Does anyone know if the funding for the Benacquisto scholarship has been approved for the next few years?
The Benacquisto is subject to legislative budget approval each year. I believe this usually happens in the spring. Haven’t heard anything yet. UF is the one school I know of that doesn’t guarantee the scholarship if the legislature defunds it. Unless something has changed this year.
I’m also curious about this, when would we know for sure if the scholarship has been approved for next year?
The funding amount is up in the air right now because a bill is going through the Florida Senate that removes the “full COA” language from the existing statute.
When would we know if this bill passes or not?
Here is a link to the bill history/progress: https://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/86/?Tab=BillHistory
It has passed through 2 committees with some amendments, and will be heard by a 3rd committee soon. So far, however, there is not a companion bill in the House, and the Governor has stated he wants to fully fund Bright Futures (which is also a subject of the bill). There is at least some hope that this bill may not ultimately go anywhere. Here is a recent article on the topic: Funding concerns linger over Bright Futures scholarships
To more directly answer your question, we don’t know exactly when the funding issue will be resolved, although it will probably be within the next month or two.
The main problem is that they are passing the bill stating the amount of scholarship will be determined each year. So when they declare “full funding” it actually means funding to the amount determined in this particular year. Lets say next year they cut it in half and will fully fund it again. It’s 100% lottery money and unspent part will go to the budget (that is the main goal)
Yes. Another problem with this bill that I have not seen mentioned is that if the amount changes each year during budget deliberations, it would be too late for current students to apply for financial aid to supplement any shortfalls. The Florida budget is decided late spring/early summer. This is long past financial aid deadlines.