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Bright Futures dimming...

Bright Futures won't be so bright next year for Florida's top university undergraduates, who are likely to be paying a greater percentage of their tuition costs.

The latest budget offer between the House and Senate on higher ed funding keeps the scholarships at current-year levels -- and does not increase the funding to match even the base increase tuition of 8 percent likely to be approved this session. On top of that, universities are about to get the green light to raise tuition by an additional 7 percent, for a total of 15 percent.

"We're trying really hard to hang on to the program, but the funding is making it difficult," said Sen. Evelyn Lynn, chair of the Senate's higher ed funding committee. We would love for it to cover that 8 percent, but we don't have the money. It's just not there."

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