Paid work will now count towards Bright Futures scholarship eligibility:

Florida high school students who apply for the state’s Bright Futures College and Vocational School Scholarship Program will be able to substitute paid work experience for volunteer work under a bill signed Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Students applying for the Bright Futures program starting next school year will be able to complete the volunteer requirement by working 100 hours. During a bill signing ceremony at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, DeSantis said the change would help low-income families whose teens need to work.

This expansion will allow students who work after school to apply their paid work contributions to their communities to replace hours of service requirements. The legislation allows students to receive Bright Futures scholarships who otherwise might not have been able to meet the requirements for a scholarship, the governor said.

“Florida students shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to receive a Bright Futures scholarship because they have to work to help their families make ends meet,” DeSantis said. “After-school jobs teach our students valuable life lessons, as do community service hours. I am happy to sign this bill into law and will continue to ensure that higher education remains affordable in Florida.

“Bright Futures has provided a path to success for nearly one million students,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. needed to secure a scholarship. I am proud to join Governor DeSantis today as we expand access to post-secondary education for all students.

The bill changes the eligibility criteria for the Bright Futures scholarship program to include an option for students to use paid work hours to qualify for the scholarship. Paid hours of work must meet volunteer hour requirements and there must be documentation of the hours.

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