On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-212 that extended the deadline for students graduating in the 2019-20 school year to earn the minimum qualifying SAT or ACT score to earn a Bright Futures scholarship until December 1, 2020.
This will positively impact thousands of students statewide who either need to earn a qualifying score or wanted to take either the SAT or ACT again to earn a higher score. Estimates after the closure of school campuses in Spring 2020 suggested approximately 32,000 seniors had, excluding their SAT or ACT test score, otherwise met all other Bright Futures requirements. Historical trends show that if given another opportunity to take the SAT or ACT, approximately one-quarter (8,000) of those students would qualify for either a 75% or 100% Bright Futures scholarship.
In June, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran issued Emergency Order 2020-EO-05 that extended the deadline to earn a qualifying score to July 31. However, while a few thousand rising college students were able to leverage these June and July opportunities, not all ACT test sites were able to remain open and the College Board (SAT) chose to not offer any testing opportunities. Since that time, test site closures have continued intermittently. Collectively, this created the need to extend the deadline to give more Spring 2020 graduates one last opportunity to earn a Bright Futures Scholarship.
Governor DeSantis signed this order with the goal of providing compassion and relief to both Florida’s aspiring and current college and university students and their families, many of whom are in tremendous need of support with their postsecondary education during this period of economic recovery. For three consecutive years, Florida’s postsecondary system has been recognized as the #1 postsecondary system in the country, and it is imperative that it remain affordable for the benefit of our students and Florida’s recovery.