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2015 Florida Statutes

SECTION 50
Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
F.S. 1009.50
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.