St. Pete Times: Simply raising minimum SAT score for Bright Futures disproportionately impacts black students

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.

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