Q: What is the deadline to apply for Bright Futures?
A: The deadline is May 15th each year. All program requirements must be completed prior to the deadline. no restrictions concerning program selection.
Q: What happens if I miss the deadline?
A: You will not be eligible for Bright Futures funds until the following school year.
CREATING AN ONLINE ACCOUNT
Q: Why doesn’t the system recognize my high school ID when I try to create my account?
A: The high school ID used by Bright Futures is your SASID (state issued ID) not the ID you use daily. Your SASID is available from your high school counselor or our office.
Q: I am a home school student. Where do I get an ID to create my online account?
A: You will need to contact the Bright Futures office at firstname.lastname@example.org and be assigned a student ID and for further instructions. You will be required to provide high school transcripts, proof of residency and proof of graduation since this information will not be provided by a school or school district.
Q: When can I start the application process?
A: Students can start the application process in mid-October of their senior year of high school. Counselors will let students know when the application process has opened. This date will vary by school.
Q: Do I have to apply every year?
A: Yes. You will only complete the online application once but must meet the community service, FAFSA requirement and maintain the required cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher each semester to maintain eligibility for funds.
Q: How does Bright Futures know where to send my grant?
A: As part of the application process, you will go to ‘My Colleges’ and add your school of enrollment. If this requirement is not completed, you will not receive funds.
Q: When are funds disbursed?
A: Funds are disbursed following your school’s drop / add or census date. Many schools do not invoice us until a few weeks after this date. Students can see when funds were mailed from our office by reviewing the enrollment history section of their Bright Futures account. Payment date is the date funds were mailed, not that they have been received or posted by the school.
Due to the timing of funds disbursement, we highly recommend that all students set up a payment plan to avoid any late fees or dropped classes.
Q: Can I request that funds be sent to my school by a certain date?
A: No. We are not able to accommodate any payment date requests.
Q: What does it mean that Bright Futures is a last dollar in program?
A: Last dollar in means that any other grants or scholarships you have received will be posted to your account first. Bright Futures will then be invoiced for any remaining tuition & mandatory fees for up to $1,000 per semester. These funds will then post before any loans or personal funds.
Q: My tuition & mandatory fees are less than $1,000 per semester. Does Bright Futures send me the excess funds?
A: No. Funds are available for tuition and mandatory fees only and are never distributed directly to a grant recipient.
Q: I have a grant or scholarship that pays for my tuition and mandatory fees. Can I still receive Bright Futures funds for other expenses?
A: No. Bright Futures funds can only be applied to tuition and mandatory fees. As a last dollar in program, our funds will only be applied if there is a balance that includes these expenses
Q: I paid my tuition bill in full prior to Bright Futures funds arriving. Will I still receive my grant?
A: Yes. If your bill is paid in full but you had Bright Futures eligible expenses, your school will issue you a refund according to their policy.
Q: Can my grant be sent directly to me?
A: No. All grant funds are disbursed directly to your school.
Q: Where do I get a community service log?
A: You can download a community service log from the community service page of the Bright Futures website: https://www.brightfuturesco.com/community-service/
Q: Where do I upload my community service log?
A: Completed community service logs need to be uploaded in the PROGRAMS section of your Bright Futures account. Be sure to select the appropriate school year to which the service hours need to be applied.
Q: Where can I do my community service?
A: Community service hours may be completed at any non-profit organization in Weld County or remotely in support of a Weld County non-profit. See the list of available subprograms within the PROGRAMS tab if you need help picking an organization.
Q: How many community service hours are required?
A: Grant recipients are required to complete 16 hours of community service in Weld County each school year by the May 15th deadline.
Q: I will be graduating after the fall semester. Do I still need to do 16 hours of community service?
A: Yes. The full 16 hours of community service must be completed by the May 15th deadline even if you are only going to attend school for one semester (either fall or spring).
Q: When can I start my community service hours?
A: Students may start accumulating community service hours each year on May 16th and have until May 15th of the following year to complete their 16 hours of community service for the school year that will start in the fall. For example, high school senior can use any community service hours completed starting May 16th of their Junior year of high school, and have until May 15th of their senior year of high school to complete the hours needed to receive their grant for their freshman year of college.
Q: I uploaded my community service hours, why does it still show missing in the eligibility issues?
A: Make sure your community service information has been correctly uploaded in the PROGRAMS section of your account and that you have selected the correct semester school year. Always select the semester and school year for which you anticipate receiving funds
Q: Do I need to fill out the FAFSA application?
A: Yes. FAFSA is required to be completed each year you wish to take advantage of Bright Futures funds. For more information, and to apply online, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov
Q: Where do I upload my FAFSA?
A: The Student Aid Report (SAR) portion of your verified FAFSA must be uploaded in the documents section of your Bright Futures account, selecting ‘student aid report’ as the document type and the appropriate school year.
GENERAL PROGRAM INFORMATION
Q: Where can I attend school?
A: Grant recipients may attend any Title IV accredited institution located in Colorado or one of the seven bordering states (Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona or Utah.
Q: Does Bright Futures cover books or room & board?
A: No, Bright Futures grant funds can only be used toward tuition and mandatory fees.
Q: I am not going to start my post-secondary education until the spring semester. What is the deadline for spring?
A: The deadline for the entire school year is May 15th prior to the start of classes in the fall. If you do not intend to start post-secondary classes until spring, you will still need to complete the program requirements by the May 15th deadline.
Q: I am not sure where I want to go to school. Can I take a gap year?
A: Yes, but you must start taking advantage of Bright Futures within two years of your high school graduation.
Q: My cumulative GPA has dropped below the required 2.0. Am I still eligible for a grant?
A: Bright Futures follows Federal Financial Aid guidelines meaning you will receive grant funds for one semester after you have dropped below the required GPA. You will be on academic probation for that semester. If at the end of the probationary semester you have brought your cumulative GPA back up to the 2.0 or higher, you will come off probation and continue to receive your grant as long as you have met all other program requirements. If you have not brought your GPA up to the required level by the end of that first probationary semester, you will be placed on academic suspension and will no longer be eligible for Bright Futures funds.
Q: How long do I have to use the Bright Futures grant?
A: Bright Futures provides tuition assistance for up to 130 credit hours for post-secondary education. Students must begin within 2 and complete within 6 years of high school graduation or G.E.D. certification date. There is an exception for honorably discharged veterans. See how to apply as a veteran for more information.
Q: I want to attend a trade school. Am I still eligible for Bright Futures?
A: Yes, if the school is located within the required geographic region and is Title IV accredited.
Q: I am a Weld County resident, but I do not attend a Weld County high school. Am I still eligible for Bright Futures?
A: Yes, however, since schools outside of Weld County do not provide us with an electronic data file that confirms your enrollment, graduation and residency, you will be responsible for providing this information to determine your eligibility. Contact our office at email@example.com for more information.
Q: Is Bright Futures available for Study Abroad?
A: Yes, if it is a program through a Title IV accredited institution within the required geographical region and tuition & mandatory fees are billed through that school. We cannot send funds outside of the US.
Q: When can I start the application process?
A: Students can start the application process in mid-October of their senior year of high school. You will receive information from your counselor when the process has opened. This date varies based on when data files are received from the schools following their October count date.
Q: My status shows eligible, but I did not receive any grant funds. Why not?
A: Eligible does not mean funded. Students can be eligible but not receive funds for a variety of reasons. Reasons include missing program requirements or not completing information in ‘My Colleges’. Do not ignore any red warning messages on your account. Contact our office immediately if you do not understand why you are seeing the message.
HOME SCHOOL APPLICANTS
Q: I am a home school student. Can I still apply for Bright Futures?
A: Yes. The application process is a little different for home school students. Contact our office for detailed information.
You will need to provide the following to be added to our database:
- Full name
- Date of Birth
- Anticipated graduation date
Once you have been added, you will be able to create your account and start the application process. Because we do not receive enrollment, residency, and graduation information, you will need to upload the following to your account:
- Proof of Residency in Weld County for the required two years
- High school transcript
- Copy of Diploma once received
Again, our office will provide detailed instructions and assist with the application process.