Florida Senate - 2016 SB 990 By Senator Montford 3-00972-16 2016990__ 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 periods 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 begin upon the 8 completion of the religious or service obligation; 9 specifying requirements for an entity that is 10 sponsoring the obligation; requiring verification from 11 the entity for which the student completed such 12 obligation; providing an effective date. 13 14 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 15 16 Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section 17 1009.531, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 18 1009.531 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; 19 student eligibility requirements for initial awards.— 20 (2) 21 (c) A student graduating from high school in the 2012-2013 22 academic year and thereafter is eligible to accept an initial 23 award for 2 years following high school graduation and to accept 24 a renewal award for 5 years following high school graduation. A 25 student who applies for an award by high school graduation and 26 who meets all other eligibility requirements, but who does not 27 accept his or her award, may reapply during subsequent 28 application periods up to 2 years after high school graduation. 29 For a student who enlists in the United States Armed Forces 30 immediately after completion of high school, the 2-year 31 eligibility period for his or her initial award and the 5-year 32 renewal period shall begin upon the date of separation from 33 active duty. For a student who is receiving a Florida Bright 34 Futures Scholarship award and discontinues his or her education 35 to enlist in the United States Armed Forces, the remainder of 36 his or her 5-year renewal period shall commence upon the date of 37 separation from active duty. For a student who is unable to 38 accept an initial award immediately after completion of high 39 school due to a full-time religious or service obligation 40 lasting at least 18 months, the 2-year eligibility period for 41 his or her initial award and the 5-year renewal period begin 42 upon the completion of his or her religious or service 43 obligation. The organization sponsoring the full-time religious 44 or service obligation must meet the requirements for nonprofit 45 status under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a 46 federal government service organization, including, but not 47 limited to, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps programs. The 48 obligation must be documented in writing and verified by the 49 entity for which the student completed the obligation on a 50 standardized form prescribed by the department. If a course of 51 study is not completed after 5 academic years, an exception of 1 52 year to the renewal timeframe may be granted due to a verifiable 53 illness or other documented emergency pursuant to s. 54 1009.40(1)(b)4. 55 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.