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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bright Futures for scientists, nurses, engineers



Who knows how far this will go, but sophomore Democratic Sen. Jeremy Ring wants to base the amount of Bright Futures awards on whether a student studies, say, philosophy or engineering.Ring

SB 1320 has no House sponsor yet, but Ring says Republican Rep. Frank  Attkisson will file the companion soon.

Bright Futures now covers all tuition and fees for the brightest Florida High School graduates, plus $300 per semester for expenses like books. It covers 75 percent for students with slightly lower GPAs and SATs. Ring, calling his proposal an "economic development tool," wants to encourage more students to study the sciences by awarding less to the English majors and more to the education or science majors.

Science-engineer types would get 110 percent of tuition and fees covered, plus $330 a semester for expenses, while those philosophers would get a scholarship covering between just 55 and 80 percent of tuition and fees.

"I anticipate there will be some students and parents who are disturbed," Ring told the Buzz. "But if you’re a philosophy major and you’re going to get 80 percent of your tuition covered, it’s still a good deal.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:19pm]


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