Bright Futures Frequently Asked Questions

I’m eligible for Bright Futures. Why don’t I see an award on my account yet?

There are several common reasons why scholarship-eligible students do not yet see an award on their account at Valencia. Among them:

  • A different school is set up on your state account. Please update the school either in your state account or by calling 888-827-2004.
  • Valencia just received your information and is processing the update. Depending on the time of year, please allow 3-5 business days from the time the college receives your eligibility to have an award appear on your account.
  • Your residency status shows as “Non-Florida resident.” Please submit documentation to Admissions prove Florida residency by the posted term deadline.
  • Your degree status is “personal interest” or another ineligible major. Be sure to update your degree program with Admissions by the posted term deadline.
  • Your citizenship status does not meet U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen status.

I am receiving a residency waiver for in-state tuition purposes. Do I still qualify for Bright Futures?
Unfortunately, no. Residency waivers are not the same as proving Florida residency per state regulations, so you would not be eligible to receive Bright Futures. If you submit residency documentation for subsequent term and meet all other scholarship requirements, you can begin receiving the scholarship for the term in which residency was granted and all terms going forward.

I dropped/withdrew from a course. Will I have to repay Bright Futures?
Yes. You will owe back the amount you received in Bright Futures for those dropped/withdrawn credit hours to the school. Students who do not repay their balance for state funds will automatically lose renewal for the following year.

My scholarship covers 100% of my tuition and fees, so why do I still owe a balance?
Scholarship awards that cover 100% are only providing funding for in-state tuition and state-approved fees, meaning there are some specific course-related fees (i.e. distance learning, lab fees) that are not covered by the scholarship.  Florida state legislature determines which fees are covered by Bright Futures awards.

Does the Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS) award pay at different rates?
FMS pays 100% of tuition and state-approved fees for students pursuing an associate’s degree (AA or AS).  Students who are seeking a bachelor’s degree or technical certificate qualify for 75% of tuition and state-approved fees.

I qualify for the Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship, so why isn’t it awarded?
Both Gold Seal Vocational (GSV) and Gold Seal CAPE Scholarship (GSC) require students to be enrolled in an AS or technical certificate program as their primary degree. If the AA Exploratory is listed as your primary degree, GSV/GSC will not be awarded on your account or it will show up as cancelled if your major has changed during the aid year.

Do I have to be full-time to receive Bright Futures?
No. Students only have to be enrolled a minimum of halftime (6 credit hours) to receive the scholarship. What does it mean to earn hours for renewal?

Students are required to earn the hours they enroll in to meet renewal requirements. For example, if a student is enrolled for 6 credit hours and Bright Futures pays for the 6 credit hours, then they must earn a grade in all 6 credit hours (no failed courses, withdrawn hours or incomplete grades). The earned hours requirement is in addition to the GPA requirement set forth for each Bright Futures scholarship type.

I did not meet renewal requirements due to an illness or other mitigating circumstance, can I appeal?
Students do have the option of appealing in cases of illness or a situation beyond the student’s control. You have until April 30th of the following year after receiving your ineligibility notice from the state to submit an appeal to the school. [For example, if you lost your eligibility in May 2019, you would have until April 30, 2020 to submit a completed appeal for review.] Please discuss with your campus Financial Aid office to determine if an appeal is an option for you.

I repaid my Bright Futures balance at the school, but I’m still not eligible with the state. What do I do?
Repayments information is sent to the state at least once a week throughout an aid year, but if a payment occurs after the aid year is over or repayment is made through a collection agency, the office may not be alerted to the repayment. Please contact the Financial Aid office at to report your repayment. The office will update your information with the state within 24-72 business hours.

The Florida Academic Scholarship covers 100% of my tuition and fees, so why do I still owe a balance?
The Florida Academic Scholarship (FAS) does cover 100% of in-state tuition and state-approved fees, meaning there are some specific course-related fees (i.e. distance learning, lab fees) that are not included in the scholarship.