Bright Futures scholarships are subject of federal investigation
Denise-Marie Ordway, Sentinel School Zone
12:18 pm, March 24, 2014
Florida's popular Bright Futures scholarship program is the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, an agency spokesman confirmed Monday.
The federal government is looking into whether the program's eligibility requirements discriminate against some minority students.
The program has helped hundreds of thousands of students pay for college since its creation in 1997. But some groups have criticized its reliance on scores from college-entrance exams to determine who gets an award.
That criteria, according to groups such as the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, hurts many black and Hispanic kids, who don't tend to do as well on standardized achievement tests.
The U.S. Department of Education issued the following statement:
"The Office for Civil Rights is investigating allegations that the state of Florida utilizes criteria for determining eligibility for college scholarships that have the effect of discriminating against Latino and African-American students on the basis of national origin and race, in particular with regard to its Bright Futures Scholarship Program, which uses SAT- I and ACT cut-off scores to determine eligibility."