The Governor Signs SB 374

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The Home Education Foundation Newsletter

Home Educators' Voice At The Capitol - Florida
Providing information and insights to Florida Home Educators June 2017

The Governor signs SB 374
The Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2017  

Are you aware of Bright Futures changes?
Bright Futures Academic Scholarship
Beginning in the fall 2017 the Academic Bright Futures Scholarship will pay 100% for tuition and fees and $300 each fall and spring academic semester or the equivalent for textbooks and college-related expenses.
Bright Futures Academic Scholarships will pay 100% tuition and fees only (no textbook expenses) for the 2018 summer term.

Benacquisto Scholarship Program
Expands this scholarship to include out of state students under certain circumstances.
A public school, private school or home education student who receives recognition as a National Merit Scholar who qualify may receive the Benacquisto Scholarship.
Students must

  • Being a 2016 National Merit® Finalist.
  • Have received:
    (a) a National Merit® $2500 Scholarship,
    (b) a Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship, or
    (c) a College-sponsored Merit Scholarship.

The award is equal to the per-term institutional cost of attendance (COA), minus the sum of the Bright Futures (BF) award and an award associated with the National Merit® (NM) process.  Benacquisto Scholarship Award = COA – (BF + NM)
Read more at:  http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/SSFAD/factsheets/FIS.pdf

Technology Fees
SB 374 authorizes state universities to increase technology fees of up to 5% of the tuition per credit hour.  The fee may not be included in any Bright Futures Scholarship Program except for the Academic Scholarship which would be included in the 100% cost of tuition and fees.

Block Tuition
State universities are authorized to establish a block tuition policy for incoming freshmen in the fall of 2018. 
The policy requires universities to maximize the application of appropriate acceerated credits to minimize unnecessary credits and excess hours.
Read more about block tuition here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-university-block-tuition-20170203-story.html

Appropriations for Bright Futures in SB 2500 is as follows.

Medallion Scholars
4-Year Institutions.......................................................................................... $ 77
2-Year Institutions.......................................................................................... $ 63
Upper-Division Programs at Florida Colleges.................................................. $ 53
Career/Technical Centers............................................................................... $ 39

Gold Seal Vocational Scholars and CAPE Vocational Scholars
Career Certificate Program ............................................................................ $ 39
Applied Technology Diploma Program. ........................................................... $ 39
Technical Degree Education Program............................................................. $ 48

Gold Seal CAPE Vocational Scholars
Bachelor of Science Program with Statewide Articulation Agreement............. $ 48
Florida College System
Bachelor of Applied Science Program.............................................................. $ 48

The additional stipend for Top Scholars shall be $44 per credit hour.

Additional changes made in SB 374:

  • Establishes a State Board of Community Colleges with authority to oversee and coordinate the Florida Community College System, similar to the Board of Governors for the state universities.
  • Twelve citizen members will be appointed by the Governor. (If any home educator desires to be a member of this Board, they should contact the Governor.)
  • State Colleges are renamed to Community Colleges

Read the bill:  http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/374/BillText/er/PDF
 

The Home Education Foundation is supported solely by contributions of Florida home educators.


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