Skip to Navigation | Skip to Main Content | Skip to Site Map

MyFloridaHouse.gov | Flsenate.gov Archives | Mobile Site

Senate Tracker: Sign Up | Login

Senate Live by Watch Now

2014 Florida Statutes

Chapter 1009
EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS, FEES, AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
CHAPTER 1009
CHAPTER 1009
EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS, FEES, AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
GENERAL PROVISIONS
(s. 1009.01)
POSTSECONDARY STUDENT FEES
(ss. 1009.21-1009.29)
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
(ss. 1009.40-1009.96)
PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD PROGRAMS
(ss. 1009.97-1009.984)
GENERAL PROVISIONS
1009.01 Definitions.
1009.01 Definitions.The term:
(1) “Tuition” means the basic fee charged to a student for instruction provided by a public postsecondary educational institution in this state. A charge for any other purpose shall not be included within this fee.
(2) “Out-of-state fee” means the additional fee for instruction provided by a public postsecondary educational institution in this state, which fee is charged to a student who does not qualify for the in-state tuition rate pursuant to s. 1009.21. A charge for any other purpose shall not be included within this fee.
(3) “Tuition differential” means the supplemental fee charged to a student by a public university in this state pursuant to s. 1009.24(16).
History.s. 398, ch. 2002-387; s. 131, ch. 2007-217; s. 1, ch. 2007-225; s. 188, ch. 2008-4; s. 2, ch. 2009-98.
POSTSECONDARY STUDENT FEES
1009.21 Determination of resident status for tuition purposes.
1009.215 Student enrollment pilot program for the spring and summer terms.
1009.22 Workforce education postsecondary student fees.
1009.23 Florida College System institution student fees.
1009.24 State university student fees.
1009.25 Fee exemptions.
1009.26 Fee waivers.
1009.265 State employee fee waivers.
1009.27 Deferral of fees.
1009.28 Fees for repeated enrollment in developmental education classes.
1009.285 Fees for repeated enrollment in college-credit courses.
1009.286 Additional student payment for hours exceeding baccalaureate degree program completion requirements at state universities.
1009.29 Increased fees for funding financial aid program.
1009.21 Determination of resident status for tuition purposes.Students shall be classified as residents or nonresidents for the purpose of assessing tuition in postsecondary educational programs offered by charter technical career centers or career centers operated by school districts, in Florida College System institutions, and in state universities.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Dependent child” means any person, whether or not living with his or her parent, who is eligible to be claimed by his or her parent as a dependent under the federal income tax code.
(b) “Initial enrollment” means the first day of class at an institution of higher education.
(c) “Institution of higher education” means any charter technical career center as defined in s. 1002.34, career center operated by a school district as defined in s. 1001.44, Florida College System institution as defined in s. 1000.21(3), or state university as defined in s. 1000.21(6).
(d) “Legal resident” or “resident” means a person who has maintained his or her residence in this state for the preceding year, has purchased a home which is occupied by him or her as his or her residence, or has established a domicile in this state pursuant to s. 222.17.
(e) “Nonresident for tuition purposes” means a person who does not qualify for the in-state tuition rate.
(f) “Parent” means either or both parents of a student, any guardian of a student, or any person in a parental relationship to a student.
(g) “Resident for tuition purposes” means a person who qualifies as provided in this section for the in-state tuition rate.
(2)(a) To qualify as a resident for tuition purposes:
1. A person or, if that person is a dependent child, his or her parent or parents must have established legal residence in this state and must have maintained legal residence in this state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to his or her initial enrollment in an institution of higher education.
2. Every applicant for admission to an institution of higher education shall be required to make a statement as to his or her length of residence in the state and, further, shall establish that his or her presence or, if the applicant is a dependent child, the presence of his or her parent or parents in the state currently is, and during the requisite 12-month qualifying period was, for the purpose of maintaining a bona fide domicile, rather than for the purpose of maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in an institution of higher education.
(b) However, with respect to a dependent child living with an adult relative other than the child’s parent, such child may qualify as a resident for tuition purposes if the adult relative is a legal resident who has maintained legal residence in this state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before the child’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education, provided the child has resided continuously with such relative for the 3 years immediately before the child’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education, during which time the adult relative has exercised day-to-day care, supervision, and control of the child.
(c) The legal residence of a dependent child whose parents are divorced, separated, or otherwise living apart will be deemed to be this state if either parent is a legal resident of this state, regardless of which parent is entitled to claim, and does in fact claim, the minor as a dependent pursuant to federal individual income tax provisions.
(d) A dependent child who is a United States citizen may not be denied classification as a resident for tuition purposes based solely upon the immigration status of his or her parent.
(3)(a) An individual shall not be classified as a resident for tuition purposes and, thus, shall not be eligible to receive the in-state tuition rate until he or she has provided such evidence related to legal residence and its duration or, if that individual is a dependent child, evidence of his or her parent’s legal residence and its duration, as may be required by law and by officials of the institution of higher education from which he or she seeks the in-state tuition rate.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, evidence of legal residence and its duration shall include clear and convincing documentation that residency in this state was for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to a student’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education.
(c) Each institution of higher education shall affirmatively determine that an applicant who has been granted admission to that institution as a Florida resident meets the residency requirements of this section at the time of initial enrollment. The residency determination must be documented by the submission of written or electronic verification that includes two or more of the documents identified in this paragraph. No single piece of evidence shall be conclusive.
1. The documents must include at least one of the following:
a. A Florida voter’s registration card.
b. A Florida driver license.
c. A State of Florida identification card.
d. A Florida vehicle registration.
e. Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the individual or by the individual’s parent if the individual is a dependent child.
f. Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida.
g. Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years if the Florida high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma was earned within the last 12 months.
h. Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period.
2. The documents may include one or more of the following:
a. A declaration of domicile in Florida.
b. A Florida professional or occupational license.
c. Florida incorporation.
d. A document evidencing family ties in Florida.
e. Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization.
f. Any other documentation that supports the student’s request for resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.
(4) With respect to a dependent child, the legal residence of the dependent child’s parent or parents is prima facie evidence of the dependent child’s legal residence, which evidence may be reinforced or rebutted, relative to the age and general circumstances of the dependent child, by the other evidence of legal residence required of or presented by the dependent child. However, the legal residence of a dependent child’s parent or parents who are domiciled outside this state is not prima facie evidence of the dependent child’s legal residence if that dependent child has lived in this state for 5 consecutive years prior to enrolling or reregistering at the institution of higher education at which resident status for tuition purposes is sought.
(5) A person who physically resides in this state may be classified as a resident for tuition purposes if he or she marries a person who meets the 12-month residency requirement under subsection (2) and who is a legal resident of this state.
(6)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who is classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes if that person or, if that person is a dependent child, his or her parent presents clear and convincing documentation that supports permanent legal residency in this state for at least 12 consecutive months rather than temporary residency for the purpose of pursuing an education, such as documentation of full-time permanent employment for the prior 12 months or the purchase of a home in this state and residence therein for the prior 12 months while not enrolled in an institution of higher education.
(b) If a person who is a dependent child and his or her parent move to this state while such child is a high school student and the child graduates from a high school in this state, the child may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes when the parent submits evidence that the parent qualifies for permanent residency.
(c) If a person who is a dependent child and his or her parent move to this state after such child graduates from high school, the child may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes after the parent submits evidence that he or she has established legal residence in the state and has maintained legal residence in the state for at least 12 consecutive months.
(d) A person who is classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes and who marries a legal resident of the state or marries a person who becomes a legal resident of the state may, upon becoming a legal resident of the state, become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes upon submitting evidence of his or her own legal residency in the state, evidence of his or her marriage to a person who is a legal resident of the state, and evidence of the spouse’s legal residence in the state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application for reclassification.
(7) A person shall not lose his or her resident status for tuition purposes solely by reason of serving, or, if such person is a dependent child, by reason of his or her parent’s or parents’ serving, in the Armed Forces outside this state.
(8) A person who has been properly classified as a resident for tuition purposes but who, while enrolled in an institution of higher education in this state, loses his or her resident tuition status because the person or, if he or she is a dependent child, the person’s parent or parents establish domicile or legal residence elsewhere shall continue to enjoy the in-state tuition rate for a statutory grace period, which period shall be measured from the date on which the circumstances arose that culminated in the loss of resident tuition status and shall continue for 12 months. However, if the 12-month grace period ends during a semester or academic term for which such former resident is enrolled, such grace period shall be extended to the end of that semester or academic term.
(9) Any person who ceases to be enrolled at or who graduates from an institution of higher education while classified as a resident for tuition purposes and who subsequently abandons his or her domicile in this state shall be permitted to reenroll at an institution of higher education in this state as a resident for tuition purposes without the necessity of meeting the 12-month durational requirement of this section if that person has reestablished his or her domicile in this state within 12 months of such abandonment and continuously maintains the reestablished domicile during the period of enrollment. The benefit of this subsection shall not be accorded more than once to any one person.
(10) The following persons shall be classified as residents for tuition purposes:
(a) Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States residing or stationed in this state, their spouses, and dependent children, and active drilling members of the Florida National Guard.
(b) Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States and their spouses and dependents attending a Florida College System institution or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where they are stationed, if such military establishment is within a county contiguous to Florida.
(c) United States citizens living on the Isthmus of Panama, who have completed 12 consecutive months of college work at the Florida State University Panama Canal Branch, and their spouses and dependent children.
(d) Full-time instructional and administrative personnel employed by state public schools and institutions of higher education and their spouses and dependent children.
(e) Students from Latin America and the Caribbean who receive scholarships from the federal or state government. Any student classified pursuant to this paragraph shall attend, on a full-time basis, a Florida institution of higher education.
(f) Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market graduate students attending Florida’s state universities.
(g) Full-time employees of state agencies or political subdivisions of the state when the student fees are paid by the state agency or political subdivision for the purpose of job-related law enforcement or corrections training.
(h) McKnight Doctoral Fellows and Finalists who are United States citizens.
(i) United States citizens living outside the United States who are teaching at a Department of Defense Dependent School or in an American International School and who enroll in a graduate level education program which leads to a Florida teaching certificate.
(j) Active duty members of the Canadian military residing or stationed in this state under the North American Air Defense (NORAD) agreement, and their spouses and dependent children, attending a Florida College System institution or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where they are stationed.
(k) Active duty members of a foreign nation’s military who are serving as liaison officers and are residing or stationed in this state, and their spouses and dependent children, attending a Florida College System institution or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where the foreign liaison officer is stationed.
(11) Once a student has been classified as a resident for tuition purposes, an institution of higher education to which the student transfers is not required to reevaluate the classification unless inconsistent information suggests that an erroneous classification was made or the student’s situation has changed. However, the student must have attended the institution making the initial classification within the prior 12 months, and the residency classification must be noted on the student’s transcript. The Higher Education Coordinating Council shall consider issues related to residency determinations and make recommendations relating to efficiency and effectiveness of current law.
(12) Each institution of higher education shall establish a residency appeal committee comprised of at least three members to consider student appeals of residency determinations, in accordance with the institution’s official appeal process. The residency appeal committee must render to the student the final residency determination in writing. The institution must advise the student of the reasons for the determination.
(13) The State Board of Education and the Board of Governors shall adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 2, ch. 2002-270; s. 400, ch. 2002-387; s. 14, ch. 2004-230; s. 132, ch. 2007-217; s. 7, ch. 2009-60; s. 2, ch. 2009-123; s. 10, ch. 2010-155; s. 116, ch. 2011-5; s. 23, ch. 2014-20; s. 6, ch. 2014-62.
1009.215 Student enrollment pilot program for the spring and summer terms.
(1) Subject to approval by the Board of Governors, the University of Florida may plan and implement a student enrollment pilot program for the spring and summer terms for the purpose of aligning on-campus student enrollment and the availability of instructional facilities.
(2) The pilot program shall provide for a student cohort that is limited to on-campus enrollment during the spring and summer terms. Students in this cohort are not eligible for on-campus enrollment during the fall term.
(3) Students who are enrolled in the pilot program and who are eligible to receive Bright Futures Scholarships under ss. 1009.53-1009.536 shall be eligible to receive the scholarship award for attendance during no more than 2 semesters or the equivalent in any fiscal year, including the summer term.
(4) By January 31, 2013, the University of Florida shall report to the Board of Governors, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives regarding the result of the pilot program.
History.s. 10, ch. 2011-63; s. 20, ch. 2012-134.
1009.22 Workforce education postsecondary student fees.
(1) This section applies to students enrolled in workforce education programs who are reported for funding, except that college credit fees for the Florida College System institutions are governed by s. 1009.23.
(2) All students shall be charged fees except students who are exempt from fees or students whose fees are waived.
(3)(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, fees for students who are nonresidents for tuition purposes must offset the full cost of instruction. Residency of students shall be determined as required in s. 1009.21. Fee-nonexempt students enrolled in applied academics for adult education instruction shall be charged fees equal to the fees charged for adult general education programs. Each Florida College System institution that conducts developmental education and applied academics for adult education instruction in the same class section may charge a single fee for both types of instruction.
(b) Fees for continuing workforce education shall be locally determined by the district school board or Florida College System institution board of trustees. Expenditures for the continuing workforce education program provided by the Florida College System institution or school district must be fully supported by fees. Enrollments in continuing workforce education courses may not be counted for purposes of funding full-time equivalent enrollment.
(c) 1Effective July 1, 2014, for programs leading to a career certificate or an applied technology diploma, the standard tuition shall be $2.33 per contact hour for residents and nonresidents and the out-of-state fee shall be $6.99 per contact hour. For adult general education programs, a block tuition of $45 per half year or $30 per term shall be assessed. Each district school board and Florida College System institution board of trustees shall adopt policies and procedures for the collection of and accounting for the expenditure of the block tuition. All funds received from the block tuition shall be used only for adult general education programs. Students enrolled in adult general education programs may not be assessed the fees authorized in subsection (5), subsection (6), or subsection (7).
(d) Each district school board and each Florida College System institution board of trustees may adopt tuition and out-of-state fees that vary no more than 5 percent below or 5 percent above the combined total of the standard tuition and out-of-state fees established in paragraph (c).
(e) The State Board of Education may adopt, by rule, the definitions and procedures that district school boards and Florida College System institution boards of trustees shall use in the calculation of cost borne by students.
(4) A district school board or Florida College System institution board that has a service area that borders another state may implement a plan for a differential out-of-state fee.
(5) Each district school board and Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish a separate fee for financial aid purposes in an additional amount of up to 10 percent of the student fees collected for workforce education programs. All fees collected shall be deposited into a separate workforce education student financial aid fee trust fund of the school district or Florida College System institution to support students enrolled in workforce education programs. Any undisbursed balance remaining in the trust fund and interest income accruing to investments from the trust fund shall increase the total funds available for distribution to workforce education students. Awards shall be based on student financial need and distributed in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis approved by the State Board of Education. Fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be allocated in an expeditious manner.
(6)(a) Each district school board and Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish a separate fee for capital improvements, technology enhancements, equipping buildings, or the acquisition of improved real property which may not exceed 5 percent of tuition for resident students or 5 percent of tuition and out-of-state fees for nonresident students. Funds collected by Florida College System institutions through the fee may be bonded only for the purpose of financing or refinancing new construction and equipment, renovation, remodeling of educational facilities, or the acquisition of improved real property for use as educational facilities. The fee shall be collected as a component part of the tuition and fees, paid into a separate account, and expended only to acquire improved real property or construct and equip, maintain, improve, or enhance the certificate career education or adult education facilities of the school district or the educational facilities of the Florida College System institution. Projects and acquisitions of improved real property funded through the use of the capital improvement fee must meet the survey and construction requirements of chapter 1013. Pursuant to s. 216.0158, each district school board and Florida College System institution board of trustees shall identify each project, including maintenance projects, proposed to be funded in whole or in part by such fee. Capital improvement fee revenues may be pledged by a board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source to the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, with an overall term of not more than 7 years, including renewals, extensions, and refundings, and revenue bonds with a term not exceeding 20 years and not exceeding the useful life of the asset being financed, only for the new construction and equipment, renovation, or remodeling of educational facilities. Bonds authorized pursuant to this paragraph shall be requested by the Florida College System institution board of trustees and shall be issued by the Division of Bond Finance in compliance with s. 11(d), Art. VII of the State Constitution and the State Bond Act. The Division of Bond Finance may pledge fees collected by one or more Florida College System institutions to secure such bonds. Any project included in the approved educational plant survey pursuant to chapter 1013 is approved pursuant to s. 11(f), Art. VII of the State Constitution. Bonds issued pursuant to the State Bond Act may be validated in the manner provided by chapter 75. The complaint for such validation shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the state attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending. A maximum of 15 cents per credit hour may be allocated from the capital improvement fee for child care centers conducted by the district school board or Florida College System institution board of trustees. The use of capital improvement fees for such purpose shall be subordinate to the payment of any bonds secured by the fees.
(b) The state does hereby covenant with the holders of the bonds issued under paragraph (a) that it will not take any action that will materially and adversely affect the rights of such holders so long as the bonds authorized by paragraph (a) are outstanding.
(7) Each district school board and Florida College System institution board of trustees is authorized to establish a separate fee for technology, not to exceed 5 percent of tuition per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for resident students and not to exceed 5 percent of tuition and the out-of-state fee per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for nonresident students. Revenues generated from the technology fee shall be used to enhance instructional technology resources for students and faculty and shall not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. Fifty percent of technology fee revenues may be pledged by a Florida College System institution board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source for the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, not to exceed the useful life of the asset being financed. Revenues generated from the technology fee may not be bonded.
(8) Each district school board and Florida College System institution board of trustees is authorized to establish specific fees for workforce development instruction not reported for state funding purposes or for workforce development instruction not reported as state funded full-time equivalent students. District school boards and Florida College System institution boards of trustees are not required to charge any other fee specified in this section for this type of instruction.
(9) Florida College System institution boards of trustees and district school boards are not authorized to charge students enrolled in workforce development programs any fee that is not specifically authorized by statute. In addition to tuition, out-of-state, financial aid, capital improvement, and technology fees, as authorized in this section, Florida College System institution boards of trustees and district school boards are authorized to establish fee schedules for the following user fees and fines: laboratory fees; parking fees and fines; library fees and fines; fees and fines relating to facilities and equipment use or damage; access or identification card fees; duplicating, photocopying, binding, or microfilming fees; standardized testing fees; diploma replacement fees; transcript fees; application fees; graduation fees; and late fees related to registration and payment. Such user fees and fines shall not exceed the cost of the services provided and shall only be charged to persons receiving the service. Parking fee revenues may be pledged by a Florida College System institution board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source for the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, with an overall term of not more than 7 years, including renewals, extensions, and refundings, and revenue bonds with a term not exceeding 20 years and not exceeding the useful life of the asset being financed. Florida College System institutions shall use the services of the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration to issue any revenue bonds authorized by this subsection. Any such bonds issued by the Division of Bond Finance shall be in compliance with the provisions of the State Bond Act. Bonds issued pursuant to the State Bond Act may be validated in the manner established in chapter 75. The complaint for such validation shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the state attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending.
(10) Each school district and Florida College System institution may assess a service charge for the payment of tuition and fees in installments and a convenience fee for the processing of automated or online credit card payments. However, the amount of the convenience fee for automated or online credit card payments may not exceed the total cost charged by the credit card company to the school district or Florida College System institution. Such service charge or convenience fee must be approved by the district school board or Florida College System institution board of trustees.
(11) Any school district or Florida College System institution that reports students who have not paid fees in an approved manner in calculations of full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes shall be penalized at a rate equal to 2 times the value of such enrollments. Such penalty shall be charged against the following year’s allocation from workforce education funds or the Florida College System Program Fund and shall revert to the General Revenue Fund. The State Board of Education shall specify, as necessary in rule, approved methods of student fee payment. Such methods must include, but need not be limited to, student fee payment; payment through federal, state, or institutional financial aid; and employer fee payments.
(12)(a) The Board of Trustees of Santa Fe College may establish a transportation access fee. Revenue from the fee may be used only to provide or improve access to transportation services for students enrolled at Santa Fe College. The fee may not exceed $6 per credit hour. An increase in the transportation access fee may occur only once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term. A referendum must be held by the student government to approve the application of the fee.
(b) Notwithstanding ss. 1009.534, 1009.535, and 1009.536, the transportation access fee authorized under paragraph (a) may not be included in calculating the amount a student receives for a Florida Academic Scholars award, a Florida Medallion Scholars award, or a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award.
(13) Each school district and Florida College System institution shall report only those students who have actually enrolled in instruction provided or supervised by instructional personnel under contract with the district or Florida College System institution in calculations of actual full-time enrollments for state funding purposes. A student who has been exempted from taking a course or who has been granted academic or technical credit through means other than actual coursework completed at the granting institution may not be calculated for enrollment in the course from which the student has been exempted or for which the student has been granted credit. School districts and Florida College System institutions that report enrollments in violation of this subsection shall be penalized at a rate equal to 2 times the value of such enrollments. Such penalty shall be charged against the following year’s allocation from workforce education funds and shall revert to the General Revenue Fund.
History.s. 401, ch. 2002-387; s. 8, ch. 2004-357; s. 1, ch. 2007-329; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2008-109; s. 3, ch. 2008-163; s. 11, ch. 2010-155; s. 117, ch. 2011-5; s. 11, ch. 2011-63; s. 54, ch. 2013-27; s. 27, ch. 2013-51; s. 186, ch. 2014-17; s. 77, ch. 2014-39; s. 2, ch. 2014-62.
1Note.As amended by s. 2, ch. 2014-62. Paragraph (c) was also amended by s. 77, ch. 2014-39, and that version struck the date, which originally read “July 1, 2011,” without adding a replacement date.
1009.23 Florida College System institution student fees.
(1) Unless otherwise provided, this section applies only to fees charged for college credit instruction leading to an associate in arts degree, an associate in applied science degree, an associate in science degree, or a baccalaureate degree authorized pursuant to s. 1007.33, for noncollege credit developmental education defined in s. 1004.02, and for educator preparation institute programs defined in s. 1004.85.
(2)(a) All students shall be charged fees except students who are exempt from fees or students whose fees are waived.
(b) Tuition and out-of-state fees for upper-division courses must reflect the fact that the Florida College System institution has a less expensive cost structure than that of a state university. Therefore, the board of trustees shall establish tuition and out-of-state fees for upper-division courses in baccalaureate degree programs approved pursuant to s. 1007.33 consistent with law and proviso language in the General Appropriations Act. However, the board of trustees may vary tuition and out-of-state fees only as provided in subsection (6) and s. 1009.26(11).
(3)(a) Effective July 1, 2014, for advanced and professional, postsecondary vocational, developmental education, and educator preparation institute programs, the standard tuition shall be $71.98 per credit hour for residents and nonresidents, and the out-of-state fee shall be $215.94 per credit hour.
(b) Effective July 1, 2014, for baccalaureate degree programs, the following tuition and fee rates shall apply:
1. The tuition shall be $91.79 per credit hour for students who are residents for tuition purposes.
2. The sum of the tuition and he out-of-state fee per credit hour for students who are nonresidents for tuition purposes shall be no more than 85 percent of the sum of the tuition and the out-of-state fee at the state university nearest the Florida College System institution.
(4) Each Florida College System institution board of trustees shall establish tuition and out-of-state fees, which may vary no more than 10 percent below and 15 percent above the combined total of the standard tuition and fees established in subsection (3).
(5) Except as otherwise provided in law, the sum of nonresident student tuition and out-of-state fees must be sufficient to defray the full cost of each program.
(6)(a) A Florida College System institution board of trustees that has a service area that borders another state may implement a plan for a differential out-of-state fee.
(b) A Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish a differential out-of-state fee for a student who has been determined to be a nonresident for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21 and is enrolled in a distance learning course offered by the institution. A differential out-of-state fee established pursuant to this paragraph shall be applicable only to distance learning courses and must be established such that the sum of tuition and the differential out-of-state fee is sufficient to defray the full cost of instruction.
(7) Each Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish a separate activity and service fee not to exceed 10 percent of the tuition fee, according to rules of the State Board of Education. The student activity and service fee shall be collected as a component part of the tuition and fees. The student activity and service fees shall be paid into a student activity and service fund at the Florida College System institution and shall be expended for lawful purposes to benefit the student body in general. These purposes include, but are not limited to, student publications and grants to duly recognized student organizations, the membership of which is open to all students at the Florida College System institution without regard to race, sex, or religion. No Florida College System institution shall be required to lower any activity and service fee approved by the board of trustees of the Florida College System institution and in effect prior to October 26, 2007, in order to comply with the provisions of this subsection.
(8)(a) Each Florida College System institution board of trustees is authorized to establish a separate fee for financial aid purposes in an additional amount up to, but not to exceed, 5 percent of the total student tuition or out-of-state fees collected. Each Florida College System institution board of trustees may collect up to an additional 2 percent if the amount generated by the total financial aid fee is less than $500,000. If the amount generated is less than $500,000, a Florida College System institution that charges tuition and out-of-state fees at least equal to the average fees established by rule may transfer from the general current fund to the scholarship fund an amount equal to the difference between $500,000 and the amount generated by the total financial aid fee assessment. No other transfer from the general current fund to the loan, endowment, or scholarship fund, by whatever name known, is authorized.
(b) All funds collected under this program shall be placed in the loan and endowment fund or scholarship fund of the college, by whatever name known. Such funds shall be disbursed to students as quickly as possible. An amount not greater than 40 percent of the fees collected in a fiscal year may be carried forward unexpended to the following fiscal year. However, funds collected prior to July 1, 1989, and placed in an endowment fund may not be considered part of the balance of funds carried forward unexpended to the following fiscal year.
(c) Up to 25 percent or $600,000, whichever is greater, of the financial aid fees collected may be used to assist students who demonstrate academic merit; who participate in athletics, public service, cultural arts, and other extracurricular programs as determined by the institution; or who are identified as members of a targeted gender or ethnic minority population. The financial aid fee revenues allocated for athletic scholarships and any fee exemptions provided to athletes pursuant to s. 1009.25(2) must be distributed equitably as required by s. 1000.05(3)(d). A minimum of 75 percent of the balance of these funds for new awards shall be used to provide financial aid based on absolute need, and the remainder of the funds shall be used for academic merit purposes and other purposes approved by the boards of trustees. Such other purposes shall include the payment of child care fees for students with financial need. The State Board of Education shall develop criteria for making financial aid awards. Each college shall report annually to the Department of Education on the revenue collected pursuant to this paragraph, the amount carried forward, the criteria used to make awards, the amount and number of awards for each criterion, and a delineation of the distribution of such awards. The report shall include an assessment by category of the financial need of every student who receives an award, regardless of the purpose for which the award is received. Awards that are based on financial need shall be distributed in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis approved by the State Board of Education. An award for academic merit requires a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent for both initial receipt of the award and renewal of the award.
(d) These funds may not be used for direct or indirect administrative purposes or salaries.
(9) Any Florida College System institution that reports students who have not paid fees in an approved manner in calculations of full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes shall be penalized at a rate equal to two times the value of such enrollments. Such penalty shall be charged against the following year’s allocation from the Florida College System Program Fund and shall revert to the General Revenue Fund.
(10) Each Florida College System institution board of trustees is authorized to establish a separate fee for technology, which may not exceed 5 percent of tuition per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for resident students and may not exceed 5 percent of tuition and the out-of-state fee per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for nonresident students. Revenues generated from the technology fee shall be used to enhance instructional technology resources for students and faculty. The technology fee may apply to both college credit and developmental education and shall not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. Fifty percent of technology fee revenues may be pledged by a Florida College System institution board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source for the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, not to exceed the useful life of the asset being financed. Revenues generated from the technology fee may not be bonded.
(11)(a) Each Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish a separate fee for capital improvements, technology enhancements, equipping student buildings, or the acquisition of improved real property which may not exceed 20 percent of tuition for resident students or 20 percent of the sum of tuition and out-of-state fees for nonresident students. The fee for resident students shall be limited to an increase of $2 per credit hour over the prior year. Funds collected by Florida College System institutions through the fee may be bonded only as provided in this subsection for the purpose of financing or refinancing new construction and equipment, renovation, remodeling of educational facilities, or the acquisition and renovation or remodeling of improved real property for use as educational facilities. The fee shall be collected as a component part of the tuition and fees, paid into a separate account, and expended only to acquire improved real property or construct and equip, maintain, improve, or enhance the educational facilities of the Florida College System institution. Projects and acquisitions of improved real property funded through the use of the capital improvement fee shall meet the survey and construction requirements of chapter 1013. Pursuant to s. 216.0158, each Florida College System institution shall identify each project, including maintenance projects, proposed to be funded in whole or in part by such fee.
(b) Capital improvement fee revenues may be pledged by a board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source to the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, with an overall term of not more than 7 years, including renewals, extensions, and refundings, and revenue bonds with a term not exceeding 20 annual maturities and not exceeding the useful life of the asset being financed, only for financing or refinancing of the new construction and equipment, renovation, or remodeling of educational facilities. Bonds authorized pursuant to this subsection shall be requested by the Florida College System institution board of trustees and shall be issued by the Division of Bond Finance in compliance with s. 11(d), Art. VII of the State Constitution and the State Bond Act. The Division of Bond Finance may pledge fees collected by one or more Florida College System institutions to secure such bonds. Any project included in the approved educational plant survey pursuant to chapter 1013 is approved pursuant to s. 11(f), Art. VII of the State Constitution.
(c) Bonds issued pursuant to this subsection may be validated in the manner provided by chapter 75. Only the initial series of bonds is required to be validated. The complaint for such validation shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the state attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending.
(d) A maximum of 15 percent may be allocated from the capital improvement fee for child care centers conducted by the Florida College System institution. The use of capital improvement fees for such purpose shall be subordinate to the payment of any bonds secured by the fees.
(e) The state does hereby covenant with the holders of the bonds issued under this subsection that it will not take any action that will materially and adversely affect the rights of such holders so long as the bonds authorized by this subsection are outstanding.
(12)(a) In addition to tuition, out-of-state, financial aid, capital improvement, student activity and service, and technology fees authorized in this section, each Florida College System institution board of trustees is authorized to establish fee schedules for the following user fees and fines: laboratory fees, which do not apply to a distance learning course; parking fees and fines; library fees and fines; fees and fines relating to facilities and equipment use or damage; access or identification card fees; duplicating, photocopying, binding, or microfilming fees; standardized testing fees; diploma replacement fees; transcript fees; application fees; graduation fees; and late fees related to registration and payment. Such user fees and fines shall not exceed the cost of the services provided and shall only be charged to persons receiving the service. A Florida College System institution may not charge any fee except as authorized by law. Parking fee revenues may be pledged by a Florida College System institution board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source for the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, with an overall term of not more than 7 years, including renewals, extensions, and refundings, and revenue bonds with a term not exceeding 20 years and not exceeding the useful life of the asset being financed. Florida College System institutions shall use the services of the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration to issue any revenue bonds authorized by this subsection. Any such bonds issued by the Division of Bond Finance shall be in compliance with the provisions of the State Bond Act. Bonds issued pursuant to the State Bond Act may be validated in the manner established in chapter 75. The complaint for such validation shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the state attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending.
(b) The State Board of Education may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this subsection.
(13) The State Board of Education shall specify, as necessary, by rule, approved methods of student fee payment. Such methods shall include, but not be limited to, student fee payment; payment through federal, state, or institutional financial aid; and employer fee payments.
(14) Each Florida College System institution board of trustees shall report only those students who have actually enrolled in instruction provided or supervised by instructional personnel under contract with the Florida College System institution in calculations of actual full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes. No student who has been exempted from taking a course or who has been granted academic or career credit through means other than actual coursework completed at the granting institution shall be calculated for enrollment in the course from which he or she has been exempted or granted credit. Florida College System institutions that report enrollments in violation of this subsection shall be penalized at a rate equal to two times the value of such enrollments. Such penalty shall be charged against the following year’s allocation from the Florida College System Program Fund and shall revert to the General Revenue Fund.
(15) Each Florida College System institution may assess a service charge for the payment of tuition and fees in installments and a convenience fee for the processing of automated or online credit card payments. However, the amount of the convenience fee may not exceed the total cost charged by the credit card company to the Florida College System institution. Such service charge or convenience fee must be approved by the Florida College System institution board of trustees.
(16)(a) Each Florida College System institution may assess a student who enrolls in a course listed in the distance learning catalog, established pursuant to s. 1006.735, a per-credit-hour distance learning course user fee. For purposes of assessing this fee, a distance learning course is a course in which at least 80 percent of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time or space, or both.
(b) The amount of the distance learning course user fee may not exceed the additional costs of the services provided which are attributable to the development and delivery of the distance learning course. If a Florida College System institution assesses the distance learning course user fee, the institution may not assess any other fees to cover the additional costs. By September 1 of each year, each board of trustees shall report to the Division of Florida Colleges the total amount of revenue generated by the distance learning course user fee for the prior fiscal year and how the revenue was expended.
(c) If an institution assesses the distance learning fee, the institution must provide a link to the catalog within the advising and distance learning sections of the institution’s website, using a graphic and description provided by the Complete Florida Plus Program, to inform students of the catalog.
(17) Each Florida College System institution that accepts transient students, pursuant to s. 1006.735, may establish a transient student fee not to exceed $5 per course for processing the transient student admissions application.
(18)(a) The Board of Trustees of Santa Fe College may establish a transportation access fee. Revenue from the fee may be used only to provide or improve access to transportation services for students enrolled at Santa Fe College. The fee may not exceed $6 per credit hour. An increase in the transportation access fee may occur only once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term. A referendum must be held by the student government to approve the application of the fee.
(b) Notwithstanding ss. 1009.534, 1009.535, and 1009.536, the transportation access fee authorized under paragraph (a) may not be included in calculating the amount a student receives for a Florida Academic Scholars award, a Florida Medallion Scholars award, or a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award.
(19) The State Board of Education shall adopt a rule specifying the definitions and procedures to be used in the calculation of the percentage of cost paid by students. The rule must provide for the calculation of the full cost of educational programs based on the allocation of all funds provided through the general current fund to programs of instruction, and other activities as provided in the annual expenditure analysis. The rule shall be developed in consultation with the Legislature.
History.s. 402, ch. 2002-387; s. 6, ch. 2004-271; s. 117, ch. 2004-357; s. 1, ch. 2005-247; s. 8, ch. 2007-246; s. 3, ch. 2007-329; ss. 3, 4, ch. 2008-109; s. 3, ch. 2008-148; s. 4, ch. 2008-163; s. 8, ch. 2009-60; s. 2, ch. 2009-92; s. 13, ch. 2009-228; s. 4, ch. 2010-219; s. 118, ch. 2011-5; s. 12, ch. 2011-63; s. 21, ch. 2012-134; s. 28, ch. 2013-51; s. 23, ch. 2014-56; s. 3, ch. 2014-62.
1009.24 State university student fees.
(1) This section applies to students enrolled in college credit programs at state universities.
(2) All students shall be charged fees except students who are exempt from fees or students whose fees are waived.
(3) All moneys from tuition and fees shall be deposited pursuant to s. 1011.42.
(4)(a) Effective July 1, 2014, the resident undergraduate tuition for lower-level and upper-level coursework shall be $105.07 per credit hour.
(b) The Board of Governors, or the board’s designee, may establish tuition for graduate and professional programs, and out-of-state fees for all programs. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the sum of tuition and out-of-state fees assessed to nonresident students must be sufficient to offset the full instructional cost of serving such students. However, adjustments to out-of-state fees or tuition for graduate programs and professional programs may not exceed 15 percent in any year.
(c) The Board of Governors may consider and approve flexible tuition policies as requested by a university board of trustees in accordance with subsection (15) only to the extent such policies are in alignment with the mission of the university and do not increase the state’s fiscal liability or obligations, including, but not limited to, any fiscal liability or obligation for programs authorized under ss. 1009.53-1009.538 and ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
(d) The sum of the activity and service, health, and athletic fees a student is required to pay to register for a course may not exceed 40 percent of the tuition established in law or in the General Appropriations Act. No university shall be required to lower any fee in effect on the effective date of this act in order to comply with this subsection. Within the 40 percent cap, universities may not increase the aggregate sum of activity and service, health, and athletic fees more than 5 percent per year unless specifically authorized in law or in the General Appropriations Act. A university may increase its athletic fee to defray the costs associated with changing National Collegiate Athletic Association divisions. Any such increase in the athletic fee may exceed both the 40 percent cap and the 5 percent cap imposed by this subsection. Any such increase must be approved by the athletic fee committee in the process outlined in subsection (12) and may not exceed $2 per credit hour. Notwithstanding ss. 1009.534, 1009.535, and 1009.536, that portion of any increase in an athletic fee pursuant to this subsection which causes the sum of the activity and service, health, and athletic fees to exceed the 40 percent cap or the annual increase in such fees to exceed the 5 percent cap may not be included in calculating the amount a student receives for a Florida Academic Scholars award, a Florida Medallion Scholars award, or a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award. Notwithstanding this paragraph and subject to approval by the board of trustees, each state university may exceed the 5-percent cap on the annual increase to the aggregate sum of activity and service, health, and athletic fees for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Any such increase may not exceed 15 percent or the amount required to reach the 2009-2010 fiscal year statewide average for the aggregate sum of activity and service, health, and athletic fees at the main campuses, whichever is greater. The aggregate sum of the activity and service, health, and athletic fees may not exceed 40 percent of tuition. Any increase in the activity and service fee, health fee, or athletic fee must be approved by the appropriate fee committee pursuant to subsection (10), subsection (11), or subsection (12).
(e) This subsection does not prohibit a university from increasing or assessing optional fees related to specific activities if payment of such fees is not required as a part of registration for courses.
(5) A university may implement a differential out-of-state fee in accordance with regulations developed by the Board of Governors for the following:
(a) A student from another state that borders the service area of the university.
(b) A graduate student who has been determined to be a nonresident for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21 and has a .25 full-time equivalent appointment or greater as a graduate assistant, graduate research assistant, graduate teaching assistant, graduate research associate, or graduate teaching associate.
(c) A graduate student who has been determined to be a nonresident for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21 and is receiving a full fellowship.
(6) Students who are enrolled in Programs in Medical Sciences are considered graduate students for the purpose of enrollment and student fees.
(7) A university board of trustees is authorized to collect for financial aid purposes an amount not to exceed 5 percent of the tuition and out-of-state fee. The revenues from fees are to remain at each campus and replace existing financial aid fees. Such funds shall be disbursed to students as quickly as possible. A minimum of 75 percent of funds from the student financial aid fee shall be used to provide financial aid based on absolute need. The Board of Governors shall develop criteria for making financial aid awards. Each university shall report annually to the Board of Governors and the Department of Education on the revenue collected pursuant to this subsection, the amount carried forward, the criteria used to make awards, the amount and number of awards for each criterion, and a delineation of the distribution of such awards. The report shall include an assessment by category of the financial need of every student who receives an award, regardless of the purpose for which the award is received. Awards which are based on financial need shall be distributed in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis approved by the Board of Governors. An award for academic merit shall require a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent for both initial receipt of the award and renewal of the award.
(8)(a) The Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee is established as $4.76 per credit hour per semester.
(b) Beginning with the 2012 fall term, each university board of trustees may increase the Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee. Any increase in the fee must be recommended by a Capital Improvement Trust Fund committee, at least half of whom are students appointed by the student body president. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the university president. A chair, appointed jointly by the university president and the student body president, shall vote only in the case of a tie. The recommendations of the committee shall take effect only after approval by the university president, after consultation with the student body president, with final approval by the university board of trustees. An increase in the fee may occur only once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term. The Board of Governors shall adopt regulations and timetables to implement the fee.
(c) The fee may not exceed 10 percent of the tuition for resident students or 10 percent of the sum of tuition and out-of-state fees for nonresident students. The fee for resident students shall be limited to an increase of $2 per credit hour over the prior year. The Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee may be used to fund any project or real property acquisition that meets the requirements of chapter 1013. The Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration shall analyze any proposed reductions to the Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee to ensure consistency with prudent financial management of the bond program associated with the revenues from the fee. The Board of Governors shall approve any proposed fee reductions provided that no such reduction reduces the fee below the level established in paragraph (a).
(9) Each university board of trustees is authorized to establish separate activity and service, health, and athletic fees. When duly established, the fees shall be collected as component parts of tuition and fees and shall be retained by the university and paid into the separate activity and service, health, and athletic funds. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a university may transfer revenues derived from the fees authorized pursuant to this subsection to a university direct-support organization of the university to be used only for the purpose of paying and securing debt on projects approved pursuant to s. 1010.62 and pursuant to a written agreement approved by the Board of Governors. The amount transferred may not exceed the amount authorized for annual debt service pursuant to s. 1010.62.
(10)(a) Each university board of trustees shall establish a student activity and service fee on the main campus of the university. The university board may also establish a student activity and service fee on any branch campus or center. Any subsequent increase in the activity and service fee must be recommended by an activity and service fee committee, at least one-half of whom are students appointed by the student body president. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the university president. A chairperson, appointed jointly by the university president and the student body president, shall vote only in the case of a tie. The recommendations of the committee shall take effect only after approval by the university president, after consultation with the student body president, with final approval by the university board of trustees. An increase in the activity and service fee may occur only once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term. The Board of Governors is responsible for adopting the regulations and timetables necessary to implement this fee.
(b) The student activity and service fees shall be expended for lawful purposes to benefit the student body in general. This shall include, but shall not be limited to, student publications and grants to duly recognized student organizations, the membership of which is open to all students at the university without regard to race, sex, or religion. The fund may not benefit activities for which an admission fee is charged to students, except for student-government-association-sponsored concerts. The allocation and expenditure of the fund shall be determined by the student government association of the university, except that the president of the university may veto any line item or portion thereof within the budget when submitted by the student government association legislative body. The university president shall have 15 school days from the date of presentation of the budget to act on the allocation and expenditure recommendations, which shall be deemed approved if no action is taken within the 15 school days. If any line item or portion thereof within the budget is vetoed, the student government association legislative body shall within 15 school days make new budget recommendations for expenditure of the vetoed portion of the fund. If the university president vetoes any line item or portion thereof within the new budget revisions, the university president may reallocate by line item that vetoed portion to bond obligations guaranteed by activity and service fees. Unexpended funds and undisbursed funds remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried over and remain in the student activity and service fund and be available for allocation and expenditure during the next fiscal year.
(11) Each university board of trustees shall establish a student health fee on the main campus of the university. The university board of trustees may also establish a student health fee on any branch campus or center. Any subsequent increase in the health fee must be recommended by a health committee, at least one-half of whom are students appointed by the student body president. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the university president. A chairperson, appointed jointly by the university president and the student body president, shall vote only in the case of a tie. The recommendations of the committee shall take effect only after approval by the university president, after consultation with the student body president, with final approval by the university board of trustees. An increase in the health fee may occur only once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term. The Board of Governors is responsible for adopting the regulations and timetables necessary to implement this fee.
(12) Each university board of trustees shall establish a separate athletic fee on the main campus of the university. The university board may also establish a separate athletic fee on any branch campus or center. Any subsequent increase in the athletic fee must be recommended by an athletic fee committee, at least one-half of whom are students appointed by the student body president. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the university president. A chairperson, appointed jointly by the university president and the student body president, shall vote only in the case of a tie. The recommendations of the committee shall take effect only after approval by the university president, after consultation with the student body president, with final approval by the university board of trustees. An increase in the athletic fee may occur only once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term. The Board of Governors is responsible for adopting the regulations and timetables necessary to implement this fee.
(13) Each university board of trustees may establish a technology fee of up to 5 percent of the tuition per credit hour. The revenue from this fee shall be used to enhance instructional technology resources for students and faculty. The technology fee may not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program established pursuant to ss. 1009.53-1009.538.
(14) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (15), each university board of trustees is authorized to establish the following fees:
(a) A nonrefundable application fee in an amount not to exceed $30.
(b) An orientation fee in an amount not to exceed $35.
(c) A fee for security, access, or identification cards. The annual fee for such a card may not exceed $10 per card. The maximum amount charged for a replacement card may not exceed $15.
(d) Registration fees for audit and zero-hours registration; a service charge, which may not exceed $15, for the payment of tuition and fees in installments; and a late-registration fee in an amount not less than $50 nor more than $100 to be imposed on students who fail to initiate registration during the regular registration period.
(e) A late-payment fee in an amount not less than $50 nor more than $100 to be imposed on students who fail to pay or fail to make appropriate arrangements to pay (by means of installment payment, deferment, or third-party billing) tuition by the deadline set by each university. Each university may adopt specific procedures or policies for waiving the late-payment fee for minor underpayments.
(f) Fees for transcripts and diploma replacement, not to exceed $10 per item.
(g) A nonrefundable admissions deposit for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs in an amount not to exceed $200. The admissions deposit shall be imposed at the time of an applicant’s acceptance to the university and shall be applied toward tuition upon enrollment. If the applicant does not enroll in the university, the admissions deposit shall be deposited in an auxiliary account of the university and used to expand financial assistance, scholarships, and student academic and career counseling services at the university. The Board of Governors shall adopt a policy that provides for the waiver of such admissions deposit on the basis of financial hardship.
(h) A fee for miscellaneous health-related charges for services provided at cost by the university health center which are not covered by the health fee set under subsection (11).
(i) Materials and supplies fees to offset the cost of materials or supplies that are consumed in the course of the student’s instructional activities, excluding the cost of equipment replacement, repairs, and maintenance.
(j) Housing rental rates and miscellaneous housing charges for services provided by the university at the request of the student.
(k) A charge representing the reasonable cost of efforts to collect payment of overdue accounts.
(l) A service charge on university loans in lieu of interest and administrative handling charges.
(m) A fee for off-campus course offerings when the location results in specific, identifiable increased costs to the university.
(n) Library fees and fines, including charges for damaged and lost library materials, overdue reserve library books, interlibrary loans, and literature searches.
(o) Fees relating to duplicating, photocopying, binding, and microfilming; copyright services; and standardized testing. These fees may be charged only to those who receive the services.
(p) Fees and fines relating to the use, late return, and loss and damage of facilities and equipment.
(q) A returned-check fee as authorized by s. 832.07(1) for unpaid checks returned to the university.
(r) Traffic and parking fines, charges for parking decals, and transportation access fees.
(s) An Educational Research Center for Child Development fee for child care and services offered by the center.
(t) A transient student fee that may not exceed $5 per course for accepting a transient student and processing the transient student admissions application pursuant to s. 1006.735.

With the exception of housing rental rates and except as otherwise provided, fees assessed pursuant to paragraphs (h)-(s) shall be based on reasonable costs of services. The Board of Governors shall adopt regulations and timetables necessary to implement the fees and fines authorized under this subsection. The fees assessed under this subsection may be used for debt only as authorized under s. 1010.62.

(15)(a) The Board of Governors may approve:
1. A proposal from a university board of trustees to establish a new student fee that is not specifically authorized by this section.
2. A proposal from a university board of trustees to increase the current cap for an existing fee authorized pursuant to paragraphs (14)(a)-(g).
3. A proposal from a university board of trustees to implement flexible tuition policies, such as undergraduate or graduate block tuition, block tuition differential, or market tuition rates for graduate-level online courses or graduate-level courses offered through a university’s continuing education program. A block tuition policy for resident undergraduate students or undergraduate-level courses shall be based on the per-credit-hour undergraduate tuition established under subsection (4). A block tuition policy for nonresident undergraduate students shall be based on the per-credit-hour undergraduate tuition and out-of-state fee established under subsection (4). Flexible tuition policies, including block tuition, may not increase the state’s fiscal liability or obligation.
(b) A proposal developed pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be submitted in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Governors. Approval by the Board of Governors of such proposal must be made in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.
(c) In reviewing a proposal to establish a new fee under subparagraph (a)1., the Board of Governors shall consider:
1. The purpose to be served or accomplished by the new fee.
2. Whether there is a demonstrable student-based need for the new fee that is not currently being met through existing university services, operations, or another fee.
3. Whether the financial impact on students is warranted in light of other charges assessed to students for tuition and associated fees.
4. Whether any restrictions, limitations, or conditions should be placed on the use of the fee.
5. Whether there are outcome measures to indicate if the purpose for which the fee was established is accomplished.
(d) In reviewing a proposal to increase or exceed the current cap for an existing fee under subparagraph (a)2., the Board of Governors shall consider:
1. The services or operations currently being funded by the fee.
2. Whether those services or operations can be performed more efficiently to alleviate the need for any increase.
3. The additional or enhanced services or operations to be funded by the increase.
4. Whether any alternative resources are available to meet the need.
5. Whether the financial impact on students is warranted in light of other charges assessed to students for tuition and associated fees.
(e) In reviewing a proposal to implement a flexible tuition policy under subparagraph (a)3., the Board of Governors shall consider:
1. Whether the proposed tuition flexibility policy is aligned with the mission of the university.
2. Whether the proposed tuition flexibility policy increases the state’s fiscal liabilities or obligations and, if so, the proposal shall be denied.
3. Whether any restrictions, limitations, or conditions should be placed on the policy.
4. How the proposed tuition flexibility policy will be implemented to honor the advance payment contracts of students who are beneficiaries of prepaid tuition contracts under s. 1009.98.
(f) The Board of Governors shall submit an annual report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Governor summarizing the proposals received by the board during the preceding year and actions taken by the board in response to such proposals. The Board of Governors shall also include in the annual report the following information for each fee established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1.:
1. The amount of the fee.
2. The total revenues generated by the fee.
3. Detailed expenditures of the revenues generated by the fee.
(g) The aggregate sum of any fees established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1. that a student is required to pay to register for a course shall not exceed 10 percent of tuition.
(h) Any fee established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1. shall not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program established pursuant to ss. 1009.53-1009.538.
(i) The revenues generated by a fee established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1. may not be transferred to an auxiliary enterprise or a direct-support organization and may not be used for the purpose of paying or securing debt.
(j) If the Board of Governors approves a university proposal to establish a fee pursuant to subparagraph (a)1., a fee committee shall be established at the university to make recommendations to the university president and the university board of trustees regarding how the revenue from the fee is to be spent and any subsequent changes to the fee. At least one-half of the committee must be students appointed by the student body president. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the university president. A chair, appointed jointly by the university president and the student body president, shall vote only in the case of a tie.
(k) An increase to an existing fee or a fee established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1. may occur no more than once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term.
(16) Each university board of trustees may establish a tuition differential for undergraduate courses upon receipt of approval from the Board of Governors. However, beginning July 1, 2014, the Board of Governors may only approve the establishment of or an increase in tuition differential for a state research university designated as a preeminent state research university pursuant to s. 1001.7065(3). The tuition differential shall promote improvements in the quality of undergraduate education and shall provide financial aid to undergraduate students who exhibit financial need.
(a) Seventy percent of the revenues from the tuition differential shall be expended for purposes of undergraduate education. Such expenditures may include, but are not limited to, increasing course offerings, improving graduation rates, increasing the percentage of undergraduate students who are taught by faculty, decreasing student-faculty ratios, providing salary increases for faculty who have a history of excellent teaching in undergraduate courses, improving the efficiency of the delivery of undergraduate education through academic advisement and counseling, and reducing the percentage of students who graduate with excess hours. This expenditure for undergraduate education may not be used to pay the salaries of graduate teaching assistants. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the remaining 30 percent of the revenues from the tuition differential, or the equivalent amount of revenue from private sources, shall be expended to provide financial aid to undergraduate students who exhibit financial need, including students who are scholarship recipients under s. 1009.984, to meet the cost of university attendance. This expenditure for need-based financial aid shall not supplant the amount of need-based aid provided to undergraduate students in the preceding fiscal year from financial aid fee revenues, the direct appropriation for financial assistance provided to state universities in the General Appropriations Act, or from private sources. The total amount of tuition differential waived under subparagraph (b)8. may be included in calculating the expenditures for need-based financial aid to undergraduate students required by this subsection. If the entire tuition and fee costs of resident students who have applied for and received Pell Grant funds have been met and the university has excess funds remaining from the 30 percent of the revenues from the tuition differential required to be used to assist students who exhibit financial need, the university may expend the excess portion in the same manner as required for the other 70 percent of the tuition differential revenues.
(b) Each tuition differential is subject to the following conditions:
1. The tuition differential may be assessed on one or more undergraduate courses or on all undergraduate courses at a state university.
2. The tuition differential may vary by course or courses, by campus or center location, and by institution. Each university board of trustees shall strive to maintain and increase enrollment in degree programs related to math, science, high technology, and other state or regional high-need fields when establishing tuition differentials by course.
3. For each state university that is designated as a preeminent state research university by the Board of Governors, pursuant to s. 1001.7065, the aggregate sum of tuition and the tuition differential may be increased by no more than 6 percent of the total charged for the aggregate sum of these fees in the preceding fiscal year. The tuition differential may be increased if the university meets or exceeds performance standard targets for that university established annually by the Board of Governors for the following performance standards, amounting to no more than a 2-percent increase in the tuition differential for each performance standard:
a. An increase in the 6-year graduation rate for full-time, first-time-in-college students, as reported annually to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
b. An increase in the total annual research expenditures.
c. An increase in the total patents awarded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the most recent years.
4. The aggregate sum of undergraduate tuition and fees per credit hour, including the tuition differential, may not exceed the national average of undergraduate tuition and fees at 4-year degree-granting public postsecondary educational institutions.
5. The tuition differential shall not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program established pursuant to ss. 1009.53-1009.538.
6. Beneficiaries having prepaid tuition contracts pursuant to s. 1009.98(2)(b) which were in effect on July 1, 2007, and which remain in effect, are exempt from the payment of the tuition differential.
7. The tuition differential may not be charged to any student who was in attendance at the university before July 1, 2007, and who maintains continuous enrollment.
8. The tuition differential may be waived by the university for students who meet the eligibility requirements for the Florida public student assistance grant established in s. 1009.50.
9. Subject to approval by the Board of Governors, the tuition differential authorized pursuant to this subsection may take effect with the 2009 fall term.
(c) A university board of trustees may submit a proposal to the Board of Governors to implement a tuition differential for one or more undergraduate courses. At a minimum, the proposal shall:
1. Identify the course or courses for which the tuition differential will be assessed.
2. Indicate the amount that will be assessed for each tuition differential proposed.
3. Indicate the purpose of the tuition differential.
4. Indicate how the revenues from the tuition differential will be used.
5. Indicate how the university will monitor the success of the tuition differential in achieving the purpose for which the tuition differential is being assessed.
(d) The Board of Governors shall review each proposal and advise the university board of trustees of approval of the proposal, the need for additional information or revision to the proposal, or denial of the proposal. The Board of Governors shall establish a process for any university to revise a proposal or appeal a decision of the board.
(e) The Board of Governors shall submit a report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Governor describing the implementation of the provisions of this subsection no later than February 1 of each year. The report shall summarize proposals received by the board during the preceding fiscal year and actions taken by the board in response to such proposals. In addition, the report shall provide the following information for each university that has been approved by the board to assess a tuition differential:
1. The course or courses for which the tuition differential was assessed and the amount assessed.
2. The total revenues generated by the tuition differential.
3. With respect to waivers authorized under subparagraph (b)8., the number of students eligible for a waiver, the number of students receiving a waiver, and the value of waivers provided.
4. Detailed expenditures of the revenues generated by the tuition differential.
5. Changes in retention rates, graduation rates, the percentage of students graduating with more than 110 percent of the hours required for graduation, pass rates on licensure examinations, the number of undergraduate course offerings, the percentage of undergraduate students who are taught by faculty, student-faculty ratios, and the average salaries of faculty who teach undergraduate courses.
(f) No state university shall be required to lower any tuition differential that was approved by the Board of Governors and in effect prior to January 1, 2009, in order to comply with the provisions of this subsection.
(17)(a) A state university may assess a student who enrolls in a course listed in the distance learning catalog, established pursuant to s. 1006.735, a per-credit-hour distance learning course fee. For purposes of assessing this fee, a distance learning course is a course in which at least 80 percent of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time or space, or both.
(b) The amount of the distance learning course fee may not exceed the additional costs of the services provided which are attributable to the development and delivery of the distance learning course. If the distance learning course fee is assessed by a state university, the institution may not assess duplicative fees to cover the additional costs.
(c) If an institution assesses the distance learning fee, the institution must provide a link to the catalog within the advising and distance learning sections of the institution’s website, using a graphic and description provided by the Complete Florida Plus Program, informing students of the catalog.
(18) A state university may not charge any fee except as specifically authorized by law.
(19) The Board of Governors shall adopt regulations to implement the provisions of this section.
History.s. 403, ch. 2002-387; s. 3, ch. 2003-392; s. 1, ch. 2004-352; s. 49, ch. 2006-74; s. 133, ch. 2007-217; s. 2, ch. 2007-225; s. 5, ch. 2007-329; s. 189, ch. 2008-4; s. 4, ch. 2008-148; s. 1, ch. 2008-193; s. 9, ch. 2009-60; s. 3, ch. 2009-92; s. 3, ch. 2009-98; s. 21, ch. 2010-78; s. 12, ch. 2010-155; s. 13, ch. 2011-63; s. 22, ch. 2012-134; s. 14, ch. 2013-45; s. 24, ch. 2014-56; s. 4, ch. 2014-62.
1009.25 Fee exemptions.
(1) The following students are exempt from the payment of tuition and fees, including lab fees, at a school district that provides workforce education programs, Florida College System institution, or state university:
(a) A student enrolled in a dual enrollment or early admission program pursuant to s. 1007.271.
(b) A student enrolled in an approved apprenticeship program, as defined in s. 446.021.
(c) A student who is or was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age in the custody of the Department of Children and Families or who, after spending at least 6 months in the custody of the department after reaching 16 years of age, was placed in a guardianship by the court. Such exemption includes fees associated with enrollment in applied academics for adult education instruction. The exemption remains valid until the student reaches 28 years of age.
(d) A student who is or was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age in the custody of a relative or nonrelative under s. 39.5085 or who was adopted from the Department of Children and Families after May 5, 1997. Such exemption includes fees associated with enrollment in applied academics for adult education instruction. The exemption remains valid until the student reaches 28 years of age.
(e) A student enrolled in an employment and training program under the welfare transition program. The regional workforce board shall pay the state university, Florida College System institution, or school district for costs incurred for welfare transition program participants.
(f) A student who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or whose primary nighttime residence is a public or private shelter designed to provide temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
(g) A student who is a proprietor, owner, or worker of a company whose business has been at least 50 percent negatively financially impacted by the buyout of property around Lake Apopka by the State of Florida. Such student may receive a fee exemption only if the student has not received compensation because of the buyout, the student is designated a Florida resident for tuition purposes, pursuant to s. 1009.21, and the student has applied for and been denied financial aid, pursuant to s. 1009.40, which would have provided, at a minimum, payment of all student fees. The student is responsible for providing evidence to the postsecondary education institution verifying that the conditions of this paragraph have been met, including supporting documentation provided by the Department of Revenue. The student must be currently enrolled in, or begin coursework within, a program area by fall semester 2000. The exemption is valid for a period of 4 years after the date that the postsecondary education institution confirms that the conditions of this paragraph have been met.
(h) Pursuant to s. 402.403, child protection and child welfare personnel as defined in s. 402.402 who are enrolled in an accredited bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in social work program, provided that the student attains at least a grade of “B” in all courses for which tuition and fees are exempted.
(2) Each Florida College System institution is authorized to grant student fee exemptions from all fees adopted by the State Board of Education and the Florida College System institution board of trustees for up to 54 full-time equivalent students or 1 percent of the institution’s total full-time equivalent enrollment, whichever is greater, at each institution.
History.ss. 5, 6, 7, ch. 2002-19; ss. 2, 3, ch. 2002-38; s. 404, ch. 2002-387; s. 118, ch. 2004-357; s. 3, ch. 2004-362; s. 15, ch. 2006-194; s. 1, ch. 2010-68; s. 119, ch. 2011-5; s. 14, ch. 2011-63; s. 23, ch. 2012-134; s. 24, ch. 2012-191; s. 55, ch. 2013-27; s. 29, ch. 2013-51; s. 377, ch. 2014-19; s. 44, ch. 2014-224.
1009.26 Fee waivers.
(1) School districts and Florida College System institutions may waive fees for any fee-nonexempt student. The total value of fee waivers granted by the school district or Florida College System institution may not exceed the amount established annually in the General Appropriations Act. Any student whose fees are waived in excess of the authorized amount may not be reported for state funding purposes. Any school district or Florida College System institution that waives fees and requests state funding for a student in violation of the provisions of this section shall be penalized at a rate equal to 2 times the value of the full-time student enrollment reported.
(2) A state university may waive any or all application, tuition, and related fees for persons who supervise student interns for a state university.
(3) A university board of trustees is authorized to permit full-time university employees who meet academic requirements to enroll for up to 6 credit hours of tuition-free courses per term on a space-available basis.
(4) A state university may waive any or all application, tuition, and related fees for persons 60 years of age or older who are residents of this state and who attend classes for credit. No academic credit shall be awarded for attendance in classes for which fees are waived under this subsection. This privilege may be granted only on a space-available basis, if such classes are not filled as of the close of registration. A university may limit or deny the privilege for courses which are in programs for which the Board of Governors has established selective admissions criteria. Persons paying full fees and state employees taking courses on a space-available basis shall have priority over those persons whose fees are waived in all cases where classroom spaces are limited.
(5) Any graduate student enrolled in a state-approved school psychology training program shall be entitled to a waiver of registration fees for internship credit hours applicable to an internship in the public school system under the supervision of a Department of Education certified school psychologist employed by the school system.
(6) A university board of trustees may waive the out-of-state fees for nondegree-seeking students enrolled at a state university if the earned student credit hours generated by such students are nonfundable and the direct cost for the program of study is recovered from the fees charged to all students.
(7) The spouse of a deceased state employee is entitled, when eligible for the payment of student fees by the state as employer pursuant to s. 440.16, in lieu of such payment, to a full waiver of student fees for up to 80 semester hours in any Florida College System institution.
(8) A state university, a Florida College System institution, a career center operated by a school district under s. 1001.44, or a charter technical career center shall waive tuition for undergraduate college credit programs and career certificate programs for each recipient of a Purple Heart or another combat decoration superior in precedence who:
(a) Is enrolled as a full-time, part-time, or summer-school student in a program that terminates in an associate or a baccalaureate degree, a college credit certificate, or a career certificate;
(b) Is currently, and was at the time of the military action that resulted in the awarding of the Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence, a resident of this state; and
(c) Submits to the state university, the Florida College System institution, the career center operated by a school district under s. 1001.44, or the charter technical career center the DD-214 form issued at the time of separation from service as documentation that the student has received a Purple Heart or another combat decoration superior in precedence. If the DD-214 is not available, other documentation may be acceptable if recognized by the United States Department of Defense or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as documenting the award.

Such a waiver for a Purple Heart recipient or recipient of another combat decoration superior in precedence shall be applicable for 110 percent of the number of required credit hours of the degree or certificate program for which the student is enrolled.

(9) Each university board of trustees is authorized to waive tuition and out-of-state fees for purposes that support and enhance the mission of the university. All fees waived must be based on policies that are adopted by university boards of trustees pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board of Governors. Each university shall report the purpose, number, and value of all fee waivers granted annually in a format prescribed by the Board of Governors.
(10) A state university or Florida College System institution may waive tuition and fees for a classroom teacher, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), who is employed full-time by a school district and who meets the academic requirements established by the Florida College System institution or state university for up to 6 credit hours per term on a space-available basis in undergraduate courses approved by the Department of Education. Such courses shall be limited to undergraduate courses related to special education, mathematics, or science. The waiver may not be used for courses scheduled during the school district’s regular school day. The State Board of Education shall adopt a rule that prescribes the process for the approval of courses by the department.
(11) A Florida College System institution may waive any portion of the tuition, the activity and service fee, the financial aid fee, the technology fee, the capital improvement fee, and distance learning fee for the purpose of offering a baccalaureate degree for state residents for which the cost of tuition and the fees specified in this subsection does not exceed $10,000 for the entire degree program. Waivers provided pursuant to this subsection shall be applicable for upper-level courses not to exceed 100 percent of the number of required credit hours of the baccalaureate degree program for which the student is determined eligible.
(12)(a) A state university, a Florida College System institution, a career center operated by a school district under s. 1001.44, or a charter technical career center shall waive out-of-state fees for students, including, but not limited to, students who are undocumented for federal immigration purposes, who meet the following conditions:
1. Attended a secondary school in this state for 3 consecutive years immediately before graduating from a high school in this state;
2. Apply for enrollment in an institution of higher education within 24 months after high school graduation; and
3. Submit an official Florida high school transcript as evidence of attendance and graduation.
(b) Tuition and fees charged to a student who qualifies for the out-of-state fee waiver under this subsection may not exceed the tuition and fees charged to a resident student. The waiver is applicable for 110 percent of the required credit hours of the degree or certificate program for which the student is enrolled. Each state university, Florida College System institution, career center operated by a school district under s. 1001.44, and charter technical career center shall report to the Board of Governors and the State Board of Education, respectively, the number and value of all fee waivers granted annually under this subsection. By October 1 of each year, the Board of Governors for the state universities and the State Board of Education for Florida College System institutions, career centers operated by a school district under s. 1001.44, and charter technical career centers shall annually report for the previous academic year the percentage of resident and nonresident students enrolled systemwide.
(c) A state university student granted an out-of-state fee waiver under this subsection must be considered a nonresident student for purposes of calculating the systemwide total enrollment of nonresident students as limited by regulation of the Board of Governors. In addition, a student who is granted an out-of-state fee waiver under this subsection is not eligible for state financial aid under part III of this chapter and must not be reported as a resident for tuition purposes.
(d) A state university, a Florida College System institution, a career center operated by a school district under s. 1001.44, or a charter technical career center shall, within the nonresident student enrollment systemwide, prioritize the enrollment of a veteran who is granted an out-of-state fee waiver pursuant to the Congressman C.W. “Bill” Young Tuition Waiver Act over a student who is granted an out-of-state fee waiver under this subsection.
(13)(a) There is established the Congressman C. W. “Bill” Young Veteran Tuition Waiver Program. A state university, Florida College System institution, career center operated by a school district under s. 1001.44, or charter technical career center shall waive out-of-state fees for an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Reserve Forces, or the National Guard who physically resides in this state while enrolled in the institution. Tuition and fees charged to a veteran who qualifies for the out-of-state fee waiver under this subsection may not exceed the tuition and fees charged to a resident student. The waiver is applicable for 110 percent of the required credit hours of the degree or certificate program for which the student is enrolled. Each state university, Florida College System institution, career center operated by a school district under s. 1001.44, and charter technical career center shall report to the Board of Governors and the State Board of Education, respectively, the number and value of all fee waivers granted annually under this subsection.
(b) This subsection may be cited as the “Congressman C.W. ‘Bill’ Young Tuition Waiver Act.”
History.s. 405, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2006-233; s. 134, ch. 2007-217; s. 3, ch. 2009-123; s. 22, ch. 2010-78; s. 1, ch. 2010-219; s. 120, ch. 2011-5; s. 15, ch. 2011-63; s. 56, ch. 2013-27; s. 36, ch. 2014-1; s. 5, ch. 2014-62.
1009.265 State employee fee waivers.
(1) As a benefit to the employer and employees of the state, subject to approval by an employee’s agency head or the equivalent, each state university and Florida College System institution shall waive tuition and fees for state employees to enroll for up to 6 credit hours of courses per term on a space-available basis.
(2) The Chief Financial Officer, in cooperation with the Florida College System institutions and state universities, shall identify and implement ways to ease the administrative burden to Florida College System institutions and state universities, including, but not limited to, providing easier access to verify state employment.
(3) From funds appropriated by the Legislature for administrative costs to implement this section, Florida College System institutions and state universities shall be reimbursed on a pro rata basis according to the cost assessment data developed by the Department of Education.
(4) The Auditor General shall include a review of the cost assessment data in conjunction with his or her audit responsibilities for Florida College System institutions, state universities, and the Department of Education.
(5) For purposes of this section, employees of the state include employees of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government, except for persons employed by a state university.
History.s. 406, ch. 2002-387; s. 1955, ch. 2003-261; s. 121, ch. 2011-5.
1009.27 Deferral of fees.
(1) School districts, Florida College System institutions, and state universities may defer tuition and fees for students receiving financial aid from a federal or state assistance program when the aid is delayed in being transmitted to the student through circumstances beyond the control of the student. The failure to make timely application for the aid is an insufficient reason to receive a deferral of fees.
(2) Any veteran or other eligible student who receives benefits under chapter 30, chapter 31, chapter 32, chapter 33, chapter 34, or chapter 35 of Title 38, U.S.C., or chapter 106 of Title 10, U.S.C., is entitled to one deferment each academic year and an additional deferment each time there is a delay in the receipt of benefits.
(3) Each school district, Florida College System institution, and state university is responsible for collecting all deferred fees. If a school district, Florida College System institution, or state university has not collected a deferred fee, the student may not earn state funding for any course for which the student subsequently registers until the fee has been paid.
History.s. 407, ch. 2002-387; s. 135, ch. 2007-217; s. 10, ch. 2009-60; s. 3, ch. 2009-109; s. 122, ch. 2011-5.
1009.28 Fees for repeated enrollment in developmental education classes.A student enrolled in the same developmental education class more than twice shall pay 100 percent of the full cost of instruction to support continuous enrollment of that student in the same class, and the student shall not be included in calculations of full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes; however, students who withdraw or fail a class due to extenuating circumstances may be granted an exception only once for each class, provided approval is granted according to policy established by the board of trustees. Each Florida College System institution may review and reduce fees paid by students due to continued enrollment in a developmental education class on an individual basis contingent upon the student’s financial hardship, pursuant to definitions and fee levels established by the State Board of Education.
History.s. 408, ch. 2002-387; s. 123, ch. 2011-5; s. 30, ch. 2013-51.
1009.285 Fees for repeated enrollment in college-credit courses.A student enrolled in the same undergraduate college-credit course more than twice shall pay tuition at 100 percent of the full cost of instruction and shall not be included in calculations of full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes. However, students who withdraw or fail a class due to extenuating circumstances may be granted an exception only once for each class, provided that approval is granted according to policy established by the Florida College System institution board of trustees or the university board of trustees. Each Florida College System institution and state university may review and reduce fees paid by students due to continued enrollment in a college-credit class on an individual basis contingent upon the student’s financial hardship. For purposes of this section, first-time enrollment in a class shall mean enrollment in a class beginning fall semester 1997, and calculations of the full cost of instruction shall be based on the systemwide average of the prior year’s cost of undergraduate programs for the Florida College System institutions and the state universities. Boards of trustees may make exceptions to this section for individualized study, elective coursework, courses that are repeated as a requirement of a major, and courses that are intended as continuing over multiple semesters, excluding the repeat of coursework more than two times to increase grade point average or meet minimum course grade requirements.
History.s. 409, ch. 2002-387; s. 136, ch. 2007-217; s. 124, ch. 2011-5.
1009.286 Additional student payment for hours exceeding baccalaureate degree program completion requirements at state universities.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage each undergraduate student who enrolls in a state university to complete the student’s respective baccalaureate degree program in the most efficient way possible while providing for access to additional college coursework. Therefore, the Legislature intends to enact a policy that provides incentives for efficient baccalaureate degree completion.
(2) State universities shall require a student to pay an excess hour surcharge for each credit hour in excess of the number of credit hours required to complete the baccalaureate degree program in which the student is enrolled. The excess hour surcharge shall become effective for students who enter a state university for the first time and maintain continuous enrollment as follows:
(a) For the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years, an excess hour surcharge equal to 50 percent of the tuition rate for each credit hour in excess of 120 percent.
(b) For the 2011-2012 academic year, an excess hour surcharge equal to 100 percent of the tuition rate for each credit hour in excess of 115 percent.
(c) For the 2012-2013 academic year and thereafter, an excess hour surcharge equal to 100 percent of the tuition rate for each credit hour in excess of 110 percent.
(3) Except as otherwise provided by law and for purposes of this section, the following credit hours shall be included when calculating the number of hours taken by a student:
(a) All credit hours for courses taken at the state university from which the student is seeking a baccalaureate degree, including:
1. Failed courses.
2. Courses that are dropped after the university’s advertised last day of the drop and add period.
3. Courses from which a student withdraws, except as provided in subsection (4).
4. Repeated courses, except repeated courses for which the student has paid the full cost of instruction as provided in s. 1009.285.
(b) All credit hours earned at another institution and accepted for transfer by the state university and applied toward the student’s baccalaureate degree program.
(4) For purposes of this section, credit hours earned under the following circumstances are not calculated as hours required to earn a baccalaureate degree:
(a) College credits earned through an articulated accelerated mechanism identified in s. 1007.27.
(b) Credit hours earned through internship programs.
(c) Credit hours required for certification, recertification, or certificate programs.
(d) Credit hours in courses from which a student must withdraw due to reasons of medical or personal hardship.
(e) Credit hours taken by active-duty military personnel.
(f) Credit hours required to achieve a dual major taken while pursuing a baccalaureate degree.
(g) Remedial and English as a Second Language credit hours.
(h) Credit hours earned in military science courses that are part of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program.
(5) Each state university and Florida College System institution shall implement a process for notifying students regarding the provisions of this section. Notice must be provided by a state university or a Florida College System institution upon a student’s initial enrollment in the institution. Such notice must be provided a second time by a state university when a student has earned the credit hours required to complete the baccalaureate degree program in which the student is enrolled. The notice must include a recommendation that each student who intends to earn credit hours at the institution in excess of the credit hours required for the baccalaureate degree program in which the student is enrolled meet with his or her academic advisor.
(6) For purposes of this section, the term “state university” includes the institutions identified in s. 1000.21(6) and the term “Florida College System institution” includes the institutions identified in s. 1000.21(3).
History.s. 11, ch. 2009-60; s. 125, ch. 2011-5; s. 16, ch. 2011-63; s. 24, ch. 2012-134.
1009.29 Increased fees for funding financial aid program.
(1) Student tuition and registration fees at each state university and Florida College System institution shall include up to $4.68 per quarter, or $7.02 per semester, per full-time student, or the per-student credit hour equivalents of such amounts. The fees provided for by this section shall be adjusted from time to time, as necessary, to comply with the debt service coverage requirements of the student loan revenue bonds issued pursuant to s. 1009.79. If the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration and the Commissioner of Education determine that such fees are no longer required as security for revenue bonds issued pursuant to ss. 1009.78-1009.88, moneys previously collected pursuant to this section which are held in escrow, after administrative expenses have been met and up to $150,000 has been used to establish a financial aid data processing system for the state universities incorporating the necessary features to meet the needs of all 11 universities for application through disbursement processing, shall be reallocated to the generating institutions to be used for student financial aid programs, including, but not limited to, scholarships and grants for educational purposes. Upon such determination, such fees shall no longer be assessed and collected.
(2) The Department of Education may, in accordance with rules established by the State Board of Administration, receive and administer grants and donations from any source and, in its discretion, establish criteria, select recipients, and award scholarships and loans from the fees provided for by this section, and fix the interest rates and terms of repayment.
History.s. 410, ch. 2002-387; s. 168, ch. 2004-5; s. 53, ch. 2004-41; s. 137, ch. 2007-217; s. 126, ch. 2011-5.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
A. General Provisions
B. Scholarships, Grants, and Other Aid
C. Role of the Department of Education
A. General Provisions
1009.40 General requirements for student eligibility for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants.
1009.41 State financial aid; students with a disability.
1009.42 Financial aid appeal process.
1009.43 State student financial assistance; authorization for use in program of study in another state or foreign country.
1009.44 Need-based financial aid; no preference to students receiving other aid.
1009.40 General requirements for student eligibility for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants.
(1)(a) The general requirements for eligibility of students for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants consist of the following:
1. Achievement of the academic requirements of and acceptance at a state university or Florida College System institution; a nursing diploma school approved by the Florida Board of Nursing; a Florida college or university which is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the State Board of Education; a Florida institution the credits of which are acceptable for transfer to state universities; a career center; or a private career institution accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the State Board of Education.
2. Residency in this state for no less than 1 year preceding the award of aid or a tuition assistance grant for a program established pursuant to s. 1009.50, s. 1009.505, s. 1009.51, s. 1009.52, s. 1009.53, s. 1009.60, s. 1009.62, s. 1009.72, s. 1009.73, s. 1009.77, s. 1009.89, or s. 1009.891. Residency in this state must be for purposes other than to obtain an education. Resident status for purposes of receiving state financial aid awards shall be determined in the same manner as resident status for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21.
3. Submission of certification attesting to the accuracy, completeness, and correctness of information provided to demonstrate a student’s eligibility to receive state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants. Falsification of such information shall result in the denial of a pending application and revocation of an award or grant currently held to the extent that no further payments shall be made. Additionally, students who knowingly make false statements in order to receive state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants commit a misdemeanor of the second degree subject to the provisions of s. 837.06 and shall be required to return all state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants wrongfully obtained.
(b)1. Eligibility for the renewal of undergraduate or career certificate financial aid awards shall be evaluated at the end of the second semester or third quarter of each academic year. As a condition for renewal, a student shall:
a. Have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale; and
b. Have earned, for undergraduate full-time study, 12 credits per term or the equivalent for the number of terms for which aid was received or have earned, for career certificate study, at least the equivalent in clock hours of 6 semester credit hours per term or the equivalent for the number of terms for which aid was received.
2. A student who earns the minimum number of credits required for renewal, but who fails to meet the minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average, may be granted a probationary award for up to the equivalent of 1 academic year and shall be required to earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale by the end of the probationary period to be eligible for subsequent renewal. A student who receives a probationary award and who fails to meet the conditions for renewal by the end of his or her probationary period shall be ineligible to receive additional awards for the equivalent of 1 academic year following his or her probationary period. Each such student may, however, reapply for assistance during a subsequent application period and may be eligible for an award if he or she has earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
3. A student who fails to earn the minimum number of credits required for renewal shall lose his or her eligibility for renewal for a period equivalent to 1 academic year. However, the student may reapply during a subsequent application period and may be eligible for an award if he or she has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
4. Students who receive state student aid and subsequently fail to meet state academic progress requirements due to verifiable illness or other emergencies may be granted an exception from the academic requirements. Such students shall make a written appeal to the institution. The appeal shall include a description and verification of the circumstances. Verification of illness or other emergencies may include but not be limited to a physician’s statement or written statement of a parent or college official. The institution shall recommend exceptions with necessary documentation to the department. The department may accept or deny such recommendations for exception from the institution.
(2) These requirements do not preclude higher standards specified in other sections of this part, in rules of the state board, or in rules of a participating institution.
(3) Undergraduate students are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 8 semesters or 12 quarters. However, undergraduate students participating in developmental education and students enrolled in a 5-year undergraduate degree program are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 10 semesters or 15 quarters.
(4) No student is eligible to receive more than one state scholarship that is based on academic merit. Students who qualify for more than one such scholarship shall be notified of all awards for which they qualify and shall be provided the opportunity to accept one of their choosing.
History.s. 413, ch. 2002-387; s. 120, ch. 2003-1; s. 119, ch. 2004-357; s. 1, ch. 2007-113; s. 138, ch. 2007-217; s. 12, ch. 2009-60; s. 34, ch. 2010-70; s. 127, ch. 2011-5; s. 15, ch. 2011-37; s. 57, ch. 2013-35; s. 31, ch. 2013-51; s. 78, ch. 2014-39.
1009.41 State financial aid; students with a disability.Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 1009.40(1)(b)1.b. regarding the number of credits earned per term, or other financial aid eligibility requirements related to the number of required credits earned per term, a student with a documented disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, shall be eligible to be considered for state financial aid while attending an eligible postsecondary institution on a part-time basis. The State Board of Education shall establish the necessary criteria for documentation of the student’s disability, and the postsecondary institution shall make the determination as to whether or not the disability is such that part-time status is a necessary accommodation. For the purposes of this section, financial aid funds may be prorated based on the number of credit hours taken.
History.s. 414, ch. 2002-387.
1009.42 Financial aid appeal process.
(1) The State Board of Education shall adopt, by rule, a procedure for the appeal of errors in eligibility determinations, or failure to transfer awards between eligible institutions, made by the Office of Student Financial Assistance of the Department of Education, regarding applicants’ eligibility for receiving state student financial aid awards. The procedure must provide for establishment of a committee to consider appeals that are not resolved by other administrative action. Each committee must be comprised of four members appointed by the Commissioner of Education, including one representative of the Office of Student Financial Assistance; two practicing financial aid administrators from public or private postsecondary institutions in this state, one of whom must be from an institution other than one to which the applicant is seeking admission; and one student enrolled in a public postsecondary institution in this state, nominated by the Florida Student Association. An applicant for state student financial aid who believes an error has been made in determining eligibility for student financial assistance or who believes the department has failed to transfer an award between eligible institutions may appeal the decision in writing to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. The Office of Student Financial Assistance shall investigate the complaint and take appropriate action within 30 days after its receipt of the appeal. If the student wishes further review of the appeal, the Office of Student Financial Assistance shall forward the appeal to the committee. Within 30 days after the receipt of a request for a hearing, a final decision shall be rendered by the committee established under this section, and a copy of the decision shall be provided to the applicant. The decision rendered by the committee constitutes final agency action. A description of the financial aid appeals process shall be included in the application form for each state student financial aid program.
(2) The president of each state university and each Florida College System institution shall establish a procedure for appeal, by students, of grievances related to the award or administration of financial aid at the institution.
(3) A student involved in a financial aid appeal proceeding is eligible for a deferral of registration and fee payments pursuant to s. 1009.27.
History.s. 415, ch. 2002-387; s. 128, ch. 2011-5.
1009.43 State student financial assistance; authorization for use in program of study in another state or foreign country.A student who is enrolled in a public or private postsecondary educational institution in this state may apply state student financial assistance toward the cost of a program of study in another state or a foreign country for a period of up to 1 year, if the program of study is offered or promoted by the Florida institution as an integral part of the academic studies of that degree-seeking student or as a program that would enhance the student’s academic experience. This program must be approved by the president of the institution in this state or by his or her designee; however, private, postsecondary Florida institutions with out-of-state subsidiary institutions are not authorized to make Florida residents attending their out-of-state subsidiary institutions eligible for Florida financial assistance.
History.s. 416, ch. 2002-387.
1009.44 Need-based financial aid; no preference to students receiving other aid.From the funds collected by state universities and Florida College System institutions as a financial aid fee and from other funds appropriated by the Legislature for financial aid from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, institutions shall expend those moneys designated as need-based financial aid with no preference given to students who also qualify for merit-based or other financial aid awards.
History.s. 417, ch. 2002-387; s. 129, ch. 2011-5.
B. Scholarships, Grants, and Other Aid
1009.50 Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
1009.505 Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program.
1009.51 Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
1009.52 Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
1009.53 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
1009.531 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for initial awards.
1009.532 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for renewal awards.
1009.533 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; eligible postsecondary education institutions.
1009.534 Florida Academic Scholars award.
1009.5341 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship awards for graduate study.
1009.535 Florida Medallion Scholars award.
1009.536 Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award.
1009.538 Bright Futures Scholarship recipients attending nonpublic institutions; calculation of awards.
1009.55 Rosewood Family Scholarship Program.
1009.60 Minority teacher education scholars program.
1009.605 Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc.
1009.61 Teacher/Quest Scholarship Program.
1009.62 Grants for teachers for special training in exceptional student education.
1009.65 Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program.
1009.66 Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
1009.67 Nursing scholarship program.
1009.70 Florida Education Fund.
1009.701 First Generation Matching Grant Program.
1009.72 Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Program.
1009.73 Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship Program.
1009.74 The Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Program.
1009.77 Florida Work Experience Program.
1009.78 Student Loan Program.
1009.79 Issuance of revenue bonds pursuant to s. 15, Art. VII, State Constitution.
1009.80 Approval of loans; administration of program.
1009.81 Loan agreements.
1009.82 Terms of loans.
1009.83 Rate of interest and other charges.
1009.84 Procurement of insurance as security for loans.
1009.85 Participation in guaranteed student loan program.
1009.86 Student Loan Operating Trust Fund.
1009.87 Provisions of ss. 1009.78-1009.88 cumulative.
1009.88 Validation of bonds.
1009.89 The William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grants.
1009.891 The Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program.
1009.892 Cost of attendance; adult norm-referenced testing.
1009.893 Florida National Merit Scholar Incentive Program.
1009.50 Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
(1) There is hereby created a Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program. The program shall be administered by the participating institutions in accordance with rules of the state board.
(2)(a) State student assistance grants through the program may be made only to degree-seeking students who enroll in at least 6 semester hours, or the equivalent per term, and who meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section. The grants shall be awarded annually for the amount of demonstrated unmet need for the cost of education and may not exceed an amount equal to the average prior academic year cost of tuition fees and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities or such other amount as specified in the General Appropriations Act, to any recipient. A demonstrated unmet need of less than $200 shall render the applicant ineligible for a state student assistance grant. Recipients of the grants must have been accepted at a state university or Florida College System institution authorized by Florida law. A student is eligible for the award for 110 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the program in which enrolled, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).
(b) A student applying for a Florida public student assistance grant shall be required to apply for the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant entitlement shall be considered when conducting an assessment of the financial resources available to each student.
(c) Priority in the distribution of grant moneys shall be given to students with the lowest total family resources, in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis. Using the system of need analysis, the department shall establish a maximum expected family contribution. An institution may not make a grant from this program to a student whose expected family contribution exceeds the level established by the department. An institution may not impose additional criteria to determine a student’s eligibility to receive a grant award.
(d) Each participating institution shall report, to the department by the established date, the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall also report to the department necessary demographic and eligibility data for such students.
(3) Based on the unmet financial need of an eligible applicant, the amount of a Florida public student assistance grant must be between $200 and the weighted average of the cost of tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities per academic year or the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.
(4)(a) The funds appropriated for the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant shall be distributed to eligible institutions in accordance with a formula approved by the State Board of Education. The formula shall consider at least the prior year’s distribution of funds, the number of full-time eligible applicants who did not receive awards, the standardization of the expected family contribution, and provisions for unused funds.
(b) Payment of Florida public student assistance grants shall be transmitted to the president of the state university or Florida College System institution, or to his or her representative, in advance of the registration period. Institutions shall notify students of the amount of their awards.
(c) The eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement shall be determined by each institution as of the end of its regular registration period, inclusive of a drop-add period. Institutions shall not be required to reevaluate a student’s eligibility status after this date for purposes of changing eligibility determinations previously made.
(d) Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any advances by June 1 of each year.
(5) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for state student assistance grants may be deposited in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of this section.
(6) The State Board of Education shall establish rules necessary to implement this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 2002-34; s. 419, ch. 2002-387; s. 5, ch. 2005-56; s. 130, ch. 2011-5.
1009.505 Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program.
(1) There is created a Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program. The program shall be administered by the participating institutions in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education.
(2) For purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Average annual cost of tuition and registration fees” means the average cost for the prior academic year of tuition and registration fees for the equivalent in clock hours at a public postsecondary career certificate program of 30 semester credit hours at a state university.
(b) “Half-time” means the equivalent in clock hours at a public postsecondary career certificate program of 6 semester credit hours at a Florida College System institution.
(c) “Public postsecondary career certificate program” means a postsecondary program that consists of 450 or more clock hours, is offered by a Florida College System institution authorized by Florida law or by a career center operated by a district school board under s. 1001.44, and terminates in a career certificate.
(3)(a) Student assistance grants through the program may be made only to certificate-seeking students enrolled at least half-time in a public postsecondary career certificate program who meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section. The grants shall be awarded annually to any recipient for the amount of demonstrated unmet need for the cost of education and may not exceed the average annual cost of tuition and registration fees or such other amount as specified in the General Appropriations Act. A demonstrated unmet need of less than $200 shall render the applicant ineligible for a grant under this section. Recipients of the grants must have been accepted at a Florida College System institution authorized by Florida law or a career center operated by a district school board under s. 1001.44. A student is eligible for the award for 110 percent of the number of clock hours required to complete the program in which enrolled.
(b) A student applying for a Florida public postsecondary career education student assistance grant shall be required to apply for the Pell Grant. A Pell Grant entitlement shall be considered when conducting an assessment of the financial resources available to each student; however, a Pell Grant entitlement shall not be required as a condition of receiving a grant under this section.
(c) Each participating institution shall report, to the department by the established date, the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall also report to the department necessary demographic and eligibility data for such students.
(4)(a) The funds appropriated for the Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program shall be distributed to eligible Florida College System institutions and district school boards in accordance with a formula approved by the department.
(b) Payment of Florida public postsecondary career education student assistance grants shall be transmitted to the president of the Florida College System institution or to the district school superintendent, or to the designee thereof, in advance of the registration period. Institutions shall notify students of the amount of their awards.
(c) The eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement shall be determined by each institution as of the end of its regular registration period, inclusive of a drop-add period. Institutions shall not be required to reevaluate a student’s eligibility status after this date for purposes of changing eligibility determinations previously made.
(d) Participating institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances by June 1 of each year.
(5) The State Board of Education shall establish rules necessary to implement this section.
(6) This section shall be implemented only to the extent specifically funded and authorized by law.
History.s. 2, ch. 2007-113; s. 131, ch. 2011-5.
1009.51 Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
(1) There is created a Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program. The program shall be administered by the participating institutions in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education.
(2)(a) Florida private student assistance grants from the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund may be made only to full-time degree-seeking students who meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section. Such grants shall be awarded for the amount of demonstrated unmet need for tuition and fees and may not exceed an amount equal to the average tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities plus $1,000 per academic year, or as specified in the General Appropriations Act, to any applicant. A demonstrated unmet need of less than $200 shall render the applicant ineligible for a Florida private student assistance grant. Recipients of such grants must have been accepted at a baccalaureate-degree-granting independent nonprofit college or university, which is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and which is located in and chartered as a domestic corporation by the state. No student may receive an award for more than the equivalent of 9 semesters or 14 quarters of full-time enrollment, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).
(b) A student applying for a Florida private student assistance grant shall be required to apply for the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant entitlement shall be considered when conducting an assessment of the financial resources available to each student.
(c) Priority in the distribution of grant moneys shall be given to students with the lowest total family resources, in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis. Using the system of need analysis, the department shall establish a maximum expected family contribution. An institution may not make a grant from this program to a student whose expected family contribution exceeds the level established by the department. An institution may not impose additional criteria to determine a student’s eligibility to receive a grant award.
(d) Each participating institution shall report, to the department by the established date, the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall also report to the department necessary demographic and eligibility data for such students.
(3) Based on the unmet financial need of an eligible applicant, the amount of a Florida private student assistance grant must be between $200 and the average cost of tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities plus $1,000 per academic year or the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.
(4)(a) The funds appropriated for the Florida Private Student Assistance Grant shall be distributed to eligible institutions in accordance with a formula approved by the State Board of Education. The formula shall consider at least the prior year’s distribution of funds, the number of full-time eligible applicants who did not receive awards, the standardization of the expected family contribution, and provisions for unused funds.
(b) Payment of Florida private student assistance grants shall be transmitted to the president of the college or university, or to his or her representative, in advance of the registration period. Institutions shall notify students of the amount of their awards.
(c) The eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement shall be determined by each institution as of the end of its regular registration period, inclusive of a drop-add period. Institutions shall not be required to reevaluate a student’s eligibility status after this date for purposes of changing eligibility determinations previously made.
(d) Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances by June 1 of each year.
(e) Each institution that receives moneys through the Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program shall prepare a biennial report that includes a financial audit, conducted by an independent certified public accountant, of the institution’s administration of the program and a complete accounting of moneys in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund allocated to the institution for the program. Such report shall be submitted to the department by March 1 every other year. The department may conduct its own annual or biennial audit of an institution’s administration of the program and its allocated funds in lieu of the required biennial report and financial audit report. The department may suspend or revoke an institution’s eligibility to receive future moneys from the trust fund for the program or request a refund of any moneys overpaid to the institution through the trust fund for the program if the department finds that an institution has not complied with the provisions of this section. Any refund requested pursuant to this paragraph shall be remitted within 60 days.
(5) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for Florida private student assistance grants may be deposited in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of this section and as otherwise provided by law.
(6) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section.
History.s. 420, ch. 2002-387; s. 6, ch. 2005-56.
1009.52 Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
(1) There is created a Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program. The program shall be administered by the participating institutions in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education.
(2)(a) Florida postsecondary student assistance grants through the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund may be made only to full-time degree-seeking students who meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section. Such grants shall be awarded for the amount of demonstrated unmet need for tuition and fees and may not exceed an amount equal to the average prior academic year cost of tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities plus $1,000 per academic year, or as specified in the General Appropriations Act, to any applicant. A demonstrated unmet need of less than $200 shall render the applicant ineligible for a Florida postsecondary student assistance grant. Recipients of such grants must have been accepted at a postsecondary institution that is located in the state and that is:
1. A private nursing diploma school approved by the Florida Board of Nursing; or
2. A college or university licensed by the Commission for Independent Education, excluding those institutions the students of which are eligible to receive a Florida private student assistance grant pursuant to s. 1009.51.

No student may receive an award for more than the equivalent of 9 semesters or 14 quarters of full-time enrollment, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).

(b) A student applying for a Florida postsecondary student assistance grant shall be required to apply for the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant entitlement shall be considered when conducting an assessment of the financial resources available to each student.
(c) Priority in the distribution of grant moneys shall be given to students with the lowest total family resources, in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis. Using the system of need analysis, the department shall establish a maximum expected family contribution. An institution may not make a grant from this program to a student whose expected family contribution exceeds the level established by the department. An institution may not impose additional criteria to determine a student’s eligibility to receive a grant award.
(d) Each participating institution shall report, to the department by the established date, the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall also report to the department necessary demographic and eligibility data for such students.
(3) Based on the unmet financial need of an eligible applicant, the amount of a Florida postsecondary student assistance grant must be between $200 and the average cost of tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities plus $1,000 per academic year or the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.
(4)(a) The funds appropriated for the Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant shall be distributed to eligible institutions in accordance with a formula approved by the State Board of Education. The formula shall consider at least the prior year’s distribution of funds, the number of full-time eligible applicants who did not receive awards, the standardization of the expected family contribution, and provisions for unused funds.
(b) Payment of Florida postsecondary student assistance grants shall be transmitted to the president of the eligible institution, or to his or her representative, in advance of the registration period. Institutions shall notify students of the amount of their awards.
(c) The eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement shall be determined by each institution as of the end of its regular registration period, inclusive of a drop-add period. Institutions shall not be required to reevaluate a student’s eligibility status after this date for purposes of changing eligibility determinations previously made.
(d) Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances by June 1 of each year.
(e) Each institution that receives moneys through the Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program shall prepare a biennial report that includes a financial audit, conducted by an independent certified public accountant, of the institution’s administration of the program and a complete accounting of moneys in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund allocated to the institution for the program. Such report shall be submitted to the department by March 1 every other year. The department may conduct its own annual or biennial audit of an institution’s administration of the program and its allocated funds in lieu of the required biennial report and financial audit report. The department may suspend or revoke an institution’s eligibility to receive future moneys from the trust fund for the program or request a refund of any moneys overpaid to the institution through the trust fund for the program if the department finds that an institution has not complied with the provisions of this section. Any refund requested pursuant to this paragraph shall be remitted within 60 days.
(5) Any institution that was eligible to receive state student assistance grants on January 1, 1989, and that is not eligible to receive grants pursuant to s. 1009.51 is eligible to receive grants pursuant to this section.
(6) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for Florida postsecondary student assistance grants may be deposited in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of this section and as otherwise provided by law.
(7) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section.
History.s. 421, ch. 2002-387; s. 7, ch. 2005-56.
1009.53 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
(1) The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program is created to establish a lottery-funded scholarship program to reward any Florida high school graduate who merits recognition of high academic achievement and who enrolls in a degree program, certificate program, or applied technology program at an eligible Florida public or private postsecondary education institution within 3 years of graduation from high school.
(2) The Bright Futures Scholarship Program consists of three types of awards: the Florida Academic Scholarship, the Florida Medallion Scholarship, and the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship.
(3) The Department of Education shall administer the Bright Futures Scholarship Program according to rules and procedures established by the State Board of Education. A single application must be sufficient for a student to apply for any of the three types of awards. The department shall advertise the availability of the scholarship program and shall notify students, teachers, parents, certified school counselors, and principals or other relevant school administrators of the criteria and application procedures. The department must begin this process of notification no later than January 1 of each year.
(4) Funding for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program must be allocated from the Education Enhancement Trust Fund and must be provided before allocations from that fund are calculated for disbursement to other educational entities.
(a) If funds appropriated are not adequate to provide the maximum allowable award to each eligible applicant, awards in all three components of the program must be prorated using the same percentage reduction.
(b) Notwithstanding s. 216.301, if all funds allocated to the Bright Futures Scholarship Program are not used in any fiscal year, up to 10 percent of the total allocation may be carried forward and used for awards in the following year.
(5) The department shall issue awards from the scholarship program annually. Annual awards may be for up to 45 semester credit hours or the equivalent. Before the registration period each semester, the department shall transmit payment for each award to the president or director of the postsecondary education institution, or his or her representative, except that the department may withhold payment if the receiving institution fails to report or to make refunds to the department as required in this section.
(a) Within 30 days after the end of regular registration each semester, the educational institution shall certify to the department the eligibility status of each student who receives an award. After the end of the drop and add period, an institution is not required to reevaluate or revise a student’s eligibility status; however, an institution must make a refund to the department within 30 days after the end of the semester of any funds received for courses dropped by a student or courses from which a student has withdrawn after the end of the drop and add period, unless the student has been granted an exception by the department pursuant to subsection (11).
(b) An institution that receives funds from the program shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances within 60 days after the end of regular registration.
(c) Each institution that receives moneys through this program shall provide for a financial audit, as defined in s. 11.45, conducted by an independent certified public accountant or the Auditor General for each fiscal year in which the institution expends program moneys in excess of $100,000. At least every 2 years, the audit shall include an examination of the institution’s administration of the program and the institution’s accounting of the moneys for the program since the last examination of the institution’s administration of the program. The report on the audit must be submitted to the department within 9 months after the end of the fiscal year. The department may conduct its own annual audit of an institution’s administration of the program. The department may request a refund of any moneys overpaid to the institution for the program. The department may suspend or revoke an institution’s eligibility to receive future moneys for the program if the department finds that an institution has not complied with this section. The institution must remit within 60 days any refund requested in accordance with this subsection.
(d) Any institution that is not subject to an audit pursuant to this subsection shall attest, under penalty of perjury, that the moneys were used in compliance with law. The attestation shall be made annually in a form and format determined by the department.
(6) A student enrolled in 6 to 8 semester credit hours may receive up to one-half of the maximum award; a student enrolled in 9 to 11 credit hours may receive up to three-fourths of the maximum award; and a student enrolled in 12 or more credit hours may receive up to the full award.
(7) A student may receive only one type of award from the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program at a time, but may transfer from one type of award to another through the renewal application process, if the student’s eligibility status changes. However, a student is not eligible to transfer from a Florida Medallion Scholarship or a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship to a Florida Academic Scholarship. A student who receives an award from the program may also receive a federal family education loan or a federal direct loan, and the value of the award must be considered in the certification or calculation of the student’s loan eligibility.
(8) If a recipient transfers from one eligible institution to another and continues to meet eligibility requirements, the award must be transferred with the student.
(9) A student may use an award for summer term enrollment if funds are available.
(10) Funds from any scholarship within the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program may not be used to pay for remedial coursework or developmental education.
(11) Funds for any scholarship within the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program may not be used to pay for courses dropped by a student or courses from which a student has withdrawn after the end of the drop and add period. However, a student who receives an award under this program and subsequently drops one or more courses or withdraws from all courses after the end of the drop and add period due to a verifiable illness or other documented emergency may be granted an exception pursuant to s. 1009.40(1)(b)4., unless the institution’s policy is to refund the cost of the courses. The department shall notify eligible recipients of the provisions of this subsection. Each institution shall notify award recipients of the provisions of this subsection during the registration process.
History.s. 422, ch. 2002-387; s. 13, ch. 2009-60; s. 10, ch. 2011-52; s. 32, ch. 2013-51; s. 11, ch. 2013-89.
1009.531 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for initial awards.
(1) In order to be eligible for an initial award from any of the three types of scholarships under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, a student must:
(a) Be a Florida resident as defined in s. 1009.40 and rules of the State Board of Education.
(b) Earn a standard Florida high school diploma pursuant to s. 1002.3105(5), s. 1003.4281, or s. 1003.4282 or a high school equivalency diploma pursuant to s. 1003.435 unless:
1. The student completes a home education program according to s. 1002.41; or
2. The student earns a high school diploma from a non-Florida school while living with a parent or guardian who is on military or public service assignment away from Florida.
(c) Be accepted by and enroll in an eligible Florida public or independent postsecondary education institution.
(d) Be enrolled for at least 6 semester credit hours or the equivalent in quarter hours or clock hours.
(e) Not have been found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, a felony charge, unless the student has been granted clemency by the Governor and Cabinet sitting as the Executive Office of Clemency.
(f) Apply for a scholarship from the program by high school graduation. However, a student who graduates from high school midyear must apply no later than August 31 of the student’s graduation year in order to be evaluated for and, if eligible, receive an award for the current academic year.
(2)(a) A student graduating from high school prior to the 2010-2011 academic year is eligible to accept an initial award for 3 years following high school graduation and to accept a renewal award for 7 years following high school graduation. A student who applies for an award by high school graduation and who meets all other eligibility requirements, but who does not accept his or her award, may reapply during subsequent application periods up to 3 years after high school graduation. For a student who enlists in the United States Armed Forces immediately after completion of high school, the 3-year eligibility period for his or her initial award shall begin upon the date of separation from active duty. For a student who is receiving a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and discontinues his or her education to enlist in the United States Armed Forces, the remainder of his or her 7-year renewal period shall commence upon the date of separation from active duty.
(b) Students graduating from high school in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years are eligible to accept an initial award for 3 years following high school graduation and to accept a renewal award for 5 years following high school graduation. A student who applies for an award by high school graduation and who meets all other eligibility requirements, but who does not accept his or her award, may reapply during subsequent application periods up to 3 years after high school graduation. For a student who enlists in the United States Armed Forces immediately after completion of high school, the 3-year eligibility period for his or her initial award and the 5-year renewal period shall begin upon the date of separation from active duty. For a student who is receiving a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship award and discontinues his or her education to enlist in the United States Armed Forces, the remainder of his or her 5-year renewal period shall commence upon the date of separation from active duty. If a course of study is not completed after 5 academic years, an exception of 1 year to the renewal timeframe may be granted due to a verifiable illness or other documented emergency pursuant to s. 1009.40(1)(b)4.
(c) A student graduating from high school in the 2012-2013 academic year and thereafter is eligible to accept an initial award for 2 years following high school graduation and to accept a renewal award for 5 years following high school graduation. A student who applies for an award by high school graduation and who meets all other eligibility requirements, but who does not accept his or her award, may reapply during subsequent application periods up to 2 years after high school graduation. For a student who enlists in the United States Armed Forces immediately after completion of high school, the 2-year eligibility period for his or her initial award and the 5-year renewal period shall begin upon the date of separation from active duty. For a student who is receiving a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship award and discontinues his or her education to enlist in the United States Armed Forces, the remainder of his or her 5-year renewal period shall commence upon the date of separation from active duty. If a course of study is not completed after 5 academic years, an exception of 1 year to the renewal timeframe may be granted due to a verifiable illness or other documented emergency pursuant to s. 1009.40(1)(b)4.
(3) For purposes of calculating the grade point average to be used in determining initial eligibility for a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, the department shall assign additional weights to grades earned in the following courses:
(a) Courses identified in the course code directory as Advanced Placement, pre-International Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, International General Certificate of Secondary Education (pre-AICE), or Advanced International Certificate of Education.
(b) Courses designated as academic dual enrollment courses in the statewide course numbering system.

The department may assign additional weights to courses, other than those described in paragraphs (a) and (b), that are identified by the Department of Education as containing rigorous academic curriculum and performance standards. The additional weight assigned to a course pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed 0.5 per course. The weighted system shall be developed and distributed to all high schools in the state prior to January 1, 1998. The department may determine a student’s eligibility status during the senior year before graduation and may inform the student of the award at that time.

(4) Each school district shall annually provide to each high school student a complete and accurate Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Evaluation Report and Key. The report shall be disseminated at the beginning of each school year. The report must include all high school coursework attempted, the number of credits earned toward each type of award, and the calculation of the grade point average for each award. The report must also identify all requirements not met per award, including the grade point average requirement, as well as identify the awards for which the student has met the academic requirements. The student report cards must contain a disclosure that the grade point average calculated for purposes of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program may differ from the grade point average on the report card.
(5) A student who wishes to qualify for a particular award within the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, but who does not meet all of the requirements for that level of award, may, nevertheless, receive the award if the principal of the student’s school or the district superintendent verifies that the deficiency is caused by the fact that school district personnel provided inaccurate or incomplete information to the student. The school district must provide a means for the student to correct the deficiencies and the student must correct them, either by completing comparable work at the postsecondary institution or by completing a directed individualized study program developed and administered by the school district. If the student does not complete the requirements by December 31 immediately following high school graduation, the student is ineligible to participate in the program.
(6)(a) The State Board of Education shall publicize the examination score required for a student to be eligible for a Florida Academic Scholars award, pursuant to s. 1009.534(1)(a) or (b), as follows:
1. For high school students graduating in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years, the student must earn an SAT score of 1270 or a concordant ACT score of 28.
2. For high school students graduating in the 2012-2013 academic year, the student must earn an SAT score of 1280 which corresponds to the 88th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 28.
3. For high school students graduating in the 2013-2014 academic year and thereafter, the student must earn an SAT score of 1290 which corresponds to the 89th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 29.
(b) The State Board of Education shall publicize the examination score required for a student to be eligible for a Florida Medallion Scholars award, pursuant to s. 1009.535(1)(a) or (b), as follows:
1. For high school students graduating in the 2010-2011 academic year, the student must earn an SAT score of 970 or a concordant ACT score of 20 or the student in a home education program whose parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum must earn an SAT score of 1070 or a concordant ACT score of 23.
2. For high school students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year, the student must earn an SAT score of 980 which corresponds to the 44th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 21 or the student in a home education program whose parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum must earn an SAT score of 1070 or a concordant ACT score of 23.
3. For high school students graduating in the 2012-2013 academic year, the student must earn an SAT score of 1020 which corresponds to the 51st SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 22 or the student in a home education program whose parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum must earn an SAT score of 1070 or a concordant ACT score of 23.
4. For high school students graduating in the 2013-2014 academic year and thereafter, the student must earn an SAT score of 1170 which corresponds to the 75th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 26 or the student in a home education program whose parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum must earn an SAT score of 1220 or a concordant ACT score of 27.
(c) The SAT percentile ranks and corresponding SAT scores specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) are based on the SAT percentile ranks for 2010 college-bound seniors in critical reading and mathematics as reported by the College Board. The next highest SAT score is used when the percentile ranks do not directly correspond.
History.s. 423, ch. 2002-387; s. 20, ch. 2003-72; s. 48, ch. 2003-391; s. 54, ch. 2004-41; s. 7, ch. 2005-196; s. 1, ch. 2007-330; s. 13, ch. 2010-155; s. 17, ch. 2011-63; s. 25, ch. 2012-134; s. 25, ch. 2012-191; s. 57, ch. 2013-27; s. 58, ch. 2013-35; s. 33, ch. 2013-51; s. 79, ch. 2014-39.
1009.532 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for renewal awards.
(1) To be eligible to renew a scholarship from any of the three types of scholarships under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, a student must:
(a) Effective for students funded in the 2009-2010 academic year and thereafter, earn at least 24 semester credit hours or the equivalent in the last academic year in which the student earned a scholarship if the student was enrolled full time, or a prorated number of credit hours as determined by the Department of Education if the student was enrolled less than full time for any part of the academic year. For students initially eligible prior to the 2010-2011 academic term, if a student fails to earn the minimum number of hours required to renew the scholarship, the student shall lose his or her eligibility for renewal for a period equivalent to 1 academic year. Such student is eligible to restore the award the following academic year if the student earns the hours for which he or she was enrolled at the level defined by the department and meets the grade point average for renewal. A student is eligible for such restoration one time. The department shall notify eligible recipients of the provisions of this paragraph. Each institution shall notify award recipients of the provisions of this paragraph during the registration process.
(b) Maintain the cumulative grade point average required by the scholarship program, except that:
1. If a recipient’s grades fall beneath the average required to renew a Florida Academic Scholarship, but are sufficient to renew a Florida Medallion Scholarship or a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship, the Department of Education may grant a renewal from one of those other scholarship programs, if the student meets the renewal eligibility requirements;
2. For students initially eligible prior to the 2010-2011 academic term, if at any time during the eligibility period a student’s grades are insufficient to renew the scholarship, the student may restore eligibility by improving the grade point average to the required level. A student is eligible for such a restoration one time. The Legislature encourages education institutions to assist students to calculate whether or not it is possible to raise the grade point average during the summer term. If the institution determines that it is possible, the education institution may so inform the department, which may reserve the student’s award if funds are available. The renewal, however, must not be granted until the student achieves the required cumulative grade point average. If the summer term is not sufficient to raise the grade point average to the required renewal level, the student’s next opportunity for renewal is the fall semester of the following academic year; or
3. For students initially eligible in the 2010-2011 academic term and thereafter, if at any time during a student’s first academic year the student’s grades are insufficient to renew the scholarship, the student may restore eligibility by improving the grade point average to the required level. A student is eligible for such a restoration one time. The Legislature encourages education institutions to assist students to calculate whether or not it is possible to raise the grade point average during the summer term. If the education institution determines that it is possible, the institution may so inform the department, which may reserve the student’s award if funds are available. The renewal, however, must not be granted until the student achieves the required cumulative grade point average. If the summer term is not sufficient to raise the grade point average to the required renewal level, the student’s next opportunity for renewal is the fall semester of the following academic year.
(c) Reimburse or make satisfactory arrangements to reimburse the institution for the award amount received for courses dropped after the end of the drop and add period or courses from which the student withdraws after the end of the drop and add period unless the student has received an exception pursuant to s. 1009.53(11).
(2) For students initially eligible in the 2010-2011 academic term and thereafter, and unless otherwise provided in this section, if a student does not meet the requirements for renewal of a scholarship because of lack of completion of sufficient credit hours or insufficient grades, the scholarship shall be renewed only if the student failed to complete sufficient credit hours or to meet sufficient grade requirements due to verifiable illness or other documented emergency, in which case the student may be granted an exception from academic requirements pursuant to s. 1009.40(1)(b)4.
(3)(a) A student who is initially eligible prior to the 2010-2011 academic year and is enrolled in a program that terminates in an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree may receive an award for a maximum of 110 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the program. A student who is enrolled in a program that terminates in a career certificate may receive an award for a maximum of 110 percent of the credit hours or clock hours required to complete the program up to 90 credit hours.
(b) Students who are initially eligible in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years may receive an award for a maximum of 100 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete an associate degree program or a baccalaureate degree program or receive an award for a maximum of 100 percent of the credit hours or clock hours required to complete up to 90 credit hours of a program that terminates in a career certificate.
(c) A student who is initially eligible in the 2012-2013 academic year and thereafter may receive an award for a maximum of 100 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete an associate degree program, a baccalaureate degree program, or a postsecondary career certificate program or, for a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award, may receive an award for a maximum of 100 percent of the number of credit hours or equivalent clock hours required to complete one of the following at a Florida public or nonpublic education institution that offers these specific programs: for an applied technology diploma program as defined in s. 1004.02(7), up to 60 credit hours or equivalent clock hours; for a technical degree education program as defined in s. 1004.02(13), up to the number of hours required for a specific degree not to exceed 72 credit hours or equivalent clock hours; or for a career certificate program as defined in s. 1004.02(20), up to the number of hours required for a specific certificate not to exceed 72 credit hours or equivalent clock hours. A student who transfers from one of these program levels to another program level becomes eligible for the higher of the two credit hour limits.
(4) A student who receives an initial award during the spring term shall be evaluated for scholarship renewal after the completion of a full academic year, which begins with the fall term.
History.s. 424, ch. 2002-387; s. 21, ch. 2003-72; s. 55, ch. 2004-41; s. 120, ch. 2004-357; s. 14, ch. 2009-60; s. 14, ch. 2010-155; s. 26, ch. 2012-134; s. 26, ch. 2012-191; s. 80, ch. 2014-39.
1009.533 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; eligible postsecondary education institutions.A student is eligible for an award or the renewal of an award from the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program if the student meets the requirements for the program as described in this act and is enrolled in a postsecondary education institution that meets the description in any one of the following subsections:
(1) A Florida public university, Florida College System institution, or career center.
(2) An independent Florida college or university that is accredited by an accrediting association whose standards are comparable to the minimum standards required to operate an institution at that level in Florida, as determined by rules of the Commission for Independent Education, and which has operated in the state for at least 3 years.
(3) An independent Florida postsecondary education institution that is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education and that:
(a) Is authorized to grant degrees;
(b) Shows evidence of sound financial condition; and
(c) Has operated in the state for at least 3 years without having its approval, accreditation, or license placed on probation.
(4) A Florida independent postsecondary education institution that offers a nursing diploma approved by the Board of Nursing.
(5) A Florida independent postsecondary education institution that is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education and which:
(a) Is authorized to award certificates, diplomas, or credentials other than degrees;
(b) Has a program completion and placement rate of at least the rate required by the current Florida Statutes, the Florida Administrative Code, or the Department of Education for an institution at its level; and
(c) Shows evidence of sound financial condition; and either:
1. Is accredited at the institutional level by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and has operated in the state for at least 3 years during which there has been no complaint for which probable cause has been found; or
2. Has operated in Florida for 5 years during which there has been no complaint for which probable cause has been found.
History.s. 425, ch. 2002-387; s. 121, ch. 2004-357; s. 132, ch. 2011-5.
1009.534 Florida Academic Scholars award.
(1) A student is eligible for a Florida Academic Scholars award if the student meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the student:
(a) Has achieved a 3.5 weighted grade point average as calculated pursuant to s. 1009.531, or its equivalent, in high school courses that are designated by the State Board of Education as college-preparatory academic courses; and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(a) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program;
(b) Has attended a home education program according to s. 1002.41 during grades 11 and 12 or has completed the International Baccalaureate curriculum but failed to earn the International Baccalaureate Diploma or has completed the Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum but failed to earn the Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma, and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(a) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program;
(c) Has been awarded an International Baccalaureate Diploma from the International Baccalaureate Office or an Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma from the University of Cambridge International Examinations Office;
(d) Has been recognized by the merit or achievement programs of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as a scholar or finalist; or
(e) Has been recognized by the National Hispanic Recognition Program as a scholar recipient.

A student must complete a program of community service work, as approved by the district school board, the administrators of a nonpublic school, or the Department of Education for home education program students, which shall include a minimum of 75 hours of service work for high school students graduating in the 2010-2011 academic year and 100 hours of service work for high school students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year and thereafter, and must identify a social problem that interests him or her, develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the problem, and, through papers or other presentations, evaluate and reflect upon his or her experience.

(2) A Florida Academic Scholar who is enrolled in a certificate, diploma, associate, or baccalaureate degree program at a public or nonpublic postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act to assist with the payment of educational expenses.
(3) To be eligible for a renewal award as a Florida Academic Scholar, a student must maintain the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale with an opportunity for restoration one time as provided in this chapter.
(4) In each school district, the Florida Academic Scholar with the highest academic ranking shall receive an additional award equal to the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act for college-related expenses. This award must be funded from the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
History.s. 426, ch. 2002-387; s. 56, ch. 2004-41; s. 8, ch. 2005-196; s. 3, ch. 2007-330; s. 15, ch. 2009-60; s. 15, ch. 2010-155; s. 18, ch. 2011-63; s. 17, ch. 2011-177; s. 27, ch. 2012-134.
1009.5341 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship awards for graduate study.Florida Bright Futures Scholarship recipients who graduate in the 2010-2011 academic year and thereafter with a baccalaureate degree in 7 semesters, or the equivalent or fewer hours, and wish to pursue graduate study may apply the unused portion of their Florida Academic Scholars award or Florida Medallion Scholars award toward 1 semester of graduate study, not to exceed 15 semester hours paid at the undergraduate rate. A baccalaureate degree may include, but is not limited to, college credits earned through articulated acceleration mechanisms pursuant to s. 1007.27.
History.s. 16, ch. 2010-155.
1009.535 Florida Medallion Scholars award.
(1) A student is eligible for a Florida Medallion Scholars award if the student meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the student:
(a) Has achieved a weighted grade point average of 3.0 as calculated pursuant to s. 1009.531, or the equivalent, in high school courses that are designated by the State Board of Education as college-preparatory academic courses; and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(b) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program;
(b) Has completed the International Baccalaureate curriculum but failed to earn the International Baccalaureate Diploma or has completed the Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum but failed to earn the Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma, and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(b) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program;
(c) Has attended a home education program according to s. 1002.41 during grades 11 and 12 and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(b) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program, if the student’s parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum as described in paragraph (a);
(d) Has been recognized by the merit or achievement program of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as a scholar or finalist but has not completed a program of community service as provided in s. 1009.534; or
(e) Has been recognized by the National Hispanic Recognition Program as a scholar, but has not completed a program of community service as provided in s. 1009.534.

A high school student graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year and thereafter must complete a program of community service work approved by the district school board, the administrators of a nonpublic school, or the Department of Education for home education program students, which shall include a minimum of 75 hours of service work, and must identify a social problem that interests him or her, develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the problem, and, through papers or other presentations, evaluate and reflect upon his or her experience.

(2) A Florida Medallion Scholar who is enrolled in a certificate, diploma, associate, or baccalaureate degree program at a public or nonpublic postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act to assist with the payment of educational expenses.
(3) To be eligible for a renewal award as a Florida Medallion Scholar, a student must maintain the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale with an opportunity for restoration one time as provided in this chapter.
History.s. 427, ch. 2002-387; s. 57, ch. 2004-41; s. 9, ch. 2005-196; s. 4, ch. 2006-27; s. 16, ch. 2009-60; s. 17, ch. 2010-155; s. 133, ch. 2011-5; s. 19, ch. 2011-63; s. 28, ch. 2012-134.
1009.536 Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award.The Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award is created within the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program to recognize and reward academic achievement and career preparation by high school students who wish to continue their education.
(1) A student is eligible for a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award if the student meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the student:
(a) Completes the secondary school portion of a sequential program of studies that requires at least three secondary school career credits. On-the-job training may not be substituted for any of the three required career credits.
(b) Demonstrates readiness for postsecondary education by earning a passing score on the Florida College Entry Level Placement Test or its equivalent as identified by the Department of Education.
(c) Earns a minimum cumulative weighted grade point average of 3.0, as calculated pursuant to s. 1009.531, on all subjects required for a standard high school diploma, excluding elective courses.
(d) Earns a minimum unweighted grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for secondary career courses comprising the career program.
(e) Beginning with high school students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year and thereafter, completes a program of community service work approved by the district school board, the administrators of a nonpublic school, or the Department of Education for home education program students, which shall include a minimum of 30 hours of service work, and identifies a social problem that interests him or her, develops a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the problem, and, through papers or other presentations, evaluates and reflects upon his or her experience.
(2) A Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholar who is enrolled in a public or nonpublic postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act to assist with the payment of educational expenses.
(3) To be eligible for a renewal award as a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholar, a student must maintain the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale with an opportunity for restoration one time as provided in this chapter.
(4)(a) A student who is initially eligible prior to the 2010-2011 academic year may earn a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship for 110 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the program, up to 90 credit hours or the equivalent.
(b) Students who are initially eligible in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years may earn a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship for 100 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the program, up to 90 credit hours or the equivalent.
(c) A student who is initially eligible in the 2012-2013 academic year and thereafter may earn a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship for a maximum of 100 percent of the number of credit hours or equivalent clock hours required to complete one of the following at a Florida public or nonpublic education institution that offers these specific programs: for an applied technology diploma program as defined in s. 1004.02(7), up to 60 credit hours or equivalent clock hours; for a technical degree education program as defined in s. 1004.02(13), up to the number of hours required for a specific degree not to exceed 72 credit hours or equivalent clock hours; or for a career certificate program as defined in s. 1004.02(20), up to the number of hours required for a specific certificate not to exceed 72 credit hours or equivalent clock hours.
History.s. 428, ch. 2002-387; s. 58, ch. 2004-41; s. 122, ch. 2004-357; s. 60, ch. 2005-152; s. 17, ch. 2009-60; s. 18, ch. 2010-155; s. 20, ch. 2011-63; s. 29, ch. 2012-134; s. 81, ch. 2014-39.
1009.538 Bright Futures Scholarship recipients attending nonpublic institutions; calculation of awards.Notwithstanding ss. 1009.53, 1009.534, 1009.535, and 1009.536, a student who receives any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, who is enrolled in a nonpublic postsecondary education institution, and who is assessed tuition and fees that are the same as those of a full-time student at that institution, shall receive a fixed award calculated by using the average tuition and fee calculation as prescribed by the Department of Education for full-time attendance at a public postsecondary education institution at the comparable level. If the student is enrolled part-time and is assessed tuition and fees at a reduced level, the award shall be either one-half of the maximum award or three-fourths of the maximum award, depending on the level of fees assessed.
History.s. 430, ch. 2002-387.
1009.55 Rosewood Family Scholarship Program.
(1) There is created a Rosewood Family Scholarship Program for the direct descendants of the Rosewood families, not to exceed 50 scholarships per year.
(2) The Rosewood Family Scholarship Program shall be administered by the Department of Education. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for administering this program which shall at a minimum provide for the following:
(a) The annual award to a student shall be up to $6,100 but should not exceed an amount in excess of tuition and registration fees.
(b) If funds are insufficient to provide a full scholarship to each eligible applicant, the department may prorate available funds and make a partial award to each eligible applicant.
(c) The department shall rank eligible initial applicants for the purposes of awarding scholarships based on need as determined by the Department of Education.
(d) Payment of an award shall be transmitted in advance of the registration period each semester on behalf of the student to the president of the university or Florida College System institution, or his or her representative, or to the director of the career center which the recipient is attending.
(3) Beginning with the 1994-1995 academic year, the department is authorized to make awards for undergraduate study to students who:
(a) Meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(b) File an application for the scholarship within the established time limits.
(c) Enroll as certificate-seeking or degree-seeking students at a state university, Florida College System institution, or career center authorized by law.
(4) Funding for the program shall be as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 433, ch. 2002-387; s. 123, ch. 2004-357; s. 19, ch. 2009-60; s. 134, ch. 2011-5; s. 21, ch. 2011-63; s. 25, ch. 2014-56.
1009.60 Minority teacher education scholars program.There is created the minority teacher education scholars program, which is a collaborative performance-based scholarship program for African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, and Native American students. The participants in the program include Florida’s Florida College System institutions and its public and private universities that have teacher education programs.
(1) The minority teacher education scholars program shall provide an annual scholarship in an amount that shall be prorated based on available appropriations and may not exceed $4,000 for each approved minority teacher education scholar who is enrolled in one of Florida’s public or private universities in the junior year and is admitted into a teacher education program.
(2) To assist each participating education institution in the recruitment and retention of minority teacher scholars, the administrators of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc., shall implement a systemwide training program. The training program must include an annual conference or series of conferences for students who are in the program or who are identified by a high school or a Florida College System institution as likely candidates for the program. The training program must also include research about and dissemination concerning successful activities or programs that recruit minority students for teacher education and retain them through graduation, certification, and employment. Staff employed by the corporation may work with each participating education institution to assure that local faculty and administrators receive the benefit of all available research and resources to increase retention of their minority teacher education scholars.
(3) The total amount appropriated annually for new scholarships in the program must be divided by $4,000 and by the number of participating colleges and universities. Each participating institution has access to the same number of scholarships and may award all of them to eligible minority students. If a college or university does not award all of its scholarships by the date set by the program administration at the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc., the remaining scholarships must be transferred to another institution that has eligible students. If the total amount appropriated for new scholarships is insufficient to award $4,000 to each eligible student, the amount of the scholarship shall be prorated based on available appropriations.
(4) A student may receive a scholarship from the program for 3 consecutive years if the student remains enrolled full-time in the program and makes satisfactory progress toward a baccalaureate degree with a major in education.
(5) If a minority teacher education scholar graduates and is employed as a teacher by a Florida district school board, the scholar is not required to repay the scholarship amount so long as the scholar teaches in a Florida public school. A scholar may repay the entire scholarship amount by remaining employed as a Florida public school teacher for 1 year for each year he or she received the scholarship.
(6) If a minority teacher education scholar does not graduate within 3 years, or if the scholar graduates but does not teach in a Florida public school, the scholar must repay the total amount awarded, plus annual interest of 8 percent.
(a) Interest begins accruing the first day of the 13th month after the month in which the recipient completes an approved teacher education program or after the month in which enrollment as a full-time student is terminated. Interest does not accrue during any period of deferment or eligible teaching service.
(b) The repayment period begins the first day of the 13th month after the month in which the recipient completes an approved teacher education program or after the month in which enrollment as a full-time student is terminated.
(c) The terms and conditions of the scholarship repayment must be contained in a promissory note and a repayment schedule. The loan must be paid within 10 years after the date of graduation or termination of full-time enrollment, including any periods of deferment. A shorter repayment period may be granted. The minimum monthly repayment is $50 or the unpaid balance, unless otherwise approved, except that the monthly payment may not be less than the accruing interest. The recipient may prepay any part of the scholarship without penalty.
(d) The holder of the promissory note may grant a deferment of repayment for a recipient who is a full-time student, who is unable to secure a teaching position that would qualify as repayment, who becomes disabled, or who experiences other hardships. Such a deferment may be granted for a total of 24 months.
(e) If a student defaults on the scholarship, the entire unpaid balance, including interest accrued, becomes due and payable at the option of the holder of the promissory note, or when the recipient is no longer able to pay or no longer intends to pay. The recipient is responsible for paying all reasonable attorney’s fees and other costs and charges necessary for administration of the collection process.
(7) The Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc., shall use a contingency collections agency to collect repayments of defaulted scholarships.
(8) Funding for the program shall be as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 438, ch. 2002-387; s. 23, ch. 2009-60; s. 136, ch. 2011-5; s. 24, ch. 2011-63; s. 30, ch. 2012-134.
1009.605 Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc.
(1) There is created the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc., which is a not-for-profit statutory corporation housed in the College of Education at the University of Florida. The corporation shall administer and manage the minority teacher education scholars program.
(2)(a) The corporation shall submit an annual budget projection to the Department of Education to be included in the annual legislative budget request. The projection must be based on the cost to award up to 350 scholarships to new scholars in the junior year and up to 350 renewal scholarships to the 350 rising seniors.
(b) The corporation shall report to the Department of Education, by the date established by the department, the eligible students to whom scholarship moneys are disbursed each academic term, the annual balance of the corporation’s assets and cash reserves, and any other information requested by the department in accordance with s. 1009.94. By June 30 of each fiscal year, the corporation shall remit to the department any appropriated funds that were not distributed for scholarships, less the 5 percent for administration, including administration of the required training program, authorized pursuant to subsection (3).
(3) A board of directors shall administer the corporation. The Governor shall appoint to the board at least 15 but not more than 25 members, who shall serve terms of 3 years, except that 4 of the initial members shall serve 1-year terms and 4 shall serve 2-year terms. At least 4 members must be employed by Florida College System institutions and at least 11 members must be employed by public or private postsecondary institutions that operate colleges of education. At least one member must be a financial aid officer employed by a postsecondary education institution operating in Florida. Administrative costs for support of the Board of Directors and the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers may not exceed 5 percent of funds allocated for the program. The board shall:
(a) Hold meetings to implement this section.
(b) Select a chairperson annually.
(c) Make rules for its own government.
(d) Appoint an executive director to serve at its pleasure. The executive director shall be the chief administrative officer and agent of the board.
(e) Maintain a record of its proceedings.
(f) Delegate to the chairperson the responsibility for signing final orders.
(g) Carry out the training program as required for the minority teacher education scholars program. No more than 5 percent of the funds appropriated and up to $100,000 from other available funds for the minority teacher education scholars program may be expended annually for administration, including administration of the required training program.
History.s. 439, ch. 2002-387; s. 24, ch. 2009-60; s. 137, ch. 2011-5; s. 9, ch. 2011-63; s. 31, ch. 2012-134.
1009.61 Teacher/Quest Scholarship Program.The Teacher/Quest Scholarship Program is created for the purpose of providing teachers with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of science, mathematics, and computer applications in business, industry, and government. A school district or lab school may propose that one or more teachers be granted a Teacher/Quest Scholarship by submitting to the Department of Education:
(1) A project proposal specifying activities a teacher will carry out to improve his or her:
(a) Understanding of mathematical, scientific, or computing concepts;
(b) Ability to apply and demonstrate such concepts through instruction;
(c) Knowledge of career requirements for competency in mathematics, science, and computing; and
(d) Ability to integrate and apply technological concepts from all three fields; and
(2) A contractual agreement with a private corporation or governmental agency that implements the project proposal and guarantees employment to the teacher during a summer or other period when schools are out of session. The agreement must stipulate a salary rate that does not exceed regular rates of pay and a gross salary amount consistent with applicable statutory and contractual provisions for the teacher’s employment. The teacher’s compensation shall be provided for on an equally matched basis by funds from the employing corporation or agency.
History.s. 440, ch. 2002-387; s. 60, ch. 2004-41; s. 124, ch. 2004-357.
1009.62 Grants for teachers for special training in exceptional student education.
(1) The Department of Education may make grants to teachers for special training in exceptional student education to meet professional requirements with respect thereto, and the department is responsible for the administration of such program.
(2) These grants are limited to teachers who:
(a) Hold a full-time contract to teach in a district school system, a state-operated or state-supported program, or an agency or organization under contract with the Department of Education;
(b) Hold a valid Florida educator’s certificate that does not reflect an exceptional-student-education coverage or endorsement that is appropriate for the teacher’s assignment; and
(c) Satisfactorily complete the eligible courses.
(3) Grant amounts are to be determined on the basis of rates established by the Department of Education.
(4) The Department of Education shall administer this program under rules established by the State Board of Education.
History.s. 441, ch. 2002-387.
1009.65 Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program.
(1) To encourage qualified medical professionals to practice in underserved locations where there are shortages of such personnel, there is established the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program. The function of the program is to make payments that offset loans and educational expenses incurred by students for studies leading to a medical or nursing degree, medical or nursing licensure, or advanced registered nurse practitioner certification or physician assistant licensure. The following licensed or certified health care professionals are eligible to participate in this program: medical doctors with primary care specialties, doctors of osteopathic medicine with primary care specialties, physician’s assistants, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, and advanced registered nurse practitioners with primary care specialties such as certified nurse midwives. Primary care medical specialties for physicians include obstetrics, gynecology, general and family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and other specialties which may be identified by the Department of Health.
(2) From the funds available, the Department of Health shall make payments to selected medical professionals as follows:
(a) Up to $4,000 per year for licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, up to $10,000 per year for advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, and up to $20,000 per year for physicians. Penalties for noncompliance shall be the same as those in the National Health Services Corps Loan Repayment Program. Educational expenses include costs for tuition, matriculation, registration, books, laboratory and other fees, other educational costs, and reasonable living expenses as determined by the Department of Health.
(b) All payments shall be contingent on continued proof of primary care practice in an area defined in s. 395.602(2)(e), or an underserved area designated by the Department of Health, provided the practitioner accepts Medicaid reimbursement if eligible for such reimbursement. Correctional facilities, state hospitals, and other state institutions that employ medical personnel shall be designated by the Department of Health as underserved locations. Locations with high incidences of infant mortality, high morbidity, or low Medicaid participation by health care professionals may be designated as underserved.
(c) The Department of Health may use funds appropriated for the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program as matching funds for federal loan repayment programs such as the National Health Service Corps State Loan Repayment Program.
(3) The Department of Health may adopt any rules necessary for the administration of the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program. The department may also solicit technical advice regarding conduct of the program from the Department of Education and Florida universities and Florida College System institutions. The Department of Health shall submit a budget request for an amount sufficient to fund medical education reimbursement, loan repayments, and program administration.
History.s. 448, ch. 2002-387; s. 138, ch. 2011-5.
1009.66 Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
(1) To encourage qualified personnel to seek employment in areas of this state in which critical nursing shortages exist, there is established the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program. The primary function of the program is to increase employment and retention of registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in nursing homes and hospitals in the state and in state-operated medical and health care facilities, public schools, birth centers, federally sponsored community health centers, family practice teaching hospitals, and specialty children’s hospitals by making repayments toward loans received by students from federal or state programs or commercial lending institutions for the support of postsecondary study in accredited or approved nursing programs.
(2) To be eligible, a candidate must have graduated from an accredited or approved nursing program and have received a Florida license as a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse or a Florida certificate as an advanced registered nurse practitioner.
(3) Only loans to pay the costs of tuition, books, and living expenses shall be covered, at an amount not to exceed $4,000 for each year of education toward the degree obtained.
(4) From the funds available, the Department of Education may make loan principal repayments of up to $4,000 a year for up to 4 years on behalf of selected graduates of an accredited or approved nursing program. All repayments shall be contingent upon continued proof of employment in the designated facilities in this state and shall be made directly to the holder of the loan. The state shall bear no responsibility for the collection of any interest charges or other remaining balance. In the event that the designated facilities are changed, a nurse shall continue to be eligible for loan forgiveness as long as he or she continues to work in the facility for which the original loan repayment was made and otherwise meets all conditions of eligibility.
(5) There is created the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund to be administered by the Department of Education pursuant to this section and s. 1009.67 and department rules. The Chief Financial Officer shall authorize expenditures from the trust fund upon receipt of vouchers approved by the Department of Education. All moneys collected from the private health care industry and other private sources for the purposes of this section shall be deposited into the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund. Any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of this section and s. 1009.67.
(6) In addition to licensing fees imposed under part I of chapter 464, there is hereby levied and imposed an additional fee of $5, which fee shall be paid upon licensure or renewal of nursing licensure. Revenues collected from the fee imposed in this subsection shall be deposited in the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund of the Department of Education and will be used solely for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section and s. 1009.67. Up to 50 percent of the revenues appropriated to implement this subsection may be used for the nursing scholarship program established pursuant to s. 1009.67.
(7) Funds contained in the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund which are to be used for loan forgiveness for those nurses employed by hospitals, birth centers, and nursing homes must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis by contributions from the employing institutions, except that this provision shall not apply to state-operated medical and health care facilities, public schools, county health departments, federally sponsored community health centers, teaching hospitals as defined in s. 408.07, family practice teaching hospitals as defined in s. 395.805, or specialty hospitals for children as used in s. 409.9119. An estimate of the annual trust fund dollars shall be made at the beginning of the fiscal year based on historic expenditures from the trust fund. Applicant requests shall be reviewed on a quarterly basis, and applicant awards shall be based on the following priority of employer until all such estimated trust funds are awarded: state-operated medical and health care facilities; public schools; county health departments; federally sponsored community health centers; teaching hospitals as defined in s. 408.07; family practice teaching hospitals as defined in s. 395.805; specialty hospitals for children as used in s. 409.9119; and other hospitals, birth centers, and nursing homes.
(8) The Department of Education is authorized to recover from the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund its costs for administering the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
(9) The Department of Education may adopt rules necessary to administer this program.
(10) This section shall be implemented only as specifically funded.
(11) Students receiving a nursing scholarship pursuant to s. 1009.67 are not eligible to participate in the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
History.s. 2, ch. 2002-230; s. 449, ch. 2002-387; s. 3, ch. 2002-400; ss. 70, 71, ch. 2002-402; s. 121, ch. 2003-1; ss. 1958, 1959, ch. 2003-261; s. 6, ch. 2003-400; s. 113, ch. 2012-184.
1009.67 Nursing scholarship program.
(1) There is established within the Department of Education a scholarship program for the purpose of attracting capable and promising students to the nursing profession.
(2) A scholarship applicant shall be enrolled in an approved nursing program leading to the award of an associate degree, a baccalaureate degree, or a graduate degree in nursing.
(3) A scholarship may be awarded for no more than 2 years, in an amount not to exceed $8,000 per year. However, registered nurses pursuing a graduate degree for a faculty position or to practice as an advanced registered nurse practitioner may receive up to $12,000 per year. These amounts shall be adjusted by the amount of increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the United States Department of Commerce.
(4) Credit for repayment of a scholarship shall be as follows:
(a) For each full year of scholarship assistance, the recipient agrees to work for 12 months in a faculty position in a college of nursing or Florida College System institution nursing program in this state or at a health care facility in a medically underserved area as designated by the Department of Health. Scholarship recipients who attend school on a part-time basis shall have their employment service obligation prorated in proportion to the amount of scholarship payments received.
(b) Eligible health care facilities include nursing homes and hospitals in this state, state-operated medical or health care facilities, public schools, county health departments, federally sponsored community health centers, colleges of nursing in universities in this state, and Florida College System institution nursing programs in this state, family practice teaching hospitals as defined in s. 395.805, or specialty children’s hospitals as described in s. 409.9119. The recipient shall be encouraged to complete the service obligation at a single employment site. If continuous employment at the same site is not feasible, the recipient may apply to the department for a transfer to another approved health care facility.
(c) Any recipient who does not complete an appropriate program of studies, who does not become licensed, who does not accept employment as a nurse at an approved health care facility, or who does not complete 12 months of approved employment for each year of scholarship assistance received shall repay to the Department of Education, on a schedule to be determined by the department, the entire amount of the scholarship plus 18 percent interest accruing from the date of the scholarship payment. Moneys repaid shall be deposited into the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund established in s. 1009.66. However, the department may provide additional time for repayment if the department finds that circumstances beyond the control of the recipient caused or contributed to the default.
(5) Scholarship payments shall be transmitted to the recipient upon receipt of documentation that the recipient is enrolled in an approved nursing program. The Department of Education shall develop a formula to prorate payments to scholarship recipients so as not to exceed the maximum amount per academic year.
(6) The Department of Education shall adopt rules, including rules to address extraordinary circumstances that may cause a recipient to default on either the school enrollment or employment contractual agreement, to implement this section.
(7) The Department of Education may recover from the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund its costs for administering the nursing scholarship program.
History.s. 3, ch. 2002-230; s. 450, ch. 2002-387; s. 139, ch. 2011-5; s. 114, ch. 2012-184; s. 123, ch. 2013-15.
1009.70 Florida Education Fund.
(1) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Florida Education Fund Act.”
(2)(a) The Florida Education Fund, a not-for-profit statutory corporation, is created from a challenge endowment grant from the McKnight Foundation and operates on income derived from the investment of endowment gifts and other gifts as provided by state statute and appropriate matching funds as provided by the state.
(b) The Legislature may appropriate funds to the Florida Education Fund to be used for scholarships under subsection (5). Funds appropriated to the Florida Education Fund shall be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis by funds contributed from private sources, including, but not limited to, income earned from investment returns on the Florida Education Fund Endowment, the value of monetary and in-kind contributions to the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program, the value of services provided by McKnight Doctoral Fellows to Florida not-for-profit corporations and public and nonpublic colleges and universities, and the value of tuition and fees paid on behalf of McKnight Doctoral Fellows from funds not appropriated to the Florida Education Fund. The Florida Education Fund shall certify to the Department of Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance the estimated value of such matching amounts prior to the disbursement of the appropriation and shall certify to the Legislature the actual value of such matching amounts as of June 30 each year. Only new donations above the certified prior year base shall be calculated for state matching funds. The department shall provide the format for which the Florida Education Fund shall comply with the reporting requirements of this paragraph.
(c) The corporation shall provide to the department a copy of its certified financial statement and annual report, including the corporation’s assets and cash reserve balances. The corporation shall also provide the department documentation which includes the name of each scholarship recipient, the postsecondary education institution attended, the discipline of study, and the amount awarded to each recipient. The corporation shall post a copy of its certified financial statement and annual report on its website.
(3) The Florida Education Fund shall use the income of the fund to provide for programs which seek to:
(a) Enhance the quality of higher educational opportunity in this state;
(b) Enhance equality by providing access to effective higher education programs by minority and economically deprived individuals in this state, with particular consideration to be given to the needs of both blacks and women; and
(c) Increase the representation of minorities in faculty and administrative positions in higher education in this state and to provide more highly educated minority leadership in business and professional enterprises in this state.
(4) The Florida Education Fund shall be administered by a board of directors, which is hereby established.
(a) The board of directors shall consist of 12 members, to be appointed as follows:
1. Two laypersons appointed by the Governor;
2. Two laypersons appointed by the President of the Senate;
3. Two laypersons appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
4. Two representatives of state universities, two representatives of Florida College System institutions, and two representatives of independent colleges or universities appointed by the State Board of Education.

The board of directors may appoint to the board an additional five members from the private sector for the purpose of assisting in the procurement of private contributions. Such members shall serve as voting members of the board.

(b) Each of the educational sectors in paragraph (a) shall be represented by a president and a faculty member of the corresponding institutions.
(c) Each director shall hold office for a term of 3 years or until resignation or removal for cause. A director may resign at any time by filing his or her written resignation with the executive secretary for the board. The terms of the directors shall be staggered so that the terms of one-third of the directors will expire annually.
(d) In the event of a vacancy on the board caused by other than the expiration of a term, a new member shall be appointed by the appointing entity in the sector of which the vacancy occurs.
(e) Each member is accountable to the Governor for the proper performance of the duties of his or her office. The Governor shall cause any complaint or unfavorable report received concerning an action of the board or any of its members to be investigated and shall take appropriate action thereon. The Governor may remove any member from office for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, or permanent inability to perform his or her official duties or for pleading nolo contendere to, or being found guilty of, a crime.
(5) The Board of Directors of the Florida Education Fund shall review and evaluate initial programs created by the McKnight Foundation and continue funding the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program and the McKnight Junior Faculty Fellowship Program if the evaluations are positive, and the board shall identify, initiate, and fund new and creative programs and monitor, review, and evaluate those programs. The purpose of this commitment is to broaden the participation and funding potential for further significant support of higher education in this state. In addition, the board shall:
(a) Hold such meetings as are necessary to implement this section.
(b) Select a chairperson annually.
(c) Adopt and use an official seal in the authentication of its acts.
(d) Make rules for its own government.
(e) Administer this section.
(f) Appoint an executive director to serve at its pleasure and perform all duties assigned by the board. The executive director shall be the chief administrative officer and agent of the board.
(g) Maintain a record of its proceedings.
(h) Delegate to the chairperson of the board the responsibility for signing final orders.
(i) Utilize existing higher education organizations, associations, and agencies to carry out its educational programs and purposes with minimal staff employment.
(j) Be empowered to enter into contracts with the Federal Government, state agencies, or individuals.
(k) Receive bequests, gifts, grants, donations, and other valued goods and services. Such bequests and gifts shall be used only for the purpose or purposes stated by the donor.
(6) The board of directors is authorized to establish a trust fund from the proceeds of the Florida Education Fund. All funds deposited into the trust fund shall be invested pursuant to the provisions of s. 215.47. Interest income accruing to the unused portion of the trust fund shall increase the total funds available for endowments. The Department of Education may, at the request of the board of directors, administer the fund for investment purposes.
(7) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Board of Directors of the Florida Education Fund recruit eligible residents of the state before it extends its search to eligible nonresidents. It is further the intent of the Legislature that the board of directors establish service terms, if any, that accompany the award of moneys from the fund.
History.s. 453, ch. 2002-387; s. 178, ch. 2010-102; s. 140, ch. 2011-5; s. 32, ch. 2012-134.
1009.701 First Generation Matching Grant Program.
(1) The First Generation Matching Grant Program is created to enable each state university to provide donors with a matching grant incentive for contributions that will create grant-based student financial aid for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and whose parents, as defined in s. 1009.21(1), have not earned a baccalaureate degree. In the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree would also be eligible.
(2) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for the program shall be allocated by the Office of Student Financial Assistance to match private contributions on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Contributions made to a state university and pledged for the purposes of this section are eligible for state matching funds appropriated for this program and are not eligible for any other state matching grant program. Pledged contributions are not eligible for matching prior to the actual collection of the total funds. The Office of Student Financial Assistance shall reserve a proportionate allocation of the total appropriated funds for each state university on the basis of full-time equivalent enrollment. Funds that remain unmatched as of December 1 shall be reallocated to state universities that have remaining unmatched private contributions for the program on the basis of full-time equivalent enrollment.
(3) Payment of the state matching grant shall be transmitted to the president of each participating institution or his or her representative in advance of the official drop-add deadline as defined by the institution.
(4) Each participating state university shall establish an application process, determine student eligibility for initial and renewal awards in conformance with subsection (5), identify the amount awarded to each recipient, and notify recipients of the amount of their awards.
(5) In order to be eligible to receive a grant pursuant to this section, an applicant must:
(a) Be a resident for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21.
(b) Be a first-generation college student. For the purposes of this section, a student is considered “first generation” if neither of the student’s parents, as defined in s. 1009.21(1), earned a college degree at the baccalaureate level or higher or, in the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, if that parent did not earn a baccalaureate degree.
(c) Be accepted at a state university.
(d) Be enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours per term as a degree-seeking undergraduate student.
(e) Have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid which is complete and error free prior to disbursement and met the eligibility requirements in s. 1009.50 for demonstrated financial need for the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program.
(f) Meet additional eligibility requirements as established by the institution.
(6) The award amount shall be based on the student’s need assessment after any scholarship or grant aid, including, but not limited to, a Pell Grant or a Bright Futures Scholarship, has been applied. The first priority of funding shall be given to students who demonstrate need by qualifying and receiving federal Pell Grant funds up to the full cost of tuition and fees per term. An award may not exceed the institution’s estimated annual cost of attendance for the student to attend the institution.
(7) Each participating institution shall report to the Office of Student Financial Assistance by the date established by the office the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall certify to the Office of Student Financial Assistance the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the office any undisbursed advances by June 1 of each year.
(8) No later than July 1, each participating institution shall annually report to the Executive Office of the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Board of Governors the eligibility requirements for recipients, the aggregate demographics of recipients, the retention and graduation rates of recipients, and a delineation of funds awarded to recipients.
(9) This section shall be implemented only as specifically funded.
History.s. 1, ch. 2006-73; s. 25, ch. 2009-60; s. 27, ch. 2011-63.
1009.72 Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Program.
(1) There is hereby established a Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Program to be administered by the Department of Education pursuant to this section and rules of the State Board of Education. The program shall provide matching grants for private sources that raise money for scholarships to be awarded to Hispanic-American students.
(2) All moneys collected from private sources for the purposes of this section shall be deposited into the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the program shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the program. All funds deposited into the trust fund for the program shall be invested pursuant to s. 17.61. Interest income accruing to that portion of the funds which is allocated to the program in the trust fund and not matched shall increase the total funds available for the program.
(3) The Legislature may appropriate funds for the program from the General Revenue Fund. Such funds shall be divided into challenge grants to be administered by the Department of Education.
(4) The amounts appropriated for the program shall be allocated by the department on the basis of one $5,000 challenge grant for each $5,000 raised from private sources. Matching funds shall be generated through contributions made after July 1, 1986, and pledged for the purposes of this section. Pledged contributions shall not be eligible for matching prior to the actual collection of the total funds.
(5)(a) In order to be eligible to receive a scholarship pursuant to this section, an applicant shall:
1. Be a Hispanic-American, or a person of Spanish culture with origins in Mexico, South America, Central America, or the Caribbean, regardless of race.
2. Be a citizen of the United States and meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section.
3. Be accepted at a state university, Florida College System institution, or any Florida college or university that is accredited by an association whose standards are comparable to the minimum standards required to operate a postsecondary education institution at that level in Florida.
4. Enroll as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student.
5. Earn a 3.0 unweighted grade point average on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent for high school subjects creditable toward a diploma. If an applicant applies as a graduate student, he or she shall have earned a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for undergraduate college-level courses.
(b) In order to renew a scholarship awarded pursuant to this section, a student must:
1. Earn a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the previous term, maintain at least a 3.0 average for college work, or have an average below 3.0 only for the previous term and be eligible for continued enrollment at the institution.
2. Maintain full-time enrollment.
(6) The annual scholarship to each recipient shall be $2,000. Priority in the distribution of scholarships shall be given to students with the lowest total family resources. Renewal scholarships shall take precedence over new awards in any year in which funds are not sufficient to meet the total need. No undergraduate student shall receive an award for more than the equivalent of 8 semesters or 12 quarters over a period of no more than 6 consecutive years, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3). No graduate student shall receive an award for more than the equivalent of 4 semesters or 6 quarters.
(7) The criteria and procedure for establishing standards of eligibility shall be determined by the department. The department is directed to establish a rating system upon which to base the approval of grants. Such system shall include a certification of acceptability by the postsecondary institution of the applicant’s choice.
(8) Payment of scholarships shall be transmitted to the president of the postsecondary institution that the recipient is attending or to the president’s designee. Should a recipient terminate his or her enrollment during the academic year, the president or his or her designee shall refund the unused portion of the scholarship to the department within 60 days. In the event that a recipient transfers from one eligible institution to another, his or her scholarship shall be transferable upon approval of the department.
(9) This section shall be implemented to the extent funded and authorized by law.
History.s. 454, ch. 2002-387; s. 1960, ch. 2003-261; s. 20, ch. 2010-155; s. 141, ch. 2011-5; s. 33, ch. 2012-134.
1009.73 Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship Program.
(1) There is established the Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship Program to be administered by the Department of Education pursuant to this section and rules of the State Board of Education. The program shall provide matching grants for private sources that raise money for scholarships to be awarded to students who attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, or Florida Memorial University.
(2) The Department of Education shall receive all moneys collected from private sources for the purposes of this section and shall deposit such moneys into the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the program shall remain in the trust fund and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the program. All moneys deposited into the trust fund for the program shall be invested pursuant to s. 17.61. Interest income accruing to that portion of the funds which is allocated to the program in the trust fund and not matched shall increase the total funds available for the program.
(3) The Legislature may appropriate funds for the program from the General Revenue Fund. Such moneys shall be applied to scholarships to be administered by the Department of Education.
(4) The moneys for the program shall be allocated by the department among the institutions of higher education listed in subsection (1) on the basis of one $2,000 challenge grant for each $2,000 raised from private sources. Matching funds shall be generated through contributions made after July 1, 1990, and pledged for the purposes of this section. Pledged contributions shall not be eligible for matching prior to the actual collection of the total funds. The department shall allocate to each of those institutions a proportionate share of the contributions received on behalf of those institutions and a share of the appropriations and matching funds generated by such institution.
(5)(a) In order to be eligible to receive a scholarship pursuant to this section, an applicant must:
1. Meet the general eligibility requirements set forth in s. 1009.40.
2. Be accepted at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, or Florida Memorial University.
3. Enroll as a full-time undergraduate student.
4. Earn a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent, for high school subjects creditable toward a diploma.
(b) In order to renew a scholarship awarded pursuant to this section, a student must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and complete 12 credits each term for which the student received the scholarship.
(6) The amount of the scholarship to be granted to each recipient is $3,000 annually. Priority in the awarding of scholarships shall be given to students having financial need as determined by the institution. If funds are insufficient to provide the full amount of the scholarship authorized in this section to each eligible applicant, the institution may prorate available funds and make a partial award to each eligible applicant. A student may not receive an award for more than the equivalent of 8 semesters or 12 quarters over a period of 6 consecutive years, except that a student who is participating in developmental education or who requires additional time to complete the college-level communication and computation skills testing program may continue to receive a scholarship while enrolled for the purpose of receiving developmental education or while completing the testing program.
(7) The criteria and procedure for establishing standards of eligibility shall be determined by the department. The department shall establish a rating system upon which the institutions shall award the scholarships. The system must require a certification of eligibility issued by the postsecondary institution selected by the applicant.
(8) Scholarship moneys shall be transmitted to the president or the president’s designee of the postsecondary institution that the recipient is attending. The president or his or her designee shall submit a report annually to the Department of Education on the scholarships. If a recipient terminates his or her enrollment during the academic year, the president or his or her designee shall refund the unused portion of the scholarship to the department within 60 days. If a recipient transfers from one of the institutions listed in subsection (1) to another of those institutions, the recipient’s scholarship is transferable upon approval of the department.
(9) This section shall be implemented in any academic year to the extent funded and authorized by law.
(10) The State Board of Education may adopt any rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
(11) Funding for the program shall be as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 455, ch. 2002-387; s. 1961, ch. 2003-261; s. 103, ch. 2009-21; s. 21, ch. 2010-155; s. 28, ch. 2011-63; s. 34, ch. 2012-134; s. 34, ch. 2013-51.
1009.74 The Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Program.
(1) There is established the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Program to be administered by the Department of Education. The program shall provide scholarships to students attending a state university. The program shall be funded by contributions from the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation and from state matching funds to be allocated from the University Major Gifts Program.
(2) The amount to be allocated to the program shall be on the basis of a 50-percent match of funds from the University Major Gifts Program for each contribution received from the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation. The funds allocated to the program, including the corpus and interest income, shall be expended for scholarships to benefit disabled students attending a state university.
(3) Students eligible for receipt of scholarship funds shall provide documentation of a disability and shall have a demonstrated financial need for the funds.
(4) Funding for the program shall be as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 456, ch. 2002-387; s. 122, ch. 2003-1; s. 6, ch. 2007-18; s. 29, ch. 2011-63.
1009.77 Florida Work Experience Program.
(1) There is established the Florida Work Experience Program to be administered by the Department of Education. The purpose of the program is to introduce eligible students to work experience that will complement and reinforce their educational program and career goals and provide a self-help student aid program that reduces student loan indebtedness. Additionally, the program’s opportunities for employment at a student’s school will serve as a retention tool because students employed on campus are more likely to complete their postsecondary education. The program shall be available to:
(a) Any student attending a state university or Florida College System institution authorized by Florida law;
(b) Any student attending a nonprofit Florida postsecondary education institution that is eligible to participate in either of the student assistance grant programs established in ss. 1009.51 and 1009.52;
(c) Any postsecondary student attending a career center operated by a district school board under s. 1001.44; or
(d) Any student attending an educator preparation institute established under s. 1004.85. Such student may participate in this program despite having previously earned a baccalaureate degree.
(2)(a) A participating institution may use up to 100 percent of its program allocation for student employment within the institution.
(b) A participating institution may use up to 10 percent of its program allocation for program administration.
(3) Each participating institution is authorized to enter into contractual agreements with private or public employers for the purpose of establishing a Florida work experience program.
(4) The participating postsecondary educational institution shall be responsible for reimbursing employers for student wages from its program allocation. Public elementary or secondary school employers or postsecondary institution employers shall be reimbursed for 100 percent of the student’s wages by the participating institution. All other employers may be reimbursed for up to 70 percent of the student’s wages. When a college or university employs a student on campus through this program, other student financial aid funds may not be used to fund the institution’s portion of the student’s wages.
(5) The employer is responsible for furnishing the full cost of any mandatory benefits. Such benefits may not be considered part of the wage requirement total for matching purposes.
(6) Each participating postsecondary educational institution is responsible for furnishing the full cost of all preemployment requirements, including, but not limited to, background screenings and tuberculosis testing, that are necessary for a student to be employed by a public elementary or secondary school employer. Expenditures under this subsection shall be paid from the funds received by the participating postsecondary educational institution.
(7) The employer is responsible for paying no less than the federal minimum wage established under the Fair Labor Standards Act or the state minimum wage established under s. 24, Art. X of the State Constitution and s. 448.110, whichever is greater. Employers are encouraged to pay students a competitive wage to increase student participation in this program.
(8) A student is eligible to participate in the Florida Work Experience Program if the student:
(a) Is enrolled:
1. At an eligible college or university as no less than a half-time undergraduate student in good standing;
2. In an eligible postsecondary career certificate program as no less than a half-time student in good standing. Eligible programs must be approved by the Department of Education and must consist of no less than 450 clock hours of instruction. Such programs must be offered by a career center operated by a district school board under s. 1001.44 or by a Florida College System institution; or
3. At an educator preparation institute established under s. 1004.85 as no less than a half-time student in good standing.

However, a student may be employed during the break between two consecutive terms or employed, although not enrolled, during a term if the student was enrolled at least half time during the preceding term and preregisters as no less than a half-time student for the subsequent academic term. A student who attends an institution that does not provide preregistration shall provide documentation of intent to enroll as no less than a half-time student for the subsequent academic term.

(b) Meets the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(c) Submits a Free Application for Federal Student Aid which is complete and error free prior to disbursement and demonstrates financial need, with the first priority of funding given to students who demonstrate need by qualifying and receiving federal Pell Grant funds up to the full cost of tuition and fees per term.
(d) Maintains the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
(9) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for the program as are necessary for its administration, for the determination of eligibility and selection of institutions to receive funds for students, to ensure the proper expenditure of funds, and to provide an equitable distribution of funds between students at public and independent colleges and universities and career centers operated by district school boards under s. 1001.44.
(10) A participating institution that receives funds from the program shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student within 30 days after the end of each term.
(11) Funding for the program shall be as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 459, ch. 2002-387; s. 1963, ch. 2003-261; s. 62, ch. 2004-41; s. 3, ch. 2007-113; s. 142, ch. 2011-5; s. 30, ch. 2011-63.
1009.78 Student Loan Program.There is hereby created a Student Loan Program, referred to in ss. 1009.78-1009.88 as the program.
History.s. 460, ch. 2002-387.
1009.79 Issuance of revenue bonds pursuant to s. 15, Art. VII, State Constitution.
(1) The issuance of revenue bonds to finance the establishment of the program, to be payable primarily from payments of interest, principal, and handling charges to the program from the recipients of the loans, and with the other revenues authorized hereby being pledged as additional security, is hereby authorized, subject and pursuant to the provisions of s. 15, Art. VII of the State Constitution; the State Bond Act, ss. 215.57-215.83; and ss. 1009.78-1009.88.
(2) The amount of such revenue bonds to be issued shall be determined by the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration. However, the total principal amount outstanding shall not exceed $80 million, other than refunding bonds issued pursuant to s. 215.79.
History.s. 461, ch. 2002-387.
1009.80 Approval of loans; administration of program.
(1) The loans to be made with the proceeds of the program shall be determined and approved by the Department of Education, pursuant to rules promulgated by the State Board of Education. The program shall be administered by the Department of Education as provided by law, and the proceeds thereof shall be maintained and secured in the same manner as other public trust funds.
(2) The Department of Education may contract for the purchase of federally insured student loans to be made by other eligible lenders under the guaranteed student loan program; however, any such loans must comply with all applicable requirements of s. 15, Art. VII of the State Constitution, ss. 1009.78-1009.88, the rules of the State Board of Education relating to the guaranteed student loan program, and the proceedings authorizing the student loan revenue bonds, and the loans so purchased shall have been made during the period specified in the contract.
(3) The Department of Education may sell loan notes acquired pursuant to ss. 1009.78-1009.88 to the federally created Student Loan Marketing Association or another federally authorized holder of such notes. The department may also repurchase loan notes from authorized holders of such notes. The department shall comply with applicable federal law and regulations and the provisions of any agreement with the Student Loan Marketing Association or the other authorized holders.
History.s. 462, ch. 2002-387.
1009.81 Loan agreements.The Department of Education may enter into loan agreements between the department and the recipients of loans from the program for such periods and under such other terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the applicable rules and regulations and mutually agreed upon by the parties thereto in order to carry out the purposes of s. 15, Art. VII of the State Constitution and ss. 1009.78-1009.88.
History.s. 463, ch. 2002-387.
1009.82 Terms of loans.The term of all authorized loans shall be fixed by rules adopted by the state board and the loan agreements to be entered into with the student borrowers.
History.s. 464, ch. 2002-387.
1009.83 Rate of interest and other charges.The Department of Education shall from time to time fix the interest and other charges to be paid for any student loan, at rates sufficient to pay the interest on revenue bonds issued pursuant to ss. 1009.78-1009.88, plus any costs incident to issuance, sale, security, and retirement thereof, including administrative expenses.
History.s. 465, ch. 2002-387.
1009.84 Procurement of insurance as security for loans.The Department of Education may contract with any insurance company or companies licensed to do business in the state for insurance payable in the event of the death or total disability of any student borrower in an amount sufficient to retire the principal and interest owed under a loan made as provided in ss. 1009.78-1009.88. The cost of any insurance purchased under this section shall be paid by the student borrower as a part of the handling charges for the loan or as a separate item to be paid in connection with the loan.
History.s. 466, ch. 2002-387.
1009.85 Participation in guaranteed student loan program.The intent of this act is to authorize student loans when this state, through the Department of Education, has become an eligible lender under the provisions of the applicable federal laws providing for the guarantee of loans to students and the partial payment of interest on such loans by the United States Government.
History.s. 467, ch. 2002-387; s. 28, ch. 2013-35.
1009.86 Student Loan Operating Trust Fund.
(1) The Student Loan Operating Trust Fund is hereby created, to be administered by the Department of Education. Funds shall be credited to the trust fund pursuant to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, from loan processing and issuance fees, administrative cost allowances, account maintenance fees, default aversion fees, amounts remaining from collection of defaulted loans, amounts borrowed from the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund, and other amounts specified in federal regulation. The purpose of the trust fund is to segregate funds used for administration of the guaranteed student loan program from the reserve funds used to guarantee student loans contained in the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund. The fund is exempt from the service charges imposed by s. 215.20.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 468, ch. 2002-387; s. 2, ch. 2003-200.
1009.87 Provisions of ss. 1009.78-1009.88 cumulative.The provisions of ss. 1009.78-1009.88 shall be in addition to the other provisions of this chapter and shall not be construed to be in derogation thereof, except as otherwise expressly provided hereby.
History.s. 469, ch. 2002-387.
1009.88 Validation of bonds.Revenue bonds issued pursuant to ss. 1009.78-1009.88 shall be validated in the manner provided by chapter 75. In actions to validate such revenue bonds, the complaint shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required by s. 75.06 to be published shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending.
History.s. 470, ch. 2002-387.
1009.89 The William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grants.
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that independent nonprofit colleges and universities eligible to participate in the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program are an integral part of the higher education system in this state and that a significant number of state residents choose this form of higher education. The Legislature further finds that a strong and viable system of independent nonprofit colleges and universities reduces the tax burden on the citizens of the state. Because the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program is not related to a student’s financial need or other criteria upon which financial aid programs are based, it is the intent of the Legislature that the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program not be considered a financial aid program but rather a tuition assistance program for its citizens.
(2) The William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program shall be administered by the Department of Education. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for the administration of the program.
(3) The department shall issue through the program a William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant to any full-time degree-seeking undergraduate student registered at an independent nonprofit college or university which is located in and chartered by the state; which is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; which grants baccalaureate degrees; which is not a state university or Florida College System institution; and which has a secular purpose, so long as the receipt of state aid by students at the institution would not have the primary effect of advancing or impeding religion or result in an excessive entanglement between the state and any religious sect. Any independent college or university that was eligible to receive tuition vouchers on January 1, 1989, and which continues to meet the criteria under which its eligibility was established, shall remain eligible to receive William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant payments.
(4) A person is eligible to receive such William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant if:
(a) He or she meets the general requirements, including residency, for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section; and
(b)1. He or she is enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an eligible college or university;
2. He or she is not enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree in theology or divinity; and
3. He or she is making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college or university in which he or she is enrolled.
(5)(a) Funding for the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program for eligible institutions shall be as provided in the General Appropriations Act. The William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant may be paid on a prorated basis in advance of the registration period. The department shall make such payments to the college or university in which the student is enrolled for credit to the student’s account for payment of tuition and fees. Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances or refunds within 60 days of the end of regular registration. A student is not eligible to receive the award for more than 9 semesters or 14 quarters, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).
(b) If the combined amount of the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant issued pursuant to this act and all other scholarships and grants for tuition or fees exceeds the amount charged to the student for tuition and fees, the department shall reduce the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant issued pursuant to this act by an amount equal to such excess.
(6) If the number of eligible students exceeds the total authorized in the General Appropriations Act, an institution may use its own resources to assure that each eligible student receives the full benefit of the grant amount authorized.
History.s. 471, ch. 2002-387; s. 8, ch. 2005-56; s. 143, ch. 2011-5; s. 31, ch. 2011-63; s. 35, ch. 2013-51.
1009.891 The Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program.
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that independent for-profit colleges and universities eligible to participate in the Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program are an integral part of the higher education system in this state and that a significant number of state residents choose this form of higher education. The Legislature further finds that strong, viable independent for-profit colleges and universities reduce the tax burden on the residents of the state. Because the Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program is not related to a student’s financial need or other criteria upon which financial aid programs are based, it is the intent of the Legislature that the Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program not be considered a financial aid program but rather a tuition assistance program for state residents.
(2) The Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program shall be administered by the Department of Education. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for administering the program.
(3) The department shall issue an access grant to any full-time student seeking a baccalaureate degree who is registered at a for-profit college or university that is located in and chartered by the state and that is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or who is registered at a nonprofit college or university that is chartered out of the state, that has been located in the state for 10 years or more, and that is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, or the New England Association of Colleges and Schools; that grants baccalaureate degrees; that is not a state university or Florida College System institution; and that has a secular purpose, if the receipt of state aid by students at the institution would not have the primary effect of advancing or impeding religion or result in an excessive entanglement between the state and any religious sect. Institutions eligible for the Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program in the initial year of funding shall include only those for-profit colleges or universities identified in this subsection. Nonprofit colleges or universities identified in this subsection shall be eligible for financial support in the second year of funding.
(4) A person is eligible to receive an access grant if:
(a) He or she meets the general requirements, including residency, for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section; and
(b)1. He or she is enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an eligible college or university in a program of study leading to a baccalaureate degree;
2. He or she is not enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree in theology or divinity; and
3. He or she is making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college or university in which he or she is enrolled.
(5)(a) The amount of the access grant issued to a full-time student shall be an amount specified in the General Appropriations Act. The access grant may be paid on a prorated basis in advance of the registration period. The department shall make payments to the college or university in which the student is enrolled for credit to the student’s account for payment of tuition and fees. Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances or refunds within 60 days after the end of regular registration. A student may not receive the award for more than 9 semesters or 14 quarters, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).
(b) If the combined amount of the access grant issued pursuant to this section and all other scholarships and grants for tuition or fees exceeds the amount charged to the student for tuition and fees, the department shall reduce the grant issued under this section by an amount equal to the excess.
(6) If the number of eligible students exceeds the total authorized in the General Appropriations Act, an institution may use its own resources to assure that each eligible student receives the full benefit of the grant amount authorized.
(7) Funding for the program shall be as provided in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 1, ch. 2003-65; s. 144, ch. 2011-5; s. 32, ch. 2011-63; s. 36, ch. 2013-51.
1009.892 Cost of attendance; adult norm-referenced testing.
(1) A public or private postsecondary institution shall include in its cost of attendance adult norm-referenced testing that it requires for eligible students to qualify for accommodations for disabilities.
(2) To be eligible, a student must be a legal resident of this state, as defined in s. 1009.21; must be enrolled in at least 6 semester hours, or the equivalent, per term in a degree, certificate, or diploma program; and must have documented learning disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
History.s. 3, ch. 2006-73.
1009.893 Florida National Merit Scholar Incentive Program.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Department” means the Department of Education.
(b) “Incentive program” means the Florida National Merit Scholar Incentive Program.
(2) The Florida National Merit Scholar Incentive Program is created to reward any Florida high school graduate who receives recognition as a National Merit Scholar or National Achievement Scholar and who initially enrolls in the 2014-2015 academic year or, later, in a baccalaureate degree program at an eligible Florida public or independent postsecondary educational institution.
(3) The department shall administer the incentive program according to rules and procedures established by the State Board of Education. The department shall advertise the availability of the incentive program and notify students, teachers, parents, certified school counselors, and principals or other relevant school administrators of the criteria.
(4) In order to be eligible for an award under the incentive program, a student must:
(a) Be a state resident as determined in s. 1009.40 and rules of the State Board of Education;
(b) Earn a standard Florida high school diploma or its equivalent pursuant to s. 1002.3105, s. 1003.4281, s. 1003.4282, or s. 1003.435 unless:
1. The student completes a home education program according to s. 1002.41; or
2. The student earns a high school diploma from a non-Florida school while living with a parent who is on military or public service assignment out of this state;
(c) Be accepted by and enroll in a Florida public or independent postsecondary educational institution that is regionally accredited; and
(d) Be enrolled full-time in a baccalaureate degree program at an eligible regionally accredited Florida public or independent postsecondary educational institution during the fall academic term following high school graduation.
(5)(a) An eligible student who is a National Merit Scholar or National Achievement Scholar and who attends a Florida public postsecondary educational institution shall receive an incentive award equal to the institutional cost of attendance minus the sum of the student’s Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and National Merit Scholarship or National Achievement Scholarship.
(b) An eligible student who is a National Merit Scholar or National Achievement Scholar and who attends a Florida independent postsecondary educational institution shall receive an incentive award equal to the highest cost of attendance at a Florida public university, as reported by the Board of Governors of the State University System, minus the sum of the student’s Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and National Merit Scholarship or National Achievement Scholarship.
(6)(a) To be eligible for a renewal award, a student must earn all credits for which he or she was enrolled and maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average.
(b) A student may receive the incentive award for a maximum of 100 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete a baccalaureate degree program, or until completion of a baccalaureate degree program, whichever comes first.
(7) The department shall annually issue awards from the incentive program. Before the registration period each semester, the department shall transmit payment for each award to the president or director of the postsecondary educational institution, or his or her representative, except that the department may withhold payment if the receiving institution fails to report or to make refunds to the department as required in this section.
(a) Each institution shall certify to the department the eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement within 30 days before the end of its regular registration period, inclusive of a drop and add period. An institution is not required to reevaluate the student eligibility after the end of the drop and add period.
(b) An institution that receives funds from the incentive program must certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and remit to the department any undisbursed advances within 60 days after the end of regular registration.
(c) If funds appropriated are not adequate to provide the maximum allowable award to each eligible student, awards must be prorated using the same percentage reduction.
(8) Funds from any award within the incentive program may not be used to pay for remedial coursework or developmental education.
(9) A student may use an award for a summer term if funds are available and appropriated by the Legislature.
(10) The department shall allocate funds to the appropriate institutions and collect and maintain data regarding the incentive program within the student financial assistance database as specified in s. 1009.94.
(11) Section 1009.40(4) does not apply to awards issued under this section.
(12) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to administer this section.
History.s. 26, ch. 2014-56.
C. Role of the Department of Education
1009.90 Duties of the Department of Education.
1009.91 Assistance programs and activities of the department.
1009.92 Funding for programs administered by the department.
1009.93 Student financial aid planning and development.
1009.94 Student financial assistance database.
1009.95 Delinquent accounts.
1009.96 Annual review of financial assistance programs.
1009.90 Duties of the Department of Education.The duties of the department shall include:
(1) Administration of this part and rules adopted by the State Board of Education.
(2) Administration of federal funding, insurance, or reinsurance in full compliance with applicable federal laws and regulations.
(3) Development of written administrative procedures and controls for the administration of each financial aid program conducted by the office, maintenance of program records and documents, timely collection and remittance of insurance premiums, and timely assignment of defaulted loans to collection agencies.
(4) Annual compilation of sources of financial aid available to students in this state.
(5) Biennial analysis of the amount of available financial aid moneys and the effect of such moneys on student access to postsecondary institutions.
(6) Biennial internal evaluation of the administrative efficiency and effectiveness of the office.
(7) Annual assessment of the accuracy of eligibility information from a random sample of award recipients.
(8) Annual review of procedures for the distribution of state financial aid funds.
(9) Development and submission of a report, annually, to the State Board of Education, the Board of Governors, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which shall include, but not be limited to, recommendations for the distribution of state financial aid funds.
(10) Development and evaluation of a comprehensive, long-range program of all sources of student financial aid.
(11) Dissemination of information on available financial aid programs to district school superintendents and other persons who request such information.
(12) Calculation of the amount of need-based student financial aid required to offset fee increases recommended by the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors and inclusion of such amount within the legislative budget request for student assistance grant programs.
History.s. 473, ch. 2002-387; s. 139, ch. 2007-217.
1009.91 Assistance programs and activities of the department.
(1) The department may contract for the administration of the student financial assistance programs as specifically provided in ss. 295.01, 1009.29, and 1009.78.
(2) The department may contract to provide the planning and development activities required pursuant to the provisions of this part.
(3) The department shall administer the guarantee of student loans made by participating commercial financial institutions in such a manner as to fully comply with applicable provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, relating to loan reinsurance.
(4) The department shall maintain records on the student loan default rate of each Florida postsecondary institution and report that information annually to both the institution and the State Board of Education. Information relating to state universities shall also be reported annually to the Board of Governors.
History.s. 474, ch. 2002-387; s. 140, ch. 2007-217; s. 84, ch. 2014-39.
1009.92 Funding for programs administered by the department.
(1) In the preparation of its annual budget, the department shall request that the Legislature continue to provide funding for applicable programs from the General Revenue Fund.
(2) The department is authorized to expend moneys from available trust funds in applicable student financial assistance programs.
(3) There is created a Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund, which shall be administered by the department in carrying out the provisions of this act.
(4) The principal sources of operating funds shall be from the earnings from the temporary investment of the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund and from compensation for services performed under contract for the administration of student financial assistance programs pursuant to s. 1009.91.
(5) The department is authorized to accept grant funds under the Leveraging Educational Assistance Program and Supplemental Leveraging Educational Assistance Program of the Federal Government, as provided by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
(6) The department is authorized to accept federal advances for the establishment of the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund pursuant to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, under agreement with the United States Commissioner of Education and to maintain such advances until recalled by the United States Commissioner of Education.
(7) The department is authorized to assess a student loan insurance premium on each loan guaranteed by the department. The amount of insurance premium will be determined by the department in the amount sufficient to maintain the pledged level of reserve funds, but in no event may the amount of the insurance premium exceed the maximum provided by federal law.
(8) The department shall invest, or contract for the temporary investment of, any unencumbered cash, and the interest earned therefrom, except as otherwise provided for by law or covenant, shall accrue to the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund or for the administration of financial aid programs.
History.s. 475, ch. 2002-387.
1009.93 Student financial aid planning and development.
(1) The department shall administer a student financial aid planning and development program. It is the intent of the Legislature that a specific sum of funds be allocated each year for the purpose of sponsoring the design, development, and implementation of a comprehensive program of student financial aid and of initiating activities of inservice training for student financial aid administrators and activities to encourage maximum lender participation in guaranteed loans.
(2) The objective of a state program is the maintenance of a state student financial aid program to supplement a basic national program which will provide equal access to postsecondary education to citizens of this state who have the ability and motivation to benefit from a postsecondary education. In the development of a state program to achieve this objective, it shall be the policy that:
(a) State student financial aid be provided primarily on the basis of financial need;
(b) Students receiving need-based financial aid be expected to contribute toward their cost of education through self-help resources such as savings, work, and loans;
(c) Student financial aid be available to state residents for attendance at accredited public or private institutions of higher education in this state;
(d) Student financial aid be provided for all levels of postsecondary education; and
(e) State student financial aid be administered by a central state agency.

Planning and development must be in accordance with the foregoing objective and policies.

(3) The planning and development procedures shall provide for:
(a) The review of public policy;
(b) The development of performance objectives;
(c) The development of alternate approaches;
(d) The evaluation of performance; and
(e) The participation and involvement in the planning process of representatives of the groups affected by a state program of student financial aid.
(4) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules providing for the verification of the independent status of state financial aid recipients.
(5) The department shall encourage industry and education linkages through the development of temporary employment opportunities for students attending postsecondary institutions in this state.
History.s. 476, ch. 2002-387.
1009.94 Student financial assistance database.
(1) The Department of Education shall design and maintain a student financial assistance database that can be used to support all aspects of the administration and delivery of state-funded student financial aid. In addition, the database must have the capability of providing policymakers with comprehensive information regarding the various financial assistance programs available to students attending Florida postsecondary education institutions.
(2) For purposes of this section, financial assistance includes:
(a) For all students, any scholarship, grant, loan, fee waiver, tuition assistance payment, or other form of compensation provided from state or federal funds.
(b) For students attending public institutions, any scholarship, grant, loan, fee waiver, tuition assistance payment, or other form of compensation supported by institutional funds.
(c) Any financial assistance provided under s. 1009.50, s. 1009.505, s. 1009.51, s. 1009.52, s. 1009.53, s. 1009.55, s. 1009.60, s. 1009.62, s. 1009.70, s. 1009.701, s. 1009.72, s. 1009.73, s. 1009.74, s. 1009.77, s. 1009.89, or s. 1009.891.
(3) The database must include records on any student receiving any form of financial assistance as described in subsection (2). Each institution participating in any state financial assistance program shall annually report such information to the Department of Education, by the date and in a format prescribed by the department and consistent with the provisions of s. 1002.225, the eligible students to whom financial assistance is disbursed each academic term, the eligibility requirements for recipients, and the aggregate demographics of recipients.
History.s. 477, ch. 2002-387; s. 27, ch. 2009-60; s. 7, ch. 2009-239; s. 35, ch. 2010-70; s. 16, ch. 2011-37; s. 59, ch. 2013-35; s. 85, ch. 2014-39.
1009.95 Delinquent accounts.
(1) The Department of Education is directed to exert every lawful and reasonable effort to collect all delinquent unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan notes, student loan notes, and defaulted guaranteed loan notes.
(2) The department may establish a recovery account into which unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan note, student loan note, and defaulted guaranteed loan note accounts may be transferred.
(3) The department may settle any delinquent unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan notes, student loan notes, and defaulted guaranteed loan notes and employ the service of a collection agent when deemed advisable in collecting delinquent or defaulted accounts. However, no collection agent may be paid a commission in excess of 35 percent of the amount collected. Any expense incurred by the department in enforcing the collection of a loan note may be borne by the signer of the note and may be added to the amount of the principal of such note.
(4) The department may charge off unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan notes and student loan notes which are at least 3 years delinquent and which prove uncollectible after good faith collection efforts. However, a delinquent account with a past due balance of $25 or less may be charged off as uncollectible when it becomes 6 months past due and the cost of further collection effort or assignment to a collection agent would not be warranted.
(5) No individual borrower who has been determined to be in default in making legally required scholarship loan, student loan, or guaranteed loan repayments shall be furnished with his or her academic transcripts or other student records until such time as the loan is paid in full or the default status has been removed.
(6) The department may charge an individual borrower who has been determined to be in default in making legally required loan repayments the maximum interest rate authorized by law.
(7) The State Board of Education shall adopt such rules as are necessary to regulate the collection, settlement, and charging off of delinquent unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan notes, student loan notes, and defaulted guaranteed loan notes.
History.s. 478, ch. 2002-387.
1009.96 Annual review of financial assistance programs.All new and existing financial assistance programs authorized under this chapter which are not funded for 3 consecutive years after enactment shall stand repealed. Financial assistance programs provided under this part on July 1, 1992, which lose funding for 3 consecutive years shall stand repealed. The Department of Education shall annually review the legislative appropriation for financial assistance programs to identify such programs.
History.s. 479, ch. 2002-387.
PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD PROGRAMS
1009.97 General provisions.
1009.971 Florida Prepaid College Board.
1009.972 Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund.
1009.973 Comprehensive investment plans.
1009.974 Exemption from claims of creditors.
1009.975 Payroll deduction authority.
1009.976 Annual report.
1009.98 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program.
1009.981 Florida College Savings Program.
1009.982 Disclaimer.
1009.983 Direct-support organization; authority.
1009.984 Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program.
1009.97 General provisions.
(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDING; EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY.The Legislature recognizes that educational opportunity at the postsecondary level is a critical state interest and is best ensured through the provision of postsecondary institutions that are geographically and financially accessible, that affordability and accessibility of higher education are essential to the welfare and well-being of the residents of the state and are a critical state interest, and that promoting and enhancing financial access to postsecondary institutions serve a legitimate public purpose.
(2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.It is the intent of the Legislature that a prepaid program be established through which many of the costs associated with postsecondary attendance may be paid in advance and fixed at a guaranteed level for the duration of undergraduate enrollment and that this program fosters timely financial planning for postsecondary attendance and to encourage employer participation in such planning through program contributions on behalf of employees and the dependents of employees. It is further the intent of the Legislature that a savings program be established as a supplement and alternative to the prepaid program to allow persons to make contributions to a trust account to meet some or all of the qualified higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary, consistent with federal law authorizing such programs, but without a guarantee by the state that such contributions, together with the investment return on such contributions, if any, will be adequate to pay for qualified higher education expenses, to enable participants to save for qualified higher education expenses, and to provide a choice to persons who determine that the overall educational needs of their families are best suited to a savings program or who wish to save to meet postsecondary educational needs beyond the traditional 4-year curriculum. Finally, the Legislature intends that the prepaid program and the savings program be conducted in a manner to maximize program efficiency and effectiveness.
(3) DEFINITIONS.As used in ss. 1009.97-1009.984, the term:
(a) “Advance payment contract” means a contract entered into by the board and a purchaser pursuant to s. 1009.98.
(b) “Board” means the Florida Prepaid College Board.
(c) “Trust fund” means the Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund.
(d) “Prepaid program” means the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program established pursuant to s. 1009.98.
(e) “Purchaser” means a person who makes or is obligated to make advance registration or dormitory residence payments in accordance with an advance payment contract.
(f) “Qualified beneficiary” means:
1. A resident of this state at the time a purchaser enters into an advance payment contract on behalf of the resident;
2. A nonresident who is the child of a noncustodial parent who is a resident of this state at the time that such parent enters into an advance payment contract on behalf of the child; or
3. For purposes of advance payment contracts entered into pursuant to s. 1009.983, a graduate of an accredited high school in this state who is a resident of this state at the time he or she is designated to receive the benefits of the advance payment contract.
(g) “Registration fee” means tuition fee, financial aid fee, building fee, and Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee.
(h) “State postsecondary institution” means any Florida College System institution or state university.
(i) “Benefactor” means any person making a deposit, payment, contribution, gift, or other expenditure into the savings program.
(j) “Designated beneficiary” means:
1. Any individual designated in the participation agreement;
2. Any individual defined in s. 152(a)(1)-(8) of the Internal Revenue Code; or
3. Any individual receiving a scholarship from interests in the program purchased by a state or local government or an organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(k) “Eligible educational institution” means an institution of higher education that qualifies under s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code as an eligible educational institution.
(l) “Internal Revenue Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as defined in s. 220.03(1), and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
(m) “Participation agreement” means an agreement between the board and a benefactor for participation in the savings program for a designated beneficiary.
(n) “Savings program” means the Florida College Savings Program established pursuant to s. 1009.981.
(o) “Qualified higher education expenses” means higher education expenses permitted under s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code and required for the enrollment or attendance of a designated beneficiary at an eligible educational institution, including undergraduate and graduate schools, and any other higher education expenses that are permitted under s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
(p) “Prepaid fund” means the fund within the trust fund into which moneys belonging to the prepaid program are deposited and held.
(q) “Savings fund” means the fund within the trust fund into which moneys belonging to the savings program are deposited and held.
History.s. 481, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2006-303; s. 145, ch. 2011-5.
1009.971 Florida Prepaid College Board.
(1) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; CREATION.The Florida Prepaid College Board is hereby created as a body corporate with all the powers of a body corporate for the purposes delineated in this section. The board shall administer the prepaid program and the savings program, and shall perform essential governmental functions as provided in ss. 1009.97-1009.984. For the purposes of s. 6, Art. IV of the State Constitution, the board shall be assigned to and administratively housed within the State Board of Administration, but it shall independently exercise the powers and duties specified in ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
(2) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; MEMBERSHIP.The board shall consist of seven members to be composed of the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chancellor of the State University System, the Chancellor of the Division of Florida Colleges, and three members appointed by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the Senate. Each member appointed by the Governor shall possess knowledge, skill, and experience in the areas of accounting, actuary, risk management, or investment management. Each member of the board not appointed by the Governor may name a designee to serve on the board on behalf of the member; however, any designee so named shall meet the qualifications required of gubernatorial appointees to the board. Members appointed by the Governor shall serve terms of 3 years. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the board shall be appointed in a like manner and shall serve for only the unexpired term. Any member shall be eligible for reappointment and shall serve until a successor qualifies. Members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for per diem and travel in accordance with s. 112.061. Each member of the board shall file a full and public disclosure of his or her financial interests pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution and corresponding statute.
(3) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; ELECTIONS; MEETINGS.The board shall annually elect a board member to serve as chair and a board member to serve as vice chair and shall designate a secretary-treasurer who need not be a member of the board. The secretary-treasurer shall keep a record of the proceedings of the board and shall be the custodian of all printed material filed with or by the board and of its official seal. Notwithstanding the existence of vacancies on the board, a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. The board shall take no official action in the absence of a quorum. The board shall meet, at a minimum, on a quarterly basis at the call of the chair.
(4) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; POWERS AND DUTIES.The board shall have the powers and duties necessary or proper to carry out the provisions of ss. 1009.97-1009.984, including, but not limited to, the power and duty to:
(a) Appoint an executive director to serve as the chief administrative and operational officer of the board and to perform other duties assigned to him or her by the board.
(b) Adopt an official seal and rules.
(c) Sue and be sued.
(d) Make and execute contracts and other necessary instruments.
(e) Establish agreements or other transactions with federal, state, and local agencies, including state universities and Florida College System institutions.
(f) Administer the trust fund in a manner that is sufficiently actuarially sound to defray the obligations of the prepaid program and the savings program, considering the separate purposes and objectives of each program. The board shall annually evaluate or cause to be evaluated the actuarial soundness of the prepaid fund. If the board perceives a need for additional assets in order to preserve actuarial soundness of the prepaid program, the board may adjust the terms of subsequent advance payment contracts to ensure such soundness.
(g) Invest funds not required for immediate disbursement.
(h) Appear in its own behalf before boards, commissions, or other governmental agencies.
(i) Hold, buy, and sell any instruments, obligations, securities, and property determined appropriate by the board.
(j) Require a reasonable length of state residence for qualified beneficiaries.
(k) Segregate contributions and payments to the trust fund into the appropriate fund.
(l) Procure and contract for goods and services, employ personnel, and engage the services of private consultants, actuaries, managers, legal counsel, and auditors in a manner determined to be necessary and appropriate by the board.
(m) Solicit and accept gifts, grants, loans, and other aids from any source or participate in any other way in any government program to carry out the purposes of ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
(n) Require and collect administrative fees and charges in connection with any transaction and impose reasonable penalties, including default, for delinquent payments or for entering into an advance payment contract or a participation agreement on a fraudulent basis.
(o) Procure insurance against any loss in connection with the property, assets, and activities of the trust fund or the board.
(p) Impose reasonable time limits on use of the benefits provided by the prepaid program or savings program. However, any such limitations shall be specified within the advance payment contract or the participation agreement, respectively.
(q) Delineate the terms and conditions under which payments may be withdrawn from the trust fund and impose reasonable fees and charges for such withdrawal. Such terms and conditions shall be specified within the advance payment contract or the participation agreement.
(r) Provide for the receipt of contributions in lump sums or installment payments.
(s) Require that purchasers of advance payment contracts or benefactors of participation agreements verify, under oath, any requests for contract conversions, substitutions, transfers, cancellations, refund requests, or contract changes of any nature. Verification shall be accomplished as authorized and provided for in s. 92.525(1)(a).
(t) Delegate responsibility for administration of one or both of the comprehensive investment plans required in s. 1009.973 to persons the board determines to be qualified. Such persons shall be compensated by the board.
(u) Endorse insurance coverage written exclusively for the purpose of protecting advance payment contracts, and participation agreements, and the purchasers, benefactors, and beneficiaries thereof, including group life policies and group disability policies, which are exempt from the provisions of part V of chapter 627.
(v) Form strategic alliances with public and private entities to provide benefits to the prepaid program, savings program, and participants of either or both programs.
(w) Solicit proposals and contract, pursuant to s. 287.057, for the marketing of the prepaid program or the savings program, or both together. Any materials produced for the purpose of marketing the prepaid program or the savings program shall be submitted to the board for review. No such materials shall be made available to the public before the materials are approved by the board. Any educational institution may distribute marketing materials produced for the prepaid program or the savings program; however, all such materials shall be approved by the board prior to distribution. Neither the state nor the board shall be liable for misrepresentation of the prepaid program or the savings program by a marketing agent.
(x) Establish other policies, procedures, and criteria to implement and administer the provisions of ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
(y) Adopt procedures to govern contract dispute proceedings between the board and its vendors.
(5) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; CONTRACTUAL SERVICES.The board shall solicit proposals and contract, pursuant to s. 287.057, for:
(a) The services of records administrators.
(b) Investment consultants to review the performance of the board’s investment managers and advise the board on investment management and performance and investment policy, including the contents of the comprehensive investment plans.
(c) Trustee services firms to provide trustee and related services to the board. The trustee services firm shall agree to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries if moneys in the fund fail to offset the obligations of the board as a result of imprudent selection or supervision of investment programs by such firm.
(d) Investment managers to provide investment portfolios for the prepaid program or the savings program. Investment managers shall be limited to authorized insurers as defined in s. 624.09, banks as defined in s. 658.12, associations as defined in s. 665.012, authorized Securities and Exchange Commission investment advisers, and investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940. All investment managers shall have their principal place of business and corporate charter located and registered in the United States. In addition, each investment manager shall agree to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries if moneys in the fund fail to offset the obligations of the board as a result of imprudent investing by such provider. Each authorized insurer shall evidence superior performance overall on an acceptable level of surety in meeting its obligations to its policyholders and other contractual obligations. Only qualified public depositories approved by the Chief Financial Officer shall be eligible for board consideration. Each investment company shall provide investment plans as specified within the request for proposals.

The goals of the board in procuring such services shall be to provide all purchasers and benefactors with the most secure, well-diversified, and beneficially administered prepaid program or savings program possible, to allow all qualified firms interested in providing such services equal consideration, and to provide such services to the state at no cost and to the purchasers and benefactors at the lowest cost possible. Evaluations of proposals submitted pursuant to this subsection shall include, but not be limited to, fees and other costs that are charged to purchasers or benefactors that affect account values, or that impact the operational costs of the prepaid program or the savings program; past experience and past performance in providing the required services; financial history and current financial strength and capital adequacy to provide the required services; and capabilities and experience of the proposed personnel that will provide the required services.

(6) QUALIFIED TUITION PROGRAM STATUS.Notwithstanding any other provision of ss. 1009.97-1009.984, the board may adopt rules necessary for the prepaid program and the savings program each to retain its status as a “qualified tuition program” in order to maintain its tax-exempt status or other similar status of the program, purchasers, and qualified beneficiaries under the Internal Revenue Code. The board shall inform participants in the prepaid program and the savings program of changes to the tax or securities status of advance purchase contracts and participation agreements.
History.s. 482, ch. 2002-387; s. 1964, ch. 2003-261; s. 141, ch. 2007-217; s. 146, ch. 2011-5; s. 124, ch. 2013-15.
1009.972 Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund.
(1) There is created within the State Board of Administration the Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund. The trust fund shall be segregated into two separate funds, the prepaid fund and the savings fund.
(2) The prepaid fund shall consist of state appropriations, moneys acquired from other governmental or private sources for the prepaid program, and moneys remitted in accordance with advance payment contracts. Dividends, interest, and gains accruing to the prepaid fund shall increase the total funds available for the prepaid program. If dividends, interest, and gains for the prepaid fund exceed the amount necessary for program administration and disbursements, the board may designate an additional percentage of the prepaid fund to serve as a contingency fund.
(3) The savings fund shall consist of appropriations, moneys acquired from other governmental or private sources for the savings program, and moneys remitted in accordance with participation agreements. The amounts on deposit in the savings fund shall remain therein and shall be available solely for carrying out the purposes of the savings program.
(4) Any balance contained within the trust fund, and within each fund in the trust fund, at the end of a fiscal year shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of each respective program and the direct-support organization established pursuant to s. 1009.983. Moneys contained within the trust fund shall be exempt from the investment requirements of s. 17.57. All funds deposited in the prepaid fund may be invested pursuant to s. 215.47. Any funds of a direct-support organization created pursuant to s. 1009.983 shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
(5) Notwithstanding chapter 717, funds associated with terminated advance payment contracts pursuant to s. 1009.98(4)(k) and canceled contracts for which no refunds have been claimed shall be retained by the board. The board shall establish procedures for notifying purchasers who subsequently cancel their advance payment contracts of any unclaimed refund and shall establish a time period after which no refund may be claimed by a purchaser who canceled a contract. The board may transfer funds retained from such terminated advance payment contracts and canceled contracts to the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program to provide matching funds for prepaid tuition scholarships for economically disadvantaged youth who remain drug free and crime free. In addition, such funds may be used for any other scholarship programs approved by the board under s. 1009.983(8)(b), provided that any matching funds are obtained solely from the private sector.
(6) The assets of the prepaid fund and the savings fund shall be maintained, invested, and expended solely for the purposes of the prepaid program and the savings program, respectively, and shall not be loaned, transferred, or otherwise used by the state for any purpose other than the purposes of ss. 1009.97-1009.984. This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the board from investing in, by purchase or otherwise, bonds, notes, or other obligations of the state or an agency or instrumentality of the state. Unless otherwise specified by the board, assets of the prepaid fund and the savings fund shall be expended in the following order of priority:
(a) To make payments to state postsecondary institutions on behalf of qualified beneficiaries or designated beneficiaries.
(b) To make refunds upon termination of advance payment contracts or participation agreements.
(c) To pay the costs of administration and operations for the prepaid program and the savings program.
History.s. 483, ch. 2002-387; s. 1965, ch. 2003-261; s. 2, ch. 2006-303.
1009.973 Comprehensive investment plans.The Florida Prepaid College Board shall establish separate comprehensive investment plans for the prepaid program and for the savings program, each subject to the approval of the State Board of Administration. Each comprehensive investment plan shall specify the investment policies to be utilized by the board in its administration of each respective program. The board may place assets of each program in investment products pursuant to the comprehensive investment plan for each respective program and in such proportions as may be designated or approved under the plan for each respective program. Such products shall be underwritten and offered in compliance with the applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and rules by persons authorized by applicable federal and state authorities. A purchaser may not direct the investment of his or her contribution to the prepaid program. A benefactor or designated beneficiary may not direct the investment of any contributions to the savings program other than the specific fund options provided by the board, if any. Board members and employees of the board are not prohibited from purchasing advance payment contracts or entering into participation agreements by virtue of their fiduciary responsibilities as members of the board or official duties as employees of the board.
History.s. 484, ch. 2002-387.
1009.974 Exemption from claims of creditors.Moneys paid into or out of the trust fund by or on behalf of a purchaser or qualified beneficiary of an advance payment contract or benefactor or designated beneficiary of a participation agreement are exempt, as provided by s. 222.22, from all claims of creditors of the purchaser or the qualified beneficiary of an advance payment contract or the benefactor or designated beneficiary of a participation agreement, respectively, provided that the advance payment contract or participation agreement has not been terminated. Neither moneys paid into the prepaid program or savings program nor benefits accrued through the prepaid program or savings program may be pledged for the purpose of securing a loan.
History.s. 485, ch. 2002-387.
1009.975 Payroll deduction authority.The state or any state agency, county, municipality, or other political subdivision may, by contract or collective bargaining agreement, agree with any employee to remit payments toward advance payment contracts or participation agreements through payroll deductions made by the appropriate officer or officers of the state, state agency, county, municipality, or political subdivision. Such payments shall be held and administered in accordance with ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
History.s. 486, ch. 2002-387.
1009.976 Annual report.On or before March 31 of each year, the Florida Prepaid College Board shall prepare or cause to be prepared separate reports setting forth in appropriate detail an accounting of the prepaid program and the savings program which include a description of the financial condition of each respective program at the close of the fiscal year. The board shall submit copies of the reports to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the minority leaders of the House and Senate and shall make the report for the prepaid program available to each purchaser and the report for the savings program available to each benefactor and designated beneficiary. The accounts of the fund for the prepaid program and the savings program shall be subject to annual audits by the Auditor General.
History.s. 487, ch. 2002-387.
1009.98 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program.
(1) STANLEY G. TATE FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE PROGRAM; CREATION.There is created the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program to provide a medium through which the cost of registration and dormitory residence may be paid in advance of enrollment in a state postsecondary institution at a rate lower than the projected corresponding cost at the time of actual enrollment. Such payments shall be combined and invested in a manner that yields, at a minimum, sufficient interest to generate the difference between the prepaid amount and the cost of registration and dormitory residence at the time of actual enrollment. Students who enroll in a state postsecondary institution pursuant to this section shall be charged no fees in excess of the terms delineated in the advance payment contract.
(2) PREPAID COLLEGE PLANS.At a minimum, the board shall make advance payment contracts available for two independent plans to be known as the Florida College System institution plan and the university plan. The board may also make advance payment contracts available for a dormitory residence plan. The board may restrict the number of participants in the Florida College System institution plan, university plan, and dormitory residence plan, respectively. However, any person denied participation solely on the basis of such restriction shall be granted priority for participation during the succeeding year.
(a)1. Through the Florida College System institution plan, the advance payment contract may provide prepaid registration fees for a specified number of undergraduate semester credit hours not to exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of an associate degree. Qualified beneficiaries shall bear the cost of any laboratory fees associated with enrollment in specific courses. Each qualified beneficiary shall be classified as a resident for tuition purposes, pursuant to s. 1009.21, regardless of his or her actual legal residence.
2. Effective July 1, 1998, the board may provide advance payment contracts for additional fees delineated in s. 1009.23, not to exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of an associate degree, in conjunction with advance payment contracts for registration fees. Florida College System institution plan contracts purchased prior to July 1, 1998, shall be limited to the payment of registration fees as defined in s. 1009.97.
3. Effective July 1, 2009, the board may offer an advance payment contract for the Florida College System institution plan covering prepaid registration fees and the fees authorized in s. 1009.23. Such a contract may be offered in specific increments for use toward an associate degree. The total number of hours purchased for a qualified beneficiary may not exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of an associate degree.
(b)1. Through the university plan, the advance payment contract may provide prepaid registration fees for a specified number of undergraduate semester credit hours not to exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree. Qualified beneficiaries shall bear the cost of any laboratory fees associated with enrollment in specific courses. Each qualified beneficiary shall be classified as a resident for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21, regardless of his or her actual legal residence.
2. Effective July 1, 1998, the board may provide advance payment contracts for additional fees delineated in s. 1009.24(9)-(12), for a specified number of undergraduate semester credit hours not to exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree, in conjunction with advance payment contracts for registration fees. Such contracts shall provide prepaid coverage for the sum of such fees, to a maximum of 45 percent of the cost of registration fees. University plan contracts purchased prior to July 1, 1998, shall be limited to the payment of registration fees as defined in s. 1009.97.
3. Effective July 1, 2007, the board may provide advance payment contracts for the tuition differential authorized in s. 1009.24(16) for a specified number of undergraduate semester credit hours, which may not exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree, in conjunction with advance payment contracts for registration fees.
4. Effective July 1, 2009, the board may offer an advance payment contract for the university plan covering prepaid registration fees, the fees authorized in s. 1009.24(9)-(12), and the tuition differential authorized in s. 1009.24(16). Such a contract may be offered in specific increments for use toward a baccalaureate degree. The total number of hours purchased for a qualified beneficiary may not exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree.
(c) The cost of participation in contracts authorized under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) shall be based primarily on the current and projected fees included in the plan within the Florida College System or the State University System, respectively, the number of credit hours or semesters included in the plan, and the number of years expected to elapse between the purchase of the plan on behalf of a qualified beneficiary and the exercise of the benefits provided in the plan by such beneficiary.
(d) Through the dormitory residence plan, the advance payment contract may provide prepaid housing fees for a maximum of 10 semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment in a state university. Dormitory residence plans shall be purchased in increments of 2 semesters. The cost of participation in the dormitory residence plan shall be based primarily on the average current and projected housing fees within the State University System and the number of years expected to elapse between the purchase of the plan on behalf of a qualified beneficiary and the exercise of the benefits provided in the plan by such beneficiary. Qualified beneficiaries shall have the highest priority in the assignment of housing within university residence halls. Qualified beneficiaries shall bear the cost of any additional elective charges such as laundry service or long-distance telephone service. Each state university may specify the residence halls or other university-held residences eligible for inclusion in the plan. In addition, any state university may request immediate termination of a dormitory residence contract based on a violation or multiple violations of rules of the residence hall or other university-held residences. In the event that sufficient housing is not available for all qualified beneficiaries, the board shall refund the purchaser or qualified beneficiary an amount equal to the fees charged for dormitory residence during that semester. If a qualified beneficiary fails to be admitted to a state university or chooses to attend a Florida College System institution that operates one or more dormitories or residency opportunities, or has one or more dormitories or residency opportunities operated by the Florida College System institution direct-support organization, the qualified beneficiary may transfer or cause to have transferred to the Florida College System institution, or Florida College System institution direct-support organization, the fees associated with dormitory residence. Dormitory fees transferred to the Florida College System institution or Florida College System institution direct-support organization may not exceed the maximum fees charged for state university dormitory residence for the purposes of this section, or the fees charged for Florida College System institution or Florida College System institution direct-support organization dormitories or residency opportunities, whichever is less.
(3) TRANSFER OF BENEFITS TO PRIVATE AND OUT-OF-STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND TO CAREER CENTERS.A qualified beneficiary may apply the benefits of an advance payment contract toward any eligible educational institution as defined in s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. The board shall transfer or cause to be transferred to the institution designated by the qualified beneficiary an amount not to exceed the redemption value of the advance payment contract at a state postsecondary institution. If the cost of registration or housing fees at such institution is less than the corresponding fees at a state postsecondary institution, the amount transferred may not exceed the actual cost of registration and housing fees. A transfer authorized under this subsection may not exceed the number of semester credit hours or semesters of dormitory residence contracted on behalf of a qualified beneficiary. Any advertisement disseminated by a for-profit educational institution which references the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program shall clearly state the following: “While the benefits of the Florida Prepaid College contract may be used at this institution, the Florida Prepaid College Board does not endorse any particular educational institution.”
(4) ADVANCE PAYMENT CONTRACTS.The board shall develop advance payment contracts for registration and may develop advance payment contracts for dormitory residence as provided in this section. Advance payment contracts shall be exempt from chapter 517 and the Florida Insurance Code. Such contracts shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) The amount of the payment or payments and the number of payments required from a purchaser on behalf of a qualified beneficiary.
(b) The terms and conditions under which purchasers shall remit payments, including, but not limited to, the date or dates upon which each payment shall be due.
(c) Provisions for late payment charges and for default.
(d) Provisions for penalty fees for withdrawals from the fund.
(e) Except for an advance payment contract entered into pursuant to subsection (9) or s. 1009.983, the name and date of birth of the qualified beneficiary on whose behalf the contract is drawn and the terms and conditions under which another person may be substituted as the qualified beneficiary.
(f) The name of any person who may terminate the contract. The terms of the contract shall specify whether the contract may be terminated by the purchaser, the qualified beneficiary, a specific designated person, or any combination of these persons.
(g) The terms and conditions under which a contract may be terminated, modified, or converted, the name of the person entitled to any refund due as a result of termination of the contract pursuant to such terms and conditions, and the amount of refund, if any, due to the person so named.
(h) The number of semester credit hours or semesters of dormitory residence contracted by the purchaser.
(i) The state postsecondary system toward which the contracted credit hours or semesters of dormitory residence will be applied.
(j) The assumption of a contractual obligation by the board to the qualified beneficiary to provide for a specified number of semester credit hours of undergraduate instruction at a state postsecondary institution, not to exceed the average number of credit hours required for the conference of the degree that corresponds to the plan purchased on behalf of the qualified beneficiary or to provide for a specified number of semesters of dormitory residence, not to exceed the number of semesters of full-time enrollment required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree.
(k) The period of time after which advance payment contracts that have not been terminated or the benefits used shall be considered terminated. Time expended by a qualified beneficiary as an active duty member of any of the armed services of the United States shall be added to the period of time specified by the board. A purchaser or qualified beneficiary whose advance payment contract is terminated pursuant to this paragraph is not entitled to a refund. Notwithstanding chapter 717, the board shall retain any moneys paid by the purchaser for an advance payment contract that has been terminated in accordance with this paragraph. Such moneys may be transferred to the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program to provide matching funds for prepaid tuition scholarships for economically disadvantaged youths who remain drug free and crime free. In addition, such funds may be used for any other scholarship programs approved by the board under s. 1009.983(8)(b), provided that any matching funds are obtained solely from the private sector.
(l) Other terms and conditions deemed by the board to be necessary or proper.
(5) REFUNDS.
(a) A refund may not exceed the amount paid into the fund by the purchaser except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (f).
(b) If the beneficiary is awarded a scholarship, the terms of which cover the benefits included in the advance payment contracts, moneys paid for the purchase of the advance payment contracts shall be refunded to the purchaser in semester installments coinciding with the tuition by the beneficiary in an amount which, in total, does not exceed the redemption value of the advance payment contract at a state postsecondary institution.
(c) In the event of the death or total disability of the beneficiary, moneys paid for the purchase of advance payment contracts shall be refunded to the purchaser in an amount not to exceed the redemption value of the advance payment contract at a state postsecondary institution.
(d) If an advance payment contract is converted from one registration plan to a plan of lesser value, the amount refunded may not exceed the difference between the amount paid for the original contract and the amount that would have been paid for the contract to which the plan is converted had the converted plan been purchased under the same payment plan at the time the original advance payment contract was executed.
(e) A refund may not be authorized through an advance payment contract for any school year partially attended but not completed. For purposes of this section, a school year partially attended but not completed shall mean any one semester whereby the student is still enrolled at the conclusion of the official drop-add period but withdraws before the end of such semester. If a beneficiary does not complete a Florida College System institution plan or university plan for reasons other than specified in paragraph (c), the purchaser shall receive a refund of the amount paid into the fund for the remaining unattended years of the advance payment contract pursuant to rules promulgated by the board.
(f) A purchaser of an advance payment contract entered into pursuant to subsection (9) or s. 1009.983 may receive a refund equal to the redemption value of the unused portion of the advance payment contract at a state postsecondary institution if the refund is used exclusively to fund additional scholarships purchased pursuant to subsection (9) or s. 1009.983.
(6) CONFIDENTIALITY OF ACCOUNT INFORMATION.Information that identifies the purchasers or beneficiaries of any plan promulgated under this section and their advance payment account activities is exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). However, the board may authorize the program’s records administrator to release such information to a Florida College System institution, college, or university in which a beneficiary may enroll or is enrolled. Florida College System institutions, colleges, and universities shall maintain such information as exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(7) OBLIGATIONS OF BOARD.The state shall agree to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries if moneys in the fund fail to offset the obligations of the board. The Legislature shall appropriate to the Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund the amount necessary to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries.
(8) PROGRAM TERMINATION.In the event that the state determines the prepaid program to be financially infeasible, the state may discontinue the provision of the program. Any qualified beneficiary who has been accepted by and is enrolled or is within 5 years of enrollment in an eligible independent college or university or state postsecondary institution shall be entitled to exercise the complete benefits for which he or she has contracted. All other contract holders shall receive a refund of the amount paid in and an additional amount in the nature of interest at a rate that corresponds, at a minimum, to the prevailing interest rates for savings accounts provided by banks and savings and loan associations.
(9) SCHOLARSHIPS.A nonprofit organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code and exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of the United States Internal Revenue Code may purchase advance payment contracts for a scholarship program that has been approved by the board and is operated by the purchasing organization.
(10) PAYMENTS ON BEHALF OF QUALIFIED BENEFICIARIES.
(a) As used in this subsection, the term:
1. “Actuarial reserve” means the amount by which the expected value of the assets exceeds the expected value of the liabilities of the trust fund.
2. “Dormitory fees” means the fees included under advance payment contracts pursuant to paragraph (2)(d).
3. “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state pursuant to s. 215.01.
4. “Local fees” means the fees covered by an advance payment contract provided pursuant to subparagraph (2)(b)2.
5. “Tuition differential” means the fee covered by advance payment contracts sold pursuant to subparagraph (2)(b)3. The base rate for the tuition differential fee for the 2012-2013 fiscal year is established at $37.03 per credit hour. The base rate for the tuition differential in subsequent years is the amount assessed for the tuition differential for the preceding year adjusted pursuant to subparagraph (b)2.
(b) Effective with the 2009-2010 academic year and thereafter, and notwithstanding s. 1009.24, the amount paid by the board to any state university on behalf of a qualified beneficiary of an advance payment contract whose contract was purchased before July 1, 2024, shall be:
1. As to registration fees, if the actuarial reserve is less than 5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 5.5 percent above the amount assessed for registration fees in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is between 5 percent and 6 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 6 percent above the amount assessed for registration fees in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is between 6 percent and 7.5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 6.5 percent above the amount assessed for registration fees in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is equal to or greater than 7.5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 7 percent above the amount assessed for registration fees in the preceding fiscal year, whichever is greater.
2. As to the tuition differential, if the actuarial reserve is less than 5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 5.5 percent above the base rate for the tuition differential fee in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is between 5 percent and 6 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 6 percent above the base rate for the tuition differential fee in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is between 6 percent and 7.5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 6.5 percent above the base rate for the tuition differential fee in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is equal to or greater than 7.5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 7 percent above the base rate for the tuition differential fee in the preceding fiscal year.
3. As to local fees, the board shall pay the state universities 5 percent above the amount assessed for local fees in the preceding fiscal year.
4. As to dormitory fees, the board shall pay the state universities 6 percent above the amount assessed for dormitory fees in the preceding fiscal year.
5. Qualified beneficiaries of advance payment contracts purchased before July 1, 2007, are exempt from paying any tuition differential fee.
(c) Notwithstanding the amount assessed for registration fees, the tuition differential, or local fees, the amount paid by the board to any state university on behalf of a qualified beneficiary of an advance payment contract purchased before July 1, 2024, may not exceed 100 percent of the amount charged by the state university for the aggregate sum of those fees.
(d) Notwithstanding the amount assessed for dormitory fees, the amount paid by the board to any state university on behalf of a qualified beneficiary of an advance payment contract purchased before July 1, 2024, may not exceed 100 percent of the amount charged by the state university for dormitory fees.
(e) The board shall pay state universities the actual amount assessed in accordance with law for registration fees, the tuition differential, local fees, and dormitory fees for advance payment contracts purchased on or after July 1, 2024.
(f) The board shall annually evaluate or cause to be evaluated the actuarial soundness of the trust fund.
History.s. 488, ch. 2002-387; s. 126, ch. 2004-357; s. 3, ch. 2006-303; s. 3, ch. 2007-225; s. 190, ch. 2008-4; s. 28, ch. 2009-60; s. 1, ch. 2009-136; s. 1, ch. 2009-175; s. 147, ch. 2011-5; s. 1, ch. 2014-62.
1009.981 Florida College Savings Program.
(1)(a) The Florida Prepaid College Board is authorized to create, establish, and administer the Florida College Savings Program to promote and enhance the affordability of higher education in the state and to enable persons to contribute funds that are combined and invested to pay the subsequent higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. The board may not implement the savings program until it has obtained:
1. A written opinion from counsel specializing in federal tax matters indicating that the savings program constitutes a qualified tuition program under s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code;
2. A written opinion from a qualified member of the United States Patent Bar indicating that the implementation of the savings program or the operation of the savings program will not knowingly infringe upon any patent or copyright specifically related to the financing of higher education expenses;
3. A written opinion of qualified counsel specializing in federal securities law that the savings program and the offering of participation in the savings program does not violate federal securities law; and
4. A written opinion from the board’s litigation counsel indicating that the implementation or operation of the savings program will not adversely impact any pending litigation against the board.
(b) The benefactor retains ownership of all amounts on deposit in his or her account with the savings program up to the date of distribution on behalf of a designated beneficiary. Earnings derived from investment of the contributions shall be considered to be held in trust in the same manner as contributions, except as applied for purposes of the designated beneficiary and for purposes of maintaining and administering the program as provided in this section.
(c) All amounts attributable to penalties shall be used for purposes of the savings program or as required by the Internal Revenue Code, and other amounts received other than contributions shall be properties of the savings program. Proceeds from penalties shall remain with the program and may be used for any costs or purposes of the savings program or used as required by the Internal Revenue Code.
(d) Deposits and contributions to the program, the property of the board, and the earnings on the college savings accounts are exempt from taxation.
(e) The assets of the savings program shall be continuously invested and reinvested in a manner consistent with the purposes of the program, expended on expenses incurred by the operation and management of the savings program, or refunded to the benefactor or designated beneficiary under the conditions provided in the participation agreement. The board is not required to invest directly in obligations of the state or any political subdivision of the state or in any investment or other fund administered by the state.
(2) PARTICIPATION AGREEMENTS.
(a) The board may establish plans to permit benefactors to prepay the qualified higher education expenses associated with enrollment in an eligible educational institution and may permit benefactors to select from among alternative investment plans designed to provide funds to pay qualified education expenses of a designated beneficiary. The board shall not accept contributions in excess of the amount allowed pursuant to s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code and shall prescribe by rule the methodology and information sources that shall be used to determine the projected costs of qualified higher education expenses for designated beneficiaries of prescribed ages.
(b) The board shall develop a participation agreement which shall be the agreement between the board and each benefactor, which may include, but is not limited to:
1. The name, date of birth, and social security number of the designated beneficiary.
2. The amount of the contribution or contributions and number of contributions required from a benefactor on behalf of a designated beneficiary.
3. The terms and conditions under which benefactors shall remit contributions, including, but not limited to, the date or dates upon which each contribution is due. Deposits to the savings program by benefactors may only be in cash. Benefactors may contribute in a lump sum, periodically, in installments, or through electronic funds transfer or employer payroll deductions.
4. Provisions for late contribution charges and for default.
5. Provisions for penalty fees for withdrawals from the program.
6. The name of the person who may terminate participation in the program. The participation agreement must specify whether the account may be terminated by the benefactor, the designated beneficiary, a specific designated person, or any combination of these persons.
7. The terms and conditions under which an account may be terminated, modified, or converted, the name of the person entitled to any refund due as a result of termination of the account pursuant to such terms and conditions, and the amount of refund, if any, due to the person so named.
8. Penalties for distributions not used or made in accordance with s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
9. Any charges or fees in connection with the administration of the savings fund.
10. The period of time after which each participation agreement shall be considered to be terminated. Time expended by a designated beneficiary as an active duty member of any of the armed services of the United States shall be added to the period specified pursuant to this subparagraph. Should a participation agreement be terminated, the balance of the account, after notice to the benefactor, shall be declared unclaimed and abandoned property. The board shall retain any moneys paid by the benefactor for a participation agreement that has been terminated in accordance with this subparagraph. Such moneys may be transferred to the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program to provide matching funds for prepaid tuition scholarships for economically disadvantaged youths who remain drug free and crime free.
11. Other terms and conditions deemed by the board to be necessary or proper.
(c) The participation agreement shall clearly state that:
1. The contract is only a debt or obligation of the savings program and the savings fund, and is not otherwise a debt or obligation of the state.
2. Participation in the program does not guarantee that sufficient funds will be available to cover all qualified higher education expenses for any designated beneficiary and does not guarantee admission to or continued enrollment at an eligible educational institution of any designated beneficiary.
(d) The participation agreement may be freely amended throughout its term for purposes including, but not limited to, allowing to enable the benefactor to increase or decrease the level of participation, change designated beneficiaries, and carry out similar matters permitted by this section and the Internal Revenue Code.
(3) DISTRIBUTIONS FOR QUALIFIED HIGHER EDUCATION EXPENSES.The board shall establish requirements and procedures for beneficiaries to realize the benefits of participation agreements. In establishing such requirements and procedures, the board shall make distributions in as efficient and expeditious manner as is prudent and possible, consistent with the Internal Revenue Code.
(4) REFUNDS.
(a) A benefactor may request a refund of the principal amount of his or her contributions, plus actual investment earnings or minus actual investment losses on the contributions, less any applicable penalty, and less any amounts used to provide benefits to the designated beneficiary.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a penalty may not be levied if a benefactor requests a refund from the program due to:
1. Death of the beneficiary.
2. Total disability of the beneficiary.
3. Scholarship, allowance, or payment received by the beneficiary to the extent that the amount of the refund does not exceed the amount of the scholarship, allowance, or payment in accordance with federal law.
(c) If a benefactor requests a refund of funds contributed to the program for any cause other than those listed in paragraph (b), there shall be imposed a penalty of 10 percent of the earnings of the account and any applicable taxes, or the amount required by the Internal Revenue Code. Earnings shall be calculated as the total value of the participation agreement, less the aggregate contributions, or in the manner prescribed in the Internal Revenue Code.
(5) MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION; PENALTY.If the benefactor or the designated beneficiary makes any material misrepresentation in the application for a participation agreement or in any communication with the board regarding the program, especially regarding the withdrawal or distribution of funds therefrom, the account may be involuntarily liquidated by the board. If the account is so liquidated, the benefactor is entitled to a refund, subject to a 10-percent penalty or the amount required by the Internal Revenue Code.
(6) CONFIDENTIALITY OF ACCOUNT INFORMATION.Information that identifies the benefactors or the designated beneficiary of any account initiated under this section is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, the board may authorize the release of such information to a Florida College System institution, college, or university in which a designated beneficiary may enroll or is enrolled. Florida College System institutions, colleges, and universities shall maintain the confidentiality of such information.
(7) OBLIGATIONS OF BOARD.Any contract or participation agreement entered into by or any obligation of the board on behalf of and for the benefit of the savings program does not constitute a debt or obligation of the state but is an obligation of the savings program. The state has no obligation to any designated beneficiary or any other person as a result of the savings program. The obligation of the savings program is limited solely to those amounts deposited in the savings fund. All amounts obligated to be paid from the savings fund are limited to amounts available for such obligation. The amounts on deposit in the savings program may only be disbursed in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(8) PROGRAM TERMINATION.The savings program shall continue in existence until its existence is terminated by law. If the state determines that the savings program is financially infeasible, the state may discontinue the savings program. Upon termination of the savings program, all deposits shall be returned to benefactors, to the extent possible, and any unclaimed assets in the savings program may be transferred to the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program to provide matching funds for prepaid tuition scholarships for economically disadvantaged youths who remain drug free and crime free.
(9) STATE PLEDGE.The state pledges to benefactors and designated beneficiaries of the savings program that the state will not limit or alter the rights under this section which are vested in the program until such obligations are met and discharged. However, this subsection does not preclude such limitation if adequate provision is made by law for the protection of the benefactors and designated beneficiaries pursuant to the obligations of the board, and, if the state or the board determines that the savings program is not financially feasible, the state or the board may discontinue the program. If the program is discontinued, the board shall refund to benefactors their contributions to the program, plus any investment earnings or minus any investment losses. The board, on behalf of the state, may include this pledge and undertaking by the state in participation agreements.
History.s. 489, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2005-130; s. 148, ch. 2011-5.
1009.982 Disclaimer.Nothing in ss. 1009.97-1009.984 shall be construed as a promise or guarantee that a qualified beneficiary or a designated beneficiary will be admitted to a state postsecondary institution or to a particular state postsecondary institution, will be allowed to continue enrollment at a state postsecondary institution after admission, or will be graduated from a state postsecondary institution.
History.s. 490, ch. 2002-387.
1009.983 Direct-support organization; authority.
(1) The Florida Prepaid College Board may establish a direct-support organization which is:
(a) A Florida corporation, not for profit, incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Secretary of State.
(b) Organized and operated exclusively to receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to make expenditures to or for the benefit of the board.
(c) An organization which the board, after review, has certified to be operating in a manner consistent with the goals of the board and in the best interests of the state. Unless so certified, the organization may not use the name of the prepaid program or savings program.
(2) The direct-support organization shall operate under written contract with the board. The contract must provide for:
(a) Approval of the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the direct-support organization by the board.
(b) Submission of an annual budget for the approval of the board. The budget must comply with rules adopted by the board.
(c) Certification by the board that the direct-support organization is complying with the terms of the contract and in a manner consistent with the goals and purposes of the board and in the best interest of the state. Such certification must be made annually and reported in the official minutes of a meeting of the board.
(d) The reversion to the board, or to the state if the board ceases to exist, of moneys and property held in trust by the direct-support organization for the benefit of the board or prepaid program if the direct-support organization is no longer approved to operate for the board or if the board ceases to exist.
(e) The fiscal year of the direct-support organization, which must begin July 1 of each year and end June 30 of the following year.
(f) The disclosure of material provisions of the contract and of the distinction between the board and the direct-support organization to donors of gifts, contributions, or bequests, and such disclosure on all promotional and fundraising publications.
(3) The direct-support organization shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981. The board and Auditor General may require and receive from the organization or its independent auditor any detail or supplemental data relative to the operation of the organization.
(4) The identity of donors who desire to remain anonymous shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, and such anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor’s report. Information received by the organization that is otherwise confidential or exempt by law shall retain such status. Any sensitive, personal information regarding contract beneficiaries, including their identities, is exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(5) The chair and the executive director of the board shall be directors of the direct-support organization and shall jointly name, at a minimum, three other individuals to serve as directors of the organization.
(6) The board may authorize the direct-support organization established in this section to use board property, except money, and use facilities and personal services subject to the provisions of this section. If the direct-support organization does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin, it may not use the property, facilities, or personal services of the board. For the purposes of this section, the term “personal services” includes full-time personnel and part-time personnel as well as payroll processing as prescribed by rule of the board. The board shall adopt rules prescribing the procedures by which the direct-support organization is governed and any conditions with which such a direct-support organization must comply to use property, facilities, or personal services of the board.
(7) The board may invest funds of the direct-support organization which have been allocated for the purchase of advance payment contracts for scholarships with receipts for advance payment contracts.
(8)(a) The direct-support organization shall administer the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program pursuant to the provisions of s. 1009.984.
(b) The board may establish and administer additional scholarship programs supported from escheated funds retained by the board pursuant to s. 1009.972(5) provided that any matching funds for such scholarships are obtained solely from the private sector. The board shall develop criteria for approval of additional scholarship programs supported from escheated funds. The direct-support organization’s annual report shall include a list of any additional scholarship programs approved by the board pursuant to this subsection, including a description of the programs and the amount of escheated funds utilized to fund the programs.
(9) This section is repealed October 1, 2017, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature.
History.s. 491, ch. 2002-387; s. 4, ch. 2006-303; s. 30, ch. 2014-96.
1009.984 Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program.The Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program is established to provide economically disadvantaged youth with prepaid postsecondary tuition scholarships. The direct-support organization established pursuant to s. 1009.983 shall administer the program with the assistance and cooperation of the Department of Education to:
(1) Provide an incentive for economically disadvantaged youth to improve school attendance and academic performance in order to graduate and pursue a postsecondary education.
(2) Obtain the commitment and involvement of private sector entities by virtue of funding matches with a ratio of 50 percent provided by the private sector and 50 percent provided by the state.
(3) Purchase prepaid tuition scholarships for students certified by the Department of Education to the direct-support organization who meet minimum economic and school requirements and remain drug free and crime free.
(a) For the purpose of this subsection, “drug free” means not being convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for, any violation of chapter 893 after being designated a recipient of a Florida prepaid tuition scholarship.
(b) For the purpose of this subsection, “crime free” means not being convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for, any felony or first degree misdemeanor as defined in ss. 775.08 and 775.081 after being designated a recipient of a Florida prepaid tuition scholarship.
History.s. 492, ch. 2002-387.