March 23, 2019
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The Florida Statutes

The 2010 Florida Statutes(including Special Session A)

Title XLVIII
K-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1009
EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS, FEES, AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
View Entire Chapter
CHAPTER 1009
CHAPTER 1009
EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS, FEES, AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
(s. 1009.01)
PART II
POSTSECONDARY STUDENT FEES
(ss. 1009.21-1009.29)
PART III
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
(ss. 1009.40-1009.96)
PART IV
PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD PROGRAMS
(ss. 1009.97-1009.984)
PART V
FLORIDA HIGHER EDUCATION LOAN AUTHORITY
(ss. 1009.99-1009.9994)
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
1009.01 Definitions.
1009.01 Definitions.The term:
(1) “Tuition” means the basic fee charged to a student for instruction provided by a public postsecondary educational institution in this state. A charge for any other purpose shall not be included within this fee.
(2) “Out-of-state fee” means the additional fee for instruction provided by a public postsecondary educational institution in this state, which fee is charged to a student who does not qualify for the in-state tuition rate pursuant to s. 1009.21. A charge for any other purpose shall not be included within this fee.
(3) “Tuition differential” means the supplemental fee charged to a student by a public university in this state pursuant to s. 1009.24(16).
History.s. 398, ch. 2002-387; s. 131, ch. 2007-217; s. 1, ch. 2007-225; s. 188, ch. 2008-4; s. 2, ch. 2009-98.
PART II
POSTSECONDARY STUDENT FEES
1009.21 Determination of resident status for tuition purposes.
1009.22 Workforce education postsecondary student fees.
1009.23 1Community college student fees.
1009.24 State university student fees.
1009.25 Fee exemptions.
1009.26 Fee waivers.
1009.265 State employee fee waivers.
1009.27 Deferral of fees.
1009.28 Fees for repeated enrollment in college-preparatory classes.
1009.285 Fees for repeated enrollment in college-credit courses.
1009.286 Additional student payment for hours exceeding baccalaureate degree program completion requirements at state universities.
1009.29 Increased fees for funding financial aid program.
1009.21 Determination of resident status for tuition purposes.Students shall be classified as residents or nonresidents for the purpose of assessing tuition in postsecondary educational programs offered by charter technical career centers or career centers operated by school districts, in 1community colleges, and in state universities.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Dependent child” means any person, whether or not living with his or her parent, who is eligible to be claimed by his or her parent as a dependent under the federal income tax code.
(b) “Initial enrollment” means the first day of class at an institution of higher education.
(c) “Institution of higher education” means any charter technical career center as defined in s. 1002.34, career center operated by a school district as defined in s. 1001.44, 1community college as defined in s. 1000.21(3), or state university as defined in s. 1000.21(6).
(d) “Legal resident” or “resident” means a person who has maintained his or her residence in this state for the preceding year, has purchased a home which is occupied by him or her as his or her residence, or has established a domicile in this state pursuant to s. 222.17.
(e) “Nonresident for tuition purposes” means a person who does not qualify for the in-state tuition rate.
(f) “Parent” means the natural or adoptive parent or legal guardian of a dependent child.
(g) “Resident for tuition purposes” means a person who qualifies as provided in this section for the in-state tuition rate.
(2)(a) To qualify as a resident for tuition purposes:
1. A person or, if that person is a dependent child, his or her parent or parents must have established legal residence in this state and must have maintained legal residence in this state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to his or her initial enrollment in an institution of higher education.
2. Every applicant for admission to an institution of higher education shall be required to make a statement as to his or her length of residence in the state and, further, shall establish that his or her presence or, if the applicant is a dependent child, the presence of his or her parent or parents in the state currently is, and during the requisite 12-month qualifying period was, for the purpose of maintaining a bona fide domicile, rather than for the purpose of maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in an institution of higher education.
(b) However, with respect to a dependent child living with an adult relative other than the child’s parent, such child may qualify as a resident for tuition purposes if the adult relative is a legal resident who has maintained legal residence in this state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the child’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education, provided the child has resided continuously with such relative for the 5 years immediately prior to the child’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education, during which time the adult relative has exercised day-to-day care, supervision, and control of the child.
(c) The legal residence of a dependent child whose parents are divorced, separated, or otherwise living apart will be deemed to be this state if either parent is a legal resident of this state, regardless of which parent is entitled to claim, and does in fact claim, the minor as a dependent pursuant to federal individual income tax provisions.
(3)(a) An individual shall not be classified as a resident for tuition purposes and, thus, shall not be eligible to receive the in-state tuition rate until he or she has provided such evidence related to legal residence and its duration or, if that individual is a dependent child, evidence of his or her parent’s legal residence and its duration, as may be required by law and by officials of the institution of higher education from which he or she seeks the in-state tuition rate.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, evidence of legal residence and its duration shall include clear and convincing documentation that residency in this state was for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to a student’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education.
(c) Each institution of higher education shall affirmatively determine that an applicant who has been granted admission to that institution as a Florida resident meets the residency requirements of this section at the time of initial enrollment. The residency determination must be documented by the submission of written or electronic verification that includes two or more of the documents identified in this paragraph. No single piece of evidence shall be conclusive.
1. The documents must include at least one of the following:
a. A Florida voter’s registration card.
b. A Florida driver’s license.
c. A State of Florida identification card.
d. A Florida vehicle registration.
e. Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the individual or by the individual’s parent if the individual is a dependent child.
f. Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida.
g. Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years if the Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12 months.
h. Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period.
2. The documents may include one or more of the following:
a. A declaration of domicile in Florida.
b. A Florida professional or occupational license.
c. Florida incorporation.
d. A document evidencing family ties in Florida.
e. Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization.
f. Any other documentation that supports the student’s request for resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.
(4) With respect to a dependent child, the legal residence of the dependent child’s parent or parents is prima facie evidence of the dependent child’s legal residence, which evidence may be reinforced or rebutted, relative to the age and general circumstances of the dependent child, by the other evidence of legal residence required of or presented by the dependent child. However, the legal residence of a dependent child’s parent or parents who are domiciled outside this state is not prima facie evidence of the dependent child’s legal residence if that dependent child has lived in this state for 5 consecutive years prior to enrolling or reregistering at the institution of higher education at which resident status for tuition purposes is sought.
(5) In making a domiciliary determination related to the classification of a person as a resident or nonresident for tuition purposes, the domicile of a married person, irrespective of sex, shall be determined, as in the case of an unmarried person, by reference to all relevant evidence of domiciliary intent. For the purposes of this section:
(a) A person shall not be precluded from establishing or maintaining legal residence in this state and subsequently qualifying or continuing to qualify as a resident for tuition purposes solely by reason of marriage to a person domiciled outside this state, even when that person’s spouse continues to be domiciled outside of this state, provided such person maintains his or her legal residence in this state.
(b) A person shall not be deemed to have established or maintained a legal residence in this state and subsequently to have qualified or continued to qualify as a resident for tuition purposes solely by reason of marriage to a person domiciled in this state.
(c) In determining the domicile of a married person, irrespective of sex, the fact of the marriage and the place of domicile of such person’s spouse shall be deemed relevant evidence to be considered in ascertaining domiciliary intent.
(6)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who is classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes if that person or, if that person is a dependent child, his or her parent presents clear and convincing documentation that supports permanent legal residency in this state for at least 12 consecutive months rather than temporary residency for the purpose of pursuing an education, such as documentation of full-time permanent employment for the prior 12 months or the purchase of a home in this state and residence therein for the prior 12 months while not enrolled in an institution of higher education.
(b) If a person who is a dependent child and his or her parent move to this state while such child is a high school student and the child graduates from a high school in this state, the child may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes when the parent submits evidence that the parent qualifies for permanent residency.
(c) If a person who is a dependent child and his or her parent move to this state after such child graduates from high school, the child may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes after the parent submits evidence that he or she has established legal residence in the state and has maintained legal residence in the state for at least 12 consecutive months.
(d) A person who is classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes and who marries a legal resident of the state or marries a person who becomes a legal resident of the state may, upon becoming a legal resident of the state, become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes upon submitting evidence of his or her own legal residency in the state, evidence of his or her marriage to a person who is a legal resident of the state, and evidence of the spouse’s legal residence in the state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application for reclassification.
(7) A person shall not lose his or her resident status for tuition purposes solely by reason of serving, or, if such person is a dependent child, by reason of his or her parent’s or parents’ serving, in the Armed Forces outside this state.
(8) A person who has been properly classified as a resident for tuition purposes but who, while enrolled in an institution of higher education in this state, loses his or her resident tuition status because the person or, if he or she is a dependent child, the person’s parent or parents establish domicile or legal residence elsewhere shall continue to enjoy the in-state tuition rate for a statutory grace period, which period shall be measured from the date on which the circumstances arose that culminated in the loss of resident tuition status and shall continue for 12 months. However, if the 12-month grace period ends during a semester or academic term for which such former resident is enrolled, such grace period shall be extended to the end of that semester or academic term.
(9) Any person who ceases to be enrolled at or who graduates from an institution of higher education while classified as a resident for tuition purposes and who subsequently abandons his or her domicile in this state shall be permitted to reenroll at an institution of higher education in this state as a resident for tuition purposes without the necessity of meeting the 12-month durational requirement of this section if that person has reestablished his or her domicile in this state within 12 months of such abandonment and continuously maintains the reestablished domicile during the period of enrollment. The benefit of this subsection shall not be accorded more than once to any one person.
(10) The following persons shall be classified as residents for tuition purposes:
(a) Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States residing or stationed in this state, their spouses, and dependent children, and active drilling members of the Florida National Guard.
(b) Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States and their spouses and dependents attending a public 1community college or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where they are stationed, if such military establishment is within a county contiguous to Florida.
(c) United States citizens living on the Isthmus of Panama, who have completed 12 consecutive months of college work at the Florida State University Panama Canal Branch, and their spouses and dependent children.
(d) Full-time instructional and administrative personnel employed by state public schools and institutions of higher education and their spouses and dependent children.
(e) Students from Latin America and the Caribbean who receive scholarships from the federal or state government. Any student classified pursuant to this paragraph shall attend, on a full-time basis, a Florida institution of higher education.
(f) Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market graduate students attending Florida’s state universities.
(g) Full-time employees of state agencies or political subdivisions of the state when the student fees are paid by the state agency or political subdivision for the purpose of job-related law enforcement or corrections training.
(h) McKnight Doctoral Fellows and Finalists who are United States citizens.
(i) United States citizens living outside the United States who are teaching at a Department of Defense Dependent School or in an American International School and who enroll in a graduate level education program which leads to a Florida teaching certificate.
(j) Active duty members of the Canadian military residing or stationed in this state under the North American Air Defense (NORAD) agreement, and their spouses and dependent children, attending a 1community college or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where they are stationed.
(k) Active duty members of a foreign nation’s military who are serving as liaison officers and are residing or stationed in this state, and their spouses and dependent children, attending a 1community college or state university within 50 miles of the military establishment where the foreign liaison officer is stationed.
(11) Once a student has been classified as a resident for tuition purposes, an institution of higher education to which the student transfers is not required to reevaluate the classification unless inconsistent information suggests that an erroneous classification was made or the student’s situation has changed. However, the student must have attended the institution making the initial classification within the prior 12 months, and the residency classification must be noted on the student’s transcript. The Higher Education Coordinating Council shall consider issues related to residency determinations and make recommendations relating to efficiency and effectiveness of current law.
(12) Each institution of higher education shall establish a residency appeal committee comprised of at least three members to consider student appeals of residency determinations, in accordance with the institution’s official appeal process. The residency appeal committee must render to the student the final residency determination in writing. The institution must advise the student of the reasons for the determination.
(13) The State Board of Education and the Board of Governors shall adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 2, ch. 2002-270; s. 400, ch. 2002-387; s. 14, ch. 2004-230; s. 132, ch. 2007-217; s. 7, ch. 2009-60; s. 2, ch. 2009-123; s. 10, ch. 2010-155.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.22 Workforce education postsecondary student fees.
(1) This section applies to students enrolled in workforce education programs who are reported for funding, except that college credit fees for the 1community colleges are governed by s. 1009.23.
(2) All students shall be charged fees except students who are exempt from fees or students whose fees are waived.
(3)(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, fees for students who are nonresidents for tuition purposes must offset the full cost of instruction. Fee-nonexempt students enrolled in vocational-preparatory instruction shall be charged fees equal to the fees charged for certificate career education instruction. Each 1community college that conducts college-preparatory and vocational-preparatory instruction in the same class section may charge a single fee for both types of instruction.
(b) Fees for continuing workforce education shall be locally determined by the district school board or 1community college board. Expenditures for the continuing workforce education program provided by the 1community college or school district must be fully supported by fees. Enrollments in continuing workforce education courses may not be counted for purposes of funding full-time equivalent enrollment.
(c) Effective January 1, 2008, standard tuition shall be $1.67 per contact hour for programs leading to a career certificate or an applied technology diploma and 83 cents for adult general education programs. The out-of-state fee per contact hour shall be three times the standard tuition per contact hour.
(d) Beginning with the 2008-2009 fiscal year and each year thereafter, the tuition and the out-of-state fee per contact hour shall increase at the beginning of each fall semester at a rate equal to inflation, unless otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act. The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall report the rate of inflation to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Governor, and the State Board of Education each year prior to March 1. For purposes of this paragraph, the rate of inflation shall be defined as the rate of the 12-month percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, All Items, or successor reports as reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, or its successor for December of the previous year. In the event the percentage change is negative, the tuition and out-of-state fee shall remain at the same level as the prior fiscal year.
(e) Each district school board and each 1community college board of trustees may adopt tuition and out-of-state fees that may vary no more than 5 percent below and 5 percent above the combined total of the standard tuition and out-of-state fees established in paragraph (c).
(f) The maximum increase in resident tuition for any school district or 1community college during the 2007-2008 fiscal year shall be 5 percent over the tuition charged during the 2006-2007 fiscal year.
(g) The State Board of Education may adopt, by rule, the definitions and procedures that district school boards and 1community college boards of trustees shall use in the calculation of cost borne by students.
(4) A district school board or 1community college board that has a service area that borders another state may implement a plan for a differential out-of-state fee.
(5) Each district school board and 1community college board of trustees may establish a separate fee for financial aid purposes in an additional amount of up to 10 percent of the student fees collected for workforce education programs. All fees collected shall be deposited into a separate workforce education student financial aid fee trust fund of the school district or 1community college to support students enrolled in workforce education programs. Any undisbursed balance remaining in the trust fund and interest income accruing to investments from the trust fund shall increase the total funds available for distribution to workforce education students. Awards shall be based on student financial need and distributed in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis approved by the State Board of Education. Fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be allocated in an expeditious manner.
(6)(a) Each district school board and 1community college board of trustees may establish a separate fee for capital improvements, technology enhancements, or equipping buildings which may not exceed 5 percent of tuition for resident students or 5 percent of tuition and out-of-state fees for nonresident students. Funds collected by 1community colleges through the fee may be bonded only for the purpose of financing or refinancing new construction and equipment, renovation, or remodeling of educational facilities. The fee shall be collected as a component part of the tuition and fees, paid into a separate account, and expended only to construct and equip, maintain, improve, or enhance the certificate career education or adult education facilities of the school district or 1community college. Projects funded through the use of the capital improvement fee must meet the survey and construction requirements of chapter 1013. Pursuant to s. 216.0158, each district school board and 1community college board of trustees shall identify each project, including maintenance projects, proposed to be funded in whole or in part by such fee. Capital improvement fee revenues may be pledged by a board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source to the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, with an overall term of not more than 7 years, including renewals, extensions, and refundings, and revenue bonds with a term not exceeding 20 years and not exceeding the useful life of the asset being financed, only for the new construction and equipment, renovation, or remodeling of educational facilities. Bonds authorized pursuant to this paragraph shall be requested by the 1community college board of trustees and shall be issued by the Division of Bond Finance in compliance with s. 11(d), Art. VII of the State Constitution and the State Bond Act. The Division of Bond Finance may pledge fees collected by one or more 1community colleges to secure such bonds. Any project included in the approved educational plant survey pursuant to chapter 1013 is approved pursuant to s. 11(f), Art. VII of the State Constitution. Bonds issued pursuant to the State Bond Act may be validated in the manner provided by chapter 75. The complaint for such validation shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the state attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending. A maximum of 15 cents per credit hour may be allocated from the capital improvement fee for child care centers conducted by the district school board or 1community college board of trustees. The use of capital improvement fees for such purpose shall be subordinate to the payment of any bonds secured by the fees.
(b) The state does hereby covenant with the holders of the bonds issued under paragraph (a) that it will not take any action that will materially and adversely affect the rights of such holders so long as the bonds authorized by paragraph (a) are outstanding.
(7) Each district school board and 1community college board of trustees is authorized to establish a separate fee for technology, not to exceed 5 percent of tuition per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for resident students and not to exceed 5 percent of tuition and the out-of-state fee per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for nonresident students. Revenues generated from the technology fee shall be used to enhance instructional technology resources for students and faculty and shall not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. Fifty percent of technology fee revenues may be pledged by a 1community college board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source for the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, not to exceed the useful life of the asset being financed. Revenues generated from the technology fee may not be bonded.
(8) Each district school board and 1community college board of trustees is authorized to establish specific fees for workforce development instruction not reported for state funding purposes or for workforce development instruction not reported as state funded full-time equivalent students. District school boards and 1community college boards of trustees are not required to charge any other fee specified in this section for this type of instruction.
(9) 1Community college boards of trustees and district school boards are not authorized to charge students enrolled in workforce development programs any fee that is not specifically authorized by statute. In addition to tuition, out-of-state, financial aid, capital improvement, and technology fees, as authorized in this section, 1community college boards of trustees and district school boards are authorized to establish fee schedules for the following user fees and fines: laboratory fees; parking fees and fines; library fees and fines; fees and fines relating to facilities and equipment use or damage; access or identification card fees; duplicating, photocopying, binding, or microfilming fees; standardized testing fees; diploma replacement fees; transcript fees; application fees; graduation fees; and late fees related to registration and payment. Such user fees and fines shall not exceed the cost of the services provided and shall only be charged to persons receiving the service. Parking fee revenues may be pledged by a 1community college board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source for the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, with an overall term of not more than 7 years, including renewals, extensions, and refundings, and revenue bonds with a term not exceeding 20 years and not exceeding the useful life of the asset being financed. 1Community colleges shall use the services of the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration to issue any revenue bonds authorized by this subsection. Any such bonds issued by the Division of Bond Finance shall be in compliance with the provisions of the State Bond Act. Bonds issued pursuant to the State Bond Act may be validated in the manner established in chapter 75. The complaint for such validation shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the state attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending.
(10) Each school district and 1community college may assess a service charge for the payment of tuition and fees in installments. Such service charge must be approved by the district school board or 1community college board of trustees.
(11) Any school district or 1community college that reports students who have not paid fees in an approved manner in calculations of full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes shall be penalized at a rate equal to 2 times the value of such enrollments. Such penalty shall be charged against the following year’s allocation from workforce education funds or the 1Community College Program Fund and shall revert to the General Revenue Fund. The State Board of Education shall specify, as necessary in rule, approved methods of student fee payment. Such methods must include, but need not be limited to, student fee payment; payment through federal, state, or institutional financial aid; and employer fee payments.
(12) Each school district and 1community college shall report only those students who have actually enrolled in instruction provided or supervised by instructional personnel under contract with the district or 1community college in calculations of actual full-time enrollments for state funding purposes. A student who has been exempted from taking a course or who has been granted academic or technical credit through means other than actual coursework completed at the granting institution may not be calculated for enrollment in the course from which the student has been exempted or for which the student has been granted credit. School districts and 1community colleges that report enrollments in violation of this subsection shall be penalized at a rate equal to 2 times the value of such enrollments. Such penalty shall be charged against the following year’s allocation from workforce education funds and shall revert to the General Revenue Fund.
History.s. 401, ch. 2002-387; s. 8, ch. 2004-357; s. 1, ch. 2007-329; ss. 1, 2, ch. 2008-109; s. 3, ch. 2008-163; s. 11, ch. 2010-155.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.23 1Community college student fees.
(1) Unless otherwise provided, this section applies only to fees charged for college credit instruction leading to an associate in arts degree, an associate in applied science degree, an associate in science degree, or a baccalaureate degree authorized pursuant to s. 1007.33, for noncollege credit college-preparatory courses defined in s. 1004.02, and for educator preparation institute programs defined in s. 1004.85.
(2)(a) All students shall be charged fees except students who are exempt from fees or students whose fees are waived.
(b) Tuition and out-of-state fees for upper-division courses must reflect the fact that the 1community college has a less expensive cost structure than that of a state university. Therefore, the board of trustees shall establish tuition and out-of-state fees for upper-division courses in baccalaureate degree programs approved pursuant to s. 1007.33 consistent with law and proviso language in the General Appropriations Act. However, the board of trustees may not vary tuition and out-of-state fees as provided in subsection (4).
(3)(a) Effective January 1, 2008, for advanced and professional, postsecondary vocational, college preparatory, and educator preparation institute programs, the following tuition and fee rates shall apply:
1. The standard tuition shall be $51.35 per credit hour for students who are residents for tuition purposes.
2. The standard tuition shall be $51.35 per credit hour and the out-of-state fee shall be $154.14 per credit hour for students who are nonresidents for tuition purposes.
(b) Effective January 1, 2008, for baccalaureate degree programs, the following tuition and fee rates shall apply:
1. The tuition shall be $65.47 per credit hour for students who are residents for tuition purposes.
2. The sum of the tuition and the out-of-state fee per credit hour for students who are nonresidents for tuition purposes shall be no more than 85 percent of the sum of the tuition and the out-of-state fee at the state university nearest the 1community college.
(c) Beginning with the 2008-2009 fiscal year and each year thereafter, the tuition and the out-of-state fee shall increase at the beginning of each fall semester at a rate equal to inflation, unless otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act. The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall report the rate of inflation to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Governor, and the State Board of Education each year prior to March 1. For purposes of this paragraph, the rate of inflation shall be defined as the rate of the 12-month percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, All Items, or successor reports as reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, or its successor for December of the previous year. In the event the percentage change is negative, the tuition and the out-of-state fee per credit hour shall remain at the same levels as the prior fiscal year.
(4) Each 1community college board of trustees shall establish tuition and out-of-state fees, which may vary no more than 10 percent below and 15 percent above the combined total of the standard tuition and fees established in subsection (3).
(5) Except as otherwise provided in law, the sum of nonresident student tuition and out-of-state fees must be sufficient to defray the full cost of each program.
(6) A 1community college board of trustees that has a service area that borders another state may implement a plan for a differential out-of-state fee.
(7) Each 1community college board of trustees may establish a separate activity and service fee not to exceed 10 percent of the tuition fee, according to rules of the State Board of Education. The student activity and service fee shall be collected as a component part of the tuition and fees. The student activity and service fees shall be paid into a student activity and service fund at the 1community college and shall be expended for lawful purposes to benefit the student body in general. These purposes include, but are not limited to, student publications and grants to duly recognized student organizations, the membership of which is open to all students at the 1community college without regard to race, sex, or religion. No 1community college shall be required to lower any activity and service fee approved by the board of trustees of the 1community college and in effect prior to October 26, 2007, in order to comply with the provisions of this subsection.
(8)(a) Each 1community college board of trustees is authorized to establish a separate fee for financial aid purposes in an additional amount up to, but not to exceed, 5 percent of the total student tuition or out-of-state fees collected. Each 1community college board of trustees may collect up to an additional 2 percent if the amount generated by the total financial aid fee is less than $500,000. If the amount generated is less than $500,000, a 1community college that charges tuition and out-of-state fees at least equal to the average fees established by rule may transfer from the general current fund to the scholarship fund an amount equal to the difference between $500,000 and the amount generated by the total financial aid fee assessment. No other transfer from the general current fund to the loan, endowment, or scholarship fund, by whatever name known, is authorized.
(b) All funds collected under this program shall be placed in the loan and endowment fund or scholarship fund of the college, by whatever name known. Such funds shall be disbursed to students as quickly as possible. An amount not greater than 40 percent of the fees collected in a fiscal year may be carried forward unexpended to the following fiscal year. However, funds collected prior to July 1, 1989, and placed in an endowment fund may not be considered part of the balance of funds carried forward unexpended to the following fiscal year.
(c) Up to 25 percent or $600,000, whichever is greater, of the financial aid fees collected may be used to assist students who demonstrate academic merit; who participate in athletics, public service, cultural arts, and other extracurricular programs as determined by the institution; or who are identified as members of a targeted gender or ethnic minority population. The financial aid fee revenues allocated for athletic scholarships and fee exemptions provided pursuant to s. 1009.25(3) for athletes shall be distributed equitably as required by s. 1000.05(3)(d). A minimum of 75 percent of the balance of these funds for new awards shall be used to provide financial aid based on absolute need, and the remainder of the funds shall be used for academic merit purposes and other purposes approved by the boards of trustees. Such other purposes shall include the payment of child care fees for students with financial need. The State Board of Education shall develop criteria for making financial aid awards. Each college shall report annually to the Department of Education on the revenue collected pursuant to this paragraph, the amount carried forward, the criteria used to make awards, the amount and number of awards for each criterion, and a delineation of the distribution of such awards. The report shall include an assessment by category of the financial need of every student who receives an award, regardless of the purpose for which the award is received. Awards which are based on financial need shall be distributed in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis approved by the State Board of Education. An award for academic merit shall require a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent for both initial receipt of the award and renewal of the award.
(d) These funds may not be used for direct or indirect administrative purposes or salaries.
(9) Any 1community college that reports students who have not paid fees in an approved manner in calculations of full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes shall be penalized at a rate equal to two times the value of such enrollments. Such penalty shall be charged against the following year’s allocation from the 1Community College Program Fund and shall revert to the General Revenue Fund.
(10) Each 1community college board of trustees is authorized to establish a separate fee for technology, which may not exceed 5 percent of tuition per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for resident students and may not exceed 5 percent of tuition and the out-of-state fee per credit hour or credit-hour equivalent for nonresident students. Revenues generated from the technology fee shall be used to enhance instructional technology resources for students and faculty. The technology fee may apply to both college credit and college-preparatory instruction and shall not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. Fifty percent of technology fee revenues may be pledged by a 1community college board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source for the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, not to exceed the useful life of the asset being financed. Revenues generated from the technology fee may not be bonded.
(11)(a) Each 1community college board of trustees may establish a separate fee for capital improvements, technology enhancements, or equipping student buildings which may not exceed 10 percent of tuition for resident students or 10 percent of the sum of tuition and out-of-state fees for nonresident students. The fee for resident students shall be limited to an increase of $2 per credit hour over the prior year. Funds collected by 1community colleges through the fee may be bonded only as provided in this subsection for the purpose of financing or refinancing new construction and equipment, renovation, or remodeling of educational facilities. The fee shall be collected as a component part of the tuition and fees, paid into a separate account, and expended only to construct and equip, maintain, improve, or enhance the educational facilities of the 1community college. Projects funded through the use of the capital improvement fee shall meet the survey and construction requirements of chapter 1013. Pursuant to s. 216.0158, each 1community college shall identify each project, including maintenance projects, proposed to be funded in whole or in part by such fee.
(b) Capital improvement fee revenues may be pledged by a board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source to the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, with an overall term of not more than 7 years, including renewals, extensions, and refundings, and revenue bonds with a term not exceeding 20 annual maturities and not exceeding the useful life of the asset being financed, only for financing or refinancing of the new construction and equipment, renovation, or remodeling of educational facilities. Bonds authorized pursuant to this subsection shall be requested by the 1community college board of trustees and shall be issued by the Division of Bond Finance in compliance with s. 11(d), Art. VII of the State Constitution and the State Bond Act. The Division of Bond Finance may pledge fees collected by one or more 1community colleges to secure such bonds. Any project included in the approved educational plant survey pursuant to chapter 1013 is approved pursuant to s. 11(f), Art. VII of the State Constitution.
(c) Bonds issued pursuant to this subsection may be validated in the manner provided by chapter 75. Only the initial series of bonds is required to be validated. The complaint for such validation shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the state attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending.
(d) A maximum of 15 percent may be allocated from the capital improvement fee for child care centers conducted by the 1community college. The use of capital improvement fees for such purpose shall be subordinate to the payment of any bonds secured by the fees.
(e) The state does hereby covenant with the holders of the bonds issued under this subsection that it will not take any action that will materially and adversely affect the rights of such holders so long as the bonds authorized by this subsection are outstanding.
(12)(a) In addition to tuition, out-of-state, financial aid, capital improvement, student activity and service, and technology fees authorized in this section, each 1community college board of trustees is authorized to establish fee schedules for the following user fees and fines: laboratory fees, which do not apply to a distance learning course; parking fees and fines; library fees and fines; fees and fines relating to facilities and equipment use or damage; access or identification card fees; duplicating, photocopying, binding, or microfilming fees; standardized testing fees; diploma replacement fees; transcript fees; application fees; graduation fees; and late fees related to registration and payment. Such user fees and fines shall not exceed the cost of the services provided and shall only be charged to persons receiving the service. A 1community college may not charge any fee except as authorized by law. Parking fee revenues may be pledged by a 1community college board of trustees as a dedicated revenue source for the repayment of debt, including lease-purchase agreements, with an overall term of not more than 7 years, including renewals, extensions, and refundings, and revenue bonds with a term not exceeding 20 years and not exceeding the useful life of the asset being financed. 1Community colleges shall use the services of the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration to issue any revenue bonds authorized by this subsection. Any such bonds issued by the Division of Bond Finance shall be in compliance with the provisions of the State Bond Act. Bonds issued pursuant to the State Bond Act may be validated in the manner established in chapter 75. The complaint for such validation shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required to be published by s. 75.06 shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the state attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending.
(b) The State Board of Education may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this subsection.
(13) The State Board of Education shall specify, as necessary, by rule, approved methods of student fee payment. Such methods shall include, but not be limited to, student fee payment; payment through federal, state, or institutional financial aid; and employer fee payments.
(14) Each 1community college board of trustees shall report only those students who have actually enrolled in instruction provided or supervised by instructional personnel under contract with the 1community college in calculations of actual full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes. No student who has been exempted from taking a course or who has been granted academic or career credit through means other than actual coursework completed at the granting institution shall be calculated for enrollment in the course from which he or she has been exempted or granted credit. 1Community colleges that report enrollments in violation of this subsection shall be penalized at a rate equal to two times the value of such enrollments. Such penalty shall be charged against the following year’s allocation from the 1Community College Program Fund and shall revert to the General Revenue Fund.
(15) Each 1community college may assess a service charge for the payment of tuition and fees in installments and a convenience fee for the processing of automated or online credit card payments. However, the amount of the convenience fee may not exceed the total cost charged by the credit card company to the 1community college. Such service charge or convenience fee must be approved by the 1community college board of trustees.
(16)(a) Each 1community college may assess a student who enrolls in a course listed in the Florida Higher Education Distance Learning Catalog, established pursuant to s. 1004.09, a per-credit-hour distance learning course user fee. For purposes of assessing this fee, a distance learning course is a course in which at least 80 percent of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time or space, or both.
(b) The amount of the distance learning course user fee may not exceed the additional costs of the services provided which are attributable to the development and delivery of the distance learning course. If a 1community college assesses the distance learning course user fee, the institution may not assess any other fees to cover the additional costs. By September 1 of each year, each board of trustees shall report to the Division of Florida Colleges the total amount of revenue generated by the distance learning course user fee for the prior fiscal year and how the revenue was expended.
(c) The link for the catalog must be prominently displayed within the advising and distance learning sections of the institution’s website, using a graphic and description provided by the Florida Distance Learning Consortium, to inform students of the catalog.
(17) The State Board of Education shall adopt a rule specifying the definitions and procedures to be used in the calculation of the percentage of cost paid by students. The rule must provide for the calculation of the full cost of educational programs based on the allocation of all funds provided through the general current fund to programs of instruction, and other activities as provided in the annual expenditure analysis. The rule shall be developed in consultation with the Legislature.
History.s. 402, ch. 2002-387; s. 6, ch. 2004-271; s. 117, ch. 2004-357; s. 1, ch. 2005-247; s. 8, ch. 2007-246; s. 3, ch. 2007-329; ss. 3, 4, ch. 2008-109; s. 3, ch. 2008-148; s. 4, ch. 2008-163; s. 8, ch. 2009-60; s. 2, ch. 2009-92; s. 13, ch. 2009-228; s. 4, ch. 2010-219.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.24 State university student fees.
(1) This section applies to students enrolled in college credit programs at state universities.
(2) All students shall be charged fees except students who are exempt from fees or students whose fees are waived.
(3) All moneys from tuition and fees shall be deposited pursuant to s. 1011.42.
(4)(a) Effective January 1, 2008, the resident undergraduate tuition for lower-level and upper-level coursework shall be $77.39 per credit hour.
(b) Beginning with the 2008-2009 fiscal year and each year thereafter, the resident undergraduate tuition per credit hour shall increase at the beginning of each fall semester at a rate equal to inflation, unless otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act. The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall report the rate of inflation to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Governor, and the Board of Governors each year prior to March 1. For purposes of this paragraph, the rate of inflation shall be defined as the rate of the 12-month percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, All Items, or successor reports as reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, or its successor for December of the previous year. In the event the percentage change is negative, the resident undergraduate tuition shall remain at the same level as the prior fiscal year.
(c) The Board of Governors, or the board’s designee, may establish tuition for graduate and professional programs, and out-of-state fees for all programs. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the sum of tuition and out-of-state fees assessed to nonresident students must be sufficient to offset the full instructional cost of serving such students. However, adjustments to out-of-state fees or tuition for graduate programs and professional programs may not exceed 15 percent in any year.
(d) The Board of Governors may consider and approve flexible tuition policies as requested by a university board of trustees in accordance with the provisions of subsection (15) only to the extent such policies are in alignment with the mission of the university and do not increase the state’s fiscal liability or obligations, including, but not limited to, any fiscal liability or obligation for programs authorized under ss. 1009.53-1009.538 and ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
(e) The sum of the activity and service, health, and athletic fees a student is required to pay to register for a course shall not exceed 40 percent of the tuition established in law or in the General Appropriations Act. No university shall be required to lower any fee in effect on the effective date of this act in order to comply with this subsection. Within the 40 percent cap, universities may not increase the aggregate sum of activity and service, health, and athletic fees more than 5 percent per year, or the same percentage increase in tuition authorized under paragraph (b), whichever is greater, unless specifically authorized in law or in the General Appropriations Act. A university may increase its athletic fee to defray the costs associated with changing National Collegiate Athletic Association divisions. Any such increase in the athletic fee may exceed both the 40 percent cap and the 5 percent cap imposed by this subsection. Any such increase must be approved by the athletic fee committee in the process outlined in subsection (12) and cannot exceed $2 per credit hour. Notwithstanding the provisions of ss. 1009.534, 1009.535, and 1009.536, that portion of any increase in an athletic fee pursuant to this subsection that causes the sum of the activity and service, health, and athletic fees to exceed the 40 percent cap or the annual increase in such fees to exceed the 5 percent cap shall not be included in calculating the amount a student receives for a Florida Academic Scholars award, a Florida Medallion Scholars award, or a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award. Notwithstanding this paragraph and subject to approval by the board of trustees, each state university is authorized to exceed the 5-percent cap on the annual increase to the aggregate sum of activity and service, health, and athletic fees for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Any such increase shall not exceed 15 percent or the amount required to reach the 2009-2010 fiscal year statewide average for the aggregate sum of activity and service, health, and athletic fees at the main campuses, whichever is greater. The aggregate sum of the activity and service, health, and athletic fees shall not exceed 40 percent of tuition. Any increase in the activity and service fee, health fee, or athletic fee must be approved by the appropriate fee committee pursuant to subsection (10), subsection (11), or subsection (12).
(f) This subsection does not prohibit a university from increasing or assessing optional fees related to specific activities if payment of such fees is not required as a part of registration for courses.
(5) A university may implement a differential out-of-state fee in accordance with regulations developed by the Board of Governors for the following:
(a) A student from another state that borders the service area of the university.
(b) A graduate student who has been determined to be a nonresident for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21 and has a .25 full-time equivalent appointment or greater as a graduate assistant, graduate research assistant, graduate teaching assistant, graduate research associate, or graduate teaching associate.
(c) A graduate student who has been determined to be a nonresident for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21 and is receiving a full fellowship.
(6) Students who are enrolled in Programs in Medical Sciences are considered graduate students for the purpose of enrollment and student fees.
(7) A university board of trustees is authorized to collect for financial aid purposes an amount not to exceed 5 percent of the tuition and out-of-state fee. The revenues from fees are to remain at each campus and replace existing financial aid fees. Such funds shall be disbursed to students as quickly as possible. A minimum of 75 percent of funds from the student financial aid fee shall be used to provide financial aid based on absolute need. The Board of Governors shall develop criteria for making financial aid awards. Each university shall report annually to the Board of Governors and the Department of Education on the revenue collected pursuant to this subsection, the amount carried forward, the criteria used to make awards, the amount and number of awards for each criterion, and a delineation of the distribution of such awards. The report shall include an assessment by category of the financial need of every student who receives an award, regardless of the purpose for which the award is received. Awards which are based on financial need shall be distributed in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis approved by the Board of Governors. An award for academic merit shall require a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent for both initial receipt of the award and renewal of the award.
(8) The Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee is established as $2.44 per credit hour per semester. The building fee is established as $2.32 per credit hour per semester.
(9) Each university board of trustees is authorized to establish separate activity and service, health, and athletic fees. When duly established, the fees shall be collected as component parts of tuition and fees and shall be retained by the university and paid into the separate activity and service, health, and athletic funds. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a university may transfer revenues derived from the fees authorized pursuant to this subsection to a university direct-support organization of the university to be used only for the purpose of paying and securing debt on projects approved pursuant to s. 1010.62 and pursuant to a written agreement approved by the Board of Governors. The amount transferred may not exceed the amount authorized for annual debt service pursuant to s. 1010.62.
(10)(a) Each university board of trustees shall establish a student activity and service fee on the main campus of the university. The university board may also establish a student activity and service fee on any branch campus or center. Any subsequent increase in the activity and service fee must be recommended by an activity and service fee committee, at least one-half of whom are students appointed by the student body president. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the university president. A chairperson, appointed jointly by the university president and the student body president, shall vote only in the case of a tie. The recommendations of the committee shall take effect only after approval by the university president, after consultation with the student body president, with final approval by the university board of trustees. An increase in the activity and service fee may occur only once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term. The Board of Governors is responsible for adopting the regulations and timetables necessary to implement this fee.
(b) The student activity and service fees shall be expended for lawful purposes to benefit the student body in general. This shall include, but shall not be limited to, student publications and grants to duly recognized student organizations, the membership of which is open to all students at the university without regard to race, sex, or religion. The fund may not benefit activities for which an admission fee is charged to students, except for student-government-association-sponsored concerts. The allocation and expenditure of the fund shall be determined by the student government association of the university, except that the president of the university may veto any line item or portion thereof within the budget when submitted by the student government association legislative body. The university president shall have 15 school days from the date of presentation of the budget to act on the allocation and expenditure recommendations, which shall be deemed approved if no action is taken within the 15 school days. If any line item or portion thereof within the budget is vetoed, the student government association legislative body shall within 15 school days make new budget recommendations for expenditure of the vetoed portion of the fund. If the university president vetoes any line item or portion thereof within the new budget revisions, the university president may reallocate by line item that vetoed portion to bond obligations guaranteed by activity and service fees. Unexpended funds and undisbursed funds remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried over and remain in the student activity and service fund and be available for allocation and expenditure during the next fiscal year.
(11) Each university board of trustees shall establish a student health fee on the main campus of the university. The university board of trustees may also establish a student health fee on any branch campus or center. Any subsequent increase in the health fee must be recommended by a health committee, at least one-half of whom are students appointed by the student body president. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the university president. A chairperson, appointed jointly by the university president and the student body president, shall vote only in the case of a tie. The recommendations of the committee shall take effect only after approval by the university president, after consultation with the student body president, with final approval by the university board of trustees. An increase in the health fee may occur only once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term. The Board of Governors is responsible for adopting the regulations and timetables necessary to implement this fee.
(12) Each university board of trustees shall establish a separate athletic fee on the main campus of the university. The university board may also establish a separate athletic fee on any branch campus or center. Any subsequent increase in the athletic fee must be recommended by an athletic fee committee, at least one-half of whom are students appointed by the student body president. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the university president. A chairperson, appointed jointly by the university president and the student body president, shall vote only in the case of a tie. The recommendations of the committee shall take effect only after approval by the university president, after consultation with the student body president, with final approval by the university board of trustees. An increase in the athletic fee may occur only once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term. The Board of Governors is responsible for adopting the regulations and timetables necessary to implement this fee.
(13) Each university board of trustees may establish a technology fee of up to 5 percent of the tuition per credit hour. The revenue from this fee shall be used to enhance instructional technology resources for students and faculty. The technology fee may not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program established pursuant to ss. 1009.53-1009.538.
(14) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (15), each university board of trustees is authorized to establish the following fees:
(a) A nonrefundable application fee in an amount not to exceed $30.
(b) An orientation fee in an amount not to exceed $35.
(c) A fee for security, access, or identification cards. The annual fee for such a card may not exceed $10 per card. The maximum amount charged for a replacement card may not exceed $15.
(d) Registration fees for audit and zero-hours registration; a service charge, which may not exceed $15, for the payment of tuition and fees in installments; and a late-registration fee in an amount not less than $50 nor more than $100 to be imposed on students who fail to initiate registration during the regular registration period.
(e) A late-payment fee in an amount not less than $50 nor more than $100 to be imposed on students who fail to pay or fail to make appropriate arrangements to pay (by means of installment payment, deferment, or third-party billing) tuition by the deadline set by each university. Each university may adopt specific procedures or policies for waiving the late-payment fee for minor underpayments.
(f) Fees for transcripts and diploma replacement, not to exceed $10 per item.
(g) A nonrefundable admissions deposit for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs in an amount not to exceed $200. The admissions deposit shall be imposed at the time of an applicant’s acceptance to the university and shall be applied toward tuition upon enrollment. If the applicant does not enroll in the university, the admissions deposit shall be deposited in an auxiliary account of the university and used to expand financial assistance, scholarships, and student academic and career counseling services at the university. The Board of Governors shall adopt a policy that provides for the waiver of such admissions deposit on the basis of financial hardship.
(h) A fee for miscellaneous health-related charges for services provided at cost by the university health center which are not covered by the health fee set under subsection (11).
(i) Materials and supplies fees to offset the cost of materials or supplies that are consumed in the course of the student’s instructional activities, excluding the cost of equipment replacement, repairs, and maintenance.
(j) Housing rental rates and miscellaneous housing charges for services provided by the university at the request of the student.
(k) A charge representing the reasonable cost of efforts to collect payment of overdue accounts.
(l) A service charge on university loans in lieu of interest and administrative handling charges.
(m) A fee for off-campus course offerings when the location results in specific, identifiable increased costs to the university.
(n) Library fees and fines, including charges for damaged and lost library materials, overdue reserve library books, interlibrary loans, and literature searches.
(o) Fees relating to duplicating, photocopying, binding, and microfilming; copyright services; and standardized testing. These fees may be charged only to those who receive the services.
(p) Fees and fines relating to the use, late return, and loss and damage of facilities and equipment.
(q) A returned-check fee as authorized by s. 832.07(1) for unpaid checks returned to the university.
(r) Traffic and parking fines, charges for parking decals, and transportation access fees.
(s) An Educational Research Center for Child Development fee for child care and services offered by the center.

With the exception of housing rental rates and except as otherwise provided, fees assessed pursuant to paragraphs (h)-(s) shall be based on reasonable costs of services. The Board of Governors shall adopt regulations and timetables necessary to implement the fees and fines authorized under this subsection. The fees assessed under this subsection may be used for debt only as authorized under s. 1010.62.

(15)(a) The Board of Governors may approve:
1. A proposal from a university board of trustees to establish a new student fee that is not specifically authorized by this section.
2. A proposal from a university board of trustees to increase the current cap for an existing fee authorized pursuant to paragraphs (14)(a)-(g).
3. A proposal from a university board of trustees to implement flexible tuition policies, such as undergraduate or graduate block tuition, block tuition differential, or market tuition rates for graduate-level online courses or graduate-level courses offered through a university’s continuing education program. A block tuition policy for resident undergraduate students or undergraduate-level courses shall be based on the per-credit-hour undergraduate tuition established under subsection (4). A block tuition policy for nonresident undergraduate students shall be based on the per-credit-hour undergraduate tuition and out-of-state fee established under subsection (4). Flexible tuition policies, including block tuition, may not increase the state’s fiscal liability or obligation.
(b) A proposal developed pursuant to paragraph (a) shall be submitted in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Governors. Approval by the Board of Governors of such proposal must be made in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.
(c) In reviewing a proposal to establish a new fee under subparagraph (a)1., the Board of Governors shall consider:
1. The purpose to be served or accomplished by the new fee.
2. Whether there is a demonstrable student-based need for the new fee that is not currently being met through existing university services, operations, or another fee.
3. Whether the financial impact on students is warranted in light of other charges assessed to students for tuition and associated fees.
4. Whether any restrictions, limitations, or conditions should be placed on the use of the fee.
5. Whether there are outcome measures to indicate if the purpose for which the fee was established is accomplished.
(d) In reviewing a proposal to increase or exceed the current cap for an existing fee under subparagraph (a)2., the Board of Governors shall consider:
1. The services or operations currently being funded by the fee.
2. Whether those services or operations can be performed more efficiently to alleviate the need for any increase.
3. The additional or enhanced services or operations to be funded by the increase.
4. Whether any alternative resources are available to meet the need.
5. Whether the financial impact on students is warranted in light of other charges assessed to students for tuition and associated fees.
(e) In reviewing a proposal to implement a flexible tuition policy under subparagraph (a)3., the Board of Governors shall consider:
1. Whether the proposed tuition flexibility policy is aligned with the mission of the university.
2. Whether the proposed tuition flexibility policy increases the state’s fiscal liabilities or obligations and, if so, the proposal shall be denied.
3. Whether any restrictions, limitations, or conditions should be placed on the policy.
4. How the proposed tuition flexibility policy will be implemented to honor the advance payment contracts of students who are beneficiaries of prepaid tuition contracts under s. 1009.98.
(f) The Board of Governors shall submit an annual report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Governor summarizing the proposals received by the board during the preceding year and actions taken by the board in response to such proposals. The Board of Governors shall also include in the annual report the following information for each fee established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1.:
1. The amount of the fee.
2. The total revenues generated by the fee.
3. Detailed expenditures of the revenues generated by the fee.
(g) The aggregate sum of any fees established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1. that a student is required to pay to register for a course shall not exceed 10 percent of tuition.
(h) Any fee established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1. shall not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program established pursuant to ss. 1009.53-1009.538.
(i) The revenues generated by a fee established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1. may not be transferred to an auxiliary enterprise or a direct-support organization and may not be used for the purpose of paying or securing debt.
(j) If the Board of Governors approves a university proposal to establish a fee pursuant to subparagraph (a)1., a fee committee shall be established at the university to make recommendations to the university president and the university board of trustees regarding how the revenue from the fee is to be spent and any subsequent changes to the fee. At least one-half of the committee must be students appointed by the student body president. The remainder of the committee shall be appointed by the university president. A chair, appointed jointly by the university president and the student body president, shall vote only in the case of a tie.
(k) An increase to an existing fee or a fee established pursuant to subparagraph (a)1. may occur no more than once each fiscal year and must be implemented beginning with the fall term.
(16) Each university board of trustees may establish a tuition differential for undergraduate courses upon receipt of approval from the Board of Governors. The tuition differential shall promote improvements in the quality of undergraduate education and shall provide financial aid to undergraduate students who exhibit financial need.
(a) Seventy percent of the revenues from the tuition differential shall be expended for purposes of undergraduate education. Such expenditures may include, but are not limited to, increasing course offerings, improving graduation rates, increasing the percentage of undergraduate students who are taught by faculty, decreasing student-faculty ratios, providing salary increases for faculty who have a history of excellent teaching in undergraduate courses, improving the efficiency of the delivery of undergraduate education through academic advisement and counseling, and reducing the percentage of students who graduate with excess hours. This expenditure for undergraduate education may not be used to pay the salaries of graduate teaching assistants. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the remaining 30 percent of the revenues from the tuition differential, or the equivalent amount of revenue from private sources, shall be expended to provide financial aid to undergraduate students who exhibit financial need, including students who are scholarship recipients under s. 1009.984, to meet the cost of university attendance. This expenditure for need-based financial aid shall not supplant the amount of need-based aid provided to undergraduate students in the preceding fiscal year from financial aid fee revenues, the direct appropriation for financial assistance provided to state universities in the General Appropriations Act, or from private sources. The total amount of tuition differential waived under subparagraph (b)8. may be included in calculating the expenditures for need-based financial aid to undergraduate students required by this subsection.
(b) Each tuition differential is subject to the following conditions:
1. The tuition differential may be assessed on one or more undergraduate courses or on all undergraduate courses at a state university.
2. The tuition differential may vary by course or courses, campus or center location, and by institution. Each university board of trustees shall strive to maintain and increase enrollment in degree programs related to math, science, high technology, and other state or regional high-need fields when establishing tuition differentials by course.
3. For each state university that has total research and development expenditures for all fields of at least $100 million per year as reported annually to the National Science Foundation, the aggregate sum of tuition and the tuition differential may not be increased by more than 15 percent of the total charged for the aggregate sum of these fees in the preceding fiscal year. For each state university that has total research and development expenditures for all fields of less than $100 million per year as reported annually to the National Science Foundation, the aggregate sum of tuition and the tuition differential may not be increased by more than 15 percent of the total charged for the aggregate sum of these fees in the preceding fiscal year.
4. The aggregate sum of undergraduate tuition and fees per credit hour, including the tuition differential, may not exceed the national average of undergraduate tuition and fees at 4-year degree-granting public postsecondary educational institutions.
5. The tuition differential shall not be included in any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program established pursuant to ss. 1009.53-1009.538.
6. Beneficiaries having prepaid tuition contracts pursuant to s. 1009.98(2)(b) which were in effect on July 1, 2007, and which remain in effect, are exempt from the payment of the tuition differential.
7. The tuition differential may not be charged to any student who was in attendance at the university before July 1, 2007, and who maintains continuous enrollment.
8. The tuition differential may be waived by the university for students who meet the eligibility requirements for the Florida public student assistance grant established in s. 1009.50.
9. Subject to approval by the Board of Governors, the tuition differential authorized pursuant to this subsection may take effect with the 2009 fall term.
(c) A university board of trustees may submit a proposal to the Board of Governors to implement a tuition differential for one or more undergraduate courses. At a minimum, the proposal shall:
1. Identify the course or courses for which the tuition differential will be assessed.
2. Indicate the amount that will be assessed for each tuition differential proposed.
3. Indicate the purpose of the tuition differential.
4. Indicate how the revenues from the tuition differential will be used.
5. Indicate how the university will monitor the success of the tuition differential in achieving the purpose for which the tuition differential is being assessed.
(d) The Board of Governors shall review each proposal and advise the university board of trustees of approval of the proposal, the need for additional information or revision to the proposal, or denial of the proposal. The Board of Governors shall establish a process for any university to revise a proposal or appeal a decision of the board.
(e) The Board of Governors shall submit a report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Governor describing the implementation of the provisions of this subsection no later than January 1, 2010, and no later than January 1 each year thereafter. The report shall summarize proposals received by the board during the preceding fiscal year and actions taken by the board in response to such proposals. In addition, the report shall provide the following information for each university that has been approved by the board to assess a tuition differential:
1. The course or courses for which the tuition differential was assessed and the amount assessed.
2. The total revenues generated by the tuition differential.
3. With respect to waivers authorized under subparagraph (b)8., the number of students eligible for a waiver, the number of students receiving a waiver, and the value of waivers provided.
4. Detailed expenditures of the revenues generated by the tuition differential.
5. Changes in retention rates, graduation rates, the percentage of students graduating with more than 110 percent of the hours required for graduation, pass rates on licensure examinations, the number of undergraduate course offerings, the percentage of undergraduate students who are taught by faculty, student-faculty ratios, and the average salaries of faculty who teach undergraduate courses.
(f) No state university shall be required to lower any tuition differential that was approved by the Board of Governors and in effect prior to January 1, 2009, in order to comply with the provisions of this subsection.
(17)(a) A state university may assess a student who enrolls in a course listed in the Florida Higher Education Distance Learning Catalog, established pursuant to s. 1004.09, a per-credit-hour distance learning course fee. For purposes of assessing this fee, a distance learning course is a course in which at least 80 percent of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time or space, or both.
(b) The amount of the distance learning course fee may not exceed the additional costs of the services provided which are attributable to the development and delivery of the distance learning course. If the distance learning course fee is assessed by a state university, the institution may not assess duplicative fees to cover the additional costs.
(c) The link for the catalog must be prominently displayed within the advising and distance learning sections of the institution’s website, using a graphic and description provided by the Florida Distance Learning Consortium, informing students of the catalog.
(18) A state university may not charge any fee except as specifically authorized by law.
(19) The Board of Governors shall adopt regulations to implement the provisions of this section.
History.s. 403, ch. 2002-387; s. 3, ch. 2003-392; s. 1, ch. 2004-352; s. 49, ch. 2006-74; s. 133, ch. 2007-217; s. 2, ch. 2007-225; s. 5, ch. 2007-329; s. 189, ch. 2008-4; s. 4, ch. 2008-148; s. 1, ch. 2008-193; s. 9, ch. 2009-60; s. 3, ch. 2009-92; s. 3, ch. 2009-98; s. 21, ch. 2010-78; s. 12, ch. 2010-155.
1009.25 Fee exemptions.
(1) The following students are exempt from any requirement for the payment of tuition and fees, including lab fees, for adult basic, adult secondary, or career-preparatory instruction:
(a) A student who does not have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
(b) A student who has a high school diploma or its equivalent and who has academic skills at or below the eighth grade level pursuant to state board rule. A student is eligible for this exemption from fees if the student’s skills are at or below the eighth grade level as measured by a test administered in the English language and approved by the Department of Education, even if the student has skills above that level when tested in the student’s native language.
(2) The following students are exempt from the payment of tuition and fees, including lab fees, at a school district that provides postsecondary career programs, 1community college, or state university:
(a) A student enrolled in a dual enrollment or early admission program pursuant to s. 1007.27 or s. 1007.271.
(b) A student enrolled in an approved apprenticeship program, as defined in s. 446.021.
(c) A student who is or was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services or who, after spending at least 6 months in the custody of the department after reaching 16 years of age, was placed in a guardianship by the court. Such exemption includes fees associated with enrollment in career-preparatory instruction. The exemption remains valid until the student reaches 28 years of age.
(d) A student who is or was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age in the custody of a relative under s. 39.5085 or who was adopted from the Department of Children and Family Services after May 5, 1997. Such exemption includes fees associated with enrollment in career-preparatory instruction. The exemption remains valid until the student reaches 28 years of age.
(e) A student enrolled in an employment and training program under the welfare transition program. The regional workforce board shall pay the state university, 1community college, or school district for costs incurred for welfare transition program participants.
(f) A student who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or whose primary nighttime residence is a public or private shelter designed to provide temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
(g) A student who is a proprietor, owner, or worker of a company whose business has been at least 50 percent negatively financially impacted by the buyout of property around Lake Apopka by the State of Florida. Such student may receive a fee exemption only if the student has not received compensation because of the buyout, the student is designated a Florida resident for tuition purposes, pursuant to s. 1009.21, and the student has applied for and been denied financial aid, pursuant to s. 1009.40, which would have provided, at a minimum, payment of all student fees. The student is responsible for providing evidence to the postsecondary education institution verifying that the conditions of this paragraph have been met, including supporting documentation provided by the Department of Revenue. The student must be currently enrolled in, or begin coursework within, a program area by fall semester 2000. The exemption is valid for a period of 4 years after the date that the postsecondary education institution confirms that the conditions of this paragraph have been met.
(3) Each 1community college is authorized to grant student fee exemptions from all fees adopted by the State Board of Education and the 1community college board of trustees for up to 40 full-time equivalent students at each institution.
History.ss. 5, 6, 7, ch. 2002-19; ss. 2, 3, ch. 2002-38; s. 404, ch. 2002-387; s. 118, ch. 2004-357; s. 3, ch. 2004-362; s. 15, ch. 2006-194; s. 1, ch. 2010-68.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.26 Fee waivers.
(1) School districts and 1community colleges may waive fees for any fee-nonexempt student. The total value of fee waivers granted by the school district or 1community college may not exceed the amount established annually in the General Appropriations Act. Any student whose fees are waived in excess of the authorized amount may not be reported for state funding purposes. Any school district or 1community college that waives fees and requests state funding for a student in violation of the provisions of this section shall be penalized at a rate equal to 2 times the value of the full-time student enrollment reported.
(2) A state university may waive any or all application, tuition, and related fees for persons who supervise student interns for a state university.
(3) A university board of trustees is authorized to permit full-time university employees who meet academic requirements to enroll for up to 6 credit hours of tuition-free courses per term on a space-available basis.
(4) A state university may waive any or all application, tuition, and related fees for persons 60 years of age or older who are residents of this state and who attend classes for credit. No academic credit shall be awarded for attendance in classes for which fees are waived under this subsection. This privilege may be granted only on a space-available basis, if such classes are not filled as of the close of registration. A university may limit or deny the privilege for courses which are in programs for which the Board of Governors has established selective admissions criteria. Persons paying full fees and state employees taking courses on a space-available basis shall have priority over those persons whose fees are waived in all cases where classroom spaces are limited.
(5) Any graduate student enrolled in a state-approved school psychology training program shall be entitled to a waiver of registration fees for internship credit hours applicable to an internship in the public school system under the supervision of a Department of Education certified school psychologist employed by the school system.
(6) A university board of trustees may waive the out-of-state fees for nondegree-seeking students enrolled at a state university if the earned student credit hours generated by such students are nonfundable and the direct cost for the program of study is recovered from the fees charged to all students.
(7) The spouse of a deceased state employee is entitled, when eligible for the payment of student fees by the state as employer pursuant to s. 440.16, in lieu of such payment, to a full waiver of student fees for up to 80 semester hours in any 1community college.
(8) A state university or 1community college shall waive undergraduate tuition for each recipient of a Purple Heart or another combat decoration superior in precedence who:
(a) Is enrolled as a full-time, part-time, or summer-school student in an undergraduate program that terminates in a degree or certificate;
(b) Is currently, and was at the time of the military action that resulted in the awarding of the Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence, a resident of this state; and
(c) Submits to the state university or the 1community college the DD-214 form issued at the time of separation from service as documentation that the student has received a Purple Heart or another combat decoration superior in precedence.

Such a waiver for a Purple Heart recipient or recipient of another combat decoration superior in precedence shall be applicable for 110 percent of the number of required credit hours of the degree or certificate program for which the student is enrolled.

(9) Each university board of trustees is authorized to waive tuition and out-of-state fees for purposes that support and enhance the mission of the university. All fees waived must be based on policies that are adopted by university boards of trustees pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board of Governors. Each university shall report the purpose, number, and value of all fee waivers granted annually in a format prescribed by the Board of Governors.
(10) A state university or 1community college may waive tuition and fees for a classroom teacher, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), who is employed full-time by a school district and who meets the academic requirements established by the 1community college or state university for up to 6 credit hours per term on a space-available basis in undergraduate courses approved by the Department of Education. Such courses shall be limited to undergraduate courses related to special education, mathematics, or science. The waiver may not be used for courses scheduled during the school district’s regular school day. The State Board of Education shall adopt a rule that prescribes the process for the approval of courses by the department.
History.s. 405, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2006-233; s. 134, ch. 2007-217; s. 3, ch. 2009-123; s. 22, ch. 2010-78; s. 1, ch. 2010-219.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.265 State employee fee waivers.
(1) As a benefit to the employer and employees of the state, subject to approval by an employee’s agency head or the equivalent, each state university and 1community college shall waive tuition and fees for state employees to enroll for up to 6 credit hours of courses per term on a space-available basis.
(2) The Chief Financial Officer, in cooperation with the 1community colleges and state universities, shall identify and implement ways to ease the administrative burden to 1community colleges and state universities, including, but not limited to, providing easier access to verify state employment.
(3) From funds appropriated by the Legislature for administrative costs to implement this section, 1community colleges and state universities shall be reimbursed on a pro rata basis according to the cost assessment data developed by the Department of Education.
(4) The Auditor General shall include a review of the cost assessment data in conjunction with his or her audit responsibilities for 1community colleges, state universities, and the Department of Education.
(5) For purposes of this section, employees of the state include employees of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government, except for persons employed by a state university.
History.s. 406, ch. 2002-387; s. 1955, ch. 2003-261.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.27 Deferral of fees.
(1) School districts, 1community colleges, and state universities may defer tuition and fees for students receiving financial aid from a federal or state assistance program when the aid is delayed in being transmitted to the student through circumstances beyond the control of the student. The failure to make timely application for the aid is an insufficient reason to receive a deferral of fees.
(2) Any veteran or other eligible student who receives benefits under chapter 30, chapter 31, chapter 32, chapter 33, chapter 34, or chapter 35 of Title 38, U.S.C., or chapter 106 of Title 10, U.S.C., is entitled to one deferment each academic year and an additional deferment each time there is a delay in the receipt of benefits.
(3) Each school district, 1community college, and state university is responsible for collecting all deferred fees. If a school district, 1community college, or state university has not collected a deferred fee, the student may not earn state funding for any course for which the student subsequently registers until the fee has been paid.
History.s. 407, ch. 2002-387; s. 135, ch. 2007-217; s. 10, ch. 2009-60; s. 3, ch. 2009-109.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.28 Fees for repeated enrollment in college-preparatory classes.A student enrolled in the same college-preparatory class more than twice shall pay 100 percent of the full cost of instruction to support continuous enrollment of that student in the same class, and the student shall not be included in calculations of full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes; however, students who withdraw or fail a class due to extenuating circumstances may be granted an exception only once for each class, provided approval is granted according to policy established by the board of trustees. Each 1community college may review and reduce fees paid by students due to continued enrollment in a college-preparatory class on an individual basis contingent upon the student’s financial hardship, pursuant to definitions and fee levels established by the State Board of Education.
History.s. 408, ch. 2002-387.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.285 Fees for repeated enrollment in college-credit courses.A student enrolled in the same undergraduate college-credit course more than twice shall pay tuition at 100 percent of the full cost of instruction and shall not be included in calculations of full-time equivalent enrollments for state funding purposes. However, students who withdraw or fail a class due to extenuating circumstances may be granted an exception only once for each class, provided that approval is granted according to policy established by the 1community college board of trustees or the university board of trustees. Each 1community college and state university may review and reduce fees paid by students due to continued enrollment in a college-credit class on an individual basis contingent upon the student’s financial hardship. For purposes of this section, first-time enrollment in a class shall mean enrollment in a class beginning fall semester 1997, and calculations of the full cost of instruction shall be based on the systemwide average of the prior year’s cost of undergraduate programs for the 1community colleges and the state universities. Boards of trustees may make exceptions to this section for individualized study, elective coursework, courses that are repeated as a requirement of a major, and courses that are intended as continuing over multiple semesters, excluding the repeat of coursework more than two times to increase grade point average or meet minimum course grade requirements.
History.s. 409, ch. 2002-387; s. 136, ch. 2007-217.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.286 Additional student payment for hours exceeding baccalaureate degree program completion requirements at state universities.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage each undergraduate student who enrolls in a state university to complete the student’s respective baccalaureate degree program in the most efficient way possible while providing for access to additional college coursework. Therefore, the Legislature intends to enact a policy that provides incentives for efficient baccalaureate degree completion.
(2) State universities shall require a student to pay an excess hour surcharge equal to 50 percent of the tuition rate for each credit hour in excess of 120 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the baccalaureate degree program in which the student is enrolled.
(3) Except as otherwise provided by law and for purposes of this section, the following credit hours shall be included when calculating the number of hours taken by a student:
(a) All credit hours for courses taken at the state university from which the student is seeking a baccalaureate degree, including:
1. Failed courses.
2. Courses that are dropped after the university’s advertised last day of the drop and add period.
3. Courses from which a student withdraws, except as provided in subsection (4).
4. Repeated courses, except repeated courses for which the student has paid the full cost of instruction as provided in s. 1009.285.
(b) All credit hours earned at another institution and accepted for transfer by the state university and applied toward the student’s baccalaureate degree program.
(4) For purposes of this section, credit hours earned under the following circumstances are not calculated as hours required to earn a baccalaureate degree:
(a) College credits earned through an articulated accelerated mechanism identified in s. 1007.27.
(b) Credit hours earned through internship programs.
(c) Credit hours required for certification, recertification, or certificate programs.
(d) Credit hours in courses from which a student must withdraw due to reasons of medical or personal hardship.
(e) Credit hours taken by active-duty military personnel.
(f) Credit hours required to achieve a dual major taken while pursuing a baccalaureate degree.
(g) Remedial and English as a Second Language credit hours.
(h) Credit hours earned in military science courses that are part of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program.
(5) Each state university and 1community college shall implement a process for notifying students regarding the provisions of this section. Notice must be provided by a state university or a 1community college upon a student’s initial enrollment in the institution. Such notice must be provided a second time by a state university when a student has earned the credit hours required to complete the baccalaureate degree program in which the student is enrolled. The notice must include a recommendation that each student who intends to earn credit hours at the institution in excess of the credit hours required for the baccalaureate degree program in which the student is enrolled meet with his or her academic advisor.
(6) For purposes of this section, the term “state university” includes the institutions identified in s. 1000.21(6) and the term “1community college” includes the institutions identified in s. 1000.21(3).
(7) The provisions of this section become effective for students who enter a 1community college or a state university for the first time in the 2009-2010 academic year and thereafter.
History.s. 11, ch. 2009-60.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.29 Increased fees for funding financial aid program.
(1) Student tuition and registration fees at each state university and 1community college shall include up to $4.68 per quarter, or $7.02 per semester, per full-time student, or the per-student credit hour equivalents of such amounts. The fees provided for by this section shall be adjusted from time to time, as necessary, to comply with the debt service coverage requirements of the student loan revenue bonds issued pursuant to s. 1009.79. If the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration and the Commissioner of Education determine that such fees are no longer required as security for revenue bonds issued pursuant to ss. 1009.78-1009.88, moneys previously collected pursuant to this section which are held in escrow, after administrative expenses have been met and up to $150,000 has been used to establish a financial aid data processing system for the state universities incorporating the necessary features to meet the needs of all 11 universities for application through disbursement processing, shall be reallocated to the generating institutions to be used for student financial aid programs, including, but not limited to, scholarships and grants for educational purposes. Upon such determination, such fees shall no longer be assessed and collected.
(2) The Department of Education may, in accordance with rules established by the State Board of Administration, receive and administer grants and donations from any source and, in its discretion, establish criteria, select recipients, and award scholarships and loans from the fees provided for by this section, and fix the interest rates and terms of repayment.
History.s. 410, ch. 2002-387; s. 168, ch. 2004-5; s. 53, ch. 2004-41; s. 137, ch. 2007-217.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
PART III
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
A. General Provisions
B. Scholarships, Grants, and Other Aid
C. Role of the Department of Education
A. General Provisions
1009.40 General requirements for student eligibility for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants.
1009.41 State financial aid; students with a disability.
1009.42 Financial aid appeal process.
1009.43 State student financial assistance; authorization for use in program of study in another state or foreign country.
1009.44 Need-based financial aid; no preference to students receiving other aid.
1009.40 General requirements for student eligibility for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants.
(1)(a) The general requirements for eligibility of students for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants consist of the following:
1. Achievement of the academic requirements of and acceptance at a state university or 1community college; a nursing diploma school approved by the Florida Board of Nursing; a 1Florida college, university, or 1community college which is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the State Board of Education; any Florida institution the credits of which are acceptable for transfer to state universities; any career center; or any private career institution accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the State Board of Education.
2. Residency in this state for no less than 1 year preceding the award of aid or a tuition assistance grant for a program established pursuant to s. 1009.50, s. 1009.505, s. 1009.51, s. 1009.52, s. 1009.53, s. 1009.54, s. 1009.56, s. 1009.57, s. 1009.60, s. 1009.62, s. 1009.68, s. 1009.72, s. 1009.73, s. 1009.77, s. 1009.89, or s. 1009.891. Residency in this state must be for purposes other than to obtain an education. Resident status for purposes of receiving state financial aid awards shall be determined in the same manner as resident status for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21.
3. Submission of certification attesting to the accuracy, completeness, and correctness of information provided to demonstrate a student’s eligibility to receive state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants. Falsification of such information shall result in the denial of any pending application and revocation of any award or grant currently held to the extent that no further payments shall be made. Additionally, students who knowingly make false statements in order to receive state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants commit a misdemeanor of the second degree subject to the provisions of s. 837.06 and shall be required to return all state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants wrongfully obtained.
(b)1. Eligibility for the renewal of undergraduate or career certificate financial aid awards shall be evaluated at the end of the second semester or third quarter of each academic year. As a condition for renewal, a student shall:
a. Have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale; and
b. Have earned, for undergraduate full-time study, 12 credits per term or the equivalent for the number of terms for which aid was received or have earned, for career certificate study, at least the equivalent in clock hours of 6 semester credit hours per term or the equivalent for the number of terms for which aid was received.
2. A student who earns the minimum number of credits required for renewal, but who fails to meet the minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average, may be granted a probationary award for up to the equivalent of 1 academic year and shall be required to earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale by the end of the probationary period to be eligible for subsequent renewal. A student who receives a probationary award and who fails to meet the conditions for renewal by the end of his or her probationary period shall be ineligible to receive additional awards for the equivalent of 1 academic year following his or her probationary period. Each such student may, however, reapply for assistance during a subsequent application period and may be eligible for an award if he or she has earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
3. A student who fails to earn the minimum number of credits required for renewal shall lose his or her eligibility for renewal for a period equivalent to 1 academic year. However, the student may reapply during a subsequent application period and may be eligible for an award if he or she has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
4. Students who receive state student aid and subsequently fail to meet state academic progress requirements due to verifiable illness or other emergencies may be granted an exception from the academic requirements. Such students shall make a written appeal to the institution. The appeal shall include a description and verification of the circumstances. Verification of illness or other emergencies may include but not be limited to a physician’s statement or written statement of a parent or college official. The institution shall recommend exceptions with necessary documentation to the department. The department may accept or deny such recommendations for exception from the institution.
(2) These requirements do not preclude higher standards specified in other sections of this part, in rules of the state board, or in rules of a participating institution.
(3) Undergraduate students are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 8 semesters or 12 quarters. However, undergraduate students participating in college-preparatory instruction, students requiring additional time to complete the college-level communication and computation skills testing programs, or students enrolled in a 5-year undergraduate degree program are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 10 semesters or 15 quarters.
(4) No student is eligible to receive more than one state scholarship that is based on academic merit. Students who qualify for more than one such scholarship shall be notified of all awards for which they qualify and shall be provided the opportunity to accept one of their choosing.
History.s. 413, ch. 2002-387; s. 120, ch. 2003-1; s. 119, ch. 2004-357; s. 1, ch. 2007-113; s. 138, ch. 2007-217; s. 12, ch. 2009-60; s. 34, ch. 2010-70.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.41 State financial aid; students with a disability.Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 1009.40(1)(b)1.b. regarding the number of credits earned per term, or other financial aid eligibility requirements related to the number of required credits earned per term, a student with a documented disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, shall be eligible to be considered for state financial aid while attending an eligible postsecondary institution on a part-time basis. The State Board of Education shall establish the necessary criteria for documentation of the student’s disability, and the postsecondary institution shall make the determination as to whether or not the disability is such that part-time status is a necessary accommodation. For the purposes of this section, financial aid funds may be prorated based on the number of credit hours taken.
History.s. 414, ch. 2002-387.
1009.42 Financial aid appeal process.
(1) The State Board of Education shall adopt, by rule, a procedure for the appeal of errors in eligibility determinations, or failure to transfer awards between eligible institutions, made by the Office of Student Financial Assistance of the Department of Education, regarding applicants’ eligibility for receiving state student financial aid awards. The procedure must provide for establishment of a committee to consider appeals that are not resolved by other administrative action. Each committee must be comprised of four members appointed by the Commissioner of Education, including one representative of the Office of Student Financial Assistance; two practicing financial aid administrators from public or private postsecondary institutions in this state, one of whom must be from an institution other than one to which the applicant is seeking admission; and one student enrolled in a public postsecondary institution in this state, nominated by the Florida Student Association. An applicant for state student financial aid who believes an error has been made in determining eligibility for student financial assistance or who believes the department has failed to transfer an award between eligible institutions may appeal the decision in writing to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. The Office of Student Financial Assistance shall investigate the complaint and take appropriate action within 30 days after its receipt of the appeal. If the student wishes further review of the appeal, the Office of Student Financial Assistance shall forward the appeal to the committee. Within 30 days after the receipt of a request for a hearing, a final decision shall be rendered by the committee established under this section, and a copy of the decision shall be provided to the applicant. The decision rendered by the committee constitutes final agency action. A description of the financial aid appeals process shall be included in the application form for each state student financial aid program.
(2) The president of each state university and each 1community college shall establish a procedure for appeal, by students, of grievances related to the award or administration of financial aid at the institution.
(3) A student involved in a financial aid appeal proceeding is eligible for a deferral of registration and fee payments pursuant to s. 1009.27.
History.s. 415, ch. 2002-387.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.43 State student financial assistance; authorization for use in program of study in another state or foreign country.A student who is enrolled in a public or private postsecondary educational institution in this state may apply state student financial assistance toward the cost of a program of study in another state or a foreign country for a period of up to 1 year, if the program of study is offered or promoted by the Florida institution as an integral part of the academic studies of that degree-seeking student or as a program that would enhance the student’s academic experience. This program must be approved by the president of the institution in this state or by his or her designee; however, private, postsecondary Florida institutions with out-of-state subsidiary institutions are not authorized to make Florida residents attending their out-of-state subsidiary institutions eligible for Florida financial assistance.
History.s. 416, ch. 2002-387.
1009.44 Need-based financial aid; no preference to students receiving other aid.From the funds collected by state universities and 1community colleges as a financial aid fee and from other funds appropriated by the Legislature for financial aid from the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, institutions shall expend those moneys designated as need-based financial aid with no preference given to students who also qualify for merit-based or other financial aid awards.
History.s. 417, ch. 2002-387.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
B. Scholarships, Grants, and Other Aid
1009.50 Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
1009.505 Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program.
1009.51 Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
1009.52 Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
1009.53 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
1009.531 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for initial awards.
1009.532 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for renewal awards.
1009.533 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; eligible postsecondary education institutions.
1009.534 Florida Academic Scholars award.
1009.5341 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship awards for graduate study.
1009.535 Florida Medallion Scholars award.
1009.536 Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award.
1009.538 Bright Futures Scholarship recipients attending nonpublic institutions; calculation of awards.
1009.54 Critical Teacher Shortage Program.
1009.55 Rosewood Family Scholarship Program.
1009.56 Seminole and Miccosukee Indian Scholarships.
1009.57 Florida Teacher Scholarship and Forgivable Loan Program.
1009.58 Critical teacher shortage tuition reimbursement program.
1009.59 Critical Teacher Shortage Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
1009.60 Minority teacher education scholars program.
1009.605 Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc.
1009.61 Teacher/Quest Scholarship Program.
1009.62 Grants for teachers for special training in exceptional student education.
1009.65 Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program.
1009.66 Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
1009.67 Nursing scholarship program.
1009.68 Florida Minority Medical Education Program.
1009.69 Virgil Hawkins Fellows Assistance Program.
1009.70 Florida Education Fund.
1009.701 First Generation Matching Grant Program.
1009.72 Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Program.
1009.73 Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship Program.
1009.74 The Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Program.
1009.77 Florida Work Experience Program.
1009.78 Student Loan Program.
1009.79 Issuance of revenue bonds pursuant to s. 15, Art. VII, State Constitution.
1009.80 Approval of loans; administration of program.
1009.81 Loan agreements.
1009.82 Terms of loans.
1009.83 Rate of interest and other charges.
1009.84 Procurement of insurance as security for loans.
1009.85 Participation in guaranteed student loan program.
1009.86 Student Loan Operating Trust Fund.
1009.87 Provisions of ss. 1009.78-1009.88 cumulative.
1009.88 Validation of bonds.
1009.89 The William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grants.
1009.891 The Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program.
1009.892 Cost of attendance; adult norm-referenced testing.
1009.50 Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
(1) There is hereby created a Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program. The program shall be administered by the participating institutions in accordance with rules of the state board.
(2)(a) State student assistance grants through the program may be made only to degree-seeking students who enroll in at least 6 semester hours, or the equivalent per term, and who meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section. The grants shall be awarded annually for the amount of demonstrated unmet need for the cost of education and may not exceed an amount equal to the average prior academic year cost of tuition fees and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities or such other amount as specified in the General Appropriations Act, to any recipient. A demonstrated unmet need of less than $200 shall render the applicant ineligible for a state student assistance grant. Recipients of the grants must have been accepted at a state university or 1community college authorized by Florida law. A student is eligible for the award for 110 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the program in which enrolled, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).
(b) A student applying for a Florida public student assistance grant shall be required to apply for the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant entitlement shall be considered when conducting an assessment of the financial resources available to each student.
(c) Priority in the distribution of grant moneys shall be given to students with the lowest total family resources, in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis. Using the system of need analysis, the department shall establish a maximum expected family contribution. An institution may not make a grant from this program to a student whose expected family contribution exceeds the level established by the department. An institution may not impose additional criteria to determine a student’s eligibility to receive a grant award.
(d) Each participating institution shall report, to the department by the established date, the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall also report to the department necessary demographic and eligibility data for such students.
(3) Based on the unmet financial need of an eligible applicant, the amount of a Florida public student assistance grant must be between $200 and the weighted average of the cost of tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities per academic year or the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.
(4)(a) The funds appropriated for the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant shall be distributed to eligible institutions in accordance with a formula approved by the State Board of Education. The formula shall consider at least the prior year’s distribution of funds, the number of full-time eligible applicants who did not receive awards, the standardization of the expected family contribution, and provisions for unused funds.
(b) Payment of Florida public student assistance grants shall be transmitted to the president of the state university or 1community college, or to his or her representative, in advance of the registration period. Institutions shall notify students of the amount of their awards.
(c) The eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement shall be determined by each institution as of the end of its regular registration period, inclusive of a drop-add period. Institutions shall not be required to reevaluate a student’s eligibility status after this date for purposes of changing eligibility determinations previously made.
(d) Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances by June 1 of each year.
(5) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for state student assistance grants may be deposited in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of this section.
(6) The State Board of Education shall establish rules necessary to implement this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 2002-34; s. 419, ch. 2002-387; s. 5, ch. 2005-56.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.505 Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program.
(1) There is created a Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program. The program shall be administered by the participating institutions in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education.
(2) For purposes of this section, the term:
(a) “Average annual cost of tuition and registration fees” means the average cost for the prior academic year of tuition and registration fees for the equivalent in clock hours at a public postsecondary career certificate program of 30 semester credit hours at a state university.
(b) “Half-time” means the equivalent in clock hours at a public postsecondary career certificate program of 6 semester credit hours at a 1community college.
(c) “Public postsecondary career certificate program” means a postsecondary program that consists of 450 or more clock hours, is offered by a 1community college authorized by Florida law or by a career center operated by a district school board under s. 1001.44, and terminates in a career certificate.
(3)(a) Student assistance grants through the program may be made only to certificate-seeking students enrolled at least half-time in a public postsecondary career certificate program who meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section. The grants shall be awarded annually to any recipient for the amount of demonstrated unmet need for the cost of education and may not exceed the average annual cost of tuition and registration fees or such other amount as specified in the General Appropriations Act. A demonstrated unmet need of less than $200 shall render the applicant ineligible for a grant under this section. Recipients of the grants must have been accepted at a 1community college authorized by Florida law or a career center operated by a district school board under s. 1001.44. A student is eligible for the award for 110 percent of the number of clock hours required to complete the program in which enrolled.
(b) A student applying for a Florida public postsecondary career education student assistance grant shall be required to apply for the Pell Grant. A Pell Grant entitlement shall be considered when conducting an assessment of the financial resources available to each student; however, a Pell Grant entitlement shall not be required as a condition of receiving a grant under this section.
(c) Each participating institution shall report, to the department by the established date, the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall also report to the department necessary demographic and eligibility data for such students.
(4)(a) The funds appropriated for the Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program shall be distributed to eligible 1community colleges and district school boards in accordance with a formula approved by the department.
(b) Payment of Florida public postsecondary career education student assistance grants shall be transmitted to the president of the 1community college or to the district school superintendent, or to the designee thereof, in advance of the registration period. Institutions shall notify students of the amount of their awards.
(c) The eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement shall be determined by each institution as of the end of its regular registration period, inclusive of a drop-add period. Institutions shall not be required to reevaluate a student’s eligibility status after this date for purposes of changing eligibility determinations previously made.
(d) Participating institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances by June 1 of each year.
(5) The State Board of Education shall establish rules necessary to implement this section.
(6) This section shall be implemented only to the extent specifically funded and authorized by law.
History.s. 2, ch. 2007-113.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.51 Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
(1) There is created a Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program. The program shall be administered by the participating institutions in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education.
(2)(a) Florida private student assistance grants from the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund may be made only to full-time degree-seeking students who meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section. Such grants shall be awarded for the amount of demonstrated unmet need for tuition and fees and may not exceed an amount equal to the average tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities plus $1,000 per academic year, or as specified in the General Appropriations Act, to any applicant. A demonstrated unmet need of less than $200 shall render the applicant ineligible for a Florida private student assistance grant. Recipients of such grants must have been accepted at a baccalaureate-degree-granting independent nonprofit college or university, which is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and which is located in and chartered as a domestic corporation by the state. No student may receive an award for more than the equivalent of 9 semesters or 14 quarters of full-time enrollment, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).
(b) A student applying for a Florida private student assistance grant shall be required to apply for the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant entitlement shall be considered when conducting an assessment of the financial resources available to each student.
(c) Priority in the distribution of grant moneys shall be given to students with the lowest total family resources, in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis. Using the system of need analysis, the department shall establish a maximum expected family contribution. An institution may not make a grant from this program to a student whose expected family contribution exceeds the level established by the department. An institution may not impose additional criteria to determine a student’s eligibility to receive a grant award.
(d) Each participating institution shall report, to the department by the established date, the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall also report to the department necessary demographic and eligibility data for such students.
(3) Based on the unmet financial need of an eligible applicant, the amount of a Florida private student assistance grant must be between $200 and the average cost of tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities plus $1,000 per academic year or the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.
(4)(a) The funds appropriated for the Florida Private Student Assistance Grant shall be distributed to eligible institutions in accordance with a formula approved by the State Board of Education. The formula shall consider at least the prior year’s distribution of funds, the number of full-time eligible applicants who did not receive awards, the standardization of the expected family contribution, and provisions for unused funds.
(b) Payment of Florida private student assistance grants shall be transmitted to the president of the college or university, or to his or her representative, in advance of the registration period. Institutions shall notify students of the amount of their awards.
(c) The eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement shall be determined by each institution as of the end of its regular registration period, inclusive of a drop-add period. Institutions shall not be required to reevaluate a student’s eligibility status after this date for purposes of changing eligibility determinations previously made.
(d) Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances by June 1 of each year.
(e) Each institution that receives moneys through the Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program shall prepare a biennial report that includes a financial audit, conducted by an independent certified public accountant, of the institution’s administration of the program and a complete accounting of moneys in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund allocated to the institution for the program. Such report shall be submitted to the department by March 1 every other year. The department may conduct its own annual or biennial audit of an institution’s administration of the program and its allocated funds in lieu of the required biennial report and financial audit report. The department may suspend or revoke an institution’s eligibility to receive future moneys from the trust fund for the program or request a refund of any moneys overpaid to the institution through the trust fund for the program if the department finds that an institution has not complied with the provisions of this section. Any refund requested pursuant to this paragraph shall be remitted within 60 days.
(5) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for Florida private student assistance grants may be deposited in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the Florida Private Student Assistance Grant Program shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of this section and as otherwise provided by law.
(6) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section.
History.s. 420, ch. 2002-387; s. 6, ch. 2005-56.
1009.52 Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants.
(1) There is created a Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program. The program shall be administered by the participating institutions in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education.
(2)(a) Florida postsecondary student assistance grants through the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund may be made only to full-time degree-seeking students who meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section. Such grants shall be awarded for the amount of demonstrated unmet need for tuition and fees and may not exceed an amount equal to the average prior academic year cost of tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities plus $1,000 per academic year, or as specified in the General Appropriations Act, to any applicant. A demonstrated unmet need of less than $200 shall render the applicant ineligible for a Florida postsecondary student assistance grant. Recipients of such grants must have been accepted at a postsecondary institution that is located in the state and that is:
1. A private nursing diploma school approved by the Florida Board of Nursing; or
2. A college or university licensed by the Commission for Independent Education, excluding those institutions the students of which are eligible to receive a Florida private student assistance grant pursuant to s. 1009.51.

No student may receive an award for more than the equivalent of 9 semesters or 14 quarters of full-time enrollment, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).

(b) A student applying for a Florida postsecondary student assistance grant shall be required to apply for the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant entitlement shall be considered when conducting an assessment of the financial resources available to each student.
(c) Priority in the distribution of grant moneys shall be given to students with the lowest total family resources, in accordance with a nationally recognized system of need analysis. Using the system of need analysis, the department shall establish a maximum expected family contribution. An institution may not make a grant from this program to a student whose expected family contribution exceeds the level established by the department. An institution may not impose additional criteria to determine a student’s eligibility to receive a grant award.
(d) Each participating institution shall report, to the department by the established date, the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall also report to the department necessary demographic and eligibility data for such students.
(3) Based on the unmet financial need of an eligible applicant, the amount of a Florida postsecondary student assistance grant must be between $200 and the average cost of tuition and other registration fees for 30 credit hours at state universities plus $1,000 per academic year or the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.
(4)(a) The funds appropriated for the Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant shall be distributed to eligible institutions in accordance with a formula approved by the State Board of Education. The formula shall consider at least the prior year’s distribution of funds, the number of full-time eligible applicants who did not receive awards, the standardization of the expected family contribution, and provisions for unused funds.
(b) Payment of Florida postsecondary student assistance grants shall be transmitted to the president of the eligible institution, or to his or her representative, in advance of the registration period. Institutions shall notify students of the amount of their awards.
(c) The eligibility status of each student to receive a disbursement shall be determined by each institution as of the end of its regular registration period, inclusive of a drop-add period. Institutions shall not be required to reevaluate a student’s eligibility status after this date for purposes of changing eligibility determinations previously made.
(d) Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances by June 1 of each year.
(e) Each institution that receives moneys through the Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program shall prepare a biennial report that includes a financial audit, conducted by an independent certified public accountant, of the institution’s administration of the program and a complete accounting of moneys in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund allocated to the institution for the program. Such report shall be submitted to the department by March 1 every other year. The department may conduct its own annual or biennial audit of an institution’s administration of the program and its allocated funds in lieu of the required biennial report and financial audit report. The department may suspend or revoke an institution’s eligibility to receive future moneys from the trust fund for the program or request a refund of any moneys overpaid to the institution through the trust fund for the program if the department finds that an institution has not complied with the provisions of this section. Any refund requested pursuant to this paragraph shall be remitted within 60 days.
(5) Any institution that was eligible to receive state student assistance grants on January 1, 1989, and that is not eligible to receive grants pursuant to s. 1009.51 is eligible to receive grants pursuant to this section.
(6) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for Florida postsecondary student assistance grants may be deposited in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant Program shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of this section and as otherwise provided by law.
(7) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section.
History.s. 421, ch. 2002-387; s. 7, ch. 2005-56.
1009.53 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
(1) The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program is created to establish a lottery-funded scholarship program to reward any Florida high school graduate who merits recognition of high academic achievement and who enrolls in a degree program, certificate program, or applied technology program at an eligible Florida public or private postsecondary education institution within 3 years of graduation from high school.
(2) The Bright Futures Scholarship Program consists of three types of awards: the Florida Academic Scholarship, the Florida Medallion Scholarship, and the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship.
(3) The Department of Education shall administer the Bright Futures Scholarship Program according to rules and procedures established by the State Board of Education. A single application must be sufficient for a student to apply for any of the three types of awards. The department must advertise the availability of the scholarship program and must notify students, teachers, parents, guidance counselors, and principals or other relevant school administrators of the criteria and application procedures. The department must begin this process of notification no later than January 1 of each year.
(4) Funding for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program must be allocated from the Education Enhancement Trust Fund and must be provided before allocations from that fund are calculated for disbursement to other educational entities.
(a) If funds appropriated are not adequate to provide the maximum allowable award to each eligible applicant, awards in all three components of the program must be prorated using the same percentage reduction.
(b) Notwithstanding s. 216.301, if all funds allocated to the Bright Futures Scholarship Program are not used in any fiscal year, up to 10 percent of the total allocation may be carried forward and used for awards in the following year.
(5) The department shall issue awards from the scholarship program annually. Annual awards may be for up to 45 semester credit hours or the equivalent. Before the registration period each semester, the department shall transmit payment for each award to the president or director of the postsecondary education institution, or his or her representative, except that the department may withhold payment if the receiving institution fails to report or to make refunds to the department as required in this section.
(a) Within 30 days after the end of regular registration each semester, the educational institution shall certify to the department the eligibility status of each student who receives an award. After the end of the drop and add period, an institution is not required to reevaluate or revise a student’s eligibility status; however, an institution must make a refund to the department within 30 days after the end of the semester of any funds received for courses dropped by a student or courses from which a student has withdrawn after the end of the drop and add period, unless the student has been granted an exception by the department pursuant to subsection (11).
(b) An institution that receives funds from the program shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances within 60 days after the end of regular registration.
(c) Each institution that receives moneys through this program shall prepare an annual report that includes an annual financial audit, conducted by an independent certified public accountant or the Auditor General. The report shall include an audit of the institution’s administration of the program and a complete accounting of the moneys for the program. This report must be submitted to the department annually by March 1. The department may conduct its own annual audit of an institution’s administration of the program. The department may request a refund of any moneys overpaid to the institution for the program. The department may suspend or revoke an institution’s eligibility to receive future moneys for the program if the department finds that an institution has not complied with this section. The institution must remit within 60 days any refund requested in accordance with this subsection.
(6) A student enrolled in 6 to 8 semester credit hours may receive up to one-half of the maximum award; a student enrolled in 9 to 11 credit hours may receive up to three-fourths of the maximum award; and a student enrolled in 12 or more credit hours may receive up to the full award.
(7) A student may receive only one type of award from the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program at a time, but may transfer from one type of award to another through the renewal application process, if the student’s eligibility status changes. However, a student is not eligible to transfer from a Florida Medallion Scholarship or a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship to a Florida Academic Scholarship. A student who receives an award from the program may also receive a federal family education loan or a federal direct loan, and the value of the award must be considered in the certification or calculation of the student’s loan eligibility.
(8) If a recipient transfers from one eligible institution to another and continues to meet eligibility requirements, the award must be transferred with the student.
(9) A student may use an award for summer term enrollment if funds are available.
(10) Funds from any scholarship within the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program may not be used to pay for remedial or college-preparatory coursework.
(11) Funds for any scholarship within the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program may not be used to pay for courses dropped by a student or courses from which a student has withdrawn after the end of the drop and add period. However, a student who receives an award under this program and subsequently drops one or more courses or withdraws from all courses after the end of the drop and add period due to a verifiable illness or other documented emergency may be granted an exception pursuant to s. 1009.40(1)(b)4., unless the institution’s policy is to refund the cost of the courses. The department shall notify eligible recipients of the provisions of this subsection. Each institution shall notify award recipients of the provisions of this subsection during the registration process.
History.s. 422, ch. 2002-387; s. 13, ch. 2009-60.
1009.531 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for initial awards.
(1) Effective January 1, 2008, in order to be eligible for an initial award from any of the three types of scholarships under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, a student must:
(a) Be a Florida resident as defined in s. 1009.40 and rules of the State Board of Education.
(b) Earn a standard Florida high school diploma or its equivalent as described in s. 1003.429, s. 1003.43, or s. 1003.435 unless:
1. The student completes a home education program according to s. 1002.41; or
2. The student earns a high school diploma from a non-Florida school while living with a parent or guardian who is on military or public service assignment away from Florida.
(c) Be accepted by and enroll in an eligible Florida public or independent postsecondary education institution.
(d) Be enrolled for at least 6 semester credit hours or the equivalent in quarter hours or clock hours.
(e) Not have been found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, a felony charge, unless the student has been granted clemency by the Governor and Cabinet sitting as the Executive Office of Clemency.
(f) Apply for a scholarship from the program by high school graduation.
(2)(a) For students graduating from high school prior to the 2010-2011 academic year, a student is eligible to accept an initial award for 3 years following high school graduation and to accept a renewal award for 7 years following high school graduation. A student who applies for an award by high school graduation and who meets all other eligibility requirements, but who does not accept his or her award, may reapply during subsequent application periods up to 3 years after high school graduation. For a student who enlists in the United States Armed Forces immediately after completion of high school, the 3-year eligibility period for his or her initial award shall begin upon the date of separation from active duty. For a student who is receiving a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and discontinues his or her education to enlist in the United States Armed Forces, the remainder of his or her 7-year renewal period shall commence upon the date of separation from active duty.
(b) For students graduating from high school in the 2010-2011 academic year and thereafter, a student is eligible to accept an initial award for 3 years following high school graduation and to accept a renewal award for 5 years following high school graduation. A student who applies for an award by high school graduation and who meets all other eligibility requirements, but who does not accept his or her award, may reapply during subsequent application periods up to 3 years after high school graduation. For a student who enlists in the United States Armed Forces immediately after completion of high school, the 3-year eligibility period for his or her initial award and the 5-year renewal period shall begin upon the date of separation from active duty. For a student who is receiving a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship award and discontinues his or her education to enlist in the United States Armed Forces, the remainder of his or her 5-year renewal period shall commence upon the date of separation from active duty. If a course of study is not completed after 5 academic years, an exception of 1 year to the renewal timeframe may be granted due to a verifiable illness or other documented emergency pursuant to s. 1009.40(1)(b)4.
(3) For purposes of calculating the grade point average to be used in determining initial eligibility for a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, the department shall assign additional weights to grades earned in the following courses:
(a) Courses identified in the course code directory as Advanced Placement, pre-International Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, International General Certificate of Secondary Education (pre-AICE), or Advanced International Certificate of Education.
(b) Courses designated as academic dual enrollment courses in the statewide course numbering system.

The department may assign additional weights to courses, other than those described in paragraphs (a) and (b), that are identified by the Department of Education as containing rigorous academic curriculum and performance standards. The additional weight assigned to a course pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed 0.5 per course. The weighted system shall be developed and distributed to all high schools in the state prior to January 1, 1998. The department may determine a student’s eligibility status during the senior year before graduation and may inform the student of the award at that time.

(4) Each school district shall annually provide to each high school student a complete and accurate Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Evaluation Report and Key. The report shall be disseminated at the beginning of each school year. The report must include all high school coursework attempted, the number of credits earned toward each type of award, and the calculation of the grade point average for each award. The report must also identify all requirements not met per award, including the grade point average requirement, as well as identify the awards for which the student has met the academic requirements. The student report cards must contain a disclosure that the grade point average calculated for purposes of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program may differ from the grade point average on the report card.
(5) A student who wishes to qualify for a particular award within the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, but who does not meet all of the requirements for that level of award, may, nevertheless, receive the award if the principal of the student’s school or the district superintendent verifies that the deficiency is caused by the fact that school district personnel provided inaccurate or incomplete information to the student. The school district must provide a means for the student to correct the deficiencies and the student must correct them, either by completing comparable work at the postsecondary institution or by completing a directed individualized study program developed and administered by the school district. If the student does not complete the requirements by December 31 immediately following high school graduation, the student is ineligible to participate in the program.
(6)(a) The State Board of Education shall publicize the examination score required for a student to be eligible for a Florida Academic Scholars award, pursuant to s. 1009.534(1)(a) or (b), as follows:
1. For high school students graduating in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years, the student must earn an SAT score of 1270 or a concordant ACT score of 28.
2. For high school students graduating in the 2012-2013 academic year, the student must earn an SAT score of 1280 which corresponds to the 88th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 28.
3. For high school students graduating in the 2013-2014 academic year and thereafter, the student must earn an SAT score of 1290 which corresponds to the 89th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 29.
(b) The State Board of Education shall publicize the examination score required for a student to be eligible for a Florida Medallion Scholars award, pursuant to s. 1009.535(1)(a) or (b), as follows:
1. For high school students graduating in the 2010-2011 academic year, the student must earn an SAT score of 970 or a concordant ACT score of 20 or the student in a home education program whose parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum must earn an SAT score of 1070 or a concordant ACT score of 23.
2. For high school students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year, the student must earn an SAT score of 980 which corresponds to the 44th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 21 or the student in a home education program whose parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum must earn an SAT score of 1070 or a concordant ACT score of 23.
3. For high school students graduating in the 2012-2013 academic year, the student must earn an SAT score of 1020 which corresponds to the 50th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 22 or the student in a home education program whose parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum must earn an SAT score of 1070 or a concordant ACT score of 23.
4. For high school students graduating in the 2013-2014 academic year and thereafter, the student must earn an SAT score of 1050 which corresponds to the 56th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 23 or the student in a home education program whose parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum must earn an SAT score of 1100 or a concordant ACT score of 24.
(c) The SAT percentile ranks and corresponding SAT scores specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) are based on the SAT percentile ranks for 2009 college-bound seniors in critical reading and mathematics as reported by the College Board. The next highest SAT score is used when the percentile ranks do not directly correspond.
History.s. 423, ch. 2002-387; s. 20, ch. 2003-72; s. 48, ch. 2003-391; s. 54, ch. 2004-41; s. 7, ch. 2005-196; s. 1, ch. 2007-330; s. 13, ch. 2010-155.
1009.532 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for renewal awards.
(1) To be eligible to renew a scholarship from any of the three types of scholarships under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, a student must:
(a) Effective for students funded in the 2009-2010 academic year and thereafter, earn at least 24 semester credit hours or the equivalent in the last academic year in which the student earned a scholarship if the student was enrolled full time, or a prorated number of credit hours as determined by the Department of Education if the student was enrolled less than full time for any part of the academic year. For students initially eligible prior to the 2010-2011 academic term, if a student fails to earn the minimum number of hours required to renew the scholarship, the student shall lose his or her eligibility for renewal for a period equivalent to 1 academic year. Such student is eligible to restore the award the following academic year if the student earns the hours for which he or she was enrolled at the level defined by the department and meets the grade point average for renewal. A student is eligible for such restoration one time. The department shall notify eligible recipients of the provisions of this paragraph. Each institution shall notify award recipients of the provisions of this paragraph during the registration process.
(b) Maintain the cumulative grade point average required by the scholarship program, except that:
1. If a recipient’s grades fall beneath the average required to renew a Florida Academic Scholarship, but are sufficient to renew a Florida Medallion Scholarship or a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship, the Department of Education may grant a renewal from one of those other scholarship programs, if the student meets the renewal eligibility requirements;
2. For students initially eligible prior to the 2010-2011 academic term, if at any time during the eligibility period a student’s grades are insufficient to renew the scholarship, the student may restore eligibility by improving the grade point average to the required level. A student is eligible for such a restoration one time. The Legislature encourages education institutions to assist students to calculate whether or not it is possible to raise the grade point average during the summer term. If the institution determines that it is possible, the education institution may so inform the department, which may reserve the student’s award if funds are available. The renewal, however, must not be granted until the student achieves the required cumulative grade point average. If the summer term is not sufficient to raise the grade point average to the required renewal level, the student’s next opportunity for renewal is the fall semester of the following academic year; or
3. For students initially eligible in the 2010-2011 academic term and thereafter, if at any time during a student’s first academic year the student’s grades are insufficient to renew the scholarship, the student may restore eligibility by improving the grade point average to the required level. A student is eligible for such a restoration one time. The Legislature encourages education institutions to assist students to calculate whether or not it is possible to raise the grade point average during the summer term. If the education institution determines that it is possible, the institution may so inform the department, which may reserve the student’s award if funds are available. The renewal, however, must not be granted until the student achieves the required cumulative grade point average. If the summer term is not sufficient to raise the grade point average to the required renewal level, the student’s next opportunity for renewal is the fall semester of the following academic year.
(c) Reimburse or make satisfactory arrangements to reimburse the institution for the award amount received for courses dropped after the end of the drop and add period or courses from which the student withdraws after the end of the drop and add period unless the student has received an exception pursuant to s. 1009.53(11).
(2) For students initially eligible in the 2010-2011 academic term and thereafter, and unless otherwise provided in this section, if a student does not meet the requirements for renewal of a scholarship because of lack of completion of sufficient credit hours or insufficient grades, the scholarship shall be renewed only if the student failed to complete sufficient credit hours or to meet sufficient grade requirements due to verifiable illness or other documented emergency, in which case the student may be granted an exception from academic requirements pursuant to s. 1009.40(1)(b)4.
(3) A student who is initially eligible prior to the 2010-2011 academic year and is enrolled in a program that terminates in an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree may receive an award for a maximum of 110 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the program. A student who is enrolled in a program that terminates in a career certificate may receive an award for a maximum of 110 percent of the credit hours or clock hours required to complete the program up to 90 credit hours. For a student who is initially eligible in the 2010-2011 academic term and thereafter, the student may receive an award for a maximum of 100 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete an associate degree program or a baccalaureate degree program, or the student may receive an award for a maximum of 100 percent of the credit hours or clock hours required to complete up to 90 credit hours of a program that terminates in a career certificate. A student who transfers from one of these program levels to another becomes eligible for the higher of the two credit hour limits.
History.s. 424, ch. 2002-387; s. 21, ch. 2003-72; s. 55, ch. 2004-41; s. 120, ch. 2004-357; s. 14, ch. 2009-60; s. 14, ch. 2010-155.
1009.533 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; eligible postsecondary education institutions.A student is eligible for an award or the renewal of an award from the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program if the student meets the requirements for the program as described in this act and is enrolled in a postsecondary education institution that meets the description in any one of the following subsections:
(1) A Florida public university, 1community college, or career center.
(2) An independent Florida college or university that is accredited by an accrediting association whose standards are comparable to the minimum standards required to operate an institution at that level in Florida, as determined by rules of the Commission for Independent Education, and which has operated in the state for at least 3 years.
(3) An independent Florida postsecondary education institution that is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education and that:
(a) Is authorized to grant degrees;
(b) Shows evidence of sound financial condition; and
(c) Has operated in the state for at least 3 years without having its approval, accreditation, or license placed on probation.
(4) A Florida independent postsecondary education institution that offers a nursing diploma approved by the Board of Nursing.
(5) A Florida independent postsecondary education institution that is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education and which:
(a) Is authorized to award certificates, diplomas, or credentials other than degrees;
(b) Has a program completion and placement rate of at least the rate required by the current Florida Statutes, the Florida Administrative Code, or the Department of Education for an institution at its level; and
(c) Shows evidence of sound financial condition; and either:
1. Is accredited at the institutional level by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and has operated in the state for at least 3 years during which there has been no complaint for which probable cause has been found; or
2. Has operated in Florida for 5 years during which there has been no complaint for which probable cause has been found.
History.s. 425, ch. 2002-387; s. 121, ch. 2004-357.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.534 Florida Academic Scholars award.
(1) A student is eligible for a Florida Academic Scholars award if the student meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the student:
(a) Has achieved a 3.5 weighted grade point average as calculated pursuant to s. 1009.531, or its equivalent, in high school courses that are designated by the State Board of Education as college-preparatory academic courses; and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(a) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program;
(b) Has attended a home education program according to s. 1002.41 during grades 11 and 12 or has completed the International Baccalaureate curriculum but failed to earn the International Baccalaureate Diploma or has completed the Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum but failed to earn the Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma, and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(a) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program;
(c) Has been awarded an International Baccalaureate Diploma from the International Baccalaureate Office or an Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma from the University of Cambridge International Examinations Office;
(d) Has been recognized by the merit or achievement programs of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as a scholar or finalist; or
(e) Has been recognized by the National Hispanic Recognition Program as a scholar recipient.

A student must complete a program of community service work, as approved by the district school board or the administrators of a nonpublic school, which shall include a minimum of 75 hours of service work and require the student to identify a social problem that interests him or her, develop a plan for his or her personal involvement in addressing the problem, and, through papers or other presentations, evaluate and reflect upon his or her experience.

(2) Effective January 1, 2008, a Florida Academic Scholar who is enrolled in a public postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount required to pay tuition and fees. A student who is enrolled in a nonpublic postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount that would be required to pay for the average tuition and fees of a public postsecondary education institution at the comparable level.
(3) To be eligible for a renewal award as a Florida Academic Scholar, a student must maintain the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale with an opportunity for restoration one time as provided in this chapter.
(4) In each school district, the Florida Academic Scholar with the highest academic ranking shall receive an additional award of $1,500 for college-related expenses. This award must be funded from the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
(5) Notwithstanding subsections (2) and (4), a Florida Academic Scholar is eligible for an award equal to the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 426, ch. 2002-387; s. 56, ch. 2004-41; s. 8, ch. 2005-196; s. 3, ch. 2007-330; s. 15, ch. 2009-60; s. 15, ch. 2010-155.
1009.5341 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship awards for graduate study.Florida Bright Futures Scholarship recipients who graduate in the 2010-2011 academic year and thereafter with a baccalaureate degree in 7 semesters, or the equivalent or fewer hours, and wish to pursue graduate study may apply the unused portion of their Florida Academic Scholars award or Florida Medallion Scholars award toward 1 semester of graduate study, not to exceed 15 semester hours paid at the undergraduate rate. A baccalaureate degree may include, but is not limited to, college credits earned through articulated acceleration mechanisms pursuant to s. 1007.27.
History.s. 16, ch. 2010-155.
1009.535 Florida Medallion Scholars award.
(1) A student is eligible for a Florida Medallion Scholars award if the student meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the student:
(a) Has achieved a weighted grade point average of 3.0 as calculated pursuant to s. 1009.531, or the equivalent, in high school courses that are designated by the State Board of Education as college-preparatory academic courses; and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(b) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program;
(b) Has completed the International Baccalaureate curriculum but failed to earn the International Baccalaureate Diploma or has completed the Advanced International Certificate of Education curriculum but failed to earn the Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma, and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(b) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program;
(c) Has attended a home education program according to s. 1002.41 during grades 11 and 12 and has attained at least the score pursuant to s. 1009.531(6)(b) on the combined verbal and quantitative parts of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Scholastic Assessment Test, or the recentered Scholastic Assessment Test of the College Entrance Examination, or an equivalent score on the ACT Assessment Program, if the student’s parent cannot document a college-preparatory curriculum as described in paragraph (a);
(d) Has been recognized by the merit or achievement program of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as a scholar or finalist but has not completed a program of community service as provided in s. 1009.534; or
(e) Has been recognized by the National Hispanic Recognition Program as a scholar, but has not completed a program of community service as provided in s. 1009.534.
(2) A Florida Medallion Scholar is eligible for an award equal to the amount required to pay 75 percent of tuition and fees if the student is enrolled in a state university or a baccalaureate degree program authorized pursuant to s. 1007.33. A Florida Medallion Scholar is eligible for an award equal to the amount required to pay 100 percent of tuition and fees for college credit courses leading to an associate degree if the student is enrolled in a 1community college. A student who is enrolled in a nonpublic postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount that would be required to pay 75 percent of the tuition and fees of a public postsecondary education institution at the comparable level.
(3) To be eligible for a renewal award as a Florida Medallion Scholar, a student must maintain the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale with an opportunity for restoration one time as provided in this chapter.
(4) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a Florida Medallion Scholar is eligible for an award equal to the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 427, ch. 2002-387; s. 57, ch. 2004-41; s. 9, ch. 2005-196; s. 4, ch. 2006-27; s. 16, ch. 2009-60; s. 17, ch. 2010-155.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.536 Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award.The Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award is created within the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program to recognize and reward academic achievement and career preparation by high school students who wish to continue their education.
(1) A student is eligible for a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award if the student meets the general eligibility requirements for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and the student:
(a) Completes the secondary school portion of a sequential program of studies that requires at least three secondary school career credits taken over at least 2 academic years, and is continued in a planned, related postsecondary education program. If the student’s school does not offer such a two-plus-two or tech-prep program, the student must complete a job-preparatory career education program selected by Workforce Florida, Inc., for its ability to provide high-wage employment in an occupation with high potential for employment opportunities. On-the-job training may not be substituted for any of the three required career credits.
(b) Demonstrates readiness for postsecondary education by earning a passing score on the Florida College Entry Level Placement Test or its equivalent as identified by the Department of Education.
(c) Earns a minimum cumulative weighted grade point average of 3.0, as calculated pursuant to s. 1009.531, on all subjects required for a standard high school diploma, excluding elective courses.
(d) Earns a minimum unweighted grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for secondary career courses comprising the career program.
(2) A Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholar is eligible for an award equal to the amount required to pay 75 percent of tuition and fees, if the student is enrolled in a public postsecondary education institution. A student who is enrolled in a nonpublic postsecondary education institution is eligible for an award equal to the amount that would be required to pay 75 percent of the tuition and mandatory fees of a public postsecondary education institution at the comparable level.
(3) To be eligible for a renewal award as a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholar, a student must maintain the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale with an opportunity for restoration one time as provided in this chapter.
(4) A student may earn a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship for 110 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the program, up to 90 credit hours or the equivalent. For a student who is initially eligible in the 2010-2011 academic term and thereafter, the student may earn a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship for 100 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete the program, up to 90 credit hours or the equivalent.
(5) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholar is eligible for an award equal to the amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.
History.s. 428, ch. 2002-387; s. 58, ch. 2004-41; s. 122, ch. 2004-357; s. 60, ch. 2005-152; s. 17, ch. 2009-60; s. 18, ch. 2010-155.
1009.538 Bright Futures Scholarship recipients attending nonpublic institutions; calculation of awards.Notwithstanding ss. 1009.53, 1009.534, 1009.535, and 1009.536, a student who receives any award under the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program, who is enrolled in a nonpublic postsecondary education institution, and who is assessed tuition and fees that are the same as those of a full-time student at that institution, shall receive a fixed award calculated by using the average tuition and fee calculation as prescribed by the Department of Education for full-time attendance at a public postsecondary education institution at the comparable level. If the student is enrolled part-time and is assessed tuition and fees at a reduced level, the award shall be either one-half of the maximum award or three-fourths of the maximum award, depending on the level of fees assessed.
History.s. 430, ch. 2002-387.
1009.54 Critical Teacher Shortage Program.There is created the Critical Teacher Shortage Program. The Chief Financial Officer shall authorize expenditures upon receipt of vouchers approved by the Department of Education for the critical teacher shortage programs established in s. 1009.58 or s. 1009.59. All scholarship loan repayments pursuant to s. 1009.57, the “Chappie” James Most Promising Teacher Scholarship Loan Program, and the Critical Teacher Shortage Scholarship Loan Program shall be deposited into the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Any remaining balance at the end of any fiscal year that has been allocated to the program shall remain in the trust fund and be available for the individual programs in future years.
History.s. 432, ch. 2002-387; s. 1956, ch. 2003-261; s. 18, ch. 2009-60.
1009.55 Rosewood Family Scholarship Program.
(1) There is created a Rosewood Family Scholarship Program for the direct descendants of the Rosewood families, not to exceed 25 scholarships per year.
(2) The Rosewood Family Scholarship Program shall be administered by the Department of Education. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for administering this program which shall at a minimum provide for the following:
(a) The annual award to a student shall be up to $4,000 but should not exceed an amount in excess of tuition and registration fees.
(b) If funds are insufficient to provide a full scholarship to each eligible applicant, the department may prorate available funds and make a partial award to each eligible applicant.
(c) The department shall rank eligible initial applicants for the purposes of awarding scholarships based on need as determined by the Department of Education.
(d) Payment of an award shall be transmitted in advance of the registration period each semester on behalf of the student to the president of the university or 1community college, or his or her representative, or to the director of the career center which the recipient is attending.
(3) Beginning with the 1994-1995 academic year, the department is authorized to make awards for undergraduate study to students who:
(a) Meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(b) File an application for the scholarship within the established time limits.
(c) Enroll as certificate-seeking or degree-seeking students at a state university, 1community college, or career center authorized by law.
History.s. 433, ch. 2002-387; s. 123, ch. 2004-357; s. 19, ch. 2009-60.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.56 Seminole and Miccosukee Indian Scholarships.
(1) There is created a Seminole and Miccosukee Indian Scholarship Program to be administered by the Department of Education in accordance with rules established by the State Board of Education. The Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida shall act in an advisory capacity in the development of the rules.
(2) The department shall award scholarships to students who:
(a) Have graduated from high school, have earned an equivalency diploma issued by the Department of Education pursuant to s. 1003.435, have earned an equivalency diploma issued by the United States Armed Forces Institute, or have been accepted through an early admission program;
(b) Are enrolled at a state university or 1community college authorized by Florida law; a nursing diploma school approved by the Board of Nursing; any 1Florida college, university, or 1community college which is accredited by an accrediting association whose standards are comparable to the minimum standards required to operate an institution at that level in Florida, as determined by rules of the Commission for Independent Education; or any Florida institution the credits of which are acceptable for transfer to state universities;
(c) Are enrolled as either full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate students and make satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college or university;
(d) Have been recommended by the Seminole Tribe of Florida or the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; and
(e) Meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(3) Recommendation by the Seminole Tribe of Florida or the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida shall:
(a) Be based upon established standards of financial need as determined by the respective tribe and the department;
(b) Be based upon such other eligibility requirements for student financial assistance as are adopted by the respective tribe; and
(c) Include certification of membership or eligibility for membership in the Seminole Tribe of Florida or the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.
(4) The amount of the scholarship shall be determined by the Seminole Tribe of Florida or the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, for its respective applicants, within the amount of funds appropriated for this purpose. The amount shall be prorated accordingly for part-time students. At the beginning of each semester or quarter, the department shall certify the name of each scholarship holder eligible to receive funds for that registration period to the Chief Financial Officer, who shall draw a warrant in favor of each scholarship recipient. Each recipient shall be eligible to have the scholarship renewed from year to year, provided all academic and other requirements of the college or university and rules established by the State Board of Education are met.
(5) The Commissioner of Education shall include amounts sufficient for continuation of this program in the legislative budget requests of the department.
(6) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for the program shall be deposited in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund.
History.s. 434, ch. 2002-387; s. 1957, ch. 2003-261.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.57 Florida Teacher Scholarship and Forgivable Loan Program.
(1) There is created the Florida Teacher Scholarship and Forgivable Loan Program to be administered by the Department of Education. The program shall provide scholarship assistance to eligible students for lower-division undergraduate study and loan assistance to eligible students for upper-division undergraduate and graduate study. The primary purpose of the program is to attract capable and promising students to the teaching profession, attract teachers to areas of projected or current critical teacher shortage, attract liberal arts and science graduates to teaching, and provide opportunity for persons making midcareer decisions to enter the teaching profession. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to administer the program and shall annually identify critical teacher shortage areas.
(2)(a) Within the Florida Teacher Scholarship and Forgivable Loan Program shall be established the Florida Critical Teacher Shortage Forgivable Loan Program which shall make undergraduate and graduate forgivable loans available to eligible students entering programs of study that lead to a degree in a teaching program in a critical teacher shortage area. To be eligible for a program loan, a candidate shall:
1. Be a full-time student at the upper-division undergraduate or graduate level in a teacher training program approved by the department pursuant to s. 1004.04 leading to certification in a critical teacher shortage subject area.
2. Have declared an intent to teach, for at least the number of years for which a forgivable loan is received, in publicly funded elementary or secondary schools of Florida in a critical teacher shortage area identified by the State Board of Education. For purposes of this subsection, a school is publicly funded if it receives at least 75 percent of its operating costs from governmental agencies and operates its educational program under contract with a public school district or the Department of Education.
3. Meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section.
4. If applying for an undergraduate forgivable loan, have maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate work. Renewal applicants for undergraduate loans shall maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate work and have earned at least 12 semester credits per term, or the equivalent.
5. If applying for a graduate forgivable loan, have maintained an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or have attained a Graduate Record Examination score of at least 1,000. Renewal applicants for graduate loans shall maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate work and have earned at least 9 semester credits per term, or the equivalent.
(b) An undergraduate forgivable loan may be awarded for 2 undergraduate years or for a maximum of 3 years for programs requiring a fifth year of instruction to obtain initial teaching certification. The amount of the scholarship shall be prorated based on available appropriations and may not exceed $4,000 per year.
(c) A graduate forgivable loan may be awarded for 2 graduate years. The amount of the scholarship shall be prorated based on available appropriations and may not exceed $8,000 per year. In addition to meeting criteria specified in paragraph (a), a loan recipient at the graduate level shall:
1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from any college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association as defined by State Board of Education rule.
2. Not already hold a teaching certificate resulting from an undergraduate degree in education in an area of critical teacher shortage as designated by the State Board of Education.
3. Not have received an undergraduate forgivable loan as provided for in paragraph (b).
(d) Recipients of the Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Loan Program as authorized under title IV, part D, subpart 1 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, shall not be eligible to participate in the Florida Critical Teacher Shortage Forgivable Loan Program.
(e) The State Board of Education shall adopt by rule repayment schedules and applicable interest rates under ss. 1009.82 and 1009.95. A forgivable loan must be repaid within 10 years of completion of a program of studies.
1. Credit for repayment of an undergraduate or graduate forgivable loan shall be in an amount not to exceed $4,000 in loan principal plus applicable accrued interest for each full year of eligible teaching service. However, credit in an amount not to exceed $8,000 in loan principal plus applicable accrued interest shall be given for each full year of eligible teaching service completed at a high-density, low-economic urban school or at a low-density, low-economic rural school, as identified by the State Board of Education.
2. Any forgivable loan recipient who fails to teach in a publicly funded elementary or secondary school in this state as specified in this subsection is responsible for repaying the loan plus accrued interest at 8 percent annually.
3. Forgivable loan recipients may receive loan repayment credit for teaching service rendered at any time during the scheduled repayment period. However, such repayment credit shall be applicable only to the current principal and accrued interest balance that remains at the time the repayment credit is earned. No loan recipient shall be reimbursed for previous cash payments of principal and interest.
(f) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for the program shall be deposited in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund.
History.s. 435, ch. 2002-387; s. 20, ch. 2009-60.
1009.58 Critical teacher shortage tuition reimbursement program.
(1) A critical teacher shortage tuition reimbursement program shall be established for the purpose of improving the skills and knowledge of current teachers or persons preparing to teach in critical teacher shortage areas.
(2) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement the critical teacher shortage tuition reimbursement program. Any full-time public school employee or lab school employee certified to teach in this state is eligible for the program. For the purposes of this program, tuition reimbursement shall be limited to courses in critical teacher shortage areas as determined by the State Board of Education. Such courses shall be:
(a) Graduate-level courses leading to a master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree;
(b) Graduate-level courses leading to a new certification area; or
(c) State-approved undergraduate courses leading to an advanced degree or new certification area.
(3) Participants may receive tuition reimbursement payments for up to 9 semester hours, or the equivalent in quarter hours, per year. The amount of the reimbursement per semester hour shall be prorated based on available appropriations and may not exceed $78 per semester hour, up to a total of 36 semester hours. All tuition reimbursements shall be contingent on passing an approved course with a minimum grade of 3.0 or its equivalent.
(4) This section shall be implemented only to the extent specifically funded and authorized by law.
History.s. 436, ch. 2002-387; s. 59, ch. 2004-41; s. 21, ch. 2009-60.
1009.59 Critical Teacher Shortage Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
(1) The Critical Teacher Shortage Student Loan Forgiveness Program is established to encourage qualified personnel to seek employment in subject areas in which critical teacher shortages exist, as identified annually by the State Board of Education. The primary function of the program is to make repayments toward loans received by students from federal programs or commercial lending institutions for the support of postsecondary education study. Repayments are intended to be made to qualified applicants who begin teaching for the first time in designated subject areas, and who apply during their first year of teaching as certified teachers in these subject areas.
(2) The Department of Education may make loan principal repayments, which shall be prorated based on available appropriations, as follows:
(a) Up to $2,500 a year for up to 4 years on behalf of selected graduates of state-approved undergraduate postsecondary teacher preparation programs, persons certified to teach pursuant to any applicable teacher certification requirements, or selected teacher preparation graduates from any state participating in the Interstate Agreement on the Qualification of Educational Personnel.
(b) Up to $5,000 a year for up to 2 years on behalf of selected graduates of state-approved graduate postsecondary teacher preparation programs, persons with graduate degrees certified to teach pursuant to any applicable teacher certification requirements, or selected teacher preparation graduates from any state participating in the Interstate Agreement on the Qualification of Educational Personnel.
(c) All repayments shall be contingent on continued proof of employment in the designated subject areas in this state and shall be made directly to the holder of the loan. The state shall not bear responsibility for the collection of any interest charges or other remaining balance. In the event that designated critical teacher shortage subject areas are changed by the State Board of Education, a teacher shall continue to be eligible for loan forgiveness as long as he or she continues to teach in the subject area for which the original loan repayment was made and otherwise meets all conditions of eligibility.
(3) Students receiving a scholarship loan or a fellowship loan are not eligible to participate in the Critical Teacher Shortage Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
(4) The State Board of Education may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 necessary for the administration of this program.
(5) This section shall be implemented only to the extent as specifically funded and authorized by law.
History.s. 437, ch. 2002-387; s. 22, ch. 2009-60.
1009.60 Minority teacher education scholars program.There is created the minority teacher education scholars program, which is a collaborative performance-based scholarship program for African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, and Native American students. The participants in the program include Florida’s 1community colleges and its public and private universities that have teacher education programs.
(1) The minority teacher education scholars program shall provide an annual scholarship in an amount that shall be prorated based on available appropriations and may not exceed $4,000 for each approved minority teacher education scholar who is enrolled in one of Florida’s public or private universities in the junior year and is admitted into a teacher education program.
(2) To assist each participating education institution in the recruitment and retention of minority teacher scholars, the administrators of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc., shall implement a systemwide training program. The training program must include an annual conference or series of conferences for students who are in the program or who are identified by a high school or a 1community college as likely candidates for the program. The training program must also include research about and dissemination concerning successful activities or programs that recruit minority students for teacher education and retain them through graduation, certification, and employment. Staff employed by the corporation may work with each participating education institution to assure that local faculty and administrators receive the benefit of all available research and resources to increase retention of their minority teacher education scholars.
(3) The total amount appropriated annually for new scholarships in the program must be divided by $4,000 and by the number of participating colleges and universities. Each participating institution has access to the same number of scholarships and may award all of them to eligible minority students. If a college or university does not award all of its scholarships by the date set by the program administration at the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc., the remaining scholarships must be transferred to another institution that has eligible students. If the total amount appropriated for new scholarships is insufficient to award $4,000 to each eligible student, the amount of the scholarship shall be prorated based on available appropriations.
(4) A student may receive a scholarship from the program for 3 consecutive years if the student remains enrolled full-time in the program and makes satisfactory progress toward a baccalaureate degree with a major in education.
(5) If a minority teacher education scholar graduates and is employed as a teacher by a Florida district school board, the scholar is not required to repay the scholarship amount so long as the scholar teaches in a Florida public school. A scholar may repay the entire scholarship amount by remaining employed as a Florida public school teacher for 1 year for each year he or she received the scholarship.
(6) If a minority teacher education scholar does not graduate within 3 years, or if the scholar graduates but does not teach in a Florida public school, the scholar must repay the total amount awarded, plus annual interest of 8 percent.
(a) Interest begins accruing the first day of the 13th month after the month in which the recipient completes an approved teacher education program or after the month in which enrollment as a full-time student is terminated. Interest does not accrue during any period of deferment or eligible teaching service.
(b) The repayment period begins the first day of the 13th month after the month in which the recipient completes an approved teacher education program or after the month in which enrollment as a full-time student is terminated.
(c) The terms and conditions of the scholarship repayment must be contained in a promissory note and a repayment schedule. The loan must be paid within 10 years after the date of graduation or termination of full-time enrollment, including any periods of deferment. A shorter repayment period may be granted. The minimum monthly repayment is $50 or the unpaid balance, unless otherwise approved, except that the monthly payment may not be less than the accruing interest. The recipient may prepay any part of the scholarship without penalty.
(d) The holder of the promissory note may grant a deferment of repayment for a recipient who is a full-time student, who is unable to secure a teaching position that would qualify as repayment, who becomes disabled, or who experiences other hardships. Such a deferment may be granted for a total of 24 months.
(e) If a student defaults on the scholarship, the entire unpaid balance, including interest accrued, becomes due and payable at the option of the holder of the promissory note, or when the recipient is no longer able to pay or no longer intends to pay. The recipient is responsible for paying all reasonable attorney’s fees and other costs and charges necessary for administration of the collection process.
History.s. 438, ch. 2002-387; s. 23, ch. 2009-60.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.605 Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc.
(1) There is created the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc., which is a not-for-profit statutory corporation housed in the College of Education at the University of Florida. The corporation shall administer and manage the minority teacher education scholars program.
(2)(a) The corporation shall submit an annual budget projection to the Department of Education to be included in the annual legislative budget request. The projection must be based on the cost to award up to 350 scholarships to new scholars in the junior year and up to 350 renewal scholarships to the 350 rising seniors.
(b) The corporation shall report to the Department of Education, by the date established by the department, the eligible students to whom scholarship moneys are disbursed each academic term and any other information requested by the department in accordance with s. 1009.94. By June 30 of each fiscal year, the corporation shall remit to the department any appropriated funds that were not distributed for scholarships, less the 5 percent for administration, including administration of the required training program, authorized pursuant to subsection (3).
(3) A board of directors shall administer the corporation. The Governor shall appoint to the board at least 15 but not more than 25 members, who shall serve terms of 3 years, except that 4 of the initial members shall serve 1-year terms and 4 shall serve 2-year terms. At least 4 members must be employed by public 1community colleges and at least 11 members must be employed by public or private postsecondary institutions that operate colleges of education. At least one member must be a financial aid officer employed by a postsecondary education institution operating in Florida. Administrative costs for support of the Board of Directors and the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers may not exceed 5 percent of funds allocated for the program. The board shall:
(a) Hold meetings to implement this section.
(b) Select a chairperson annually.
(c) Make rules for its own government.
(d) Appoint an executive director to serve at its pleasure. The executive director shall be the chief administrative officer and agent of the board.
(e) Maintain a record of its proceedings.
(f) Delegate to the chairperson the responsibility for signing final orders.
(g) Carry out the training program as required for the minority teacher education scholars program. No more than 5 percent of the funds appropriated for the minority teacher education scholars program may be expended for administration, including administration of the required training program.
History.s. 439, ch. 2002-387; s. 24, ch. 2009-60.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.61 Teacher/Quest Scholarship Program.The Teacher/Quest Scholarship Program is created for the purpose of providing teachers with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of science, mathematics, and computer applications in business, industry, and government. A school district or lab school may propose that one or more teachers be granted a Teacher/Quest Scholarship by submitting to the Department of Education:
(1) A project proposal specifying activities a teacher will carry out to improve his or her:
(a) Understanding of mathematical, scientific, or computing concepts;
(b) Ability to apply and demonstrate such concepts through instruction;
(c) Knowledge of career requirements for competency in mathematics, science, and computing; and
(d) Ability to integrate and apply technological concepts from all three fields; and
(2) A contractual agreement with a private corporation or governmental agency that implements the project proposal and guarantees employment to the teacher during a summer or other period when schools are out of session. The agreement must stipulate a salary rate that does not exceed regular rates of pay and a gross salary amount consistent with applicable statutory and contractual provisions for the teacher’s employment. The teacher’s compensation shall be provided for on an equally matched basis by funds from the employing corporation or agency.
History.s. 440, ch. 2002-387; s. 60, ch. 2004-41; s. 124, ch. 2004-357.
1009.62 Grants for teachers for special training in exceptional student education.
(1) The Department of Education may make grants to teachers for special training in exceptional student education to meet professional requirements with respect thereto, and the department is responsible for the administration of such program.
(2) These grants are limited to teachers who:
(a) Hold a full-time contract to teach in a district school system, a state-operated or state-supported program, or an agency or organization under contract with the Department of Education;
(b) Hold a valid Florida educator’s certificate that does not reflect an exceptional-student-education coverage or endorsement that is appropriate for the teacher’s assignment; and
(c) Satisfactorily complete the eligible courses.
(3) Grant amounts are to be determined on the basis of rates established by the Department of Education.
(4) The Department of Education shall administer this program under rules established by the State Board of Education.
History.s. 441, ch. 2002-387.
1009.65 Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program.
(1) To encourage qualified medical professionals to practice in underserved locations where there are shortages of such personnel, there is established the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program. The function of the program is to make payments that offset loans and educational expenses incurred by students for studies leading to a medical or nursing degree, medical or nursing licensure, or advanced registered nurse practitioner certification or physician assistant licensure. The following licensed or certified health care professionals are eligible to participate in this program: medical doctors with primary care specialties, doctors of osteopathic medicine with primary care specialties, physician’s assistants, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, and advanced registered nurse practitioners with primary care specialties such as certified nurse midwives. Primary care medical specialties for physicians include obstetrics, gynecology, general and family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and other specialties which may be identified by the Department of Health.
(2) From the funds available, the Department of Health shall make payments to selected medical professionals as follows:
(a) Up to $4,000 per year for licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, up to $10,000 per year for advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, and up to $20,000 per year for physicians. Penalties for noncompliance shall be the same as those in the National Health Services Corps Loan Repayment Program. Educational expenses include costs for tuition, matriculation, registration, books, laboratory and other fees, other educational costs, and reasonable living expenses as determined by the Department of Health.
(b) All payments shall be contingent on continued proof of primary care practice in an area defined in s. 395.602(2)(e), or an underserved area designated by the Department of Health, provided the practitioner accepts Medicaid reimbursement if eligible for such reimbursement. Correctional facilities, state hospitals, and other state institutions that employ medical personnel shall be designated by the Department of Health as underserved locations. Locations with high incidences of infant mortality, high morbidity, or low Medicaid participation by health care professionals may be designated as underserved.
(c) The Department of Health may use funds appropriated for the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program as matching funds for federal loan repayment programs such as the National Health Service Corps State Loan Repayment Program.
(3) The Department of Health may adopt any rules necessary for the administration of the Medical Education Reimbursement and Loan Repayment Program. The department may also solicit technical advice regarding conduct of the program from the Department of Education and Florida universities and 1community colleges. The Department of Health shall submit a budget request for an amount sufficient to fund medical education reimbursement, loan repayments, and program administration.
History.s. 448, ch. 2002-387.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.66 Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
(1) To encourage qualified personnel to seek employment in areas of this state in which critical nursing shortages exist, there is established the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program. The primary function of the program is to increase employment and retention of registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in nursing homes and hospitals in the state and in state-operated medical and health care facilities, public schools, birth centers, federally sponsored community health centers, family practice teaching hospitals, and specialty children’s hospitals by making repayments toward loans received by students from federal or state programs or commercial lending institutions for the support of postsecondary study in accredited or approved nursing programs.
(2) To be eligible, a candidate must have graduated from an accredited or approved nursing program and have received a Florida license as a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse or a Florida certificate as an advanced registered nurse practitioner.
(3) Only loans to pay the costs of tuition, books, and living expenses shall be covered, at an amount not to exceed $4,000 for each year of education toward the degree obtained.
(4) From the funds available, the Department of Health may make loan principal repayments of up to $4,000 a year for up to 4 years on behalf of selected graduates of an accredited or approved nursing program. All repayments shall be contingent upon continued proof of employment in the designated facilities in this state and shall be made directly to the holder of the loan. The state shall bear no responsibility for the collection of any interest charges or other remaining balance. In the event that the designated facilities are changed, a nurse shall continue to be eligible for loan forgiveness as long as he or she continues to work in the facility for which the original loan repayment was made and otherwise meets all conditions of eligibility.
(5) There is created the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund to be administered by the Department of Health pursuant to this section and s. 1009.67 and department rules. The Chief Financial Officer shall authorize expenditures from the trust fund upon receipt of vouchers approved by the Department of Health. All moneys collected from the private health care industry and other private sources for the purposes of this section shall be deposited into the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund. Any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of this section and s. 1009.67.
(6) In addition to licensing fees imposed under part I of chapter 464, there is hereby levied and imposed an additional fee of $5, which fee shall be paid upon licensure or renewal of nursing licensure. Revenues collected from the fee imposed in this subsection shall be deposited in the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund of the Department of Health and will be used solely for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section and s. 1009.67. Up to 50 percent of the revenues appropriated to implement this subsection may be used for the nursing scholarship program established pursuant to s. 1009.67.
(7) Funds contained in the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund which are to be used for loan forgiveness for those nurses employed by hospitals, birth centers, and nursing homes must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis by contributions from the employing institutions, except that this provision shall not apply to state-operated medical and health care facilities, public schools, county health departments, federally sponsored community health centers, teaching hospitals as defined in s. 408.07, family practice teaching hospitals as defined in s. 395.805, or specialty hospitals for children as used in s. 409.9119. An estimate of the annual trust fund dollars shall be made at the beginning of the fiscal year based on historic expenditures from the trust fund. Applicant requests shall be reviewed on a quarterly basis, and applicant awards shall be based on the following priority of employer until all such estimated trust funds are awarded: state-operated medical and health care facilities; public schools; county health departments; federally sponsored community health centers; teaching hospitals as defined in s. 408.07; family practice teaching hospitals as defined in s. 395.805; specialty hospitals for children as used in s. 409.9119; and other hospitals, birth centers, and nursing homes.
(8) The Department of Health may solicit technical assistance relating to the conduct of this program from the Department of Education.
(9) The Department of Health is authorized to recover from the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund its costs for administering the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
(10) The Department of Health may adopt rules necessary to administer this program.
(11) This section shall be implemented only as specifically funded.
(12) Students receiving a nursing scholarship pursuant to s. 1009.67 are not eligible to participate in the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
History.s. 2, ch. 2002-230; s. 449, ch. 2002-387; s. 3, ch. 2002-400; ss. 70, 71, ch. 2002-402; s. 121, ch. 2003-1; ss. 1958, 1959, ch. 2003-261; s. 6, ch. 2003-400.
1009.67 Nursing scholarship program.
(1) There is established within the Department of Health a scholarship program for the purpose of attracting capable and promising students to the nursing profession.
(2) A scholarship applicant shall be enrolled in an approved nursing program leading to the award of an associate degree, a baccalaureate degree, or a graduate degree in nursing.
(3) A scholarship may be awarded for no more than 2 years, in an amount not to exceed $8,000 per year. However, registered nurses pursuing a graduate degree for a faculty position or to practice as an advanced registered nurse practitioner may receive up to $12,000 per year. These amounts shall be adjusted by the amount of increase or decrease in the consumer price index for urban consumers published by the United States Department of Commerce.
(4) Credit for repayment of a scholarship shall be as follows:
(a) For each full year of scholarship assistance, the recipient agrees to work for 12 months in a faculty position in a college of nursing or 1community college nursing program in this state or at a health care facility in a medically underserved area as approved by the Department of Health. Scholarship recipients who attend school on a part-time basis shall have their employment service obligation prorated in proportion to the amount of scholarship payments received.
(b) Eligible health care facilities include nursing homes and hospitals in this state, state-operated medical or health care facilities, public schools, county health departments, federally sponsored community health centers, colleges of nursing in universities in this state, and 1community college nursing programs in this state, family practice teaching hospitals as defined in s. 395.805, or specialty children’s hospitals as described in s. 409.9119. The recipient shall be encouraged to complete the service obligation at a single employment site. If continuous employment at the same site is not feasible, the recipient may apply to the department for a transfer to another approved health care facility.
(c) Any recipient who does not complete an appropriate program of studies, who does not become licensed, who does not accept employment as a nurse at an approved health care facility, or who does not complete 12 months of approved employment for each year of scholarship assistance received shall repay to the Department of Health, on a schedule to be determined by the department, the entire amount of the scholarship plus 18 percent interest accruing from the date of the scholarship payment. Moneys repaid shall be deposited into the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund established in s. 1009.66. However, the department may provide additional time for repayment if the department finds that circumstances beyond the control of the recipient caused or contributed to the default.
(5) Scholarship payments shall be transmitted to the recipient upon receipt of documentation that the recipient is enrolled in an approved nursing program. The Department of Health shall develop a formula to prorate payments to scholarship recipients so as not to exceed the maximum amount per academic year.
(6) The Department of Health shall adopt rules, including rules to address extraordinary circumstances that may cause a recipient to default on either the school enrollment or employment contractual agreement, to implement this section.
(7) The Department of Health may recover from the Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Trust Fund its costs for administering the nursing scholarship program.
History.s. 3, ch. 2002-230; s. 450, ch. 2002-387.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.68 Florida Minority Medical Education Program.
(1) There is created a Florida Minority Medical Education Program to be administered by the Department of Education in accordance with rules established by the State Board of Education. The program shall provide scholarships to enable minority students to pursue a medical education at the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, Florida State University, the University of Miami, or Southeastern University of the Health Sciences, for the purpose of addressing the primary health care needs of underserved groups.
(2) In order to be eligible to receive a scholarship pursuant to this section, an applicant shall:
(a) Be a racial or ethnic minority student.
(b) Be a citizen of the United States and meet the general eligibility requirements as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(c) Have maintained residency in this state for no less than 1 year preceding the award.
(d) Be accepted by, and enroll as a full-time student in, a Florida medical school.
(e) Have an undergraduate grade point average established by rule.
(f) Have received scores on selected examinations established by rule.
(g) Meet financial need requirements established by rule.
(h) Agree to serve in a medical corps for a period of not less than 2 years for the purpose of providing health care to underserved individuals in the State of Florida.
(3) In order to renew a scholarship awarded pursuant to this section, a student shall maintain full-time student status and a cumulative grade point average established by rule.
(4) The number of scholarships annually awarded shall be three per school. Priority in the distribution of scholarships shall be given to students with the lowest total family resources.
(5) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for the program shall be deposited in the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Interest income accruing to the program from funds of the program in the trust fund not allocated shall increase the funds available for scholarships. Any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year that has been allocated to the program shall remain in the trust fund and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of this section.
(6) A scholarship recipient who, upon graduation, defaults on the commitment to serve in the medical corps for the full 2 years shall be required to repay all scholarship money plus interest.
(7) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
History.s. 451, ch. 2002-387.
1009.69 Virgil Hawkins Fellows Assistance Program.
(1) The Virgil Hawkins Fellows Assistance Program shall provide financial assistance for study in law to minority students in the colleges of law at the Florida State University, the University of Florida, the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and the Florida International University. For the purposes of this section, a minority student qualified to receive assistance from the Virgil Hawkins Fellows Assistance Program shall be identified pursuant to policies adopted by the State Board of Education.
(2) Each student who is awarded a fellowship shall be entitled to receive an award under this act for each academic term that the student is in good standing as approved by the law school pursuant to guidelines of the State Board of Education.
(3) If a fellowship vacancy occurs, that slot shall be reassigned and funded as a continuing fellowship for the remainder of the period for which the award was originally designated.
(4) The State Board of Education shall adopt policies, and the Department of Education shall administer the Virgil Hawkins Fellows Assistance Program.
History.s. 452, ch. 2002-387.
1009.70 Florida Education Fund.
(1) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Florida Education Fund Act.”
(2)(a) The Florida Education Fund, a not-for-profit statutory corporation, is created from a challenge endowment grant from the McKnight Foundation and operates on income derived from the investment of endowment gifts and other gifts as provided by state statute and appropriate matching funds as provided by the state.
(b) The amount appropriated to the fund shall be on the basis of $1 for each $2 contributed by private sources. The Florida Education Fund shall certify to the Legislature the amount of donations contributed between July 1, 1990, and June 30, 1991. Only the new donations above the certified base shall be calculated for state matching funds during the first year of the program. In subsequent years, only the new donations above the certified prior year base shall be calculated for state matching funds.
(3) The Florida Education Fund shall use the income of the fund to provide for programs which seek to:
(a) Enhance the quality of higher educational opportunity in this state;
(b) Enhance equality by providing access to effective higher education programs by minority and economically deprived individuals in this state, with particular consideration to be given to the needs of both blacks and women; and
(c) Increase the representation of minorities in faculty and administrative positions in higher education in this state and to provide more highly educated minority leadership in business and professional enterprises in this state.
(4) The Florida Education Fund shall be administered by a board of directors, which is hereby established.
(a) The board of directors shall consist of 12 members, to be appointed as follows:
1. Two laypersons appointed by the Governor;
2. Two laypersons appointed by the President of the Senate;
3. Two laypersons appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
4. Two representatives of state universities, two representatives of public 1community colleges, and two representatives of independent colleges or universities appointed by the State Board of Education.

The board of directors may appoint to the board an additional five members from the private sector for the purpose of assisting in the procurement of private contributions. Such members shall serve as voting members of the board.

(b) Each of the educational sectors in paragraph (a) shall be represented by a president and a faculty member of the corresponding institutions.
(c) Each director shall hold office for a term of 3 years or until resignation or removal for cause. A director may resign at any time by filing his or her written resignation with the executive secretary for the board. The terms of the directors shall be staggered so that the terms of one-third of the directors will expire annually.
(d) In the event of a vacancy on the board caused by other than the expiration of a term, a new member shall be appointed by the appointing entity in the sector of which the vacancy occurs.
(e) Each member is accountable to the Governor for the proper performance of the duties of his or her office. The Governor shall cause any complaint or unfavorable report received concerning an action of the board or any of its members to be investigated and shall take appropriate action thereon. The Governor may remove any member from office for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, incompetence, or permanent inability to perform his or her official duties or for pleading nolo contendere to, or being found guilty of, a crime.
(5) The Board of Directors of the Florida Education Fund shall review and evaluate initial programs created by the McKnight Foundation and continue funding the Black Doctorate Fellowship Program and the Junior Fellowship Program if the evaluation is positive, and the board shall identify, initiate, and fund new and creative programs and monitor, review, and evaluate those programs. The purpose of this commitment is to broaden the participation and funding potential for further significant support of higher education in this state. In addition, the board shall:
(a) Hold such meetings as are necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
(b) Select a chairperson annually.
(c) Adopt and use an official seal in the authentication of its acts.
(d) Make rules for its own government.
(e) Administer this section.
(f) Appoint an executive director to serve at its pleasure and perform all duties assigned by the board. The executive director shall be the chief administrative officer and agent of the board.
(g) Maintain a record of its proceedings.
(h) Delegate to the chairperson of the board the responsibility for signing final orders.
(i) Utilize existing higher education organizations, associations, and agencies to carry out its educational programs and purposes with minimal staff employment.
(j) Be empowered to enter into contracts with the Federal Government, state agencies, or individuals.
(k) Receive bequests, gifts, grants, donations, and other valued goods and services. Such bequests and gifts shall be used only for the purpose or purposes stated by the donor.
(6) The board of directors is authorized to establish a trust fund from the proceeds of the Florida Education Fund. All funds deposited into the trust fund shall be invested pursuant to the provisions of s. 215.47. Interest income accruing to the unused portion of the trust fund shall increase the total funds available for endowments. The Department of Education may, at the request of the board of directors, administer the fund for investment purposes.
(7) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Board of Directors of the Florida Education Fund recruit eligible residents of the state before it extends its search to eligible nonresidents. However, for the purposes of subsection (8), the board of directors shall recruit eligible residents only. It is further the intent of the Legislature that the board of directors establish service terms, if any, that accompany the award of moneys from the fund.
(8) There is created a legal education component of the Florida Education Fund to provide the opportunity for minorities to attain representation within the legal profession proportionate to their representation within the general population. The legal education component of the Florida Education Fund includes a law school program and a pre-law program.
(a) The law school scholarship program of the Florida Education Fund is to be administered by the Board of Directors of the Florida Education Fund for the purpose of increasing the number of minority students enrolled in law schools in this state by 200. Implementation of this program is to be phased in over a 3-year period.
1. The board of directors shall provide financial, academic, and other support to students selected for participation in this program from funds appropriated by the Legislature.
2. Student selection must be made in accordance with rules adopted by the board of directors for that purpose and must be based, at least in part, on an assessment of potential for success, merit, and financial need.
3. Support must be made available to students who enroll in private, as well as public, law schools in this state which are accredited by the American Bar Association.
4. Scholarships must be paid directly to the participating students.
5. Students who participate in this program must agree in writing to sit for The Florida Bar examination and, upon successful admission to The Florida Bar, to practice law in the state for a period equal to the amount of time for which the student received aid, up to 3 years, or repay the amount of aid received.
(b) The minority pre-law scholarship loan program of the Florida Education Fund is to be administered by the Board of Directors of the Florida Education Fund for the purpose of increasing the opportunity of minority students to prepare for law school.
1. From funds appropriated by the Legislature, the board of directors shall provide for student fees, room, board, books, supplies, and academic and other support to selected minority undergraduate students matriculating at eligible public and independent colleges and universities in Florida.
2. Student selection must be made in accordance with rules adopted by the board of directors for that purpose and must be based, at least in part, on an assessment of potential for success, merit, and financial need.
3. To be eligible, a student must make a written agreement to enter or be accepted to enter a law school in this state within 2 years after graduation or repay the scholarship loan amount plus interest at the prevailing rate.
4. Recipients who fail to gain admission to a law school within the specified period, may, upon admission to law school, be eligible to have their loans canceled.
5. Minority pre-law scholarship loans shall be provided to 34 minority students per year for up to 4 years each, for a total of 136 scholarship loans. To continue receiving scholarship loans, recipients must maintain a 2.75 grade point average for the freshman year and a 3.25 grade point average thereafter. Participants must also take specialized courses to enhance competencies in English and logic.
6. The board of directors shall maintain records on all scholarship loan recipients. Participating institutions shall submit academic progress reports to the board of directors following each academic term.
History.s. 453, ch. 2002-387; s. 178, ch. 2010-102.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.701 First Generation Matching Grant Program.
(1) The First Generation Matching Grant Program is created to enable each state university to provide donors with a matching grant incentive for contributions that will create grant-based student financial aid for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and whose parents, as defined in s. 1009.21(1), have not earned a baccalaureate degree. In the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree would also be eligible.
(2) Funds appropriated by the Legislature for the program shall be allocated by the Office of Student Financial Assistance to match private contributions on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Contributions made to a state university and pledged for the purposes of this section are eligible for state matching funds appropriated for this program and are not eligible for any other state matching grant program. Pledged contributions are not eligible for matching prior to the actual collection of the total funds. The Office of Student Financial Assistance shall reserve a proportionate allocation of the total appropriated funds for each state university on the basis of full-time equivalent enrollment. Funds that remain unmatched as of December 1 shall be reallocated to state universities that have remaining unmatched private contributions for the program on the basis of full-time equivalent enrollment.
(3) Payment of the state matching grant shall be transmitted to the president of each participating institution or his or her representative in advance of the official drop-add deadline as defined by the institution.
(4) Each participating state university shall establish an application process, determine student eligibility for initial and renewal awards in conformance with subsection (5), identify the amount awarded to each recipient, and notify recipients of the amount of their awards.
(5) In order to be eligible to receive a grant pursuant to this section, an applicant must:
(a) Be a resident for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21.
(b) Be a first-generation college student. For the purposes of this section, a student is considered “first generation” if neither of the student’s parents, as defined in s. 1009.21(1), earned a college degree at the baccalaureate level or higher or, in the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, if that parent did not earn a baccalaureate degree.
(c) Be accepted at a state university.
(d) Be enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours per term as a degree-seeking undergraduate student.
(e) Have met the eligibility requirements in s. 1009.50 for demonstrated financial need for the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program.
(f) Meet additional eligibility requirements as established by the institution.
(6) The award amount shall be based on the student’s need assessment after any scholarship or grant aid, including, but not limited to, a Pell Grant or a Bright Futures Scholarship, has been applied. An award may not exceed the institution’s estimated annual cost of attendance for the student to attend the institution.
(7) Each participating institution shall report to the Office of Student Financial Assistance by the date established by the office the eligible students to whom grant moneys are disbursed each academic term. Each institution shall certify to the Office of Student Financial Assistance the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the office any undisbursed advances by June 1 of each year.
(8) No later than July 1, each participating institution shall annually report to the Executive Office of the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Board of Governors the eligibility requirements for recipients, the aggregate demographics of recipients, the retention and graduation rates of recipients, and a delineation of funds awarded to recipients.
(9) This section shall be implemented only as specifically funded.
History.s. 1, ch. 2006-73; s. 25, ch. 2009-60.
1009.72 Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Program.
(1) There is hereby established a Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Program to be administered by the Department of Education pursuant to this section and rules of the State Board of Education. The program shall provide matching grants for private sources that raise money for scholarships to be awarded to Hispanic-American students.
(2) All moneys collected from private sources for the purposes of this section shall be deposited into the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the program shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the program. All funds deposited into the trust fund for the program shall be invested pursuant to s. 17.61. Interest income accruing to that portion of the funds which is allocated to the program in the trust fund and not matched shall increase the total funds available for the program.
(3) The Legislature may appropriate funds for the program from the General Revenue Fund. Such funds shall be divided into challenge grants to be administered by the Department of Education.
(4) The amounts appropriated for the program shall be allocated by the department on the basis of one $5,000 challenge grant for each $2,500 raised from private sources. Matching funds shall be generated through contributions made after July 1, 1986, and pledged for the purposes of this section. Pledged contributions shall not be eligible for matching prior to the actual collection of the total funds.
(5)(a) In order to be eligible to receive a scholarship pursuant to this section, an applicant shall:
1. Be a Hispanic-American, or a person of Spanish culture with origins in Mexico, South America, Central America, or the Caribbean, regardless of race.
2. Be a citizen of the United States and meet the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section.
3. Be accepted at a state university or 1community college or any 1Florida college or university that is accredited by an association whose standards are comparable to the minimum standards required to operate a postsecondary education institution at that level in Florida.
4. Enroll as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student.
5. Earn a 3.0 unweighted grade point average on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent for high school subjects creditable toward a diploma. If an applicant applies as a graduate student, he or she shall have earned a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for undergraduate college-level courses.
(b) In order to renew a scholarship awarded pursuant to this section, a student must:
1. Earn a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the previous term, maintain at least a 3.0 average for college work, or have an average below 3.0 only for the previous term and be eligible for continued enrollment at the institution.
2. Maintain full-time enrollment.
(6) The annual scholarship to each recipient shall be $2,000. Priority in the distribution of scholarships shall be given to students with the lowest total family resources. Renewal scholarships shall take precedence over new awards in any year in which funds are not sufficient to meet the total need. No undergraduate student shall receive an award for more than the equivalent of 8 semesters or 12 quarters over a period of no more than 6 consecutive years, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3). No graduate student shall receive an award for more than the equivalent of 4 semesters or 6 quarters.
(7) The criteria and procedure for establishing standards of eligibility shall be determined by the department. The department is directed to establish a rating system upon which to base the approval of grants. Such system shall include a certification of acceptability by the postsecondary institution of the applicant’s choice.
(8) Payment of scholarships shall be transmitted to the president of the postsecondary institution that the recipient is attending or to the president’s designee. Should a recipient terminate his or her enrollment during the academic year, the president or his or her designee shall refund the unused portion of the scholarship to the department within 60 days. In the event that a recipient transfers from one eligible institution to another, his or her scholarship shall be transferable upon approval of the department.
(9) This section shall be implemented to the extent funded and authorized by law.
History.s. 454, ch. 2002-387; s. 1960, ch. 2003-261; s. 20, ch. 2010-155.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.73 Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship Program.
(1) There is established the Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship Program to be administered by the Department of Education pursuant to this section and rules of the State Board of Education. The program shall provide matching grants for private sources that raise money for scholarships to be awarded to students who attend Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, or Florida Memorial University.
(2) The Department of Education shall receive all moneys collected from private sources for the purposes of this section and shall deposit such moneys into the State Student Financial Assistance Trust Fund. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year which has been allocated to the program shall remain in the trust fund and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the program. All moneys deposited into the trust fund for the program shall be invested pursuant to s. 17.61. Interest income accruing to that portion of the funds which is allocated to the program in the trust fund and not matched shall increase the total funds available for the program.
(3) The Legislature may appropriate funds for the program from the General Revenue Fund. Such moneys shall be applied to scholarships to be administered by the Department of Education.
(4) The moneys for the program shall be allocated by the department among the institutions of higher education listed in subsection (1) on the basis of one $2,000 challenge grant for each $1,000 raised from private sources. Matching funds shall be generated through contributions made after July 1, 1990, and pledged for the purposes of this section. Pledged contributions shall not be eligible for matching prior to the actual collection of the total funds. The department shall allocate to each of those institutions a proportionate share of the contributions received on behalf of those institutions and a share of the appropriations and matching funds generated by such institution.
(5)(a) In order to be eligible to receive a scholarship pursuant to this section, an applicant must:
1. Meet the general eligibility requirements set forth in s. 1009.40.
2. Be accepted at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, or Florida Memorial University.
3. Enroll as a full-time undergraduate student.
4. Earn a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent, for high school subjects creditable toward a diploma.
(b) In order to renew a scholarship awarded pursuant to this section, a student must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and complete 12 credits each term for which the student received the scholarship.
(6) The amount of the scholarship to be granted to each recipient is $3,000 annually. Priority in the awarding of scholarships shall be given to students having financial need as determined by the institution. If funds are insufficient to provide the full amount of the scholarship authorized in this section to each eligible applicant, the institution may prorate available funds and make a partial award to each eligible applicant. A student may not receive an award for more than the equivalent of 8 semesters or 12 quarters over a period of 6 consecutive years, except that a student who is participating in college-preparatory instruction or who requires additional time to complete the college-level communication and computation skills testing program may continue to receive a scholarship while enrolled for the purpose of receiving college-preparatory instruction or while completing the testing program.
(7) The criteria and procedure for establishing standards of eligibility shall be determined by the department. The department shall establish a rating system upon which the institutions shall award the scholarships. The system must require a certification of eligibility issued by the postsecondary institution selected by the applicant.
(8) Scholarship moneys shall be transmitted to the president or the president’s designee of the postsecondary institution that the recipient is attending. The president or his or her designee shall submit a report annually to the Department of Education on the scholarships. If a recipient terminates his or her enrollment during the academic year, the president or his or her designee shall refund the unused portion of the scholarship to the department within 60 days. If a recipient transfers from one of the institutions listed in subsection (1) to another of those institutions, the recipient’s scholarship is transferable upon approval of the department.
(9) This section shall be implemented in any academic year to the extent funded and authorized by law.
(10) The State Board of Education may adopt any rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
History.s. 455, ch. 2002-387; s. 1961, ch. 2003-261; s. 103, ch. 2009-21; s. 21, ch. 2010-155.
1009.74 The Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Program.
(1) There is established the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Program to be administered by the Department of Education. The program shall provide scholarships to students attending a state university. The program shall be funded by contributions from the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation and from state matching funds to be allocated from the University Major Gifts Program.
(2) The amount to be allocated to the program shall be on the basis of a 50-percent match of funds from the University Major Gifts Program for each contribution received from the Theodore R. and Vivian M. Johnson Scholarship Foundation. The funds allocated to the program, including the corpus and interest income, shall be expended for scholarships to benefit disabled students attending a state university.
(3) Students eligible for receipt of scholarship funds shall provide documentation of a disability and shall have a demonstrated financial need for the funds.
History.s. 456, ch. 2002-387; s. 122, ch. 2003-1; s. 6, ch. 2007-18.
1009.77 Florida Work Experience Program.
(1) There is established the Florida Work Experience Program to be administered by the Department of Education. The purpose of the program is to introduce eligible students to work experience that will complement and reinforce their educational program and career goals and provide a self-help student aid program that reduces student loan indebtedness. Additionally, the program’s opportunities for employment at a student’s school will serve as a retention tool because students employed on campus are more likely to complete their postsecondary education. The program shall be available to:
(a) Any student attending a state university or 1community college authorized by Florida law;
(b) Any student attending a nonprofit Florida postsecondary education institution that is eligible to participate in either of the student assistance grant programs established in ss. 1009.51 and 1009.52;
(c) Any postsecondary student attending a career center operated by a district school board under s. 1001.44; or
(d) Any student attending an educator preparation institute established under s. 1004.85. Such student may participate in this program despite having previously earned a baccalaureate degree.
(2)(a) A participating institution may use up to 100 percent of its program allocation for student employment within the institution.
(b) A participating institution may use up to 10 percent of its program allocation for program administration.
(3) Each participating institution is authorized to enter into contractual agreements with private or public employers for the purpose of establishing a Florida work experience program.
(4) The participating postsecondary educational institution shall be responsible for reimbursing employers for student wages from its program allocation. Public elementary or secondary school employers or postsecondary institution employers shall be reimbursed for 100 percent of the student’s wages by the participating institution. All other employers may be reimbursed for up to 70 percent of the student’s wages. When a college or university employs a student on campus through this program, other student financial aid funds may not be used to fund the institution’s portion of the student’s wages.
(5) The employer is responsible for furnishing the full cost of any mandatory benefits. Such benefits may not be considered part of the wage requirement total for matching purposes.
(6) Each participating postsecondary educational institution is responsible for furnishing the full cost of all preemployment requirements, including, but not limited to, background screenings and tuberculosis testing, that are necessary for a student to be employed by a public elementary or secondary school employer. Expenditures under this subsection shall be paid from the funds received by the participating postsecondary educational institution.
(7) The employer is responsible for paying no less than the federal minimum wage established under the Fair Labor Standards Act or the state minimum wage established under s. 24, Art. X of the State Constitution and s. 448.110, whichever is greater. Employers are encouraged to pay students a competitive wage to increase student participation in this program.
(8) A student is eligible to participate in the Florida Work Experience Program if the student:
(a) Is enrolled:
1. At an eligible college or university as no less than a half-time undergraduate student in good standing;
2. In an eligible postsecondary career certificate program as no less than a half-time student in good standing. Eligible programs must be approved by the Department of Education and must consist of no less than 450 clock hours of instruction. Such programs must be offered by a career center operated by a district school board under s. 1001.44 or by a 1community college; or
3. At an educator preparation institute established under s. 1004.85 as no less than a half-time student in good standing.

However, a student may be employed during the break between two consecutive terms or employed, although not enrolled, during a term if the student was enrolled at least half time during the preceding term and preregisters as no less than a half-time student for the subsequent academic term. A student who attends an institution that does not provide preregistration shall provide documentation of intent to enroll as no less than a half-time student for the subsequent academic term.

(b) Meets the general requirements for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(c) Demonstrates financial need.
(d) Maintains the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
(9) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for the program as are necessary for its administration, for the determination of eligibility and selection of institutions to receive funds for students, to ensure the proper expenditure of funds, and to provide an equitable distribution of funds between students at public and independent colleges and universities and career centers operated by district school boards under s. 1001.44.
(10) A participating institution that receives funds from the program shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student within 30 days after the end of each term.
History.s. 459, ch. 2002-387; s. 1963, ch. 2003-261; s. 62, ch. 2004-41; s. 3, ch. 2007-113.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.78 Student Loan Program.There is hereby created a Student Loan Program, referred to in ss. 1009.78-1009.88 as the program.
History.s. 460, ch. 2002-387.
1009.79 Issuance of revenue bonds pursuant to s. 15, Art. VII, State Constitution.
(1) The issuance of revenue bonds to finance the establishment of the program, to be payable primarily from payments of interest, principal, and handling charges to the program from the recipients of the loans, and with the other revenues authorized hereby being pledged as additional security, is hereby authorized, subject and pursuant to the provisions of s. 15, Art. VII of the State Constitution; the State Bond Act, ss. 215.57-215.83; and ss. 1009.78-1009.88.
(2) The amount of such revenue bonds to be issued shall be determined by the Division of Bond Finance of the State Board of Administration. However, the total principal amount outstanding shall not exceed $80 million, other than refunding bonds issued pursuant to s. 215.79.
History.s. 461, ch. 2002-387.
1009.80 Approval of loans; administration of program.
(1) The loans to be made with the proceeds of the program shall be determined and approved by the Department of Education, pursuant to rules promulgated by the State Board of Education. The program shall be administered by the Department of Education as provided by law, and the proceeds thereof shall be maintained and secured in the same manner as other public trust funds.
(2) The Department of Education may contract for the purchase of federally insured student loans to be made by other eligible lenders under the guaranteed student loan program; however, any such loans must comply with all applicable requirements of s. 15, Art. VII of the State Constitution, ss. 1009.78-1009.88, the rules of the State Board of Education relating to the guaranteed student loan program, and the proceedings authorizing the student loan revenue bonds, and the loans so purchased shall have been made during the period specified in the contract.
(3) The Department of Education may sell loan notes acquired pursuant to ss. 1009.78-1009.88 to the federally created Student Loan Marketing Association or another federally authorized holder of such notes. The department may also repurchase loan notes from authorized holders of such notes. The department shall comply with applicable federal law and regulations and the provisions of any agreement with the Student Loan Marketing Association or the other authorized holders.
History.s. 462, ch. 2002-387.
1009.81 Loan agreements.The Department of Education may enter into loan agreements between the department and the recipients of loans from the program for such periods and under such other terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the applicable rules and regulations and mutually agreed upon by the parties thereto in order to carry out the purposes of s. 15, Art. VII of the State Constitution and ss. 1009.78-1009.88.
History.s. 463, ch. 2002-387.
1009.82 Terms of loans.The term of all authorized loans shall be fixed by rules adopted by the state board and the loan agreements to be entered into with the student borrowers.
History.s. 464, ch. 2002-387.
1009.83 Rate of interest and other charges.The Department of Education shall from time to time fix the interest and other charges to be paid for any student loan, at rates sufficient to pay the interest on revenue bonds issued pursuant to ss. 1009.78-1009.88, plus any costs incident to issuance, sale, security, and retirement thereof, including administrative expenses.
History.s. 465, ch. 2002-387.
1009.84 Procurement of insurance as security for loans.The Department of Education may contract with any insurance company or companies licensed to do business in the state for insurance payable in the event of the death or total disability of any student borrower in an amount sufficient to retire the principal and interest owed under a loan made as provided in ss. 1009.78-1009.88. The cost of any insurance purchased under this section shall be paid by the student borrower as a part of the handling charges for the loan or as a separate item to be paid in connection with the loan.
History.s. 466, ch. 2002-387.
1009.85 Participation in guaranteed student loan program.The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary for participation in the guaranteed student loan program, as provided by the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. ss. 1071 et seq.), as amended or as may be amended. The intent of this act is to authorize student loans when this state, through the Department of Education, has become an eligible lender under the provisions of the applicable federal laws providing for the guarantee of loans to students and the partial payment of interest on such loans by the United States Government.
History.s. 467, ch. 2002-387.
1009.86 Student Loan Operating Trust Fund.
(1) The Student Loan Operating Trust Fund is hereby created, to be administered by the Department of Education. Funds shall be credited to the trust fund pursuant to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, from loan processing and issuance fees, administrative cost allowances, account maintenance fees, default aversion fees, amounts remaining from collection of defaulted loans, amounts borrowed from the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund, and other amounts specified in federal regulation. The purpose of the trust fund is to segregate funds used for administration of the guaranteed student loan program from the reserve funds used to guarantee student loans contained in the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund. The fund is exempt from the service charges imposed by s. 215.20.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 216.301 and pursuant to s. 216.351, any balance in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the trust fund at the end of the year and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of the trust fund.
History.s. 468, ch. 2002-387; s. 2, ch. 2003-200.
1009.87 Provisions of ss. 1009.78-1009.88 cumulative.The provisions of ss. 1009.78-1009.88 shall be in addition to the other provisions of this chapter and shall not be construed to be in derogation thereof, except as otherwise expressly provided hereby.
History.s. 469, ch. 2002-387.
1009.88 Validation of bonds.Revenue bonds issued pursuant to ss. 1009.78-1009.88 shall be validated in the manner provided by chapter 75. In actions to validate such revenue bonds, the complaint shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where the seat of state government is situated, the notice required by s. 75.06 to be published shall be published only in the county where the complaint is filed, and the complaint and order of the circuit court shall be served only on the attorney of the circuit in which the action is pending.
History.s. 470, ch. 2002-387.
1009.89 The William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grants.
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that independent nonprofit colleges and universities eligible to participate in the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program are an integral part of the higher education system in this state and that a significant number of state residents choose this form of higher education. The Legislature further finds that a strong and viable system of independent nonprofit colleges and universities reduces the tax burden on the citizens of the state. Because the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program is not related to a student’s financial need or other criteria upon which financial aid programs are based, it is the intent of the Legislature that the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program not be considered a financial aid program but rather a tuition assistance program for its citizens.
(2) The William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program shall be administered by the Department of Education. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for the administration of the program.
(3) The department shall issue through the program a William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant to any full-time degree-seeking undergraduate student registered at an independent nonprofit college or university which is located in and chartered by the state; which is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; which grants baccalaureate degrees; which is not a state university or state 1community college; and which has a secular purpose, so long as the receipt of state aid by students at the institution would not have the primary effect of advancing or impeding religion or result in an excessive entanglement between the state and any religious sect. Any independent college or university that was eligible to receive tuition vouchers on January 1, 1989, and which continues to meet the criteria under which its eligibility was established, shall remain eligible to receive William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant payments.
(4) A person is eligible to receive such William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant if:
(a) He or she meets the general requirements, including residency, for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section; and
(b)1. He or she is enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an eligible college or university;
2. He or she is not enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree in theology or divinity; and
3. He or she is making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college or university in which he or she is enrolled.
(5)(a) Funding for the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida Resident Access Grant Program shall be based on a formula composed of planned enrollment and the state cost of funding undergraduate enrollment at public institutions pursuant to s. 1011.90. The amount of the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant issued to a full-time student shall be an amount as specified in the General Appropriations Act. The William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant may be paid on a prorated basis in advance of the registration period. The department shall make such payments to the college or university in which the student is enrolled for credit to the student’s account for payment of tuition and fees. Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances or refunds within 60 days of the end of regular registration. Students shall not be eligible to receive the award for more than 9 semesters or 14 quarters, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).
(b) If the combined amount of the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant issued pursuant to this act and all other scholarships and grants for tuition or fees exceeds the amount charged to the student for tuition and fees, the department shall reduce the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grant issued pursuant to this act by an amount equal to such excess.
(6) If the number of eligible students exceeds the total authorized in the General Appropriations Act, an institution may use its own resources to assure that each eligible student receives the full benefit of the grant amount authorized.
History.s. 471, ch. 2002-387; s. 8, ch. 2005-56.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.891 The Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program.
(1) The Legislature finds and declares that independent for-profit colleges and universities eligible to participate in the Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program are an integral part of the higher education system in this state and that a significant number of state residents choose this form of higher education. The Legislature further finds that strong, viable independent for-profit colleges and universities reduce the tax burden on the residents of the state. Because the Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program is not related to a student’s financial need or other criteria upon which financial aid programs are based, it is the intent of the Legislature that the Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program not be considered a financial aid program but rather a tuition assistance program for state residents.
(2) The Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program shall be administered by the Department of Education. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for administering the program.
(3) The department shall issue an access grant to any full-time student seeking a baccalaureate degree who is registered at a for-profit college or university that is located in and chartered by the state and that is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or who is registered at a nonprofit college or university that is chartered out of the state, that has been located in the state for 10 years or more, and that is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, or the New England Association of Colleges and Schools; that grants baccalaureate degrees; that is not a state university or state 1community college; and that has a secular purpose, if the receipt of state aid by students at the institution would not have the primary effect of advancing or impeding religion or result in an excessive entanglement between the state and any religious sect. Institutions eligible for the Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program in the initial year of funding shall include only those for-profit colleges or universities identified in this subsection. Nonprofit colleges or universities identified in this subsection shall be eligible for financial support in the second year of funding.
(4) A person is eligible to receive an access grant if:
(a) He or she meets the general requirements, including residency, for student eligibility as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this section; and
(b)1. He or she is enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an eligible college or university in a program of study leading to a baccalaureate degree;
2. He or she is not enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree in theology or divinity; and
3. He or she is making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the college or university in which he or she is enrolled.
(5)(a) The amount of the access grant issued to a full-time student shall be an amount specified in the General Appropriations Act. The access grant may be paid on a prorated basis in advance of the registration period. The department shall make payments to the college or university in which the student is enrolled for credit to the student’s account for payment of tuition and fees. Institutions shall certify to the department the amount of funds disbursed to each student and shall remit to the department any undisbursed advances or refunds within 60 days after the end of regular registration. A student may not receive the award for more than 9 semesters or 14 quarters, except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.40(3).
(b) If the combined amount of the access grant issued pursuant to this section and all other scholarships and grants for tuition or fees exceeds the amount charged to the student for tuition and fees, the department shall reduce the grant issued under this section by an amount equal to the excess.
(6) If the number of eligible students exceeds the total authorized in the General Appropriations Act, an institution may use its own resources to assure that each eligible student receives the full benefit of the grant amount authorized.
(7) This section shall be implemented only to the extent specifically funded and authorized by law.
History.s. 1, ch. 2003-65.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.892 Cost of attendance; adult norm-referenced testing.
(1) A public or private postsecondary institution shall include in its cost of attendance adult norm-referenced testing that it requires for eligible students to qualify for accommodations for disabilities.
(2) To be eligible, a student must be a legal resident of this state, as defined in s. 1009.21; must be enrolled in at least 6 semester hours, or the equivalent, per term in a degree, certificate, or diploma program; and must have documented learning disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
History.s. 3, ch. 2006-73.
C. Role of the Department of Education
1009.90 Duties of the Department of Education.
1009.91 Assistance programs and activities of the department.
1009.92 Funding for programs administered by the department.
1009.93 Student financial aid planning and development.
1009.94 Student financial assistance database.
1009.95 Delinquent accounts.
1009.96 Annual review of financial assistance programs.
1009.90 Duties of the Department of Education.The duties of the department shall include:
(1) Administration of this part and rules adopted by the State Board of Education.
(2) Administration of federal funding, insurance, or reinsurance in full compliance with applicable federal laws and regulations.
(3) Development of written administrative procedures and controls for the administration of each financial aid program conducted by the office, maintenance of program records and documents, timely collection and remittance of insurance premiums, and timely assignment of defaulted loans to collection agencies.
(4) Annual compilation of sources of financial aid available to students in this state.
(5) Biennial analysis of the amount of available financial aid moneys and the effect of such moneys on student access to postsecondary institutions.
(6) Biennial internal evaluation of the administrative efficiency and effectiveness of the office.
(7) Annual assessment of the accuracy of eligibility information from a random sample of award recipients.
(8) Annual review of procedures for the distribution of state financial aid funds.
(9) Development and submission of a report, annually, to the State Board of Education, the Board of Governors, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which shall include, but not be limited to, recommendations for the distribution of state financial aid funds.
(10) Development and evaluation of a comprehensive, long-range program of all sources of student financial aid.
(11) Dissemination of information on available financial aid programs to district school superintendents and other persons who request such information.
(12) Calculation of the amount of need-based student financial aid required to offset fee increases recommended by the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors and inclusion of such amount within the legislative budget request for student assistance grant programs.
History.s. 473, ch. 2002-387; s. 139, ch. 2007-217.
1009.91 Assistance programs and activities of the department.
(1) The department may contract for the administration of the student financial assistance programs as specifically provided in ss. 295.01, 1009.29, 1009.56, and 1009.78.
(2) The department may contract to provide the planning and development activities required pursuant to the provisions of this part.
(3) The department shall administer the guarantee of student loans made by participating commercial financial institutions in such a manner as to fully comply with applicable provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, relating to loan reinsurance.
(4) The department shall maintain records on the student loan default rate of each Florida postsecondary institution and report that information annually to both the institution and the State Board of Education. Information relating to state universities shall also be reported annually to the Board of Governors.
History.s. 474, ch. 2002-387; s. 140, ch. 2007-217.
1009.92 Funding for programs administered by the department.
(1) In the preparation of its annual budget, the department shall request that the Legislature continue to provide funding for applicable programs from the General Revenue Fund.
(2) The department is authorized to expend moneys from available trust funds in applicable student financial assistance programs.
(3) There is created a Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund, which shall be administered by the department in carrying out the provisions of this act.
(4) The principal sources of operating funds shall be from the earnings from the temporary investment of the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund and from compensation for services performed under contract for the administration of student financial assistance programs pursuant to s. 1009.91.
(5) The department is authorized to accept grant funds under the Leveraging Educational Assistance Program and Supplemental Leveraging Educational Assistance Program of the Federal Government, as provided by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
(6) The department is authorized to accept federal advances for the establishment of the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund pursuant to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, under agreement with the United States Commissioner of Education and to maintain such advances until recalled by the United States Commissioner of Education.
(7) The department is authorized to assess a student loan insurance premium on each loan guaranteed by the department. The amount of insurance premium will be determined by the department in the amount sufficient to maintain the pledged level of reserve funds, but in no event may the amount of the insurance premium exceed the maximum provided by federal law.
(8) The department shall invest, or contract for the temporary investment of, any unencumbered cash, and the interest earned therefrom, except as otherwise provided for by law or covenant, shall accrue to the Student Loan Guaranty Reserve Fund or for the administration of financial aid programs.
History.s. 475, ch. 2002-387.
1009.93 Student financial aid planning and development.
(1) The department shall administer a student financial aid planning and development program. It is the intent of the Legislature that a specific sum of funds be allocated each year for the purpose of sponsoring the design, development, and implementation of a comprehensive program of student financial aid and of initiating activities of inservice training for student financial aid administrators and activities to encourage maximum lender participation in guaranteed loans.
(2) The objective of a state program is the maintenance of a state student financial aid program to supplement a basic national program which will provide equal access to postsecondary education to citizens of this state who have the ability and motivation to benefit from a postsecondary education. In the development of a state program to achieve this objective, it shall be the policy that:
(a) State student financial aid be provided primarily on the basis of financial need;
(b) Students receiving need-based financial aid be expected to contribute toward their cost of education through self-help resources such as savings, work, and loans;
(c) Student financial aid be available to state residents for attendance at accredited public or private institutions of higher education in this state;
(d) Student financial aid be provided for all levels of postsecondary education; and
(e) State student financial aid be administered by a central state agency.

Planning and development must be in accordance with the foregoing objective and policies.

(3) The planning and development procedures shall provide for:
(a) The review of public policy;
(b) The development of performance objectives;
(c) The development of alternate approaches;
(d) The evaluation of performance; and
(e) The participation and involvement in the planning process of representatives of the groups affected by a state program of student financial aid.
(4) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules providing for the verification of the independent status of state financial aid recipients.
(5) The department shall encourage industry and education linkages through the development of temporary employment opportunities for students attending postsecondary institutions in this state.
History.s. 476, ch. 2002-387.
1009.94 Student financial assistance database.
(1) The Department of Education shall design and maintain a student financial assistance database that can be used to support all aspects of the administration and delivery of state-funded student financial aid. In addition, the database must have the capability of providing policymakers with comprehensive information regarding the various financial assistance programs available to students attending Florida postsecondary education institutions.
(2) For purposes of this section, financial assistance includes:
(a) For all students, any scholarship, grant, loan, fee waiver, tuition assistance payment, or other form of compensation provided from state or federal funds.
(b) For students attending public institutions, any scholarship, grant, loan, fee waiver, tuition assistance payment, or other form of compensation supported by institutional funds.
(c) Any financial assistance provided under s. 1009.50, s. 1009.505, s. 1009.51, s. 1009.52, s. 1009.53, s. 1009.54, s. 1009.55, s. 1009.56, s. 1009.57, s. 1009.60, s. 1009.62, s. 1009.68, s. 1009.70, s. 1009.701, s. 1009.72, s. 1009.73, s. 1009.74, s. 1009.77, s. 1009.89, or s. 1009.891.
(3) The database must include records on any student receiving any form of financial assistance as described in subsection (2). Each institution participating in any state financial assistance program shall annually report such information to the Department of Education, by the date and in a format prescribed by the department and consistent with the provisions of s. 1002.225, the eligible students to whom financial assistance is disbursed each academic term, the eligibility requirements for recipients, and the aggregate demographics of recipients.
History.s. 477, ch. 2002-387; s. 27, ch. 2009-60; s. 7, ch. 2009-239; s. 35, ch. 2010-70.
1009.95 Delinquent accounts.
(1) The Department of Education is directed to exert every lawful and reasonable effort to collect all delinquent unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan notes, student loan notes, and defaulted guaranteed loan notes.
(2) The department may establish a recovery account into which unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan note, student loan note, and defaulted guaranteed loan note accounts may be transferred.
(3) The department may settle any delinquent unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan notes, student loan notes, and defaulted guaranteed loan notes and employ the service of a collection agent when deemed advisable in collecting delinquent or defaulted accounts. However, no collection agent may be paid a commission in excess of 35 percent of the amount collected. Any expense incurred by the department in enforcing the collection of a loan note may be borne by the signer of the note and may be added to the amount of the principal of such note.
(4) The department may charge off unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan notes and student loan notes which are at least 3 years delinquent and which prove uncollectible after good faith collection efforts. However, a delinquent account with a past due balance of $25 or less may be charged off as uncollectible when it becomes 6 months past due and the cost of further collection effort or assignment to a collection agent would not be warranted.
(5) No individual borrower who has been determined to be in default in making legally required scholarship loan, student loan, or guaranteed loan repayments shall be furnished with his or her academic transcripts or other student records until such time as the loan is paid in full or the default status has been removed.
(6) The department may charge an individual borrower who has been determined to be in default in making legally required loan repayments the maximum interest rate authorized by law.
(7) The State Board of Education shall adopt such rules as are necessary to regulate the collection, settlement, and charging off of delinquent unpaid and uncanceled scholarship loan notes, student loan notes, and defaulted guaranteed loan notes.
History.s. 478, ch. 2002-387.
1009.96 Annual review of financial assistance programs.All new and existing financial assistance programs authorized under this chapter which are not funded for 3 consecutive years after enactment shall stand repealed. Financial assistance programs provided under this part on July 1, 1992, which lose funding for 3 consecutive years shall stand repealed. The Department of Education shall annually review the legislative appropriation for financial assistance programs to identify such programs.
History.s. 479, ch. 2002-387.
PART IV
PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD PROGRAMS
1009.97 General provisions.
1009.971 Florida Prepaid College Board.
1009.972 Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund.
1009.973 Comprehensive investment plans.
1009.974 Exemption from claims of creditors.
1009.975 Payroll deduction authority.
1009.976 Annual report.
1009.98 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program.
1009.981 Florida College Savings Program.
1009.982 Disclaimer.
1009.983 Direct-support organization; authority.
1009.984 Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program.
1009.97 General provisions.
(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDING; EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY.The Legislature recognizes that educational opportunity at the postsecondary level is a critical state interest and is best ensured through the provision of postsecondary institutions that are geographically and financially accessible, that affordability and accessibility of higher education are essential to the welfare and well-being of the residents of the state and are a critical state interest, and that promoting and enhancing financial access to postsecondary institutions serve a legitimate public purpose.
(2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.It is the intent of the Legislature that a prepaid program be established through which many of the costs associated with postsecondary attendance may be paid in advance and fixed at a guaranteed level for the duration of undergraduate enrollment and that this program fosters timely financial planning for postsecondary attendance and to encourage employer participation in such planning through program contributions on behalf of employees and the dependents of employees. It is further the intent of the Legislature that a savings program be established as a supplement and alternative to the prepaid program to allow persons to make contributions to a trust account to meet some or all of the qualified higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary, consistent with federal law authorizing such programs, but without a guarantee by the state that such contributions, together with the investment return on such contributions, if any, will be adequate to pay for qualified higher education expenses, to enable participants to save for qualified higher education expenses, and to provide a choice to persons who determine that the overall educational needs of their families are best suited to a savings program or who wish to save to meet postsecondary educational needs beyond the traditional 4-year curriculum. Finally, the Legislature intends that the prepaid program and the savings program be conducted in a manner to maximize program efficiency and effectiveness.
(3) DEFINITIONS.As used in ss. 1009.97-1009.984, the term:
(a) “Advance payment contract” means a contract entered into by the board and a purchaser pursuant to s. 1009.98.
(b) “Board” means the Florida Prepaid College Board.
(c) “Trust fund” means the Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund.
(d) “Prepaid program” means the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program established pursuant to s. 1009.98.
(e) “Purchaser” means a person who makes or is obligated to make advance registration or dormitory residence payments in accordance with an advance payment contract.
(f) “Qualified beneficiary” means:
1. A resident of this state at the time a purchaser enters into an advance payment contract on behalf of the resident;
2. A nonresident who is the child of a noncustodial parent who is a resident of this state at the time that such parent enters into an advance payment contract on behalf of the child; or
3. For purposes of advance payment contracts entered into pursuant to s. 1009.983, a graduate of an accredited high school in this state who is a resident of this state at the time he or she is designated to receive the benefits of the advance payment contract.
(g) “Registration fee” means tuition fee, financial aid fee, building fee, and Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee.
(h) “State postsecondary institution” means any public 1community college or state university.
(i) “Benefactor” means any person making a deposit, payment, contribution, gift, or other expenditure into the savings program.
(j) “Designated beneficiary” means:
1. Any individual designated in the participation agreement;
2. Any individual defined in s. 152(a)(1)-(8) of the Internal Revenue Code; or
3. Any individual receiving a scholarship from interests in the program purchased by a state or local government or an organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(k) “Eligible educational institution” means an institution of higher education that qualifies under s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code as an eligible educational institution.
(l) “Internal Revenue Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as defined in s. 220.03(1), and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
(m) “Participation agreement” means an agreement between the board and a benefactor for participation in the savings program for a designated beneficiary.
(n) “Savings program” means the Florida College Savings Program established pursuant to s. 1009.981.
(o) “Qualified higher education expenses” means higher education expenses permitted under s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code and required for the enrollment or attendance of a designated beneficiary at an eligible educational institution, including undergraduate and graduate schools, and any other higher education expenses that are permitted under s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
(p) “Prepaid fund” means the fund within the trust fund into which moneys belonging to the prepaid program are deposited and held.
(q) “Savings fund” means the fund within the trust fund into which moneys belonging to the savings program are deposited and held.
History.s. 481, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2006-303.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.971 Florida Prepaid College Board.
(1) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; CREATION.The Florida Prepaid College Board is hereby created as a body corporate with all the powers of a body corporate for the purposes delineated in this section. The board shall administer the prepaid program and the savings program, and shall perform essential governmental functions as provided in ss. 1009.97-1009.984. For the purposes of s. 6, Art. IV of the State Constitution, the board shall be assigned to and administratively housed within the State Board of Administration, but it shall independently exercise the powers and duties specified in ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
(2) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; MEMBERSHIP.The board shall consist of seven members to be composed of the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chancellor of the State University System, the Deputy Commissioner of 1Community Colleges, and three members appointed by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the Senate. Each member appointed by the Governor shall possess knowledge, skill, and experience in the areas of accounting, actuary, risk management, or investment management. Each member of the board not appointed by the Governor may name a designee to serve on the board on behalf of the member; however, any designee so named shall meet the qualifications required of gubernatorial appointees to the board. Members appointed by the Governor shall serve terms of 3 years. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the board shall be appointed in a like manner and shall serve for only the unexpired term. Any member shall be eligible for reappointment and shall serve until a successor qualifies. Members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for per diem and travel in accordance with s. 112.061. Each member of the board shall file a full and public disclosure of his or her financial interests pursuant to s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution and corresponding statute.
(3) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; ELECTIONS; MEETINGS.The board shall annually elect a board member to serve as chair and a board member to serve as vice chair and shall designate a secretary-treasurer who need not be a member of the board. The secretary-treasurer shall keep a record of the proceedings of the board and shall be the custodian of all printed material filed with or by the board and of its official seal. Notwithstanding the existence of vacancies on the board, a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum. The board shall take no official action in the absence of a quorum. The board shall meet, at a minimum, on a quarterly basis at the call of the chair.
(4) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; POWERS AND DUTIES.The board shall have the powers and duties necessary or proper to carry out the provisions of ss. 1009.97-1009.984, including, but not limited to, the power and duty to:
(a) Appoint an executive director to serve as the chief administrative and operational officer of the board and to perform other duties assigned to him or her by the board.
(b) Adopt an official seal and rules.
(c) Sue and be sued.
(d) Make and execute contracts and other necessary instruments.
(e) Establish agreements or other transactions with federal, state, and local agencies, including state universities and 1community colleges.
(f) Administer the trust fund in a manner that is sufficiently actuarially sound to defray the obligations of the prepaid program and the savings program, considering the separate purposes and objectives of each program. The board shall annually evaluate or cause to be evaluated the actuarial soundness of the prepaid fund. If the board perceives a need for additional assets in order to preserve actuarial soundness of the prepaid program, the board may adjust the terms of subsequent advance payment contracts to ensure such soundness.
(g) Invest funds not required for immediate disbursement.
(h) Appear in its own behalf before boards, commissions, or other governmental agencies.
(i) Hold, buy, and sell any instruments, obligations, securities, and property determined appropriate by the board.
(j) Require a reasonable length of state residence for qualified beneficiaries.
(k) Segregate contributions and payments to the trust fund into the appropriate fund.
(l) Procure and contract for goods and services, employ personnel, and engage the services of private consultants, actuaries, managers, legal counsel, and auditors in a manner determined to be necessary and appropriate by the board.
(m) Solicit and accept gifts, grants, loans, and other aids from any source or participate in any other way in any government program to carry out the purposes of ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
(n) Require and collect administrative fees and charges in connection with any transaction and impose reasonable penalties, including default, for delinquent payments or for entering into an advance payment contract or a participation agreement on a fraudulent basis.
(o) Procure insurance against any loss in connection with the property, assets, and activities of the trust fund or the board.
(p) Impose reasonable time limits on use of the benefits provided by the prepaid program or savings program. However, any such limitations shall be specified within the advance payment contract or the participation agreement, respectively.
(q) Delineate the terms and conditions under which payments may be withdrawn from the trust fund and impose reasonable fees and charges for such withdrawal. Such terms and conditions shall be specified within the advance payment contract or the participation agreement.
(r) Provide for the receipt of contributions in lump sums or installment payments.
(s) Require that purchasers of advance payment contracts or benefactors of participation agreements verify, under oath, any requests for contract conversions, substitutions, transfers, cancellations, refund requests, or contract changes of any nature. Verification shall be accomplished as authorized and provided for in s. 92.525(1)(a).
(t) Delegate responsibility for administration of one or both of the comprehensive investment plans required in s. 1009.973 to persons the board determines to be qualified. Such persons shall be compensated by the board.
(u) Endorse insurance coverage written exclusively for the purpose of protecting advance payment contracts, and participation agreements, and the purchasers, benefactors, and beneficiaries thereof, including group life policies and group disability policies, which are exempt from the provisions of part V of chapter 627.
(v) Form strategic alliances with public and private entities to provide benefits to the prepaid program, savings program, and participants of either or both programs.
(w) Solicit proposals and contract, pursuant to s. 287.057, for the marketing of the prepaid program or the savings program, or both together. Any materials produced for the purpose of marketing the prepaid program or the savings program shall be submitted to the board for review. No such materials shall be made available to the public before the materials are approved by the board. Any educational institution may distribute marketing materials produced for the prepaid program or the savings program; however, all such materials shall be approved by the board prior to distribution. Neither the state nor the board shall be liable for misrepresentation of the prepaid program or the savings program by a marketing agent.
(x) Establish other policies, procedures, and criteria to implement and administer the provisions of ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
(y) Adopt procedures to govern contract dispute proceedings between the board and its vendors.
(5) FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE BOARD; CONTRACTUAL SERVICES.The board shall solicit proposals and contract, pursuant to s. 287.057, for:
(a) The services of records administrators.
(b) Investment consultants to review the performance of the board’s investment managers and advise the board on investment management and performance and investment policy, including the contents of the comprehensive investment plans.
(c) Trustee services firms to provide trustee and related services to the board. The trustee services firm shall agree to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries if moneys in the fund fail to offset the obligations of the board as a result of imprudent selection or supervision of investment programs by such firm.
(d) Investment managers to provide investment portfolios for the prepaid program or the savings program. Investment managers shall be limited to authorized insurers as defined in s. 624.09, banks as defined in s. 658.12, associations as defined in s. 665.012, authorized Securities and Exchange Commission investment advisers, and investment companies as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940. All investment managers shall have their principal place of business and corporate charter located and registered in the United States. In addition, each investment manager shall agree to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries if moneys in the fund fail to offset the obligations of the board as a result of imprudent investing by such provider. Each authorized insurer shall evidence superior performance overall on an acceptable level of surety in meeting its obligations to its policyholders and other contractual obligations. Only qualified public depositories approved by the Chief Financial Officer shall be eligible for board consideration. Each investment company shall provide investment plans as specified within the request for proposals.

The goals of the board in procuring such services shall be to provide all purchasers and benefactors with the most secure, well-diversified, and beneficially administered prepaid program or savings program possible, to allow all qualified firms interested in providing such services equal consideration, and to provide such services to the state at no cost and to the purchasers and benefactors at the lowest cost possible. Evaluations of proposals submitted pursuant to this subsection shall include, but not be limited to, fees and other costs that are charged to purchasers or benefactors that affect account values, or that impact the operational costs of the prepaid program or the savings program; past experience and past performance in providing the required services; financial history and current financial strength and capital adequacy to provide the required services; and capabilities and experience of the proposed personnel that will provide the required services.

(6) QUALIFIED TUITION PROGRAM STATUS.Notwithstanding any other provision of ss. 1009.97-1009.984, the board may adopt rules necessary for the prepaid program and the savings program each to retain its status as a “qualified tuition program” in order to maintain its tax-exempt status or other similar status of the program, purchasers, and qualified beneficiaries under the Internal Revenue Code. The board shall inform participants in the prepaid program and the savings program of changes to the tax or securities status of advance purchase contracts and participation agreements.
History.s. 482, ch. 2002-387; s. 1964, ch. 2003-261; s. 141, ch. 2007-217.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.972 Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund.
(1) There is created within the State Board of Administration the Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund. The trust fund shall be segregated into two separate funds, the prepaid fund and the savings fund.
(2) The prepaid fund shall consist of state appropriations, moneys acquired from other governmental or private sources for the prepaid program, and moneys remitted in accordance with advance payment contracts. Dividends, interest, and gains accruing to the prepaid fund shall increase the total funds available for the prepaid program. If dividends, interest, and gains for the prepaid fund exceed the amount necessary for program administration and disbursements, the board may designate an additional percentage of the prepaid fund to serve as a contingency fund.
(3) The savings fund shall consist of appropriations, moneys acquired from other governmental or private sources for the savings program, and moneys remitted in accordance with participation agreements. The amounts on deposit in the savings fund shall remain therein and shall be available solely for carrying out the purposes of the savings program.
(4) Any balance contained within the trust fund, and within each fund in the trust fund, at the end of a fiscal year shall remain therein and shall be available for carrying out the purposes of each respective program and the direct-support organization established pursuant to s. 1009.983. Moneys contained within the trust fund shall be exempt from the investment requirements of s. 17.57. All funds deposited in the prepaid fund may be invested pursuant to s. 215.47. Any funds of a direct-support organization created pursuant to s. 1009.983 shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
(5) Notwithstanding chapter 717, funds associated with terminated advance payment contracts pursuant to s. 1009.98(4)(k) and canceled contracts for which no refunds have been claimed shall be retained by the board. The board shall establish procedures for notifying purchasers who subsequently cancel their advance payment contracts of any unclaimed refund and shall establish a time period after which no refund may be claimed by a purchaser who canceled a contract. The board may transfer funds retained from such terminated advance payment contracts and canceled contracts to the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program to provide matching funds for prepaid tuition scholarships for economically disadvantaged youth who remain drug free and crime free. In addition, such funds may be used for any other scholarship programs approved by the board under s. 1009.983(8)(b), provided that any matching funds are obtained solely from the private sector.
(6) The assets of the prepaid fund and the savings fund shall be maintained, invested, and expended solely for the purposes of the prepaid program and the savings program, respectively, and shall not be loaned, transferred, or otherwise used by the state for any purpose other than the purposes of ss. 1009.97-1009.984. This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the board from investing in, by purchase or otherwise, bonds, notes, or other obligations of the state or an agency or instrumentality of the state. Unless otherwise specified by the board, assets of the prepaid fund and the savings fund shall be expended in the following order of priority:
(a) To make payments to state postsecondary institutions on behalf of qualified beneficiaries or designated beneficiaries.
(b) To make refunds upon termination of advance payment contracts or participation agreements.
(c) To pay the costs of administration and operations for the prepaid program and the savings program.
History.s. 483, ch. 2002-387; s. 1965, ch. 2003-261; s. 2, ch. 2006-303.
1009.973 Comprehensive investment plans.The Florida Prepaid College Board shall establish separate comprehensive investment plans for the prepaid program and for the savings program, each subject to the approval of the State Board of Administration. Each comprehensive investment plan shall specify the investment policies to be utilized by the board in its administration of each respective program. The board may place assets of each program in investment products pursuant to the comprehensive investment plan for each respective program and in such proportions as may be designated or approved under the plan for each respective program. Such products shall be underwritten and offered in compliance with the applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and rules by persons authorized by applicable federal and state authorities. A purchaser may not direct the investment of his or her contribution to the prepaid program. A benefactor or designated beneficiary may not direct the investment of any contributions to the savings program other than the specific fund options provided by the board, if any. Board members and employees of the board are not prohibited from purchasing advance payment contracts or entering into participation agreements by virtue of their fiduciary responsibilities as members of the board or official duties as employees of the board.
History.s. 484, ch. 2002-387.
1009.974 Exemption from claims of creditors.Moneys paid into or out of the trust fund by or on behalf of a purchaser or qualified beneficiary of an advance payment contract or benefactor or designated beneficiary of a participation agreement are exempt, as provided by s. 222.22, from all claims of creditors of the purchaser or the qualified beneficiary of an advance payment contract or the benefactor or designated beneficiary of a participation agreement, respectively, provided that the advance payment contract or participation agreement has not been terminated. Neither moneys paid into the prepaid program or savings program nor benefits accrued through the prepaid program or savings program may be pledged for the purpose of securing a loan.
History.s. 485, ch. 2002-387.
1009.975 Payroll deduction authority.The state or any state agency, county, municipality, or other political subdivision may, by contract or collective bargaining agreement, agree with any employee to remit payments toward advance payment contracts or participation agreements through payroll deductions made by the appropriate officer or officers of the state, state agency, county, municipality, or political subdivision. Such payments shall be held and administered in accordance with ss. 1009.97-1009.984.
History.s. 486, ch. 2002-387.
1009.976 Annual report.On or before March 31 of each year, the Florida Prepaid College Board shall prepare or cause to be prepared separate reports setting forth in appropriate detail an accounting of the prepaid program and the savings program which include a description of the financial condition of each respective program at the close of the fiscal year. The board shall submit copies of the reports to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the minority leaders of the House and Senate and shall make the report for the prepaid program available to each purchaser and the report for the savings program available to each benefactor and designated beneficiary. The accounts of the fund for the prepaid program and the savings program shall be subject to annual audits by the Auditor General.
History.s. 487, ch. 2002-387.
1009.98 Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program.
(1) STANLEY G. TATE FLORIDA PREPAID COLLEGE PROGRAM; CREATION.There is created the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program to provide a medium through which the cost of registration and dormitory residence may be paid in advance of enrollment in a state postsecondary institution at a rate lower than the projected corresponding cost at the time of actual enrollment. Such payments shall be combined and invested in a manner that yields, at a minimum, sufficient interest to generate the difference between the prepaid amount and the cost of registration and dormitory residence at the time of actual enrollment. Students who enroll in a state postsecondary institution pursuant to this section shall be charged no fees in excess of the terms delineated in the advance payment contract.
(2) PREPAID COLLEGE PLANS.At a minimum, the board shall make advance payment contracts available for two independent plans to be known as the 1community college plan and the university plan. The board may also make advance payment contracts available for a dormitory residence plan. The board may restrict the number of participants in the 1community college plan, university plan, and dormitory residence plan, respectively. However, any person denied participation solely on the basis of such restriction shall be granted priority for participation during the succeeding year.
(a)1. Through the 1community college plan, the advance payment contract may provide prepaid registration fees for a specified number of undergraduate semester credit hours not to exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of an associate degree. Qualified beneficiaries shall bear the cost of any laboratory fees associated with enrollment in specific courses. Each qualified beneficiary shall be classified as a resident for tuition purposes, pursuant to s. 1009.21, regardless of his or her actual legal residence.
2. Effective July 1, 1998, the board may provide advance payment contracts for additional fees delineated in s. 1009.23, not to exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of an associate degree, in conjunction with advance payment contracts for registration fees. 1Community college plan contracts purchased prior to July 1, 1998, shall be limited to the payment of registration fees as defined in s. 1009.97.
3. Effective July 1, 2009, the board may offer an advance payment contract for the 1community college plan covering prepaid registration fees and the fees authorized in s. 1009.23. Such a contract may be offered in specific increments for use toward an associate degree. The total number of hours purchased for a qualified beneficiary may not exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of an associate degree.
(b)1. Through the university plan, the advance payment contract may provide prepaid registration fees for a specified number of undergraduate semester credit hours not to exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree. Qualified beneficiaries shall bear the cost of any laboratory fees associated with enrollment in specific courses. Each qualified beneficiary shall be classified as a resident for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21, regardless of his or her actual legal residence.
2. Effective July 1, 1998, the board may provide advance payment contracts for additional fees delineated in s. 1009.24(9)-(12), for a specified number of undergraduate semester credit hours not to exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree, in conjunction with advance payment contracts for registration fees. Such contracts shall provide prepaid coverage for the sum of such fees, to a maximum of 45 percent of the cost of registration fees. University plan contracts purchased prior to July 1, 1998, shall be limited to the payment of registration fees as defined in s. 1009.97.
3. Effective July 1, 2007, the board may provide advance payment contracts for the tuition differential authorized in s. 1009.24(16) for a specified number of undergraduate semester credit hours, which may not exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree, in conjunction with advance payment contracts for registration fees.
4. Effective July 1, 2009, the board may offer an advance payment contract for the university plan covering prepaid registration fees, the fees authorized in s. 1009.24(9)-(12), and the tuition differential authorized in s. 1009.24(16). Such a contract may be offered in specific increments for use toward a baccalaureate degree. The total number of hours purchased for a qualified beneficiary may not exceed the average number of hours required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree.
(c) The cost of participation in contracts authorized under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) shall be based primarily on the current and projected fees included in the plan within the Florida College System or the State University System, respectively, the number of credit hours or semesters included in the plan, and the number of years expected to elapse between the purchase of the plan on behalf of a qualified beneficiary and the exercise of the benefits provided in the plan by such beneficiary.
(d) Through the dormitory residence plan, the advance payment contract may provide prepaid housing fees for a maximum of 10 semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment in a state university. Dormitory residence plans shall be purchased in increments of 2 semesters. The cost of participation in the dormitory residence plan shall be based primarily on the average current and projected housing fees within the State University System and the number of years expected to elapse between the purchase of the plan on behalf of a qualified beneficiary and the exercise of the benefits provided in the plan by such beneficiary. Qualified beneficiaries shall have the highest priority in the assignment of housing within university residence halls. Qualified beneficiaries shall bear the cost of any additional elective charges such as laundry service or long-distance telephone service. Each state university may specify the residence halls or other university-held residences eligible for inclusion in the plan. In addition, any state university may request immediate termination of a dormitory residence contract based on a violation or multiple violations of rules of the residence hall or other university-held residences. In the event that sufficient housing is not available for all qualified beneficiaries, the board shall refund the purchaser or qualified beneficiary an amount equal to the fees charged for dormitory residence during that semester. If a qualified beneficiary fails to be admitted to a state university or chooses to attend a 1community college that operates one or more dormitories or residency opportunities, or has one or more dormitories or residency opportunities operated by the 1community college direct-support organization, the qualified beneficiary may transfer or cause to have transferred to the 1community college, or 1community college direct-support organization, the fees associated with dormitory residence. Dormitory fees transferred to the 1community college or 1community college direct-support organization may not exceed the maximum fees charged for state university dormitory residence for the purposes of this section, or the fees charged for 1community college or 1community college direct-support organization dormitories or residency opportunities, whichever is less.
(3) TRANSFER OF BENEFITS TO PRIVATE AND OUT-OF-STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES AND TO CAREER CENTERS.A qualified beneficiary may apply the benefits of an advance payment contract toward any eligible educational institution as defined in s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. The board shall transfer or cause to be transferred to the institution designated by the qualified beneficiary an amount not to exceed the redemption value of the advance payment contract at a state postsecondary institution. If the cost of registration or housing fees at such institution is less than the corresponding fees at a state postsecondary institution, the amount transferred may not exceed the actual cost of registration and housing fees. A transfer authorized under this subsection may not exceed the number of semester credit hours or semesters of dormitory residence contracted on behalf of a qualified beneficiary. Any advertisement disseminated by a for-profit educational institution which references the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program shall clearly state the following: “While the benefits of the Florida Prepaid College contract may be used at this institution, the Florida Prepaid College Board does not endorse any particular educational institution.”
(4) ADVANCE PAYMENT CONTRACTS.The board shall develop advance payment contracts for registration and may develop advance payment contracts for dormitory residence as provided in this section. Advance payment contracts shall be exempt from chapter 517 and the Florida Insurance Code. Such contracts shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) The amount of the payment or payments and the number of payments required from a purchaser on behalf of a qualified beneficiary.
(b) The terms and conditions under which purchasers shall remit payments, including, but not limited to, the date or dates upon which each payment shall be due.
(c) Provisions for late payment charges and for default.
(d) Provisions for penalty fees for withdrawals from the fund.
(e) Except for an advance payment contract entered into pursuant to subsection (9) or s. 1009.983, the name and date of birth of the qualified beneficiary on whose behalf the contract is drawn and the terms and conditions under which another person may be substituted as the qualified beneficiary.
(f) The name of any person who may terminate the contract. The terms of the contract shall specify whether the contract may be terminated by the purchaser, the qualified beneficiary, a specific designated person, or any combination of these persons.
(g) The terms and conditions under which a contract may be terminated, modified, or converted, the name of the person entitled to any refund due as a result of termination of the contract pursuant to such terms and conditions, and the amount of refund, if any, due to the person so named.
(h) The number of semester credit hours or semesters of dormitory residence contracted by the purchaser.
(i) The state postsecondary system toward which the contracted credit hours or semesters of dormitory residence will be applied.
(j) The assumption of a contractual obligation by the board to the qualified beneficiary to provide for a specified number of semester credit hours of undergraduate instruction at a state postsecondary institution, not to exceed the average number of credit hours required for the conference of the degree that corresponds to the plan purchased on behalf of the qualified beneficiary or to provide for a specified number of semesters of dormitory residence, not to exceed the number of semesters of full-time enrollment required for the conference of a baccalaureate degree.
(k) The period of time after which advance payment contracts that have not been terminated or the benefits used shall be considered terminated. Time expended by a qualified beneficiary as an active duty member of any of the armed services of the United States shall be added to the period of time specified by the board. A purchaser or qualified beneficiary whose advance payment contract is terminated pursuant to this paragraph is not entitled to a refund. Notwithstanding chapter 717, the board shall retain any moneys paid by the purchaser for an advance payment contract that has been terminated in accordance with this paragraph. Such moneys may be transferred to the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program to provide matching funds for prepaid tuition scholarships for economically disadvantaged youths who remain drug free and crime free. In addition, such funds may be used for any other scholarship programs approved by the board under s. 1009.983(8)(b), provided that any matching funds are obtained solely from the private sector.
(l) Other terms and conditions deemed by the board to be necessary or proper.
(5) REFUNDS.
(a) A refund may not exceed the amount paid into the fund by the purchaser except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (f).
(b) If the beneficiary is awarded a scholarship, the terms of which cover the benefits included in the advance payment contracts, moneys paid for the purchase of the advance payment contracts shall be refunded to the purchaser in semester installments coinciding with the tuition by the beneficiary in an amount which, in total, does not exceed the redemption value of the advance payment contract at a state postsecondary institution.
(c) In the event of the death or total disability of the beneficiary, moneys paid for the purchase of advance payment contracts shall be refunded to the purchaser in an amount not to exceed the redemption value of the advance payment contract at a state postsecondary institution.
(d) If an advance payment contract is converted from one registration plan to a plan of lesser value, the amount refunded may not exceed the difference between the amount paid for the original contract and the amount that would have been paid for the contract to which the plan is converted had the converted plan been purchased under the same payment plan at the time the original advance payment contract was executed.
(e) A refund may not be authorized through an advance payment contract for any school year partially attended but not completed. For purposes of this section, a school year partially attended but not completed shall mean any one semester whereby the student is still enrolled at the conclusion of the official drop-add period but withdraws before the end of such semester. If a beneficiary does not complete a 1community college plan or university plan for reasons other than specified in paragraph (c), the purchaser shall receive a refund of the amount paid into the fund for the remaining unattended years of the advance payment contract pursuant to rules promulgated by the board.
(f) A purchaser of an advance payment contract entered into pursuant to subsection (9) or s. 1009.983 may receive a refund equal to the redemption value of the unused portion of the advance payment contract at a state postsecondary institution if the refund is used exclusively to fund additional scholarships purchased pursuant to subsection (9) or s. 1009.983.
(6) CONFIDENTIALITY OF ACCOUNT INFORMATION.Information that identifies the purchasers or beneficiaries of any plan promulgated under this section and their advance payment account activities is exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). However, the board may authorize the program’s records administrator to release such information to a 1community college, college, or university in which a beneficiary may enroll or is enrolled. 1Community colleges, colleges, and universities shall maintain such information as exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(7) OBLIGATIONS OF BOARD.The state shall agree to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries if moneys in the fund fail to offset the obligations of the board. The Legislature shall appropriate to the Florida Prepaid College Trust Fund the amount necessary to meet the obligations of the board to qualified beneficiaries.
(8) PROGRAM TERMINATION.In the event that the state determines the prepaid program to be financially infeasible, the state may discontinue the provision of the program. Any qualified beneficiary who has been accepted by and is enrolled or is within 5 years of enrollment in an eligible independent college or university or state postsecondary institution shall be entitled to exercise the complete benefits for which he or she has contracted. All other contract holders shall receive a refund of the amount paid in and an additional amount in the nature of interest at a rate that corresponds, at a minimum, to the prevailing interest rates for savings accounts provided by banks and savings and loan associations.
(9) SCHOLARSHIPS.A nonprofit organization described in s. 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code and exempt from taxation under s. 501(a) of the United States Internal Revenue Code may purchase advance payment contracts for a scholarship program that has been approved by the board and is operated by the purchasing organization.
(10) PAYMENTS ON BEHALF OF QUALIFIED BENEFICIARIES.
(a) As used in this subsection, the term:
1. “Actuarial reserve” means the amount by which the expected value of the assets exceed the expected value of the liabilities of the trust fund.
2. “Dormitory fees” means the fees included under advance payment contracts pursuant to paragraph (2)(d).
3. “Fiscal year” means the fiscal year of the state pursuant to s. 215.01.
4. “Local fees” means the fees covered by an advance payment contract provided pursuant to subparagraph (2)(b)2.
5. “Tuition differential” means the fee covered by advance payment contracts sold pursuant to subparagraph (2)(b)3. The base rate for the tuition differential fee for the 2012-2013 fiscal year is established at $37.03 per credit hour. The base rate for the tuition differential in subsequent years is the amount paid by the board for the tuition differential for the preceding year adjusted pursuant to subparagraph (b)2.
(b) Effective with the 2009-2010 academic year and thereafter, and notwithstanding the provisions of s. 1009.24, the amount paid by the board to any state university on behalf of a qualified beneficiary of an advance payment contract whose contract was purchased before July 1, 2009, shall be:
1. As to registration fees, if the actuarial reserve is less than 5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 5.5 percent above the amount assessed for registration fees in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is between 5 percent and 6 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 6 percent above the amount assessed for registration fees in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is between 6 percent and 7.5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 6.5 percent above the amount assessed for registration fees in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is equal to or greater than 7.5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 7 percent above the amount assessed for registration fees in the preceding fiscal year, whichever is greater.
2. As to the tuition differential, if the actuarial reserve is less than 5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 5.5 percent above the base rate for the tuition differential fee in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is between 5 percent and 6 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 6 percent above the base rate for the tuition differential fee in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is between 6 percent and 7.5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 6.5 percent above the base rate for the tuition differential fee in the preceding fiscal year. If the actuarial reserve is equal to or greater than 7.5 percent of the expected liabilities of the trust fund, the board shall pay the state universities 7 percent above the base rate for the tuition differential fee in the preceding fiscal year.
3. As to local fees, the board shall pay the state universities 5 percent above the amount assessed for local fees in the preceding fiscal year.
4. As to dormitory fees, the board shall pay the state universities 6 percent above the amount assessed for dormitory fees in the preceding fiscal year.
5. Qualified beneficiaries of advance payment contracts purchased before July 1, 2007, are exempt from paying any tuition differential fee.
(c) The board shall pay state universities the actual amount assessed in accordance with law for registration fees, the tuition differential, local fees, and dormitory fees for advance payment contracts purchased on or after July 1, 2009.
(d) The board shall annually evaluate or cause to be evaluated the actuarial soundness of the trust fund.
History.s. 488, ch. 2002-387; s. 126, ch. 2004-357; s. 3, ch. 2006-303; s. 3, ch. 2007-225; s. 190, ch. 2008-4; s. 28, ch. 2009-60; s. 1, ch. 2009-136; s. 1, ch. 2009-175.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.981 Florida College Savings Program.
(1)(a) The Florida Prepaid College Board is authorized to create, establish, and administer the Florida College Savings Program to promote and enhance the affordability of higher education in the state and to enable persons to contribute funds that are combined and invested to pay the subsequent higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. The board may not implement the savings program until it has obtained:
1. A written opinion from counsel specializing in federal tax matters indicating that the savings program constitutes a qualified tuition program under s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code;
2. A written opinion from a qualified member of the United States Patent Bar indicating that the implementation of the savings program or the operation of the savings program will not knowingly infringe upon any patent or copyright specifically related to the financing of higher education expenses;
3. A written opinion of qualified counsel specializing in federal securities law that the savings program and the offering of participation in the savings program does not violate federal securities law; and
4. A written opinion from the board’s litigation counsel indicating that the implementation or operation of the savings program will not adversely impact any pending litigation against the board.
(b) The benefactor retains ownership of all amounts on deposit in his or her account with the savings program up to the date of distribution on behalf of a designated beneficiary. Earnings derived from investment of the contributions shall be considered to be held in trust in the same manner as contributions, except as applied for purposes of the designated beneficiary and for purposes of maintaining and administering the program as provided in this section.
(c) All amounts attributable to penalties shall be used for purposes of the savings program or as required by the Internal Revenue Code, and other amounts received other than contributions shall be properties of the savings program. Proceeds from penalties shall remain with the program and may be used for any costs or purposes of the savings program or used as required by the Internal Revenue Code.
(d) Deposits and contributions to the program, the property of the board, and the earnings on the college savings accounts are exempt from taxation.
(e) The assets of the savings program shall be continuously invested and reinvested in a manner consistent with the purposes of the program, expended on expenses incurred by the operation and management of the savings program, or refunded to the benefactor or designated beneficiary under the conditions provided in the participation agreement. The board is not required to invest directly in obligations of the state or any political subdivision of the state or in any investment or other fund administered by the state.
(2) PARTICIPATION AGREEMENTS.
(a) The board may establish plans to permit benefactors to prepay the qualified higher education expenses associated with enrollment in an eligible educational institution and may permit benefactors to select from among alternative investment plans designed to provide funds to pay qualified education expenses of a designated beneficiary. The board shall not accept contributions in excess of the amount allowed pursuant to s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code and shall prescribe by rule the methodology and information sources that shall be used to determine the projected costs of qualified higher education expenses for designated beneficiaries of prescribed ages.
(b) The board shall develop a participation agreement which shall be the agreement between the board and each benefactor, which may include, but is not limited to:
1. The name, date of birth, and social security number of the designated beneficiary.
2. The amount of the contribution or contributions and number of contributions required from a benefactor on behalf of a designated beneficiary.
3. The terms and conditions under which benefactors shall remit contributions, including, but not limited to, the date or dates upon which each contribution is due. Deposits to the savings program by benefactors may only be in cash. Benefactors may contribute in a lump sum, periodically, in installments, or through electronic funds transfer or employer payroll deductions.
4. Provisions for late contribution charges and for default.
5. Provisions for penalty fees for withdrawals from the program.
6. The name of the person who may terminate participation in the program. The participation agreement must specify whether the account may be terminated by the benefactor, the designated beneficiary, a specific designated person, or any combination of these persons.
7. The terms and conditions under which an account may be terminated, modified, or converted, the name of the person entitled to any refund due as a result of termination of the account pursuant to such terms and conditions, and the amount of refund, if any, due to the person so named.
8. Penalties for distributions not used or made in accordance with s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
9. Any charges or fees in connection with the administration of the savings fund.
10. The period of time after which each participation agreement shall be considered to be terminated. Time expended by a designated beneficiary as an active duty member of any of the armed services of the United States shall be added to the period specified pursuant to this subparagraph. Should a participation agreement be terminated, the balance of the account, after notice to the benefactor, shall be declared unclaimed and abandoned property. The board shall retain any moneys paid by the benefactor for a participation agreement that has been terminated in accordance with this subparagraph. Such moneys may be transferred to the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program to provide matching funds for prepaid tuition scholarships for economically disadvantaged youths who remain drug free and crime free.
11. Other terms and conditions deemed by the board to be necessary or proper.
(c) The participation agreement shall clearly state that:
1. The contract is only a debt or obligation of the savings program and the savings fund, and is not otherwise a debt or obligation of the state.
2. Participation in the program does not guarantee that sufficient funds will be available to cover all qualified higher education expenses for any designated beneficiary and does not guarantee admission to or continued enrollment at an eligible educational institution of any designated beneficiary.
(d) The participation agreement may be freely amended throughout its term for purposes including, but not limited to, allowing to enable the benefactor to increase or decrease the level of participation, change designated beneficiaries, and carry out similar matters permitted by this section and the Internal Revenue Code.
(3) DISTRIBUTIONS FOR QUALIFIED HIGHER EDUCATION EXPENSES.The board shall establish requirements and procedures for beneficiaries to realize the benefits of participation agreements. In establishing such requirements and procedures, the board shall make distributions in as efficient and expeditious manner as is prudent and possible, consistent with the Internal Revenue Code.
(4) REFUNDS.
(a) A benefactor may request a refund of the principal amount of his or her contributions, plus actual investment earnings or minus actual investment losses on the contributions, less any applicable penalty, and less any amounts used to provide benefits to the designated beneficiary.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a penalty may not be levied if a benefactor requests a refund from the program due to:
1. Death of the beneficiary.
2. Total disability of the beneficiary.
3. Scholarship, allowance, or payment received by the beneficiary to the extent that the amount of the refund does not exceed the amount of the scholarship, allowance, or payment in accordance with federal law.
(c) If a benefactor requests a refund of funds contributed to the program for any cause other than those listed in paragraph (b), there shall be imposed a penalty of 10 percent of the earnings of the account and any applicable taxes, or the amount required by the Internal Revenue Code. Earnings shall be calculated as the total value of the participation agreement, less the aggregate contributions, or in the manner prescribed in the Internal Revenue Code.
(5) MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION; PENALTY.If the benefactor or the designated beneficiary makes any material misrepresentation in the application for a participation agreement or in any communication with the board regarding the program, especially regarding the withdrawal or distribution of funds therefrom, the account may be involuntarily liquidated by the board. If the account is so liquidated, the benefactor is entitled to a refund, subject to a 10-percent penalty or the amount required by the Internal Revenue Code.
(6) CONFIDENTIALITY OF ACCOUNT INFORMATION.Information that identifies the benefactors or the designated beneficiary of any account initiated under this section is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, the board may authorize the release of such information to a 1community college, college, or university in which a designated beneficiary may enroll or is enrolled. 1Community colleges, colleges, and universities shall maintain the confidentiality of such information.
(7) OBLIGATIONS OF BOARD.Any contract or participation agreement entered into by or any obligation of the board on behalf of and for the benefit of the savings program does not constitute a debt or obligation of the state but is an obligation of the savings program. The state has no obligation to any designated beneficiary or any other person as a result of the savings program. The obligation of the savings program is limited solely to those amounts deposited in the savings fund. All amounts obligated to be paid from the savings fund are limited to amounts available for such obligation. The amounts on deposit in the savings program may only be disbursed in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(8) PROGRAM TERMINATION.The savings program shall continue in existence until its existence is terminated by law. If the state determines that the savings program is financially infeasible, the state may discontinue the savings program. Upon termination of the savings program, all deposits shall be returned to benefactors, to the extent possible, and any unclaimed assets in the savings program may be transferred to the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program to provide matching funds for prepaid tuition scholarships for economically disadvantaged youths who remain drug free and crime free.
(9) STATE PLEDGE.The state pledges to benefactors and designated beneficiaries of the savings program that the state will not limit or alter the rights under this section which are vested in the program until such obligations are met and discharged. However, this subsection does not preclude such limitation if adequate provision is made by law for the protection of the benefactors and designated beneficiaries pursuant to the obligations of the board, and, if the state or the board determines that the savings program is not financially feasible, the state or the board may discontinue the program. If the program is discontinued, the board shall refund to benefactors their contributions to the program, plus any investment earnings or minus any investment losses. The board, on behalf of the state, may include this pledge and undertaking by the state in participation agreements.
History.s. 489, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2005-130.
1Note.Section 21, ch. 2010-70, directs the Division of Statutory Revision to prepare a reviser’s bill to substitute the term “Florida College System institution” for the terms “Florida college,” “community college,” and “junior college” where those terms appear in the Florida K-20 Education Code.
1009.982 Disclaimer.Nothing in ss. 1009.97-1009.984 shall be construed as a promise or guarantee that a qualified beneficiary or a designated beneficiary will be admitted to a state postsecondary institution or to a particular state postsecondary institution, will be allowed to continue enrollment at a state postsecondary institution after admission, or will be graduated from a state postsecondary institution.
History.s. 490, ch. 2002-387.
1009.983 Direct-support organization; authority.
(1) The Florida Prepaid College Board may establish a direct-support organization which is:
(a) A Florida corporation, not for profit, incorporated under the provisions of chapter 617 and approved by the Secretary of State.
(b) Organized and operated exclusively to receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to make expenditures to or for the benefit of the board.
(c) An organization which the board, after review, has certified to be operating in a manner consistent with the goals of the board and in the best interests of the state. Unless so certified, the organization may not use the name of the prepaid program or savings program.
(2) The direct-support organization shall operate under written contract with the board. The contract must provide for:
(a) Approval of the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the direct-support organization by the board.
(b) Submission of an annual budget for the approval of the board. The budget must comply with rules adopted by the board.
(c) Certification by the board that the direct-support organization is complying with the terms of the contract and in a manner consistent with the goals and purposes of the board and in the best interest of the state. Such certification must be made annually and reported in the official minutes of a meeting of the board.
(d) The reversion to the board, or to the state if the board ceases to exist, of moneys and property held in trust by the direct-support organization for the benefit of the board or prepaid program if the direct-support organization is no longer approved to operate for the board or if the board ceases to exist.
(e) The fiscal year of the direct-support organization, which must begin July 1 of each year and end June 30 of the following year.
(f) The disclosure of material provisions of the contract and of the distinction between the board and the direct-support organization to donors of gifts, contributions, or bequests, and such disclosure on all promotional and fundraising publications.
(3) The direct-support organization shall provide for an annual financial audit in accordance with s. 215.981. The board and Auditor General may require and receive from the organization or its independent auditor any detail or supplemental data relative to the operation of the organization.
(4) The identity of donors who desire to remain anonymous shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution, and such anonymity shall be maintained in the auditor’s report. Information received by the organization that is otherwise confidential or exempt by law shall retain such status. Any sensitive, personal information regarding contract beneficiaries, including their identities, is exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(5) The chair and the executive director of the board shall be directors of the direct-support organization and shall jointly name, at a minimum, three other individuals to serve as directors of the organization.
(6) The board may authorize the direct-support organization established in this section to use board property, except money, and use facilities and personal services subject to the provisions of this section. If the direct-support organization does not provide equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin, it may not use the property, facilities, or personal services of the board. For the purposes of this section, the term “personal services” includes full-time personnel and part-time personnel as well as payroll processing as prescribed by rule of the board. The board shall adopt rules prescribing the procedures by which the direct-support organization is governed and any conditions with which such a direct-support organization must comply to use property, facilities, or personal services of the board.
(7) The board may invest funds of the direct-support organization which have been allocated for the purchase of advance payment contracts for scholarships with receipts for advance payment contracts.
(8)(a) The direct-support organization shall administer the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program pursuant to the provisions of s. 1009.984.
(b) The board may establish and administer additional scholarship programs supported from escheated funds retained by the board pursuant to s. 1009.972(5) provided that any matching funds for such scholarships are obtained solely from the private sector. The board shall develop criteria for approval of additional scholarship programs supported from escheated funds. The direct-support organization’s annual report shall include a list of any additional scholarship programs approved by the board pursuant to this subsection, including a description of the programs and the amount of escheated funds utilized to fund the programs.
History.s. 491, ch. 2002-387; s. 4, ch. 2006-303.
1009.984 Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program.The Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program is established to provide economically disadvantaged youth with prepaid postsecondary tuition scholarships. The direct-support organization established pursuant to s. 1009.983 shall administer the program with the assistance and cooperation of the Department of Education to:
(1) Provide an incentive for economically disadvantaged youth to improve school attendance and academic performance in order to graduate and pursue a postsecondary education.
(2) Obtain the commitment and involvement of private sector entities by virtue of funding matches with a ratio of 50 percent provided by the private sector and 50 percent provided by the state.
(3) Purchase prepaid tuition scholarships for students certified by the Department of Education to the direct-support organization who meet minimum economic and school requirements and remain drug free and crime free.
(a) For the purpose of this subsection, “drug free” means not being convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for, any violation of chapter 893 after being designated a recipient of a Florida prepaid tuition scholarship.
(b) For the purpose of this subsection, “crime free” means not being convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for, any felony or first degree misdemeanor as defined in ss. 775.08 and 775.081 after being designated a recipient of a Florida prepaid tuition scholarship.
History.s. 492, ch. 2002-387.
PART V
FLORIDA HIGHER EDUCATION
LOAN AUTHORITY
1009.99 Short title.
1009.991 Purpose.
1009.992 Definitions.
1009.993 Authority; creation, membership, terms of members, expenses.
1009.994 Functions and powers of authority.
1009.995 Expenses of authority.
1009.996 Higher education facilities authority as higher education loan authority.
1009.9965 Moneys, endowments, properties; acquisition, deposit, and guarantees.
1009.997 Conveyance of loan funding deposit to participating institutions.
1009.9975 Notes of authority.
1009.9976 Issuance of obligations.
1009.9977 Trust agreement to secure obligations.
1009.9978 Payment of obligations.
1009.9979 Pledge of revenues.
1009.998 Funds as trust funds.
1009.9981 Obligations; qualities of investment securities.
1009.9982 Rights of holders of obligations.
1009.9983 Refunding obligations; purpose, proceeds; investment of proceeds.
1009.9984 Investment of funds of authority.
1009.9985 Obligations as legal investments.
1009.9986 Validation of bonds and proceedings.
1009.9987 Actions to contest validity of bonds.
1009.9988 Annual report.
1009.9989 Act as alternative method.
1009.9990 State agreement.
1009.9991 Conflicts of interest.
1009.9992 Liberal construction.
1009.9993 Tax exemption.
1009.9994 State Board of Administration authority to borrow and lend funds to finance student loans; conditions and limitations.
1009.99 Short title.Sections 1009.99-1009.9994 may be cited as the “Florida Higher Education Loan Authority Act.”
History.s. 494, ch. 2002-387.
1009.991 Purpose.It is the purpose of this act to provide assistance and an additional method of financing the cost of higher education to students and the families of students attending institutions of higher education in this state and to encourage investment of private capital to provide funds for financing student loans.
History.s. 495, ch. 2002-387.
1009.992 Definitions.As used in this act:
(1) “Authority” means any public corporation created by s. 1009.993 or any board, body, commission, department, or officer of the county succeeding to the principal functions thereof or to whom the powers conferred upon an authority by this act are given by this act.
(2) “Authority loan” means any loan by an authority to an institution of higher education for the purpose of funding education loans.
(3) “Bond” or “revenue bond” means any revenue bond of an authority issued under the provisions of this act, including any revenue-refunding bond, notwithstanding that the bond may be secured by mortgage or the full faith and credit of a participating institution of higher education or any other lawfully pledged security of a participating institution of higher education.
(4) “Bond resolution” means the resolution of an authority and the trust agreement, if any, and any supplement or amendment to the foregoing, authorizing the issuance of, and providing for the terms and conditions applicable to, obligations.
(5) “Bond service charge” means the principal (including mandatory sinking fund requirements for retirement of obligations) and interest, and redemption premium, if any, required to be paid by an authority on obligations.
(6) “Borrower” means any student who has received an education loan or any parent who has received or agreed to pay an education loan.
(7) “Clerk” means the clerk of a commission or the county officer charged with the duties customarily imposed upon the clerk.
(8) “Commission” means a board of county commissioners or other body charged with governing the county.
(9) “Default insurance” means insurance insuring education loans, authority loans, or obligations against default.
(10) “Default reserve fund” means a fund established pursuant to a bond resolution for the purpose of securing education loans, authority loans, or obligations.
(11) “Education loan” means a loan which is made by an institution to a student or the parents of a student, or both, in an amount not in excess of the maximum amount specified in regulations to be formulated by the authority, in order to finance all or any part of the cost of the student’s attendance at such institution.
(12) “Education loan series portfolio” means all educational loans made by a specific institution which are funded from the proceeds of an authority loan to such institution out of the proceeds of a related specific issue of obligations through the authority.
(13) “Institution” means any college or university which, by virtue of law or charter, is accredited by and holds membership in the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation; which grants baccalaureate or associate degrees; which is not a pervasively sectarian institution; and which does not discriminate in the admission of students on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or creed.
(14) “Loan funding deposit” means moneys or other property which is deposited by an institution with the authority or a trustee for the purpose of:
(a) Providing security for obligations;
(b) Funding a default reserve fund;
(c) Acquiring default insurance; or
(d) Defraying costs of the authority, and

which shall be in such amounts as are deemed necessary by the authority as a condition for participation by such institution in the program of the authority.

(15) “Obligation” means any revenue bond, note, or other evidence of indebtedness of an authority, including any interest coupon pertaining thereto, issued under this act, including any refunding bond.
(16) “Parent” means any parent or guardian of a student at an institution.
(17) “Participating institution” means an institution of higher education which, pursuant to the provisions of this act, undertakes the financing of an educational student loan program or undertakes the refunding or refinancing of obligations, a mortgage, or advances as provided in and permitted by this act.
(18) “Person” means any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, or other body, public or private.
History.s. 496, ch. 2002-387.
1009.993 Authority; creation, membership, terms of members, expenses.
(1) In each county there is created a public body corporate and politic to be known as the “____ County Education Loan Authority.” Each such authority is constituted as a public instrumentality, and its exercise of the powers conferred by this act shall be deemed the performance of an essential public function. No authority shall transact any business or exercise any power pursuant to this act until the commission by ordinance or resolution declares that there is a need for an authority to function in such county.
(2) The commission may adopt such an ordinance or resolution of need if it finds that the youth of the county and state do not have the opportunity to attend institutions of higher learning located within the county because of their inability to obtain financing for the cost of such education and the inability of such institutions to provide adequate financial aid to their students.
(3) In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of or relating to any contract of the authority, the authority shall be conclusively deemed to have been established and authorized to transact business and exercise its powers hereunder upon proof of the adoption of an ordinance or resolution by the commission declaring the need for the authority. Such ordinance or resolution shall be sufficient if it declares that there is such a need for an authority in the county. A copy of such ordinance or resolution certified by the clerk shall be admissible in evidence in any suit, action, or proceeding.
(4) The ordinance or resolution shall designate five persons as members of the authority. The membership of the authority shall include:
(a) A trustee, director, officer, or employee of an institution located in such county.
(b) One lay citizen who does not derive a majority of his or her income from education or an education-related field.
(c) Two persons from the commercial financial community in the county, each of whom has a favorable reputation for skill, knowledge, and experience in the field of state and municipal finance.
(d) One person from the commercial financial community or educational community in the state who has a favorable reputation for skill, knowledge, and experience in the field of higher education loan finance.
(5) Of the members first appointed, one shall serve for 1 year, one for 2 years, one for 3 years, one for 4 years, and one for 5 years, in each case until his or her successor is appointed and has qualified. Thereafter, the commission shall appoint for terms of 5 years each members to succeed those whose terms will expire. The commission shall fill any vacancy for the unexpired portion of the term. Any member of the authority may be reappointed. Any member of the authority may be removed by the commission for misfeasance, malfeasance, or willful neglect of duty. Before entering upon his or her duties, each member of the authority shall take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation required by the State Constitution. A record of each such oath shall be filed with the Department of State and with the clerk.
(6) The authority shall annually elect one of its members as chair and one as vice chair and shall also appoint an executive director who shall not be a member of the authority and who shall serve at the pleasure of the authority and receive such compensation as fixed by the authority.
(7) The executive director shall keep a record of the proceedings of the authority and shall be custodian of all books, documents, and papers filed with the authority; the minute book or journal of the authority; and its official seal. The director may have copies made of all minutes and other records and documents of the authority and may give certificates under the official seal of the authority to the effect that such copies are true copies, and any person dealing with the authority may rely upon any such certificate.
(8) Three members of the authority shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present at a meeting shall be necessary for any action to be taken; however, any action may be taken by an authority with the unanimous consent of all of the members. A vacancy in the membership of the authority shall not impair the right of a quorum to exercise the rights or perform the duties of the authority. The majority shall not include any member who has a conflict of interest, and a statement by a member of a conflict of interest is conclusive for this purpose. Any action taken by the authority under the provisions of this act may be authorized by resolution at any regular or special meeting. Each such resolution shall take effect immediately and need not be published or posted.
(9) The members of the authority shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties, but each member, when engaged in the performance of such duties, shall be entitled to per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
(10) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, it shall not be, nor shall it constitute, a conflict of interest for a trustee, director, officer, or employee of an institution to serve as a member of the authority.
History.s. 497, ch. 2002-387.
1009.994 Functions and powers of authority.Each authority shall have the following functions and powers:
(1) To adopt rules for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business.
(2) To adopt an official seal.
(3) To maintain an office at a place it designates.
(4) To sue and be sued in its own name and to plead and be impleaded.
(5) To establish rules for the use of education loan financing programs and to designate a participating institution as its agent to establish rules for the use of a program undertaken by such participating institution.
(6) To issue obligations for the purpose of making authority loans to participating institutions for the purpose of providing education loans utilizing such eligibility standards for borrowers as the authority determines to be necessary, but such standards shall include the following:
(a) Each student shall have a certificate of admission or enrollment at a participating institution;
(b) Each student or his or her parents shall satisfy such financial qualifications as the authority shall establish; and
(c) Each student and his or her parents shall submit such information to the applicable institution as may be required by the authority.
(7) To contract with financial institutions and other qualified loan origination and servicing organizations, which shall assist in prequalifying borrowers for education loans and which shall service and administer each education loan and the respective loan series portfolio of each institution, and to establish sufficient fees for each educational loan to cover the applicable pro rata cost of such servicing and originating organizations.
(8) To establish criteria governing the eligibility of institutions to participate in its programs, the making and allocation of authority loans and education loans, provisions for default, the establishment of default reserve funds, the purchase of default insurance, the provision of prudent debt service reserves, and the furnishing by participating institutions of such additional guarantees of the education loans, authority loans, or obligations as the authority shall determine necessary to assure the marketability of the obligations and the adequacy of the security therefor; however, the provisions applicable to participation by Florida public participating institutions in the financing programs of the authority shall be subject to approval and authorization by the budgetary and other state agencies having jurisdiction over those institutions.
(9) To fix, revise, charge, and collect rates, fees, and charges for services furnished by the authority and to contract with any person in respect thereto, including any financial institution, loan originator, servicer, administrator, issuer of letters of credit, or insurer.
(10) To employ consultants, attorneys, accountants, financial experts, loan processors, bankers, managers, and such other employees and agents as may be necessary and to fix their compensation.
(11) To receive and accept, from any source, loans, contributions, or grants for or in aid of an authority education loan financing program or any portion thereof and, when required, to use such funds, property, or labor only for the purposes for which it was loaned, contributed, or granted.
(12) To make authority loans to institutions and require that the proceeds thereof be used solely for making education loans or for costs and fees in connection therewith and to require institutions to obtain certification from each borrower that proceeds from any education loan are used solely for the purpose intended by this act.
(13) To charge to and apportion among participating institutions administrative and operating costs and expenses incurred in the exercise of the powers and duties conferred by this act.
(14) To borrow working capital funds and other funds as may be necessary for startup and continuing operations, provided that such funds are borrowed solely in the name of the authority. Such borrowings shall be limited obligations of the character described in s. 1009.9975 and shall be payable solely from revenues of the authority or proceeds of obligations pledged for that purpose.
(15) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, to commingle and pledge as security for a series or issue of obligations, with the consent of all of the institutions which are participating in such series or issue:
(a) The education loan series portfolios and some or all future education loan series portfolios of such institutions; and
(b) The loan funding deposits of such institutions, except that education loan series portfolios and other security and moneys set aside in any fund pledged for any series or issue of obligations shall be held for the sole benefit of such series or issue separate and apart from education loan series portfolios and other security and moneys pledged for any other series of issue of obligations of the authority. Obligations may be issued in series under one or more resolutions or trust agreements in the discretion of the authority.
(16) To examine records and financial reports of participating institutions and to examine records and financial reports of any contractor organization or institution retained by the authority under the provisions of this act.
(17) To make loans to a participating institution to refund outstanding obligations, mortgages, or advances issued, made, or given by such institution for authority loans; and whenever such refunding obligations are issued to refund obligations, the proceeds of which were used to make authority loans, the authority may reduce the amount of interest owed to it by the institution which had received authority loans from the proceeds of the refunded obligations. Such institution may use this reduced amount to reduce the amount of interest being paid on education loans which the institution had made pursuant to the authority loans from the proceeds of the refunded obligations.
(18) To authorize its officers, agents, and employees to take any other action which is necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this act.
History.s. 498, ch. 2002-387.
1009.995 Expenses of authority.All expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of this act shall be payable solely from funds provided under the provisions of this act; and, except as specifically authorized under this act, no liability shall be incurred by an authority beyond the extent to which moneys have been provided under this act.
History.s. 499, ch. 2002-387.
1009.996 Higher education facilities authority as higher education loan authority.As an alternative to the creation of an authority, a commission may confer all rights, powers, privileges, duties, and immunities of an authority upon any entity in existence on July 1, 1982, which has been authorized by law to function as a higher education facilities authority pursuant to the provisions of chapter 243. Any such entity which has been vested with the rights, powers, privileges, duties, and immunities of a higher education loan authority shall be subject to all provisions and responsibilities imposed by this act, notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in any law which established the entity. Nothing in this act shall be construed to impair or diminish any powers of any other entity in existence on July 1, 1982, or to repeal, modify, or amend any law establishing such entity, except as specifically set forth herein.
History.s. 500, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9965 Moneys, endowments, properties; acquisition, deposit, and guarantees.Each authority is authorized to establish specific guidelines relating to the deposits of moneys, endowments, or properties by institutions which moneys, endowments, or properties would provide prudent security for education loan funding programs, authority loans, education loans, or obligations; and it may establish guidelines relating to guarantees of, or contracts to purchase, education loans or obligations by such institutions, financial institutions, or others. A default reserve fund may be established for each series or issue of obligations. In this regard, the authority is empowered to receive such moneys, endowments, properties, and guarantees as it deems appropriate and, if necessary, to take title in the name of the authority or in the name of a participating institution or a trustee, subject, however, to the limitations applicable to public participating institutions set forth in s. 1009.994(8).
History.s. 501, ch. 2002-387.
1009.997 Conveyance of loan funding deposit to participating institutions.When the principal of and interest on obligations of an authority issued to finance the cost of an education loan financing program, including any refunding obligations issued to refund and refinance such obligations, have been fully paid and retired or when adequate provision has been made to fully pay and retire the obligations and all other conditions of the bond resolution have been satisfied and the lien created by such bond resolution has been released in accordance with the provisions thereof, the authority shall promptly do such things and execute such deeds and conveyances as are necessary to convey any remaining moneys, properties, and other assets comprising loan funding deposits to the institutions in proportion to the amounts furnished by the respective institutions.
History.s. 502, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9975 Notes of authority.An authority may issue its negotiable notes for any corporate purpose and renew any notes by the issuance of new notes, whether or not the notes to be renewed have matured. The authority may issue notes partly to renew notes or to discharge other obligations then outstanding and partly for any other purpose. The notes may be authorized, sold, executed, and delivered in the same manner as bonds. Any resolution authorizing notes of the authority or any issue thereof may contain any provisions which the authority is authorized to include in any resolution authorizing revenue bonds or any issue thereof, and the authority may include in any notes any terms, covenants, or conditions which it is authorized to include in any bonds. All such notes shall be payable solely from the revenues of the authority, subject only to any contractual rights of the holders of any of its notes or other obligations then outstanding.
History.s. 503, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9976 Issuance of obligations.
(1) An authority may issue its negotiable revenue obligations for any corporate purpose. In anticipation of the sale of such obligations, the authority may issue negotiable bond anticipation notes and may renew them, but the maximum maturity of any such note, including renewals thereof, shall not exceed 5 years from the date of issue of the original note. Such notes shall be paid from revenues of the authority available therefor and not otherwise pledged or from the proceeds of sale of the revenue bonds of the authority in anticipation of which they were issued. The notes shall be issued in the same manner as the revenue bonds. Such notes and the resolution authorizing them may contain any provisions, conditions, or limitations which a bond resolution of the authority may contain.
(2) Each issue of obligations shall be payable solely out of those revenues of the authority that pertain to the program relating to such issue, including principal and interest on authority loans and education loans; payments by institutions of higher education, banks, insurance companies, or others pursuant to letters of credit or purchase agreements; investment earnings from funds or accounts maintained pursuant to the bond resolution; insurance proceeds; loan funding deposits; proceeds of sales of education loans; proceeds of refunding obligations; and fees, charges, and other revenues of the authority from such program, subject only to any agreements with the holders of particular revenue bonds or notes pledging any particular reserves.
(3) The obligations may be issued as serial obligations or as term obligations, or in both forms. The obligations shall be authorized by a bond resolution of the authority and shall bear such dates; mature at such times, not to exceed the year following the last year in which the final payments in an education loan series portfolio are due or 30 years, whichever is sooner, from their respective dates of issue; bear interest at such rates; be payable at such times; be in such denominations; be in such form, either coupon or fully registered; carry such registration and conversion privileges; be payable in lawful money of the United States of America at such places; and be subject to such terms of redemption as such bond resolution may provide. Obligations shall be executed by the manual or facsimile signatures of such officers of the authority as shall be designated by the authority. Obligations may be sold at public or private sale in such manner and for such price as the authority shall determine. Pending preparation of the definitive bonds, the authority may issue interim receipts or certificates which shall be exchanged for such definitive bonds.
(4) Any bond resolution may contain provisions, which shall be a part of the contract with the holders of the obligations to be authorized, as to:
(a) The pledging or assigning of all or part of the revenues derived from the authority loans and education loans to secure the payment of the obligations to be issued.
(b) The fees and other amounts to be charged; the sums to be raised in each year thereby; and the use, investment, and disposition of such sums.
(c) The setting aside of loan funding deposits, debt service reserves, capitalized interest accounts, cost of insurance accounts, and sinking funds and the regulation, investment, and disposition thereof.
(d) Limitations on the right of the authority or its agent to restrict and regulate the use of education loans.
(e) Limitations on the purpose to which the proceeds of sale of any issue of obligations then or thereafter to be issued may be invested or applied.
(f) Limitations on the issuance of additional obligations; the terms upon which additional obligations may be issued and secured; the terms upon which additional obligations may rank on a parity with, or be subordinate or superior to, other obligations; and the refunding of outstanding obligations.
(g) The procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with bondholders may be amended or abrogated, the amount of obligations the holders of which must consent thereto, and the manner in which such consent may be given.
(h) Limitations on the amount of moneys derived from the loan program to be expended for operating, administrative, or other expenses of the authority.
(i) Defining the acts or omissions to act which constitute a default in the duties of the authority to holders of obligations and providing the rights or remedies of such holders in the event of a default.
(j) Providing for guarantees, pledges or endowments, letters of credit, property, or other security for the benefit of the holders of such obligations.
(k) Any other matters relating to the obligations which the authority deems desirable to include in the bond resolution.
(5) Neither the members of the authority nor any person executing the obligations shall be liable personally on the obligations or be subject to any personal liability or accountability by reason of the issuance thereof.
(6) The authority shall have power to purchase its obligations out of any funds available therefor. The authority may hold, pledge, cancel, or resell such obligations subject to and in accordance with agreements with bondholders.
(7) The authority shall have the power to refund any of its obligations. Such refunding obligations shall be issued in the same manner as other obligations of the authority.
History.s. 504, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9977 Trust agreement to secure obligations.In the discretion of the authority, any obligations issued under the provisions of this act may be secured by a trust agreement by and between the authority and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within or without the state. The trust agreement may pledge or assign the revenues to be received by the authority; may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, particularly including such provisions as have hereinabove been specifically authorized to be included in any bond resolution of the authority; and may restrict individual rights of action by bondholders. Any bank or trust company incorporated under the laws of this state which may act as depository of the proceeds of bonds or of revenues or other moneys may furnish such indemnifying bonds or pledge such securities as may be required by the authority. Any such trust agreement may set forth the rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the trustee. In addition, any trust agreement may contain such other provisions as the authority may deem reasonable and proper for the security of the bondholders. All expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of the trust agreement may be treated as part of the cost of the operation of an education loan program.
History.s. 505, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9978 Payment of obligations.Obligations issued under the provisions of this act shall not be deemed to constitute a debt or liability of the state or the county or a pledge of the faith and credit of the state or any county, but such obligations shall be payable solely from the funds herein provided therefor from revenues. Each such obligation shall contain on its face a statement to the effect that neither the county nor the authority shall be obligated to pay the same or the interest thereon except from revenues of the loan program for which it is issued and that neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the state or of any political subdivision thereof is pledged to the payment of the principal of or the interest on such bonds. The issuance of obligations under the provisions of this act shall not directly, indirectly, or contingently obligate the state or any political subdivision thereof to levy or pledge any form of taxation whatever therefor or to make any appropriation for their payment.
History.s. 506, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9979 Pledge of revenues.Each authority shall fix, revise, charge, and collect fees, and it is empowered to contract with any person in respect thereof. Each agreement entered into by the authority with an institution shall provide that the fees and other amounts payable by the institution of higher education with respect to any program of the authority shall be sufficient at all times to:
(1) Pay the institution’s share of the administrative costs and expenses of such program;
(2) Pay the principal of, the premium, if any, on, and the interest on outstanding obligations of the authority which have been issued in respect of such program to the extent that other revenues of the authority pledged for the payment of the obligations are insufficient to pay the obligations as they become due and payable;
(3) Create and maintain reserves which may, but need not, be required or provided for in the bond resolution relating to such obligations of the authority; and
(4) Establish and maintain whatever education loan servicing, control, or audit procedures are deemed necessary to the prudent operations of the authority.

The authority shall pledge the revenues from each program as security for the issue of obligations relating to such program. Such pledge shall be valid and binding from the time the pledge is made; the revenues so pledged by the authority shall immediately be subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act, and the lien of any such pledge shall be valid and binding against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, in contract, or otherwise against the authority or any participating institution, irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof.

History.s. 507, ch. 2002-387.
1009.998 Funds as trust funds.All moneys received by or on behalf of an authority pursuant to this act, whether as proceeds from the sale of obligations or as revenues, shall be deemed to be trust funds to be held and applied solely as provided in this act. Any officer with whom, or any bank or trust company with which, such moneys are deposited shall act as trustee of such moneys and shall hold and apply the same for the purposes of this act, subject to such regulations as this act and the bond resolution authorizing the issue of any obligations may provide.
History.s. 508, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9981 Obligations; qualities of investment securities.All obligations issued under the provisions of this act, regardless of form or terms, shall have all the qualities and incidents, including negotiability, of investment securities under the Uniform Commercial Code. Compliance with the provisions of such code respecting the filing of a financing statement to perfect a security interest is not necessary for perfecting any security interest granted by an authority.
History.s. 509, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9982 Rights of holders of obligations.Any holder of obligations issued pursuant to this act or a trustee under a trust agreement entered into pursuant to this act, except to the extent that the rights herein given may be restricted by any bond resolution or trust agreement, may, by any suitable form of legal proceedings:
(1) Protect and enforce any and all rights under the laws of this state or granted hereunder or by the bond resolution or trust agreement;
(2) Enjoin unlawful activities; and
(3) In the event of default with respect to the payment of any principal of, premiums, if any, on, and interest on any obligation or in the performance of any covenant or agreement on the part of the authority in the bond resolution, apply to the circuit court to appoint a receiver to administer and operate the education loan program or programs, the revenues of which are pledged to the payment of principal of, premium, if any, on, and interest on such obligations, with full power to pay, and to provide for payment of, principal of, premium, if any, on, and interest on such obligations and with such powers, subject to the direction of the court, as are permitted by law and are accorded receivers, excluding any power to pledge additional revenues of the authority to the payment of such principal, premium, and interest.
History.s. 510, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9983 Refunding obligations; purpose, proceeds; investment of proceeds.
(1) An authority may provide for the issuance of obligations for the purpose of refunding any of its obligations then outstanding, including the payment of any redemption premium thereon and any interest accrued or to accrue to the earliest or any subsequent date of redemption, purchase, or maturity of such obligations.
(2) The proceeds of any such obligations issued for the purpose of refunding outstanding obligations may, in the discretion of the authority, be applied to the purchase or retirement at maturity or redemption of such outstanding obligations either on their earliest or any subsequent redemption date or upon the purchase or at the maturity thereof and may, pending such application, be placed in escrow to be applied to such purchase or retirement at maturity or redemption on such date as may be determined by the authority.
(3) Any such escrowed proceeds, pending such use, may be invested and reinvested in direct obligations of the United States of America or in certificates of deposit or time deposits of financial institutions secured as to principal by such direct obligations, which direct obligations, certificates of deposit, or time deposits mature at such time as shall be appropriate to assure the prompt payment, as to principal, interest, and redemption premium, if any, of the outstanding obligations to be so refunded. The interest, income, and profits, if any, earned or realized on any such investment may also be applied to the payment of the outstanding obligations to be so refunded. After the terms of the escrow have been fully satisfied and carried out, any balance of such proceeds and interest, income, and profits, if any, earned or realized on the investments thereof shall be returned to the authority for use in any lawful manner.
(4) All such refunding bonds shall be subject to this act in the same manner and to the same extent as other revenue bonds issued pursuant to this act.
History.s. 511, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9984 Investment of funds of authority.Except as otherwise provided in s. 1009.9983(3), an authority may invest any funds in:
(1) Direct obligations of the United States of America;
(2) Obligations as to which the timely payment of principal and interest is fully guaranteed by the United States of America;
(3) Obligations of the Federal Intermediate Credit Banks, Federal Banks for Cooperatives, Federal Land Banks, Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal National Mortgage Association, Government National Mortgage Association, and Student Loan Marketing Association;
(4) Certificates of deposit or time deposits constituting direct obligations of any financial institution as defined by the financial institutions codes, as now or hereafter amended, except that investments may be made only in those certificates of deposit or time deposits in financial institutions which are insured by the appropriate federal regulatory agency as defined in s. 655.005; and
(5) Withdrawable capital accounts or deposits of state or federally chartered savings and loan associations which are insured by an agency of the Federal Government. Any such securities may be purchased at the offering or market price thereof at the time of such purchase. All such securities so purchased shall mature or be redeemable on a date prior to the time when, in the judgment of the authority, the funds so invested will be required for expenditure. The express judgment of the authority as to the time when any funds will be required for expenditure or be redeemable is final and conclusive.
History.s. 512, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9985 Obligations as legal investments.Any bank, banker, trust company, savings bank or institution, building and loan association, savings and loan association, investment company, or other person carrying on a banking business or investment business; insurance company or insurance association; executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, or other fiduciary; or public officer or public body of the state or its political subdivisions may legally invest any sinking funds, moneys, or other funds belonging to it or within its control in any obligations issued pursuant to this act.
History.s. 513, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9986 Validation of bonds and proceedings.A higher education loan authority shall determine its authority to issue any of its bonds, and the legality of all proceedings in connection therewith, as provided in chapter 75.
History.s. 514, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9987 Actions to contest validity of bonds.An action or proceeding to contest the validity of any bond issued under this act, other than a proceeding pursuant to s. 1009.9986, shall be commenced within 30 days after notification, in a newspaper of general circulation within the area, of the passage by the authority of the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bond.
History.s. 515, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9988 Annual report.Each authority shall keep an accurate account of all of its activities and shall annually provide a report thereof to the commission and to the Commissioner of Education. Such report shall be a public record and open for inspection at the offices of the authority during normal business hours. The report shall include:
(1) Summaries of all applications by institutions of higher education for education loan financing assistance presented to the authority during such fiscal year;
(2) Summaries of all education loan programs which have received any form of financial assistance from the authority during such year;
(3) The nature and amount of all education loan financing assistance;
(4) A report concerning the financial condition of the various education loan series portfolios; and
(5) Projected activities of the authority for the next fiscal year, including projections of the total amount of financial assistance anticipated and the amount of obligations that will be necessary to provide the projected level of assistance during the next fiscal year.
History.s. 516, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9989 Act as alternative method.This act shall be deemed to provide a complete, additional, and alternative method for the doing of the things authorized hereby and shall be regarded as supplemental and additional to powers or rights conferred by other laws; however, the issuance of obligations and refunding obligations under this act need not comply with the requirements of any other law applicable to the issuance of obligations. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this act, none of the powers granted to an authority under this act shall be subject to the supervision or regulation, or require the approval or consent, of any municipality or political subdivision or any department, division, commission, board, body, bureau, official, or agency thereof or of the state.
History.s. 517, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9990 State agreement.The state does hereby pledge to and agree with the holders of any obligations issued under this act, and with those parties who may enter into contracts with an authority pursuant to the provisions of this act, that the state will not limit or alter the rights hereby vested in the authority until such obligations, together with the interest thereon, are fully met and discharged and such contracts are fully performed on the part of the authority; however, nothing herein contained shall preclude such limitation or alteration if adequate provision is made by law for the protection of the holders of such obligations of an authority or those entering into such contracts with an authority. An authority is authorized to include this pledge and undertaking for the state in such obligations or contracts.
History.s. 518, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9991 Conflicts of interest.
(1) If any member, officer, or employee of an authority has an interest, either direct or indirect, in any contract to which the authority is, or is to be, a party or in any institution requesting an authority loan from the authority, such interest shall be disclosed to the authority in writing and shall be set forth in the minutes of the authority. The person having such interest shall not participate in any action by the authority with respect to such contract or such institution.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of any member, officer, or employee of an authority to acquire an interest in bonds of the authority or to have an interest in any banking institution in which the bonds of the authority are, or are to be, deposited or which is, or is to be, acting as trustee or paying agent under any bond resolution, trust indenture, or similar instrument to which the authority is a party.
History.s. 519, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9992 Liberal construction.This act, being necessary for the welfare of the state and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effect its purpose.
History.s. 520, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9993 Tax exemption.Neither an authority nor its agent or trustee shall be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any transactions, or any property acquired or used by the authority or its agents or trustees under the provisions of this act or upon the income therefrom. Any bonds, notes, or other obligations issued under the provisions of this act and their transfer and the income therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be exempt from taxation of any kind by the state or any of its political subdivisions. The exemption granted by this section shall not be applicable to any tax imposed by chapter 220 on interest, income, or profits on debt obligations owned by corporations.
History.s. 521, ch. 2002-387.
1009.9994 State Board of Administration authority to borrow and lend funds to finance student loans; conditions and limitations.
(1) The State of Florida, acting through the State Board of Administration, is authorized to borrow funds to finance student loans and to lend such funds to eligible lenders described under the provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. ss. 1071 et seq.), as amended or as may be amended, or other federal laws providing for the guarantee of loans to students and the partial payment of interest on such loans by the United States Government.
(2) In order to obtain such funds, the State of Florida, acting through the State Board of Administration, is authorized to enter into loan agreements and interlocal agreements with any county, municipality, special district, or other local governmental body. Such agreements shall be for such periods and under such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties thereto in order to carry out the purposes of s. 15, Art. VII of the State Constitution. The loans shall be repaid only from the proceeds received under loan agreements with eligible lenders or from the proceeds received from the repayment of the student loans. Such agreements shall provide that the loans to the state will not constitute a general or moral obligation or a pledge of the faith and credit or the taxing power of the state.
(3) The State of Florida, acting through the State Board of Administration, is further authorized to enter into loan agreements or other contracts under which the state will loan the funds obtained from the local governments to eligible lenders as defined in s. 435(g)(1)(D) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. ss. 1071 et seq.), as amended or as may be amended, or other federal laws providing for the guarantee of loans to students and the partial payment of interest on such loans by the United States Government. Such agreements or contracts shall be for such periods and under such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the parties thereto in order to carry out the purposes of s. 15, Art. VII of the State Constitution. Higher Education Loan Program of Florida, Inc., a Florida nonprofit corporation, is hereby designated an eligible lender hereunder, and any other lender, to the extent permitted under s. 435(g)(1)(D) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. ss. 1071 et seq.), as amended or as may be amended, or other federal laws providing for the guarantee of loans to students and the partial payment of interest on such loans by the United States Government, may be designated by the Governor, with the concurrence of the State Board of Administration, as an eligible lender hereunder.
(4) The State of Florida, acting through the State Board of Administration, is further authorized to enter into such further contracts and to take such further actions as may be necessary or convenient in order to carry out the purposes of this section.
(5) Notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the territorial jurisdiction of the governmental body following adoption by the local governmental body of a resolution authorizing a loan agreement or interlocal agreement under this section. An action or proceeding to contest the validity of any such loan agreement or interlocal agreement must be commenced within 30 days after publication of such notice.
(6) The provisions of this section shall be liberally construed in order to effectively carry out its purposes. This section shall be deemed to provide an additional and alternative method for the doing of the things authorized hereby and shall be regarded as supplemental to powers conferred by other laws, and shall not be regarded as in derogation of any powers now existing.
History.s. 522, ch. 2002-387.
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