College Preparation

  • Preparing for college can be both stressful and exciting.  Am I doing everything I should be doing?
    What big step am I forgetting?  How are we going to afford this?  Is my child ready for college?

    Don’t be alarmed — these are all normal questions.  Here are some resources that will equip you to answer these and many more.  Also, here is a SUGGESTED TIMELINE for your journey toward college.


    Our school district’s college and career planning tool, SchooLinks, offers students the ability to research colleges, gather letters of recommendation, and submit formal applications.  Students and parents can see events being held on campus held by the college reps and sign up to participate, take virtual tours, and see the historical admissions data along with much more information.  We encourage ALL students and families to take advantage of this amazing resource.

    Bright Futures

    Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program is for Florida graduates.  Graduating seniors should apply during their senior year once the application is available.  It is helpful to ensure the intended institution accepts Florida Bright Futures, as some private institutions do not.

    Initial Eligibility Requirements: (As determined by the Florida Department of Education)

    1. Submit the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) no later than August 31 after high school graduation.
    2. Graduated from a Florida high school with a standard high school diploma or its equivalent.
    3. Complete the 16 college-preparatory courses required for admission to a state university.
    4. Achieve the required weighted GPA in the 16 college-preparatory courses per the chart below.
    5. Achieve the required composite ACT® or combined SAT® score no later than June 30 of the student’s graduation year (or through January 31 for mid-year graduates), per the chart below.
    6. Complete the required number of volunteer service or paid work hours per the chart below.



    16 High School College- Preparatory Course

    Credits 1

    High School Weighted Bright Futures GPA

    College Entrance Exams by High School Graduation Year


    Volunteer Service Hours2

    Paid Work Hours2






    4 - English

    (three must include substantial writing)






    2022-23 Graduates: 29/1330


    2023-24 Graduates: 29/1340











    4 - Mathematics

    (at or above the Algebra I level)

    3 - Natural Science




    (two must have substantial laboratory)




    2022-23 Graduates: 25/1210


    2023-24 Graduates: 25/1210









    3 - Social Science

    2 - World Language

    (sequential, in same language)

    1 The required coursework aligns with the State University System admission requirements found in Florida Board of Governor’s Regulation 6.002. Additional information regarding high school coursework can be found within the Florida Counseling for Future Education Handbook.

    2 Students must earn either the required volunteer service OR paid work hours, but not a combination of both.


     Requirements to Receive an Award: (As determined by the postsecondary institution)   

    1. Be evaluated by the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) as meeting initial eligibility requirements.
    2. Be a Florida resident and U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
    3. Enroll as a degree- or certificate-seeking student at a Florida institution in at least 6 non-remedial semester credit hours.


     Renewal Requirements: (As determined by grade and hours submitted by the postsecondary institution)                    

    1. Students must earn the number of credit hours based on the student’s enrollment type per term.
    2. The renewal cumulative GPA requirements are outlined in the table below.



    Florida Academic Scholars (FAS)

    Florida Medallion Scholars (FMS)

    Minimum Cumulative GPA

    (unrounded and unweighted)




    For detailed information, including other ways to qualify, please refer to the Bright Futures Student Handbook.

    Eligibility requirements are subject to change with each legislative session.

    Students are responsible for tracking their application and award status online and ensuring that funding for an academic year is accurate by contacting their institution’s financial aid office.


    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is an important aspect of post-secondary planning.  SchooLinks is the tool utilized to help students and parents see scholarships available.  Most post-secondary institutions have a financial aid portion of their website with school-specific information.  The FAFSA application is another important aspect of a financial aid package.  Watch this video to better understand its importance: SCS - FAFSA Information


    Dual Enrollment

    Dual Enrollment is defined as the enrollment of an eligible secondary student in a post-secondary course creditable toward a vocational certificate or an associate or baccalaureate degree. The articulation agreement with the post-secondary institution defines the rules for enrollment and participation.  Students may earn high school and college credit simultaneously by enrolling in approved Dual Enrollment courses as specified in the articulation agreements between the School Board of Sarasota County and other accredited post- secondary institutions. Students must take a college credit course worth 3 college credit hours to equal one-half of a high school credit.  The State of Florida publishes a dual enrollment equivalency list that states the high school credits earned when taking a specific dual enrollment course.   Students are expected to adhere to all deadlines and Dual Enrollment requirements published by participating colleges and universities.

    Dual Enrollment credits may affect a student’s application status and the number of credit hours available in the lower division program of some colleges and universities.  Students may take Dual Enrollment courses during school hours, after school hours, and during the summer term as defined by the articulation agreement with the post-secondary institution.

    Students seeking to take career and technical education dual enrollment courses must demonstrate readiness for technical level coursework and have a 2.0 unweighted cumulative GPA for technical credit certificate Dual Enrollment courses.

    The maximum course load for Dual Enrollment students will be governed by the current articulation agreement with the post-secondary institutions that is awarding the course credit. Sarasota County adheres to the drop/add procedures and timelines outlined in the Board approved articulation agreements with local post-secondary institutions.

    High school students who withdraw after the academic withdrawal deadline or who earn a final grade of a D or a F will not be permitted to enroll in additional dual enrollment courses the following semester. The student who withdraws after the academic withdrawal deadline will receive the grade issued by the college or university, as outlined in the Sarasota County School Board-approved articulation agreement.

    Click here for Dual Enrollment and Articulation Agreements

    For more information on College Preparation, contact a SCHOOL COUNSELOR or School Administrator.