Scholarships for Students from Florida


Scholarships for Students from Florida

Daria_I / Shutterstock.com

Florida offers plenty in the way of scholarships for students who are attending college or plan to attend college in the Sunshine State. Remember, scholarships don’t have to be repaid. They are money that is given toward the cost of college tuition—or, free money! Scholarships can significantly reduce the cost of college attendance, but you have to apply if you hope to win.

Scholarships awarded by the state of Florida:

Florida Student Assistance Grant Program

Award Amount: Varies (minimum award is $200)

This is actually a group of awards, including the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant, the Florida Private Student Assistance Grant, the Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant, and the Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant. These awards are available to undergraduate students who are Florida residents. Unlike many awards, these scholarships are available for study at both public and private colleges, and for students on two- or four-year degree tracks. Awards are renewable each year. Eligibility is determined by a student’s FAFSA results. Application procedures and deadlines are decided by participating institutions, so contact your school’s financial aid office with any questions. Click here for a list of eligible postsecondary institutions.

Florida Resident Access Grant Program

Award Amount: Varies

This award is available to undergraduate students who are Florida residents and are taking at least 12 credit hours per semester at a private, nonprofit school. It is not need-based, meaning that any student who meets the above requirements can receive the award. However, this award may not be used toward a degree in theology or divinity. Applications are available at your school’s financial aid office, provided it is a participating institution. The exact amount of this award varies, but according to the University of Tampa, the award was $3,300 in 2017-2018; the award is renewable for up to nine semesters.

Access to Better Learning and Education (ABLE) Grant Program

Award Amount: Variable

The ABLE Grant provides tuition assistance to undergraduate students who are Florida residents, take 12 or more credit hours per semester, and attend a private, nonprofit school. A list of participating institutions is available here. The award may not be used toward a degree in divinity or theology, and a minimum 2.0 GPA must be maintained if students hope to renew their awards (the award is renewable for up to nine semesters). Applications are available at your school’s financial aid office.

José Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund

Award Amount: $2,000
Application Deadline: April 1, 2018
Minimum GPA Required: 3.0

The José Marti Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students of Hispanic origin. The award defines Hispanic origin as being born in or having a parent who was born in Mexico or a Hispanic country of the Caribbean, Central America, or South America; Portuguese students from Brazil are not eligible. This scholarship is both need- and merit-based. Students must demonstrate at least $2,000 in financial need and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Although graduate students may apply, priority is given to graduating high school seniors and undergraduates. The award is renewable for up to eight semesters, provided the student maintains their GPA and continues to demonstrate financial need. Students must submit both the Florida Financial Aid Application and the FAFSA. Apply sooner rather than later—application submission date may be taken into consideration for the award. Click here for a list of eligible institutions.

Bright Futures FAS and FMS Scholarships

Award Amount: Varies
Application Deadline: August 31, 2018
Minimum GPA Required: 3.0

This program is available to undergraduate students enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester at a public or independent (private) college in Florida. The Bright Futures program includes both the Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) program and the Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) program. Students must complete the Florida Financial Aid Application by August 31 of the year they graduate high school (and the year they start college) to apply.

Requirements for FAS include a minimum GPA of 3.5, a 29 on the ACT or 1290 on the SAT, and 100 service hours. This program will cover 100% of tuition at a public school (and a portion of tuition at a private school) and provide a $300 stipend. A PDF of all eligibility requirements is available here.

Requirements for FMS include a minimum GPA of 3.0, at least a 26 on the ACT or 1170 on the SAT, and 75 service hours. FMS will provide up to $77 per credit hour. A PDF of all eligibility requirements is available here.

Bright Futures GSV and GSC Scholarships

Award Amount: Up to $48 per credit hour
Application Deadline: August 31, 2018

The Bright Futures Program also offers awards for students enrolled in vocational programs; these include the Gold Seal Vocational Scholars (GSV) and Gold Seal CAPE Scholars (GSC) programs. Students must complete the Florida Financial Aid Application by August 31 of the year they graduate high school to apply.

The GSV program gives awards to students enrolled in a vocational or certificate program. To be eligible, students must achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all required high school courses and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in career-related courses; submit their scores on the SAT, ACT, or Florida Postsecondary Education Readiness Test; and complete 30 community service hours.

The GSC program is also available to students enrolled in a vocational or certificate program. If the student completes an associate’s degree in a scientific field and commits to a bachelor’s degree in the same field, the student may receive an additional award for up to 60 credit hours to be applied to their bachelor’s degree program. The requirements for the GSC program include earning at least five college credit hours while in high school through CAPE (career and professional education) industry certifications. CAPE scholars must also complete at least 30 service hours in high school.

First Generation Matching Grant Program

Award Amount: Varies

The First Generation Matching Grant is available to undergraduate students who are Florida residents, are taking a minimum of six credit hours per semester, and whose parent(s) did not attend college. Financial need must be demonstrated to receive the award. Eligible institutions include public, in-state universities and community colleges; a list can be found here. Students may apply by completing a FAFSA. Other steps may be required by your institution, which determines individual students’ eligibility and award amounts. Contact the financial aid office for more information.

Private scholarships available to Florida residents:

Arts for Life! Scholarship

Award Amount: $1,000
Application Deadline: February 1, 2018
Essay: Yes

This award is for graduating high school students who have an interest in creative writing, dance, drama, music, or visual art. Students must complete an application, a 500-word essay on “how the arts have positively influenced [your] life,” and submit a portfolio of work in one of the named artistic areas. Application requirements vary somewhat by artistic discipline, but specific guidelines for each may be found at the scholarship provider’s website. The application is open from September to February each year.

Jesse B. Smith Memorial Scholarship

Award Amount: $1,000
Letter of Recommendation: Yes

This award is open to residents of Duval County or the surrounding area who are studying city planning, urban studies, public administration, or something similar and attending a school in Duval County. Students will be required to complete a simple application and submit two letters of recommendation. Watch the scholarship provider’s website for the 2018-2019 application and deadline.

Florida Society of Professional Journalists Scholarship

Award Amount: Up to $2,500
Minimum GPA Required: 3.0
Letter of Recommendation: Yes
Essay: Yes

This award is open to Florida residents who are attending (or planning to attend) a Florida college or university full time and pursuing a career in journalism. Students must complete the FAFSA and submit a 500-word essay about their career goals and reasons for choosing journalism. Two awards are given: First place receives $2,500 and second place receives $1,000. Keep an eye on the website for up-to-date information; the 2018 application should be available soon.

Judge Sidney M. Aronovitz Memorial Scholarship Fund

Award Amount: Up to $1,500
Minimum GPA Required: 3.0
Letter of Recommendation: Yes
Essay: Yes

The Judge Sidney M. Aronovitz Memorial Scholarship is available to minority students attending a Miami-Dade County public high school who plan to attend college to study law or social justice. Students must submit a two page (or fewer) essay describing their career aspirations and any plans to return to Miami-Dade County after graduation. Also required are statements of financial need, community involvement, extracurricular activities, and work experience. All applicants must submit two letters of recommendation.

Students from the state of Florida have lots of options when it comes to paying for college! There are even more options for those who are members of certain interest groups and clubs, have family members with severe medical conditions, or have specific career paths in mind. It is always a good idea to do your own search for scholarships that match your specific situation. For more information on the publicly funded scholarships listed here, visit the state of Florida’s official financial aid website.


About Hannah Holley

Hannah earned a BS in Psychology from the College of Charleston, and an MA in applied behavior analysis from Ball State University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and worked as a therapist for children with special needs for more than five years, but now spends most of her time keeping up with her own toddler. In between playing cars and picking up after her tiny human tornado, she loves to try new recipes, take photographs, and re-watch episodes of "Parks and Recreation" for the 10th time. Hannah lives in Charleston, SC.

Leave a comment