Florida Senate - 2015 SB 1140 By Senator Montford 3-00824-15 20151140__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Bright Futures Scholarship 3 Program; amending s. 1009.531, F.S.; providing that 4 the initial award and renewal period for students who 5 are unable to accept an initial award immediately 6 after completion of high school due to a full-time 7 religious or service obligation begins upon the 8 completion of the religious or service obligation; 9 requiring verification from the entity for which the 10 student completed such obligation; providing an 11 effective date. 12 13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 14 15 Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section 16 1009.531, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 17 1009.531 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; 18 student eligibility requirements for initial awards.— 19 (2) 20 (c) A student graduating from high school in the 2012-2013 21 academic year and thereafter is eligible to accept an initial 22 award for 2 years following high school graduation and to accept 23 a renewal award for 5 years following high school graduation. A 24 student who applies for an award by high school graduation and 25 who meets all other eligibility requirements, but who does not 26 accept his or her award, may reapply during subsequent 27 application periods up to 2 years after high school graduation. 28 For a student who enlists in the United States Armed Forces 29 immediately after completion of high school, the 2-year 30 eligibility period for his or her initial award and the 5-year 31 renewal period shall begin upon the date of separation from 32 active duty. For a student who is receiving a Florida Bright 33 Futures Scholarship award and discontinues his or her education 34 to enlist in the United States Armed Forces, the remainder of 35 his or her 5-year renewal period shall commence upon the date of 36 separation from active duty. For a student who is unable to 37 accept an initial award immediately after completion of high 38 school due to a full-time religious or service obligation 39 lasting at least 18 months, the 2-year eligibility period for 40 his or her initial award and the 5-year renewal period begin 41 upon the completion of his or her religious or service 42 obligation. The full-time religious or service obligation must 43 be documented in writing and verified by the entity for which 44 the student completed such obligation. If a course of study is 45 not completed after 5 academic years, an exception of 1 year to 46 the renewal timeframe may be granted due to a verifiable illness 47 or other documented emergency pursuant to s. 1009.40(1)(b)4. 48 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.