Bright Futures a Thing of the Past?
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
State Senator and Committee for Higher Education Chair Steve Oelrich, (R) Cross Creek, says it's a wonderful program, but the state cannot afford it anymore. 95% of University of Florida instate freshman last year were bright futures scholars--receiving reduced or free tuition because of good high school grades.
Oelrich told the Community Campus Council breakfast Wednesday morning he favors phasing out the program over the next decade or so.
"It's going to take a lot of political will to do this," says Oelrich. "But we're in tough times, we cannot afford to do things as we did perhaps in better times, 6 - 8 years ago."
The idea is not a popular one with some University of Florida Bright Scholars.
"I think it will definitely deter a lot of students from staying in Florida to go to school," says Ashley Lowry, a 4th year Bright Futures Scholar.
Undergraduate tuition at the University of Florida is currently about 3,500 dollars a year.
House Speaker Pro-Tem Larry Cretul, (R) Ocala, says he wants to explore other possibilities to trim costs of the Bright Futures program before favoring phasing it out completely.
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