Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1004 By Senator Rodriguez 37-00396-20 20201004__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Sunshine Scholarship Program; 3 creating s. 1009.895, F.S.; establishing the Sunshine 4 Scholarship Program; requiring the Department of 5 Education to administer the program; providing the 6 purpose of the program; defining the term “eligible 7 postsecondary institution”; requiring certain 8 financial aid to be credited to a student’s tuition 9 and fees before the award of a Sunshine Scholarship; 10 specifying student eligibility requirements; defining 11 the term “full-time student”; requiring a student to 12 repay the scholarship amount under certain 13 circumstances; providing that the program applies only 14 to a student’s tuition and fees; providing for 15 funding; providing for rulemaking; providing an 16 effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Section 1009.895, Florida Statutes, is created 21 to read: 22 1009.895 Sunshine Scholarship Program.— 23 (1) There is established the Sunshine Scholarship Program 24 to be administered by the Department of Education pursuant to 25 this section and rules of the State Board of Education. The 26 Sunshine Scholarship Program shall provide funding for 100 27 percent of tuition and fees for Florida residents pursuing an 28 associate degree or career certificate from an eligible 29 postsecondary institution. For purposes of this section, the 30 term “eligible postsecondary institution” means a Florida 31 College System institution, a career center operated by a school 32 district, or a charter technical career center. Financial aid 33 received from the Pell Grant, the Florida Public Student 34 Assistance Grant Program, and the Florida Bright Futures 35 Scholarship Program shall be credited first to the student’s 36 tuition and fees before the award of a scholarship under this 37 section. 38 (2) To be eligible to receive a scholarship pursuant to 39 this section, a student must: 40 (a) Be a resident for tuition purposes, as defined in s. 41 1009.21. 42 (b) Meet the general requirements for student eligibility 43 as provided in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise provided in this 44 section. 45 (c) Have a total annual household income of up to: 46 1. Two hundred fifty percent of the federal poverty 47 threshold to receive a 100 percent scholarship; 48 2. Three hundred twenty-five percent of the federal poverty 49 threshold to receive a 75 percent scholarship; 50 3. Four hundred percent of the federal poverty threshold to 51 receive a 50 percent scholarship; or 52 4. Five hundred percent of the federal poverty threshold to 53 receive a 25 percent scholarship. 54 (d) Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid 55 for each academic year in which the scholarship is sought. 56 (e) Be accepted by and enroll in an eligible postsecondary 57 institution. 58 (f) Maintain continuous enrollment as a full-time student 59 while receiving the scholarship. For purposes of this section, 60 the term “full-time student” means a student enrolled in a 61 minimum of 12 semester hours or the clock-hour equivalent. 62 (3) Upon completion of his or her program of study, or upon 63 disenrollment from an eligible postsecondary institution, the 64 student must reside and work within this state for the same 65 period of time he or she received funds from the Sunshine 66 Scholarship Program. If the student does not reside and work 67 within this state for the specified period, the student must 68 repay the total scholarship amount awarded, plus an annual 69 interest rate equal to the federal student loan interest rate in 70 effect when the student entered the scholarship program. The 71 requirements of this subsection do not apply: 72 (a) When a student enlists in the United States Armed 73 Forces; or 74 (b) While a student is continuously enrolled in a 75 baccalaureate degree program or higher at a Florida 76 postsecondary institution. Once the student graduates or 77 disenrolls from a Florida postsecondary institution, the 78 requirements of this subsection apply. 79 (4) To remain eligible for the program, a student must 80 maintain the equivalent of a cumulative grade point average of 81 2.5 on a 4.0 scale while enrolled at an eligible postsecondary 82 institution. 83 (5) The Sunshine Scholarship Program applies only to 84 tuition and fees. Each student is responsible for additional 85 user fees, textbooks, and other college-related expenses. 86 (6) Funding for the program shall be as provided in the 87 General Appropriations Act. 88 (7) The State Board of Education may adopt rules to 89 implement this section. 90 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.