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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XLVIII
K-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1009
EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIPS, FEES, AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
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F.S. 1009.531
1009.531 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for initial awards.
(1) 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 pursuant to s. 1002.3105(5), s. 1003.4281, or s. 1003.4282 or a high school equivalency diploma pursuant to 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. However, a student who graduates from high school midyear must apply no later than August 31 of the student’s graduation year in order to be evaluated for and, if eligible, receive an award for the current academic year.
(2)(a) A student graduating from high school prior to the 2010-2011 academic year 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) Students graduating from high school in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years are 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.
(c) A student graduating from high school in the 2012-2013 academic year and thereafter is eligible to accept an initial award for 2 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 2 years after high school graduation. For a student who enlists in the United States Armed Forces immediately after completion of high school, the 2-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. For a student who is unable to accept an initial award immediately after completion of high school due to a full-time religious or service obligation lasting at least 18 months, the 2-year eligibility period for his or her initial award and the 5-year renewal period begin upon the completion of his or her religious or service obligation. The organization sponsoring the full-time religious or service obligation must meet the requirements for nonprofit status under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a federal government service organization, including, but not limited to, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps programs. The obligation must be documented in writing and verified by the entity for which the student completed the obligation on a standardized form prescribed by the department. 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). High school students 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). High school students must earn an SAT score of 1170 which corresponds to the 75th SAT percentile rank or a concordant ACT score of 26.
(c) The SAT percentile ranks and corresponding SAT scores specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) are based on the SAT percentile ranks for 2010 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; s. 17, ch. 2011-63; s. 25, ch. 2012-134; s. 25, ch. 2012-191; s. 57, ch. 2013-27; s. 58, ch. 2013-35; s. 33, ch. 2013-51; s. 79, ch. 2014-39; s. 1, ch. 2016-91.