Possible Changes To Benacquisto and Florida Aid

Contact U New Mexico, UCF, UAlabama, and any other university with a guaranteed NMF full ride, level with them: you’re NMF, until now UF was your top choice but the mess they’ve made with it in the FL legislature means you’re no longer considering them, what do you have to do today so they’ll consider you?

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Also look at Rice, W&L, and other schools which have made a commitment to provide substantial financial aid for applicants at certain income levels. Sounds like you might qualify.

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It looks like OP has a pretty complex financial situation. OP may have to limit the search to FAFSA only schools or Profile schools that don’t require NCP financials…but if neither parent will contribute, NMF schools will likely be the way to go.


What is your planned field of study?

UT-Dallas has the full COA+ package
UT-Arlington (also in the Dallas area) might offer full COA as well. My NMF son received something in the mail from them, I’m not 100% certain of the details.
Texas A&M - National Scholars award covers tuition (approximately), you pay room & board
U Kentucky - as of this year was offering full tuition for NMF
University of Tulsa - it’s not automatic but you can apply for their competitive Presidential Scholars full ride award (I’m assuming you’re not currently a senior)

If you can get at least full tuition, graduating college with strong career prospects and a moderate amount of student debt isn’t a bad place to be. But there are still some full COA options out there.

(sorry but would you mind taking down some of the specific details in that post? I’ve tried to keep the specific financial info confined to private messages only)


@Spineappletwists you might want to update your main thread (pickiest girl) and specify your budget. I now see that a full tuition scholarship might not be enough for you, and that a full ride might be preferable. Note that it is obviously harder to get a full ride scholarship than a full tuition scholarship.

You might also want to read that thread: Looking for advice in Merit aid for a top 1% student - Financial Aid & Scholarships - College Confidential Forums

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Some interesting background in this article. They are funding their “grandparents” OOS tuition break by axing the OOS Benacquisto. Since they’ve stripped most of the controversial provisions from the bill, I suspect the governor will sign it.

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The Florida legislature recessed today. Florida SB 86 (the Bright Futures bill that also eliminated out of state Benacquisto) stalled on the House side. That means there are no changes to Benacquisto. For confirmation and for more information on the work around SB 86, see the public Facebook group Florida Voters Against Scholarship Cuts.

For current college students, yes. For future students, HB 1261 was passed earlier this week by the Florida Senate and House and would stop OOS Benacquisto after this year’s HS senior class. It’s now on the governor’s desk.

“Under the bill, out-of-state students would no longer be eligible to receive Benacquisto Scholarships for National Merit Scholars after the 2021-2022 academic year.”

Ugh. And I thought I had been tracking this closely enough! It looks like I cannot delete or edit my post, so hopefully a moderator will.

Anyone know if there is a time limit for Desantis to sign the bill (if he hasn’t already)? I haven’t seen word after it passed both chambers.

He has 15 days from April 28th, so May 13th is when he needs to sign or veto it by.

I misunderstood Florida law – the governor has 15 days from WHEN HE IS OFFICIALLY PRESENTED WITH THE BILL, not from when the bill is passed. And since he hasn’t been presented with 1261 yet, the clock hasn’t started on the bill’s 15 days. DeSantis signed a different bill today that passed both Florida houses over a month ago, but it was only presented to him on Monday. Why so long? I dunno.

mdpmdp, learning more about Florida law than any Midwesterner ought

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Because it is a process. The legislative office has to fix any error and print it in a final form. They are dealing with hundreds of bills at this time of year and some bills take priority (political reasons, emergencies) so others get moved to the end of the line.

There are only so many hours in the day, and for that office, this is the busiest time of the year.

Maybe 1261 will get lost in the shuffle, lol.

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I actually thought about that, but as it turns out Florida bills that the governor ignores/forgets about still become law anyway after those 15 days (or 7 days if the legislature is in session). 1261 will only fail if DeSantis actively vetoes it.

I just became aware of HB 1261. My son is enrolling at UF as an out-of-state Benacquisto Scholarship recipient this fall – how will this effect him if the bill becomes law?

I have read the relevant section of the bill, Sec. 11, and it seems to me that with the amendment that would result from HB 1261, this school year, i.e., academic year 2021-22 is the last year that out-of-state students can receive Benacquisto Scholarships. However, since he will have “initially enrolled” this school year as a Benacquisto Scholar, would he continue to get all 4 years of the scholarship, or does he only get the scholarship for his freshman year?

I haven’t found a good answer for this and the financial aid office is probably reluctant to comment on something that isn’t law yet.

Thanks to anyone that can help explain it!

That is the big question for me. My son is an OOS at UF this Fall (SY 2021022) primarily because of the Benacquisto Scholarship. Will he only have it for his Freshman year or will he have it for all 4 years?

The intent of 1261 appears to be that 2021-22 enrolling OOS freshmen are the last class eligible but will receive the scholarship for 4 years. They could always make other changes in future legislative sessions, but that is where we are now.