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Bright Futures

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WSVN -- Matthew Wagener is going off to college in the fall.

Matthew Wagener: "I'm just excited to get up to UCF it's going to be a lot of fun."

Like his older brother and sister, Matthew is on a Bright Futures Scholarship, where good grades in High School mean cash for college tuition.

Donna Wagener: "It's probably saved 20,000 per child."

But now, you have to fill out a Federal Financial Aid form. It's the free application for federal student aid or FAFSA form.

Francisco Valines: "If the student doesn't do the FAFSA they're not going to get the scholarship."

Students around the state are being emailed about the change.

Matthew Wagener: "I know a lot of people who don't even check their university e-mail account. They don't even know the passwords."

But since it's the first time the form has been required for Bright Futures, it could take some by surprise.

Donna Wagener: "it's not a chance that I would want to take. You know that's way too much money to risk."

The new rule applies not only to incoming freshman, but to all students who receive bright futures.

Francisco Valines: "I think the big point where they'll realize they need to do it is when they see their bill or when mom and dad sees their bill, and realizes that it's not there to cover part of that bill."

Filling out the form is easy you can do it on line.

Francisco Valines: "Go ahead and file now they can do it electronically. It takes less than an hour to file the FAFSA nowadays. We get the results right away. It all they need to do to finish out their bright futures eligibility and they'll have their funds ready when school starts."

And you'll need to get used to it the FAFSA form is going to be a yearly requirement from now on.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

FAFSAFree Application for Federal Student Aidwww.fafsa.ed.gov

Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Programhttp://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/SSFAD/bf/

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