The St. Pete Times is pointing out this morning that the approach that the Florida Legislature is adopting to control the costs of the Bright Futures program – raising the minimum SAT score required to 1050 from 970 – will disproportionately impact black students.
The Times reports that when fully implemented by 2017, changes in the program will save the state $100 million per year and reduce the number of recipients by 30%. However, the number of black recipients will be reduced by about half.
While universities are raising tuition at a rate of about 15% per year, the legislature has required that a large fraction of the increases be allocated to increasing the pool of need-based financial aid. The Times reports that lawmakers are hoping that the larger need-based resource compensates for the loss of Bright Futures support among lower income students.