Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis expands eligibility for Bright Futures scholarships

DeSantis decided program members can substitute paid work experience for volunteering hours

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Florida high school students applying for the state's college and vocational school scholarship program will be able to substitute paid work experience for volunteering under a bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday.

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

The scholarships are awarded to students who attain high grade=point averages and test scores. They receive various amounts based on what level they achieve.

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Ron DeSantis has expanded the eligibility for Bright Futures scholarships.

Ron DeSantis has expanded the eligibility for Bright Futures scholarships. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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In the 2020-21 school year, the state distributed about $650 million to about 120,000 students — an average of $5,400 each.