Proposal could force Bright Futures students to pay back loan if job is accepted outside of Florida

TALLAHASSEE - Drastic changes are now being proposed to the state backed Bright Futures scholarship program.

Florida Republican house representative Jimmie Smith is backing a bill designed to keep Florida's brightest students by having them accept jobs in the sunshine state after graduation or face a financial penalty.

Bright Futures is a merit based, state funded scholarship meant to stay and work in Florida.

Smith, who represents Citrus and Hernando counties, posted the bill to his website Thursday morning.

He proposes that students pay back part of their Bright Futures scholarship money if they take jobs out of Florida after they graduate.

Michael Long, who recently served as chairman of the Florida Student Association, predicts a lot of students will oppose the change. If it passes, it would take effect in 2014.

One concern is that this would narrow opportunity and penalize students for job availability that is sometimes out of their control.

Read Orlando Sentinel's report here: http://thesent.nl/SVVhwz

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