrange their own transportation to and from the site.

Criteria for documenting volunteer service hours:

  • Student is required to obtain prior approval from his/her school counselor to ensure that the volunteer service site meets the criteria and that the student will receive volunteer service hours for volunteering.
  • Volunteer service work for the Bright Futures scholarship must be volunteer work and a student shall not receive remuneration or academic credit for such work.
  • Volunteer work may include, but is not limited to, a business or government internship, volunteering with a nonprofit community service organization, or activity on behalf of a candidate for public office.
  • All services are supervised by an approved adult representative of the agency.
  • The site does not involve direct supervision/ownership/operation by a family member, the presence of unsafe conditions, or the use of students for financial gain.
  • Service does not interrupt a student’s regularly scheduled school day.
  • Service hours must be earned during grades 9-12 and must be completed by the conclusion of the last term of the student’s senior year. 
  • Student is required to identify a social, civic issue, or a professional area of interest.
  • Student is required to develop a plan for personal involvement in addressing the issue or learning about the professional area, as well as evaluating and reflecting on such experience through papers or presentations.
  • Florida law establishes accountability requirements for student volunteer work. Student volunteer service hours are required to be documented in writing and signed by the student, the student’s parent or guardian, and a representative of the organization for which the student worked, including dates of service and activities. 
  • Organization documentation must be on agency letterhead stating student hours, dates of service and service activities.

The service hours will be placed on the student’s transcript after proper documentation and signatures have been received as well as the student’s evaluating and reflecting on the experience through either a reflection paper or other type of presentation.

Bright Futures volunteer services hours that have been completed and validated using these guidelines as defined by s. 1009.534, F.S. will be posted on the District mainframe system and appear on the student transcript. Students are encouraged to document community service hours for purposes other than the Bright Futures scholarship on their personal resumes or portfolios and these hours shall not be posted on the District mainframe system or appear on the student transcript.