Florida Senate - 2020 SB 132 By Senator Braynon 35-00148-20 2020132__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Sunshine Scholarship Program; 3 creating s. 1009.895, F.S.; establishing the Sunshine 4 Scholarship Program; requiring the Department of 5 Education to administer the program; providing the 6 purpose of the program; defining terms; requiring 7 certain financial aid to be credited to a student’s 8 tuition and fees before the award of a Sunshine 9 Scholarship; providing student eligibility 10 requirements; requiring a student to repay the 11 scholarship amount under certain circumstances; 12 providing that the program only applies to a student’s 13 tuition and fees; providing for funding; providing for 14 rulemaking; providing an effective date. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 Section 1. Section 1009.895, Florida Statutes, is created 19 to read: 20 1009.895 Sunshine Scholarship Program.— 21 (1) There is established the Sunshine Scholarship Program 22 to be administered by the Department of Education. The Sunshine 23 Scholarship Program shall provide funding for 100 percent of 24 tuition and fees for Florida residents pursuing an associate 25 degree or career certificate from an eligible postsecondary 26 institution. For purposes of this section, “eligible 27 postsecondary institution” means a Florida College System 28 institution, a career center operated by a school district, or a 29 charter technical career center. Financial aid received from the 30 Pell Grant, the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program, 31 and the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program shall be 32 credited first to the student’s tuition and fees before the 33 award of a scholarship under this section. 34 (2) To be eligible to receive a scholarship pursuant to 35 this section, a student must: 36 (a) Be a resident for tuition purposes, as defined in s. 37 1009.21. 38 (b) Meet the general requirements for student eligibility 39 as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this 40 section. 41 (c) Have a total annual household income equal to or less 42 than $50,000. 43 (d) Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid 44 (FAFSA) for each academic year in which the scholarship is 45 sought. 46 (e) Be accepted by and enroll in an eligible postsecondary 47 institution. 48 (f) Maintain continuous enrollment as a full-time student 49 while receiving the scholarship. For purposes of this section, 50 “full-time student” means a student enrolled in a minimum of 12 51 semester hours or the clock hour equivalent. 52 (3) Upon completion of his or her program of study, or upon 53 disenrollment from an eligible postsecondary institution, the 54 student must reside and work within this state for the same 55 period of time he or she received funds from the program. If the 56 student does not reside and work within this state for the 57 specified period, the student must repay the total amount 58 awarded, plus an annual interest rate equal to the federal 59 student loan interest rate in effect when the student entered 60 the program. The requirements of this subsection do not apply: 61 (a) When a student enlists in the United States Armed 62 Forces; or 63 (b) While a student is continuously enrolled in a 64 baccalaureate degree program or higher at a Florida 65 postsecondary institution. Once the student graduates or 66 disenrolls from a Florida postsecondary institution, the 67 requirements of this subsection apply. 68 (4) To remain eligible for the program, a student must 69 maintain the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of 70 2.5 on a 4.0 scale while enrolled at an eligible postsecondary 71 institution. 72 (5) The Sunshine Scholarship Program applies only to 73 tuition and fees. Each student is responsible for additional 74 user fees, textbooks, and other college-related expenses. 75 (6) Funding for the program shall be as provided in the 76 General Appropriations Act. 77 (7) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to 78 administer this section. 79 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.