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Lewis recommends focusing on future despite legal wrangling over Bright Futures

Lili Wortmann ‘21


The years in high school can bring many new and exciting experiences and give students the necessary steps in becoming adults, but with growing up come with many new responsibilities like stressing over how to pay for college. Senior and junior years of high school are particularly important in shaping one’s future education, and they are especially crucial as students are beginning to think about the scholarships for which they would like to apply.

For the last couple of weeks, there have been many rumors circulating about how much the Bright Futures scholarship was going to change and if it would be harder for students to receive the scholarship because of certain requirements.

In the last couple of months, state legislators have tried to create a new bill to change the requirements of the Scholarship to make it more career-based. Student Success Center director Rebecca Lewis said the preliminary intent was to limit students’ choice of majors in order to become eligible for the scholarship.

“Initially there was a gentleman that was putting forth changes for Bright Futures so that students would have to major in certain areas in order to receive Bright Futures.” She went on to say that “it was cutting out our arts and science types of programs, and those programs were not going to qualify for Bright Futures.”

She also mentioned that “they really want students to have employment after graduation, so one of the things that was put in there was that the students would have to meet with a career advisor and really look through that type of career programing.” Although that would be a nice idea, Lewis also pointed out that such programs can become “incredibly valuable.”

“But/then it comes to funding, so how are they going to fund these positions to have these students go through that type of advising and programming and things like that?” Lewis explained.

She also said immediately after the first meeting, “The community acted swiftly, and it looks like he has retracted some of those stipulations.”

“What they are still trying to propose is that for those students who have AP credits or IB or ACE, meaning that students that already have some college credits, they may not be getting the full funding,” she elaborated.

Later on, the legislature did decide to remove this idea from the bill and are still planning to focus it more on degrees that are related to careers that are more in demand.

When asked if there was anything she wanted the students to know, she strongly stated that, “None of this has been passed, and it's going to go through so many protocols, that the best thing is to focus on today and keep pushing forward.”

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