October 17, 2019
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       Florida Senate - 2010                                     SB 144
       
       
       
       By Senator Ring
       
       
       
       
       32-00125-10                                            2010144__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to student financial assistance;
    3         creating s. 1009.893, F.S.; creating the Sure Futures
    4         Scholarship Program; providing purposes and goals for
    5         the program; requiring that the Board of Governors of
    6         the State University System administer the program;
    7         providing definitions; establishing the Sure Futures
    8         Advisory Board; providing membership and duties of the
    9         advisory board; providing eligibility criteria for
   10         participation in the program by students and sponsors;
   11         providing procedures for application to the program
   12         and selection of participants; requiring that sponsors
   13         and students participating in the program enter into a
   14         contract; specifying certain terms for such contract;
   15         providing benefits and requirements for students
   16         selected to participate in the program; authorizing
   17         sponsors to establish terms of sponsorship and specify
   18         state universities or private colleges or universities
   19         at which a student may enroll to receive sponsorship;
   20         providing requirements if a sponsor terminates a
   21         scholar; requiring that a participating student who
   22         graduates with an advanced degree remain employed by
   23         his or her sponsor in this state for a specified
   24         period; requiring that a sponsor make specified
   25         monetary contributions for the program; providing for
   26         implementation of the program based on fees received;
   27         providing for state matching funds; requiring that the
   28         Board of Governors establish a central database;
   29         providing requirements for scholarship loans;
   30         providing for repayment of a prorated portion of a
   31         scholarship loan if certain obligations are not met;
   32         requiring that eligible state universities and private
   33         colleges or universities make available certain
   34         information regarding the program; encouraging certain
   35         entities to promote participation in the program;
   36         authorizing state universities or private colleges and
   37         universities to provide grants or waivers; providing
   38         an effective date.
   39  
   40  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   41  
   42         Section 1. Section 1009.893, Florida Statutes, is created
   43  to read:
   44         1009.893Sure Futures Scholarship Program.—
   45         (1)Beginning with the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the Sure
   46  Futures Scholarship Program shall be created for the purpose of
   47  matching private-sector businesses that need employees in
   48  Florida who have advanced degrees with students who are seeking
   49  advanced degrees and employment. The goals of the program are to
   50  provide for a more highly educated workforce in Florida by
   51  offering students financial support to pursue advanced degrees
   52  in identified areas of critical need and guaranteed employment
   53  in Florida with the private-sector businesses that participate
   54  as sponsors in the program.
   55         (2)The Board of Governors of the State University System
   56  shall administer the Sure Futures Scholarship Program. The Board
   57  of Governors may enter into an agreement with a state university
   58  or the Department of Education to provide operational and
   59  administrative services for the program, including, but not
   60  limited to, processing applications, responding to sponsor
   61  letters of interest, disseminating information about the
   62  program, facilitating student and sponsor matches, managing
   63  contributions and state matching dollars, and managing all
   64  components of the program.
   65         (3)As used in this section, the term:
   66         (a)“Eligible graduate program” means a graduate program in
   67  an area of critical need identified by the Board of Governors in
   68  the board’s most recent strategic plan and offered by a state
   69  university or private college or university located in this
   70  state which is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the
   71  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or the Accrediting
   72  Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. An area of
   73  critical need includes, but is not limited to, education, health
   74  professions, engineering, life sciences, and economic
   75  development sectors yielding high-wage or high-demand jobs.
   76         (b)“Sure Futures Scholar” or “scholar” means a student who
   77  has been admitted to an eligible graduate program and who has
   78  applied for and been selected to participate in the Sure Futures
   79  Scholarship Program.
   80         (c)“Sponsor” means a corporation, partnership, limited
   81  liability company, sole proprietor, or other private-sector
   82  business entity that provides financial support and guaranteed
   83  employment opportunities in Florida pursuant to this section.
   84         (4)(a)The Sure Futures Scholarship Advisory Board shall be
   85  established to make recommendations to the Board of Governors
   86  regarding the implementation and operation of the program.
   87         (b)The advisory board shall be comprised of the following
   88  members:
   89         1.The Chancellor of the State University System or the
   90  chancellor’s designee.
   91         2.Three representatives from state universities appointed
   92  by the chancellor to 2-year terms.
   93         3.Three representatives from businesses or industries
   94  located in Florida appointed by the chancellor to 2-year terms.
   95         4.Two graduate students who are Sure Futures Scholars from
   96  a state university appointed by the chancellor to 1-year terms.
   97         5.Three representatives from private universities or
   98  colleges appointed by the Independent Colleges and Universities
   99  of Florida.
  100         6.Two graduate students who are Sure Futures Scholars
  101  appointed by the Independent Colleges and Universities of
  102  Florida.
  103         7.One representative appointed by the Speaker of the House
  104  of Representatives.
  105         8.One representative appointed by the President of the
  106  Senate.
  107         (c)The advisory board shall:
  108         1.Recommend policies and procedures for implementation and
  109  operation of the program, including, but not limited to, an
  110  application and matching process for students and employers
  111  participating in the program.
  112         2.Recommend policies and procedures for receiving,
  113  processing, and managing program revenues, including
  114  contributions from sponsors, repayments of scholarship loans,
  115  and state matching dollars.
  116         3.Recommend a process for the approval of printed and
  117  electronic materials, marketing, and advertising.
  118         (5)(a)A student is eligible to apply to the Sure Futures
  119  Scholarship Program and receive a list of sponsors and the
  120  graduate degree programs for which such sponsors are seeking
  121  potential scholars if:
  122         1.The student has been admitted as a degree-seeking
  123  student in an eligible graduate program at a state university or
  124  a private college or university in this state which is
  125  accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern
  126  Association of Colleges and Schools or the Accrediting Council
  127  for Independent Colleges and Schools; and
  128         2.The student qualifies as a resident for tuition purposes
  129  pursuant to s. 1009.21 or has received an undergraduate degree
  130  from a Florida college or university.
  131         (b)A student must apply to the Board of Governors to
  132  participate in the Sure Futures Scholarship Program using a
  133  standard application form developed by the Board of Governors.
  134         (c)To be eligible for selection as a Sure Futures Scholar,
  135  a student must:
  136         1.Be admitted as a degree-seeking student by an eligible
  137  graduate program.
  138         2.Be classified as a resident for tuition purposes
  139  pursuant to s. 1009.21 at the time of initial enrollment in the
  140  eligible graduate program or have obtained an undergraduate
  141  degree from a Florida college or university.
  142         3.Not be an existing employee of the sponsor with whom the
  143  student is matched.
  144         (6)An employer interested in participating in the Sure
  145  Futures Scholarship Program shall submit a letter of interest to
  146  the Board of Governors. At a minimum, the letter shall indicate
  147  the level and subject matter of the degree program or programs
  148  and the state universities or private colleges or universities
  149  of interest to the employer. The Board of Governors shall notify
  150  the employer of the graduate programs that meet the interests of
  151  the employer, the eligible state universities or private
  152  colleges or universities that offer the programs, and the
  153  estimated costs of the programs.
  154         (7)The Board of Governors shall review student
  155  applications to match students and potential sponsors. The Board
  156  of Governors shall notify each student applicant and potential
  157  sponsor of the match or matches. Each potential sponsor shall
  158  interview the students and notify the Board of Governors of the
  159  student or students it wishes to sponsor. The Board of Governors
  160  shall determine the final match of the sponsor and student. A
  161  match is not final until the student has formally accepted an
  162  offer of admission to an eligible graduate program that is
  163  acceptable to the potential sponsor.
  164         (8)(a)Once a match is finalized through the Board of
  165  Governors, the student and the sponsor shall sign a contract in
  166  which the student agrees to a scholarship loan offered by the
  167  sponsor, including a waiver-of-payment provision if a 4-year
  168  employment obligation in Florida is completed, and the sponsor
  169  agrees to provide a defined 4-year employment position in the
  170  state.
  171         (b)The contract must:
  172         1.Clearly state the terms of the scholarship loan.
  173         2.Include the sponsor’s expectations for the scholar’s
  174  performance.
  175         3.Include the employment requirements.
  176         4.Include the potential legal remedies if the terms and
  177  conditions of the contract are not met.
  178         5.Provide for repayment of the scholarship loan in
  179  accordance with subsection (11) if the scholar is unable to
  180  complete all of the obligations of the contract.
  181         6.Provide for the matching of a scholar to an alternate
  182  sponsor if the original sponsor is unable to complete all of the
  183  obligations of the contract.
  184         7.As a condition of the scholar accepting a match with a
  185  particular sponsor, contain provisions for noncompetition,
  186  nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure for up to 4 years after the
  187  scholar completes the graduate degree requirements.
  188         (c)For each year that the scholar is enrolled full-time as
  189  a graduate student, the scholarship loan shall cover tuition,
  190  fees, and books for the degree program; health insurance with an
  191  option for the scholar to purchase additional coverage for
  192  dependents; and room and board based on the university’s or
  193  college’s dormitory and meal plan rate.
  194         (d)A sponsor may establish terms of sponsorship,
  195  including, but not limited to, the degree sought, the state
  196  universities or private colleges or universities in which a
  197  scholar may enroll, minimum grade point average and course load,
  198  and requirements regarding internships and extracurricular
  199  activities.
  200         (e)Upon graduation, a scholar shall begin working for the
  201  sponsor and must remain employed in this state by the sponsor
  202  for a minimum of 4 years as stipulated in the contract.
  203         (f)If a sponsor terminates employment of a scholar without
  204  cause before the scholar completes the 4-year obligation, the
  205  scholar is not required to repay any portion of the scholarship
  206  loan and may be matched with another sponsor to complete the
  207  remaining 4-year contracted employment period. The sponsor and
  208  the scholar shall inform the Board of Governors of the
  209  termination. The sponsor may not be reimbursed for any amount
  210  paid to the Board of Governors which is made on behalf of the
  211  scholar.
  212         (g)If a sponsor terminates the employment of a scholar for
  213  cause before the scholar completes the 4-year obligation, the
  214  scholar must repay a prorated portion of the scholarship loan in
  215  accordance with subsection (11). The sponsor and the scholar
  216  shall inform the Board of Governors of the termination.
  217         (9)(a)A sponsor shall make an initial monetary
  218  contribution to the Board of Governors of at least 50 percent of
  219  the total funds necessary to cover the costs identified in
  220  paragraph (8)(c) for the duration of the degree program from
  221  which the sponsor wishes to draw students, plus an additional
  222  monetary contribution per year to the Board of Governors to
  223  cover administrative costs of the Sure Futures Scholarship
  224  Program to be computed based on a pro rata share of the cost of
  225  one scholarship divided by the total number of scholarships
  226  offered. Contributions shall be made to the Board of Governors
  227  by a date specified by and in accordance with rules adopted by
  228  the Board of Governors.
  229         (b)The Board of Governors shall use the first $300,000 in
  230  sponsor administrative fees to pay start-up costs for
  231  implementing the Sure Futures Scholarship Program. The program
  232  shall be implemented to the extent that such fees are received
  233  by the Board of Governors. Beginning July 1, 2011, and
  234  thereafter, sponsor contributions, except for the administrative
  235  fee portion, are eligible to be matched by the state on a
  236  dollar-for-dollar basis to the extent funds are appropriated by
  237  the Legislature for such purpose. A sponsor may support one or
  238  more scholarship loans and must offer employment in Florida for
  239  each scholar with whom the sponsor is matched for the 4-year
  240  contracted employment period.
  241         (10)The Board of Governors shall establish and maintain a
  242  central database containing current information on student
  243  applicants and their profiles, sponsors, the graduate degree
  244  programs for which the sponsors are seeking scholars, the state
  245  universities or private colleges or universities that offer such
  246  programs, and the costs of such programs for purposes of
  247  determining the sponsor support required.
  248         (11)The Board of Governors shall adopt by rule scholarship
  249  loan terms, repayment schedules, and procedures for the
  250  collection, settlement, and charging off of delinquent unpaid
  251  and uncanceled scholarship loan notes. A scholarship loan must
  252  be repaid within 10 years after the 4-year employment period
  253  ends.
  254         (a)Credit for repayment of a scholarship loan shall be in
  255  an amount not to exceed 25 percent in loan principal plus
  256  applicable accrued interest for each full year of employment
  257  service.
  258         (b)Unless the Sure Futures Scholar has received full
  259  credit for repayment, the scholar shall repay the unwaived
  260  portion of the scholarship plus accrued interest at 8 percent
  261  annually. The repayment must be deferred until the scholar has
  262  become entitled to a full waiver of payment or if the scholar is
  263  no longer eligible for the waiver of payment. If the scholar is
  264  no longer eligible for the waiver of payment, the amount owed
  265  shall be based on that portion of principal and accrued interest
  266  which was not credited under the waiver-of-payment repayment
  267  provisions in this section.
  268         (c)Sure Futures Scholars may receive scholarship loan
  269  repayment credit when matched with another sponsor at any time
  270  during the scheduled repayment period. A scholar shall receive
  271  credit only for the remaining employment service provided for in
  272  the terms of the initial employment contract. Further, such
  273  repayment credit applies only to the current principal and
  274  accrued interest balance remaining at the time the repayment
  275  credit is earned. The scholar may not be reimbursed for previous
  276  cash payments of principal and interest.
  277         (12)Prepared documentation and electronic information
  278  regarding the program shall be made available through the
  279  appropriate office at each eligible state university or private
  280  college or university. As deemed appropriate by its
  281  administration, an eligible state university or private college
  282  or university may provide additional information or activities,
  283  such as providing one-on-one discussions with advisors,
  284  conducting seminars on the program, or working with companies in
  285  its service area to create scholarships through the program.
  286         (13)State agencies, local workforce boards, chambers of
  287  commerce, and Enterprise Florida, Inc., are strongly encouraged
  288  to promote participation in the program from potential sponsors
  289  and scholars.
  290         (14)To the extent the funds contributed by a sponsor and
  291  any matching funds provided by the state are not sufficient to
  292  pay for the costs identified in paragraph (8)(c), the state
  293  university or private college or university that enrolls the
  294  scholar may provide the difference in cost through grants or
  295  waivers.
  296         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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