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.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Section 1009.895, Florida Statutes, is created
   21  to read:
   22         1009.895Sunshine 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.