Florida Scholarships and Financial Aid
Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships
Some students prefer the research-focused atmosphere of the University of Miami while others prefer the downtown location of the University of Tampa. Whether you want to go to college on a white beach next to the ocean or in the city inland, Florida financial aid packages will help you get there. Florida students may have access to federal grants and loans, state grants and scholarships, and outside scholarships to finance their post-secondary education.
Finding the Best Financial Aid for Florida Students
You heard there was money out there for students who need financial assistance, but you’re not sure how to get it. Here’s a list of the best places to get financial aid in Florida:
- The federal government
- Florida state government
- Individual Florida universities and colleges
- Private and professional individuals and groups in Florida
Federal Aid: Florida Students Are Eligible to Receive Money from the U.S. Government
Accredited universities and colleges in Florida support federal financial aid. Florida financial aid packages include grants and/or low-interest loans from the government. To see if you qualify for federal financial aid, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The national FAFSA deadline is June 30 the year you need the aid. You can start applying January 1 the year before. The state of Florida’s FAFSA deadline is May 15. Because federal programs are given on a first-come, first-served basis, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
After you submit your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which shows you your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is calculated your family’s income and savings reported on the FAFSA. A copy of your SAR will be sent to your school and the financial aid/scholarship office will decide how much money you need. You will receive a financial aid package with grants and loans.
Florida Provides Scholarships for Its Own Students
Students in Florida may also receive state grants as part of their financial aid packages. Florida offers 17 programs of financial assistance. Florida financial aid programs are based on merit, need, and background. Here are a few examples of the programs offered by the Florida:
First Generation Matching Grant
This FGMG grant was designed for undergraduate students with financial need. Students must have parents who have not received baccalaureate degrees.
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
Three scholarships are offered to students with excellent scholastic achievement. The Florida Academic Scholars Award is offered to students who have at least a 3.5 GPA and scored a minimum of 1270 on the SAT and a minimum of 28 on the ACT. The Florida Medallion Scholars Award is offered to students who have at least a 3.0 GPA and scored a minimum of 970 on the SAT and a minimu of 20 on the ACT. The Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award is offered to students with a 3.0 GPA. Please see the website for minimum score requirements for the CPT, SAT, and ACT.
Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund
This need-based grant is offered to students of Hispanic background or who have at least one parent born in a Latin country. Students who qualify must have a 3.0 GPA.
Florida Scholarships from Florida Universities and Colleges
Florida university scholarships are provided by individual institutions. These scholarships are offered on the basis of academic achievement, need, special ability, ethnic background, major, and a combination of other things. For example, Florida International University offers the Lucille E. Snaith Memorial Scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. Another example is the President’s Leadership Fellows Program offered by the University of Tampa to students who are leaders in their high schools and have a GPA of 3.3 and SAT score of 1100 or ACT score of 24.
Some Florida schools, for example Florida State University and the University of Miami, offer scholarships through the admissions office. Students are selected based on their academic achievements, so the only application required is the application for admission. Some Florida schools require a general scholarship application process for all their scholarships. For example, the Florida International University requires all scholarship applicants to submit application materials online. Check with your school to see what their application requirements are.
Florida Residents Provide Scholarships for Florida Students
Florida students are eligible to apply for scholarships that are offered by Florida individuals, organizations, and corporations. Here are just some of the scholarships available from sources other than the government and individual institutions:
Florida Library Association (FLA) Scholarships
FLA members who are attending or going to attend an accredited university or college are eligible to apply for scholarships offered by the FLA. Students must be involved in a Florida library and be dedicated to working in a Florida library for at least a year following graduation. The deadline is usually in February.
Florida Engineering Society (FES) Scholarships
The FES offers numerous scholarships to students who are interested in earning a degree in engineering.
Florida Dietetic Association (FDA) Schoalrships
Members of the FDA can apply for an FDA scholarship. Three scholarships, $1,500 each, are offered each year. The deadline is usually November 1.
Florida Sea Grant
A number of Florida Sea Grant programs are available to students at Florida universities who are interested in studying a filed related to marine studies.
Florida Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Scholarship
An annual $5,000 HIMSS scholarship is available to a HIMSS Florida student studying a related field. The deadline is October 31.
Florida Strawberry Growers Association Scholarships
Scholarship applications for the Florida Strawberry Growers Association are available in June and due sometime around November.
South Florida Musicians Association Scholarship
Two $500 scholarships are available to students who are involved in musical groups and plan to study a music-related field. Please see the website for current scholarship information.
Minority Teacher Education Scholarship
The Florida Fund for Minority Teachers (FFMT) offers the $4,000 MTES scholarship to Florida students who are juniors and are African-America, Asian-American or Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, or Alaska Native/American Indian. Students must be pursuing a teaching degree. The scholarship is renewable once. The deadlines are July 1 for the fall semester and November 15 for the spring semester. Download an application here.
Don’t Forget These Three Things While Researching Florida Scholarships and Financial Aid
- Florida financial aid packages are usually only offered to students with financial need, but most students can borrow federal loans from a private lender. See your financial aid/scholarship office for a list of approved lenders.
- Florida scholarships offered by individual universities and colleges may have specific requirements and application procedures. Talk to your financial aid/scholarship office to make sure you have them all completed.
- Florida has a large number of scholarships offered by individuals, associations, and organizations. Look locally to see if any organizations in your area are offering scholarships before pursuing national scholarships.
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