Possible Changes To Benacquisto and Florida Aid

As of today, the bill is finally on DeSantis’ desk.

And DeSantis has signed 1261. Out-of-state Benacquisto is officially dead for HS students graduating in 2022 and beyond.

Link: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/1261

RIP. It was nice while it lasted for OOS students. I know UF won’t replace it but it will be interesting to see what programs FSU, UCF, perhaps Miami come up with to attract high academic OOS applicants.


Hoping someone can answer this question. My D goes to UM and is a recipient of the OOS Benacquisto. Because UM is a private school her award has always been equal to the highest COA for an in state student at a public university Last year that was FAU at $25368.00. I am understanding that SB86 died but 1261 was approved by the governor. It doesn’t look like 1261 changes how the amount of her Benacquisto is determined. Is that correct? I am hoping that it would still be based on the highest COA for an in state student at a public university and not by the GAA.

Correct the bill does not change how Benacquisto COA is determined, though that FAU amount seems high, historically.

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Did any of the Florida schools come up with an alternative to the Benacquisto for OSS? Guessing it’s a long shot but curious if anyone heard of anything.

For this year, the OOS students are still getting Benacquisto. The test will be for next year.

It seems like FSU and UCF will be able to bend their current scholarships to work for the NMF. UF will not be able to do that.

@twoinanddone, technically, entering freshmen in 2021-22 are the last year for OOS Benacquisto eligibility, but they are supposed to receive it all four years unless there is some future change by the legislature. Likewise, current OOS Benacquisto recipients are still receiving the scholarship through their graduations. So no need for FSU or UCF to do anything for them. My original post concerned whether any FL schools would add any NMF specific scholarship starting for 2022-23 freshmen. So far, looks like only UCF is doing that.


@vistajay Have you heard definitively that UCF will be offering a full NMF scholarship for OOS 2022 students? Or any other Florida schools offering full rides for OOS NMF entering college in 2022?

USF will definitely be offering full rides to OOS NMF students

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UCF Admissions NMF site just says they have other scholarships available.

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It seems that any 2022 NMF is going to have to call each Florida public’s admission office to find out what is happening with OOS Benaquisto/alternative scholarships.

I received confirmation in writing from USF that their out of state package remains unchanged for the class matriculating in 2022. Benefits include: scholarship for the full cost of attendance; tradition of excellence award for $5,000 per year; one-time passport scholarship for $2,000; and etc.

FSU just updated their web page to reflect that Benacquisto is no longer available to out of state national merit finalists who begin in 2022 or later. They now offer: a 100% out of state tuition waiver scholarship; a university freshman scholarship at $2,400 per year; and the NMSC stipend of $500 per year. By my calculation this yields a net total cost of attendance of approximately $20,000 per year.


Wildwood, question about USF. For 2021, COA was $5200 for books, transportation, and personal expenses. So are you saying that they’ll give a NMF an additional $7k (5+2)? So presumably a student could pocket almost 12k annually after tuition, room and board is covered? If so, that’s wild.

DaGator, I’m saying that USF covers the cost of attendance including non-billable expenses, and then adds the Tradition of Excellence scholarship on top. So the annual funding is $35,092 for cost of attendance, plus $5,000 for ToE, for a total of $40,092. How much a student actually pockets is a guess because there are too many spending variables (including within the billable expenses category). But the funding is solid no matter how you look at it.

The $2,000 Passport Scholarship is non-recurring and can only be used once.

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USF just updated their website and I was wrong about the Tradition of Excellence Scholarship - it is now available to in-state students only. Sorry for the confusion.


If you are a FL resident, your daughter will be eligible. If not, you may have to look at other universities that still give non residents a national merit scholarship such as UT Dallas. You can find a list of all the colleges that offer scholarship in College Transition and Extra Mile college admissions national merit scholarship blog posts.

Every school is different - you’ll have to write to the college and see their response. Univ of Florida Gainsville is not giving scholarships to NMF who are out of state, but USF is. Some others are Univ of Alabama, Univ of Nebraska, Texas Tech University, UT Dallas, etc.

Here are the links for the College Transition and Extra Mile blogs:

And a couple of other older (i.e. please double check before getting excited) lists:


603DAD – it’s so nice to have a starting place - so thanks.

to everyone else - I wish things didnt change so quickly :frowning: some of those lists are just outdated. I’ll encourage anyone who might qualify to actually go to each school’s website.