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OOS National Merit Benacquisto Scholarship

flute125flute125 4 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hey all! A lot of students haven't gotten confirmation on their National Merit Finalist status yet, but I know we're all hopeful we'll get the notification from home mail or schools very soon. As of right now, my major contenders for college are my flagship home state school, the University of Florida, and the University of Alabama. I didn't even know about the Benacquisto possibly applying to OOS students until this past weekend so I've been trying to find as much information about it as I can. There are some conflicting descriptions on the website about whether students have to be Florida residents in order to qualify, along with some other unclear wordings that may not be up to date.

Based on most descriptions, it seems like once you're a NMF and select UF as your top choice school, you will be offered their $500 annual scholarship. That counts as a "college sponsored" scholarship, which then qualifies you for the Benacquisto scholarship. This seems a bit redundant to me, but I may also be misunderstanding that.

I'm wondering if any UF students/parents have anymore insight about the requirements and process for getting the scholarship (i.e. is it only offered after you've enrolled or will it simply be announced later along with other scholarships?).
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Replies to: OOS National Merit Benacquisto Scholarship

  • oldandwiseoldandwise 92 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    It really is that simple. After you declare UF as your college choice to National Merit and tell UF you will attend, you’ll automatically get the scholarship. The Benacquisto Scholarship is a state law, and it’s fully described in the statutes.
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  • Eskimo7Eskimo7 31 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Why do they call it benacquisto? Who first mooted the idea of this scholarship and what is the purpose of it?
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  • ReebtoorReebtoor 231 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited February 12
    @Eskimo7 They call it Benacquisto after the state senator who first proposed the bill for the in state kids. http://www.flsenate.gov/Media/PressReleases/show/2432
    edited February 12
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  • FSUdad93FSUdad93 197 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My son is the First UF OOS Benacquisto as we signed and committed on campus the day the Governor signed it. I can answer any OOS questions. It is wonderful and better than you think. The only scary part is waiting for them to dump the $ in your bank account fall semester. They have a 3 day Honors camp 3 days before classes where NMF's can meet other kids. He is still hanging out with that gang! He agreed to live in Hume Hall (Honors dorm) with no meal plan. The parking garage is directly behind the dorm. He walks to classes due to its location. He never used his bike. the Benacquisto paid 100% of everything. Money you don't spend goes directly into ones bank account. (His) He has saved more than half of his meal plan money. OOS has 10 semesters or 5 years of paid Full Cost of attendance. that number is currently $23500 a year or so. The OOS portion is waived. OOS is an additional $20,000 waived. That makes it a possible $43500 X 5 years. Too many positives to List!
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  • FSUdad93FSUdad93 197 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    flute125

    For you UA Crimson tide fans. My NMF son last spring break was visiting UF. The Benacquisto for OOS NMF was signed by the Governor that day. Later that day my son received an Email from UA. He hadn't applied so they must have taken his info from NMF roles. They invited him to attend for a Full Cost Of Attendance, Room and Board included. They further offered the scholarship to be for 6 years to include Law School or Masters. We were quite surprised. (SAT 1550, Ec's etc. nothing outrageous ) He is attending UF.
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  • brentwoodmombrentwoodmom 229 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Alabama offered him 6 years or UF did?
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  • mountainmomof3mountainmomof3 604 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    @FSUdad93 - just to clarify - you are saying that Alabama sent an email offering 100% COA for 6 years not just the tuition and housing (leaving meal plan to still be paid) etc? All of this was in a specific written offer? This is very different from the current offer, which while generous still leaves a little to paid even with additional stipends.
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  • gamom2023gamom2023 45 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @mountainmomof3 @FSUdad93 @brentwoodmom
    I don't believe the 6 years is correct. We spoke with someone in person in the scholarship office a couple of weeks ago. What they have on their website is the accurate information:

    -Value of tuition for up to five years or 10 semesters for degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate (or law) studies
    -Four years of on-campus housing at regular room rate* (based on assignment by Housing and Residential Communities)
    -$3,500 per year Merit Scholarship stipend for four years.**
    -One-time allowance of $2,000 for use in summer research or international study (after completing one year of study at UA)
    -$2,000 book scholarship ($500 per year for four years)
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  • mountainmomof3mountainmomof3 604 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    @gamom2023 - yes, that was my understanding as well. I asked for clarification because I have noted that @FSUdad93 had mentioned his son's higher offer in several different threads. Didn't make sense to me that one person would have a completely different offer than everyone else.
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  • ReebtoorReebtoor 231 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    If I remember last year, UA changed their NMF offer pretty late in the game. It increased substantially to what is listed on the website now. Perhaps @FSUdad93 's kid was offered something last year (since he's a 2018 grad) that was different in that middle ground timeframe. Or perhaps he's recalling something differently. Either way, UA's offer is generous & that was last year vs. this year. So, I don't think you can compare (although you are welcome to try to get UA to sweeten the offer!).
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  • mountainmomof3mountainmomof3 604 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Reebtoor - definitely generous.
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  • FSUdad93FSUdad93 197 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Last year, the UA offer on their website was: Tuition and fees, summer overseas, and ONE year of on campus housing. My son did not apply there. On spring break, in Florida, the Governor singed SB4 which allowed OOS NMF to attend 6 Florida Schools at Full Cost of Attendance. That day, we drove to UF. That day, a Monday he received a text from UA. It offered to him: 6 years, Full Cost of Attendance (room and board included) to include a MS degree or Law School. (his choice) I was floored as he had not applied. My sense was they wanted to stay ahead of the Florida Benacquisto Scholarship. Maybe they've calmed down. We kept the text.
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  • gamom2023gamom2023 45 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @FSUdad93 Ah, yes. During our first visit to UA this past fall, they had recently settled on the details of what is now their current offering. So, they were probably still working on it for your year. Maybe they realized they didn't have to offer quite as much and would still get lots of NMFs. My son came close to choosing it over UF after visiting both. It just felt like a better fit for him, and we were also still unsure about the Benacquisto being funded for the full four years, once word got a little more. In the end, he chose a non-NMF school after being awarded a specific scholarship he was competing for. Both UF and UA are still great options for NMFs.
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  • bvbfc09bvbfc09 15 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Anyone know if recipients of a Corporate NM Scholarship can still receive the Benacquisto?
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  • cc665544cc665544 13 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited March 18
    edited March 18
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  • vistajayvistajay 1451 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    They would, it just may be adjusted to make sure the total does not exceed the cost of attendance.
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  • Eskimo7Eskimo7 31 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I am a out-of-state student at University of Florida. There is an update on the 500.00 national merit scholarship that is being offered by University of Florida but still no update on the Benacquisito scholarship. Anyone has any update on this?
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  • cc665544cc665544 13 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Our Benacquisto award is now visible in the One.uf.edu website in the financial aid section. We are in state.
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  • MamareebMamareeb 18 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Our Benacquisto is now visible too! We are OOS. Very happy to see it there this morning. I would think you will see it soon also Eskimo7.
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  • Eskimo7Eskimo7 31 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you Mamareeb and cc665544. I do see the Benacquisto but the amount offered is $21,210.00, which is the total cost of attendance for in-state. But it also states in the same financial aid page that the estimated total cost of attendance is 59,746.00. for OOS. So I am confused.
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