Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving recently-graduated high school seniors a second chance to achieve a qualifying SAT or ACT score for a Bright Futures scholarship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students who graduated in the 2019-2020 school year will have until Dec. 1 to meet the minimum qualifying score requirement.
Both SAT and ACT tests across the country have been canceled because of the pandemic. In June, the Florida Department of Education extended the qualification deadline for Bright Futures Scholarship Awards to July 31.
But that deadline came and went with no SAT tests. And while some ACT tests were administered, many tests were canceled or reached capacity.
The Governor “signed this order w/ the goal of providing compassion & relief to FL’s aspiring and current college & university students & their families, many of which are in tremendous need of support w/ their postsecondary education during this period of economic recovery,” the department tweeted.
Similarly, the order suspended rules for the Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award around the SAT, ACT and Postsecondary Education Readiness tests.
Some educational institutions have imposed distance learning fees, which have impacted students receiving scholarships, according to DeSantis’ executive order issued Tuesday evening. The order also allows students to use the Bright Futures awards to cover distance learning fees charged by a Florida university during the summer 2020 term.
Many graduating high-school seniors have struggled to complete volunteer service hours and improve SAT or ACT test scores after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and test sites this spring and early summer.
Depending on the level of the Bright Futures scholarship award, students are required to complete at least 30 hours or up to 100 hours of volunteer service to qualify.
Ordinarily, high-school seniors would face a June 30 deadline for taking the tests, according to information on the Department of Education website.
The College Board had no scheduled dates for SAT administrations until Aug. 29, according to its website. From then through the end of the year, the nonprofit testing giant will administer one test every month.
Today, @GovRonDeSantis issued Executive Order 20-212, extending the deadline for students graduating in the 2019-20 school year to earn the minimum qualifying SAT or ACT score to earn a Bright Futures scholarship until December 1, 2020. https://t.co/R67olxnHNK @richardcorcoran pic.twitter.com/dXwZILlVyr
— Florida Department of Education (@EducationFL) September 1, 2020