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Press Release

June 23, 2006

Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Bright Futures Medallion Scholars Can Now Attend Florida Community Colleges Tuition Free
New Florida law offers 100 percent scholarships for tuition and fees at all of Florida's 28 community colleges

TALLAHASSEE — Community Colleges and Workforce Education Chancellor David Armstrong recently announced that the Florida Community College System (FCCS) can now offer reimbursement for 100-percent of tuition and fees for Bright Futures Medallion scholars at each of the state's 28 community colleges. This represents an increase over the 75-percent reimbursement policy in years past. The legislation benefits both current and new Medallion scholars.

"This new legislation will create even greater access to higher education for many of Florida's students," said Chancellor Armstrong. "Providing the Medallion scholars with an opportunity to receive a quality community college education without having to worry about the cost of tuition and fees is an incredible foot in the door for them to achieve the career and lifestyle they desire."

New legislation, signed by Governor Jeb Bush to become effective July 1, will expand opportunities for Florida's Bright Futures Scholarship program and supports Florida's long-standing 2+2 system. The legislation, approved during the recent 2006 Florida Legislative session, enables Florida Medallion Scholars — eligible high school graduates with a 3.0 grade point average — to receive free tuition and fees if they attend a Florida public community college and enroll in courses toward an associate degree.

Under previous legislation, Bright Futures scholarships paid 75-percent of tuition for Medallion scholars whether they attended a community college or state university. Medallion students now have a greater incentive to enroll at one of Florida's 28 community colleges.

The new legislation will remove all financial barriers for medallion scholarship students to go to any community college in the state; thus allowing the first two years of their post secondary education to be fully underwritten. These students could then transfer to a state university and finish their final two years using the 75-percent Bright Futures scholarship.

Florida's community colleges are gearing up to inform high school students of this new option and to handle the applicants. Many institutions are holding special events this summer to allow priority registration and tours for the Medallion students.

The Florida Community College System, through its Foundation for Florida's Community Colleges and in partnership with the Florida Lottery and the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association, is launching a public service campaign to alert Floridians to the change. The campaign, to begin July 1, will include television and radio public service announcements, which encourages interested students to log on to www.fldoe.org or contact their local community college for more information.

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program was created in 1997 by the Florida Legislature. This Florida Lottery-funded scholarship program rewards students for their academic achievements during high school by providing funding for them to pursue postsecondary educational and career goals in Florida.

During the 2004-05 award year, more than 130,000 Florida students received funding for a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship.

More information on Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program can be found online at http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/SSFAD/bf/ or by calling toll-free at 1-888-827-2004.