Florida extends testing deadline for Bright Futures after parents, students feared losing thousands in scholarship money due to pandemic

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — UPDATE: After this story ran on Channel 9, the Florida Department of Education issued an order extending the testing deadline from June 30 to July 31.


ORIGINAL STORY: Thousands of students who planned on getting help from Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarship program are now worried about how they will pay for college.

Because of COVID-19, they haven't been able to schedule the SAT or ACT test that they need to qualify.

Lindsey Skinner has been working on earning the Bright Futures Scholarship since she was a freshman at Boone High School. She has volunteered and kept up her GPA, but still needs to bring up her ACT test score to qualify.

“Coronavirus

READ: No SAT, ACT required: University of California to drop need for tests

The testing deadline for Bright Futures is June 30. If the state doesn’t extend the deadline, she could miss out on as much as $25,000.

“It's extremely frustrating and the silence from the administration, the government has been so hard to handle because we don't know what to do,” Lindsey’s mother Bridget said.

The Bright Futures’ website hasn't changed since April. It says they are aware of the testing dilemma and are still evaluating the situation.

READ: SAT drops plans for home exam amid internet access concerns

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Florida Department Of Education told Channel 9,

"We are exploring fiscal, legal and legislative avenues and are working to find a fair and compassionate solution that benefits the most students. Our hope is to make an announcement of good news in the next few weeks.”

In the meantime, the clock continues to tick toward the fall semester.

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.