Universities get boost amid USF uproar

Florida lawmakers on Monday approved a budget that will dramatically increase university funding and student financial aid, while leaders defended a performance standard that could impact the University of South Florida.

The new budget (SB 2500) will increase the Bright Futures merit scholarship program to cover 100 percent of tuition and fees for the top-performing students, known as “academic scholars.” It will also extend the scholarships to summer classes and provide $300 per semester for textbooks.

Need-based aid will increase by more than $126 million, with the bulk of it going toward “Florida student assistance grants,” the state’s largest program to help students with financial need.

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