Florida Senate - 2016 SENATOR AMENDMENT
Bill No. CS for CS for SB 524
Senate . House
Senator Gaetz moved the following:
1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
3 Between lines 576 and 577
5 Section 9. Section 1009.893, Florida Statutes, is amended
6 to read:
7 1009.893 Benacquisto Scholarship
Florida National Merit
8 Scholar Incentive Program.—
9 (1) As used in this section, the term:
10 (a) “Department” means the Department of Education.
11 (b) “Scholarship Incentive program” means the Benacquisto
12 Scholarship Florida National Merit Scholar Incentive Program.
13 (2) The Benacquisto Scholarship Florida National Merit
14 Scholar Incentive Program is created to reward any Florida high
15 school graduate who receives recognition as a National Merit
16 Scholar or National Achievement Scholar and who initially
17 enrolls in the 2014-2015 academic year or, later, in a
18 baccalaureate degree program at an eligible Florida public or
19 independent postsecondary educational institution.
20 (3) The department shall administer the scholarship
21 incentive program according to rules and procedures established
22 by the State Board of Education. The department shall advertise
23 the availability of the scholarship incentive program and notify
24 students, teachers, parents, certified school counselors, and
25 principals or other relevant school administrators of the
27 (4) In order to be eligible for an award under the
28 scholarship incentive program, a student must:
29 (a) Be a state resident as determined in s. 1009.40 and
30 rules of the State Board of Education;
31 (b) Earn a standard Florida high school diploma or its
32 equivalent pursuant to s. 1002.3105, s. 1003.4281, s. 1003.4282,
33 or s. 1003.435 unless:
34 1. The student completes a home education program according
35 to s. 1002.41; or
36 2. The student earns a high school diploma from a non
37 Florida school while living with a parent who is on military or
38 public service assignment out of this state;
39 (c) Be accepted by and enroll in a Florida public or
40 independent postsecondary educational institution that is
41 regionally accredited; and
42 (d) Be enrolled full-time in a baccalaureate degree program
43 at an eligible regionally accredited Florida public or
44 independent postsecondary educational institution during the
45 fall academic term following high school graduation.
46 (5)(a) An eligible student who is a National Merit Scholar
47 or National Achievement Scholar and who attends a Florida public
48 postsecondary educational institution shall receive a
49 scholarship an incentive award equal to the institutional cost
50 of attendance minus the sum of the student’s Florida Bright
51 Futures Scholarship and National Merit Scholarship or National
52 Achievement Scholarship.
53 (b) An eligible student who is a National Merit Scholar or
54 National Achievement Scholar and who attends a Florida
55 independent postsecondary educational institution shall receive
56 a scholarship an incentive award equal to the highest cost of
57 attendance at a Florida public university, as reported by the
58 Board of Governors of the State University System, minus the sum
59 of the student’s Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and National
60 Merit Scholarship or National Achievement Scholarship.
61 (6)(a) To be eligible for a renewal award, a student must
62 earn all credits for which he or she was enrolled and maintain a
63 3.0 or higher grade point average.
64 (b) A student may receive the scholarship incentive award
65 for a maximum of 100 percent of the number of credit hours
66 required to complete a baccalaureate degree program, or until
67 completion of a baccalaureate degree program, whichever comes
69 (7) The department shall annually issue awards from the
70 scholarship incentive program. Before the registration period
71 each semester, the department shall transmit payment for each
72 award to the president or director of the postsecondary
73 educational institution, or his or her representative, except
74 that the department may withhold payment if the receiving
75 institution fails to report or to make refunds to the department
76 as required in this section.
77 (a) Each institution shall certify to the department the
78 eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement
79 within 30 days before the end of its regular registration
80 period, inclusive of a drop and add period. An institution is
81 not required to reevaluate the student eligibility after the end
82 of the drop and add period.
83 (b) An institution that receives funds from the scholarship
84 incentive program must certify to the department the amount of
85 funds disbursed to each student and remit to the department any
86 undisbursed advances within 60 days after the end of regular
88 (c) If funds appropriated are not adequate to provide the
89 maximum allowable award to each eligible student, awards must be
90 prorated using the same percentage reduction.
91 (8) Funds from any award within the scholarship incentive
92 program may not be used to pay for remedial coursework or
93 developmental education.
94 (9) A student may use an award for a summer term if funds
95 are available and appropriated by the Legislature.
96 (10) The department shall allocate funds to the appropriate
97 institutions and collect and maintain data regarding the
98 scholarship incentive program within the student financial
99 assistance database as specified in s. 1009.94.
100 (11) Section 1009.40(4) does not apply to awards issued
101 under this section.
102 (12) A student who receives an award under the scholarship
103 program shall be known as a Benacquisto Scholar.
104 (13) All eligible Florida public or independent
105 postsecondary educational institutions are encouraged to become,
106 and all eligible state universities shall become, college
107 sponsors of the National Merit Scholarship Program.
108 (14) (12) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
109 necessary to administer this section.
111 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================
112 And the title is amended as follows:
113 Delete line 54
114 and insert:
115 requirement; amending s. 1009.893, F.S.; changing the
116 name of the “Florida National Merit Scholar Incentive
117 Program” to the “Benacquisto Scholarship Program”;
118 providing that a student who receives a scholarship
119 award under the program will be referred to as a
120 Benacquisto Scholar; encouraging all eligible Florida
121 public or independent postsecondary educational
122 institutions, and requiring all eligible state
123 universities, to become college sponsors of the
124 National Merit Scholarship Program; amending s.
125 1011.62, F.S.; creating a