Florida Senate - 2010 SB 144
By Senator Ring
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.
40 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
42 Section 1. Section 1009.893, Florida Statutes, is created
43 to read:
44 1009.893 Sure 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
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
103 7. One representative appointed by the Speaker of the House
104 of Representatives.
105 8. One representative appointed by the President of the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
296 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.