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Scholarship Information

2013-14 Academic Year - Bright Futures Scholarship

Florida Academic Scholar • Florida Medallion Scholar • Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholar 

Florida Department of Education Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) 

Contact Number: 1-888-827-2004                                                                               

 For easy access to program information, application and award status it is important that students are responsible with regularly checking their account on the Bright Futures Website.

FIU Bright Futures State School Code: 131 


Florida Legislative Updates:

  • Students are no longer required to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) in order to be eligible for a Bright Futures Scholarship.
  • According to prior legislative changes set forth by the State of Florida, initial GSV students, those who graduate from high school in 2011-2012 can only receive funding for Applied Technology Diplomas, Technical Degree Education Programs or Career Certificate Programs. Florida International University does not provide such technical education programs; therefore, the Gold Seal Vocational (GVS) award can no longer be offered to initial students. Please visit the State website for more information regarding these changes.


2013-2014 New Per Credit Award Amounts:

  • FL Academic: $103.00 (FLAT RATE)
  • FL Medallion/Vocational Gold Seal: $77.00 (FLAT RATE)


Community Service for 2011-2012 High School Graduates and thereafter:

  • Increase in community service requirement (and hours increase for Florida Academic Scholars) for all three Bright Futures award levels. Bright Futures Florida Academic Scholars (FAS), Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS), and Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars (GSV) during the 2011-12 academic year, and thereafter, must complete:
    • FAS – 100 hours
    • FMS – 75 hours
    • GSV – 30 hours
    • The Florida Department of Education is required to approve home education community service hours for Bright Futures initial eligibility.

Eligible VISA Types for Bright Futures Eligibility

(Be sure Visa is not expired)

  • Category A - government official
  • Category E - treaty trader or investor
  • Category G – representative of an international organization
  • Category H-1 – temporary worker performing professional nursing services or in a specialty occupation
  • Category H-4 – only if spouse or child of an alien classified H-1
  • Category I – foreign information media representative
  • Category K – fiancée, fiancé or child of a US citizen
  • Category L – intra-company transferee (including spouse or child)
  • Category N – parent or child of alien accorded special immigrant status
  • Category O-1 – workers of “extraordinary” ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
  • Category O-3 – only if spouse or child of O-1 alien
  • Category R – religious workers
  • Category NATO 1-7 – representatives and employees or NATO and their families.
  • Visa category S – Alien witnesses and informants, including their spouse and children.
  • Visa category T – Victims of trafficking, who cooperate with federal authorities in prosecutions of traffickers, including their spouse and children.
  • Visa category U – Victims of Certain Crimes, including their spouse and children.
  • Visa category V – Spouses and children of lawful permanent residents                                                                                          

Additional Bright Futures Scholarship Information

The initial Bright Future Scholarship award on your Financial Aid Notice (FAN) is an "estimate based on 15 credits of enrollment” and will be adjusted to your actual enrollment after ADD/DROP period each semester.



Please review the following chart below as a guide to assist in determining your scholarship award based on your actual enrollment by the number of credits.

Bright Futures Important Notice

**The chart above contains the new BF calculated Award amounts for the 2014-2015 Academic Year**

Cancelling/Partially Accepting BF award:

  • If a student wishes to cancel or partially accept their Bright Futures, they may express their request to their award by submitting the Bright Futures Request Form. Student should check which option applies to them (cancel or partially accept award). Award amounts can only be adjusted before grades are posted. Once grades are posted for that semester, the Bright Futures award for the semester can no longer be adjusted.

Graduate Funding:

  • Bright Futures Scholarship recipients who graduate with a baccalaureate degree, in the 2010-11 academic year or after, in seven or fewer semesters (or the equivalent in credit hours) and wish to pursue graduate study may apply the unused portion of their FAS or FMS awards toward one semester of graduate study, not to exceed 15 semester hours paid at the undergraduate rate.


Renewal Requirements:

In order to renew your scholarship for the following academic year, it is necessary that all of the renewal requirements are met at the end of the Spring semester. Please visit the How to be Renewed page for more details.


      I.        Minimum Earned Hours Required PER TERM for Renewal:


Funded Hours
 (per term)

Required to Earn
(per term)


Full Time
(12+ credits)

12 credits

Full Time students FUNDED for 12+ hours must earn at least 12 credits for that term.

Three Quarter Time
(9-11 credits)

9 credits

Three-Quarter Time students FUNDED for 9-11 hours must earn at least 9 credits for that term.

Half Time
(6-8 credits)

6 credits

Half Time students FUNDED for 6-8 hours must earn at least 6 credits for that term.


    II.        Minimum Cumulative GPA required (at the end of Spring semester) for Renewal:

  • FL Academic Scholar: 3.00 Cumulative GPA
  • FL Medallion/Vocational Gold Seal: 2.75 Cumulative GPA


   III.        Dropped Class Repayment Requirement:

  • If you do not repay for Bright Futures funded classes dropped or withdrawn by the end of the current academic year, you will not be eligible for renewal or funding the subsequent academic year.

*You will receive a notification via your online Financial Aid Recipient History regarding your eligibility or ineligibility status for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.


Reinstatement Opportunity:

An eligible student who did not receive funding during the previous academic year and would now like to apply for scholarship funding is a reinstating student. For more details on reinstatement, or to apply for reinstatement with the State, please visit the How to be Reinstated page.


One-Time Restoration Opportunity:

A student is a restoration student if he/she did not meet the GPA renewal requirement and/or did not meet the minimum credit hours requirement to renew their Bright Futures. Restoration requirements vary depending on the year that the student graduated from high school. For more detailed information regarding the Restoration Requirements depending on the year that the student graduated, or to apply for the One-Time Restoration opportunity, you may visit the How to be Restored - One-Time Opportunity page.


Additional Bright Futures Scholarship Information:

  • Bright Futures funding is NOT available for Summer semesters.
  • Students must enroll at least a minimum of half-time in order for scholarship to disburse.
  • The initial Bright Future Scholarship award on your Financial Aid Notice (FAN) is an "Estimate based on 15 credits of enrollment” and will be adjusted to your actual enrollment after ADD/DROP period each semester.   
  • A maximum of 45 credits may be funded in one academic year. Bright Futures covers Fall and Spring Semesters only.
  • Special fees for online courses or any other additional fees are not covered by the Bright Futures Scholarship.
  • Students who receive a “Change of Grade” for Fall or Spring must notify the Financial Aid office in writing by completing the Bright Futures Request Form.
  • Graduate Courses may only be covered by the Bright Futures scholarship (at the undergraduate tuition rate) if they are needed to complete a bachelor’s degree. In this case, the student must submit a memo from the department of their school or college to the Office of Financial Aid indicating that the graduate class that they registered for that semester is the last class that is required to earn their Bachelor's degree.

Important Bright Futures Checklist:

√ Have you accepted your award on

  • All students must accept their awards on the Accept/Decline link on by the payment deadline.

√ If you have accepted your award, have you paid your difference by the payment deadline?

  • Remember that the amount awarded on is based on 15 credits of enrollment. If you enrolled in more or less, the award will be adjusted after the ADD/DROP period. Please refer to the chart above to see the approximate award amount based on your enrollment.

√ If you were not awarded and you are newly admitted to FIU, did you update the school code with the State?

  • If you are enrolling for the first time at FIU (either at the beginning of the academic year or transferring in the middle of the year) you will need to contact the Bright Futures State Office either by telephone or through their website to update the school code to FIU (FIU PSI Code: 131).

√ Did you request in writing that your summer grades and/or hours be reported to Bright Futures? Did you have a change of grade?

  • It is a student's responsibility to notify the financial aid office in writing upon a change of grade or if they made up their grades and/or hours and would like these changes to be reported to Bright Futures. To better assist students with these situations, please submit the Bright Futures Request Form to our office upon completion.

√ Do you need to submit a Bright Futures Scholarship Appeal?

  • A scholarship appeal should only be submitted when a student did not meet the renewal criteria based on extenuating circumstances beyond their control. Please refer to the Bright Futures Appeal Form, available on our website, for more information. 

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Students who are first-generation college students whose parents or legal guardians have not earned a baccalaureate degrees. This is a need-based State/Institutional scholarship available to undergraduate students, who attend Florida Public state universities, must be a Florida resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. Not have a previous bachelor’s degree. You must complete the FAFSA application and self-report as a First Generation student on the FAFSA. Award varies annually.


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Academic Merit Assistance

The University's commitment to academic excellence is highlighted through programs which honor students who are recognized as National Merit Finalists, National Achievement Finalists and National Hispanic Scholars. Additional awards for outstanding high school seniors include the Presidential Scholars, Academic Excellence Scholars, Freshman Academic Achievement, International Freshman Awards, Valedictorian and Salutatorian Scholarships. For detailed information regarding these programs contact the Office of Admission at 305-348-2363 or visit Admissions Scholarships.

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Scholarships Renewal Guide

The scholarship renewal guide is specifically for the following scholarships:

  • National Merit Finalist
  • National Achievement Finalist
  • National Hispanic Scholars
  • Presidential
  • Ambassador’s
  • Transfer Academic Achievement
  • Academic Excellence
  • Valedictorian
  • Salutatorian

Term of the Award

Freshman Awards: Your institutional merit scholarship has been awarded for a total of 120 credits, toward completion of your first undergraduate degree, (undergraduate majors requiring more than 120 credits will receive the scholarship for the total undergraduate credits required), provided you meet the following renewal criteria by the end of each academic year.

Transfer Awards: Your institutional merit scholarship has been awarded for a total of 60 credits of eligibility, toward completion of your first undergraduate degree, (undergraduate majors requiring more than 60 credits will receive the scholarship for the total undergraduate credits required), provided you meet the following renewal criteria by the end of each academic year.

Renewal Criteria

All new and continuing FIU merit scholars must successfully complete a minimum of 30 FIU credit hours by the end of each academic year with a minimum 3.00 FIU cumulative GPA. See semester criteria below for additional information. You must be continuously enrolled at the university (Fall/Spring) in order to have your scholarship renewed for the next academic year. Any break in enrollment without an approved deferment on file with the scholarship office will result in a loss of your scholarship. Please see the withdrawal/deferment section below.

National merit and corporate sponsored

National Merit College and Corporate sponsor recipients must also fulfill separate National Merit Scholarship Corporation renewal requirements and procedures, in addition to meeting FIU renewal requirements and procedures.

Semester criteria

You must remain enrolled in FIU courses as a full-time undergraduate student with a minimum of 12 FIU credit hours each fall and spring semester in order for your scholarship to disburse. Although your scholarship will disburse at 12 FIU credit hours, FIU highly recommends you complete a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester to ensure you successfully complete a total of 30 FIU credit hours by the end of each spring. If you enroll for fewer than 12 FIU credit hours and your scholarship did not disburse, you forfeit that semester’s award, (students in their last graduation term may be granted an exception, contact the Financial Aid Office for specifics). However, your scholarship may still be renewed as long as you meet annual renewal criteria. See Renewal Criteria above for total annual credit hour requirements for renewal. Scholarships are awarded on a per semester (fall/spring/summer) basis. 

Qualifying types of credit

The following courses count toward credit-hour requirements:

  • FIU-sponsored study-abroad courses (scholarship will pay if FIU courses).

The following do not satisfy credit-hour requirements for renewal eligibility; however, these may be used toward your overall credits for degree completion:

  • Concurrent enrollment, consortium agreement courses
  • Repeating a course, receiving an incomplete or auditing a course.
  • Advanced Placement credits, transfer credits from other colleges/universities or correspondence courses.
  • Credits earned at FIU before the start of your admitted academic year. However, note that FIU grades earned before the start of your admitted academic year are used to calculate your FIU cumulative GPA.

Code of conduct

FIU students are expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct [1]. Violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct resulting in a suspension, expulsion, or administrative withdrawal will result in the loss of your scholarship. This decision may not be appealed.

Changes of Status

What if your status changes?

Residency status

Changing from a nonresident to a resident will result in the adjustment of budget, scholarship and financial aid amounts. If meeting renewal criteria, certain eligible scholarship amounts will be adjusted to the equivalent resident award in your first year of eligibility.  Please be aware that after your scholarship is either adjusted or cancelled, you will be responsible for payment of any resulting charges on your student account. 


  • If you require a withdrawal, check FIU’s current readmissions requirements and/or FIU’s withdrawal policies [2]. To retain your scholarship for use after withdrawal, your deferment must be approved by the FIU Financial Aid Office before you leave.
  • Acceptable deferment reasons are circumstances outside of your control or a unique learning experience related to your studies at FIU.
  • Qualified deferments are permitted only after completing at least one successful semester at FIU. For eligible deferment requests, visit  [3].
  • If you're a National Merit Finalist, you will also need to notify National Merit directly of your deferment.
  • If you leave the university without an approved deferment on file, you will forfeit your scholarship.
  • If you leave FIU to attend another post-secondary institution, you will forfeit your scholarship.

Options for Students not Meeting Renewal Criteria

If you do not meet or exceed the renewal criteria by the end of each spring semester, consider the following options:

Consult with your advisor and seek help from the University Learning Center

Start with your academic advisor: Your advisor is here to help you understand your options and help you reach your academic goals. They can discuss with you the many steps you can take, such as focusing on earning strong grades in the spring and ensuring you are enrolled in the right courses in the fall.

Enroll in FIU summer session courses: If you need to complete additional FIU credit hours or increase your FIU cumulative GPA to meet renewal criteria, you can take summer classes to make up these deficiencies. If you do not meet renewal criteria after taking summer session courses, you may not file an appeal unless you have significant, extenuating circumstances. It is your responsibility to work with your advisor to determine the feasibility of the FIU summer enrollment option. You may use your scholarship funds to assist with paying for summer courses and those credits will count towards your total credits allowed.

Helpful resources:

Advising: Make sure to contact your advisor via your student dashboard if you need help reviewing your progress or to discuss possible FIU summer enrollment options to meet the renewal criteria this year.

My FIU: View your student dashboard, Panther Degree Audit, and unofficial transcript. Use MyCourseScheduler to select your courses and plan your schedule.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): Counseling and mental health services are provided at each FIU campus. Counseling staff have training and experience in issues facing university students and are committed to helping you adjust to campus life and meet your academic goals.

University Learning Center: The University Learning Center offers free academic support resources for all students including tutoring, writing support, structured study groups, success courses or a place to study on your own.


Consider an appeal if you experienced significant, extenuating circumstances beyond your control.

Scholarship appeals are for use if you are unable to utilize the summer option to meet criteria AND you experienced significant, extenuating circumstances beyond your control (such as an extended, serious medical emergency). Completed appeals must be submitted by no later than close of business on July 1. Late requests will not be accepted. If you experienced other challenges throughout the year, such as difficulty with classes, time management, work or family responsibilities, or other co-curricular commitments, be aware that these are not considered extenuating circumstances. In these cases, it is important to consult with your academic advisor to determine feasibility of the FIU summer enrollment option and utilize FIU resources earlier in the semester to ensure that you receive the guidance and assistance necessary to remain on track academically.

Changes to qualifying information or revisions of federal, state, or institutional policy may result in updates to scholarship eligibility and adjustment of financial aid awards. Information is subject to change.

Source URL: Merit Scholarships


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Graduate students pursuing a master or doctoral degree may qualify for assistantships, fellowships and other awards offered through individual academic units. To apply, contact the Dean's Office of your college or academic department. To inquire regarding additional graduate information contact the Division of Graduate Studies Office.

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External Scholarship Search Engines

Important: Remember that all scholarship information should be available to you free of charge.

The above list is provided to you as a reference tool. It is not an endorsement by Florida International University of any of the organizations listed.


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