Possible Changes To Benacquisto and Florida Aid

S22 will possibly be national merit and we were giving UF honors a serious look. Especially since that is where my parents and sister live (we’re in Montana). The full-ride Benaquisto is about the only reason we looked there in the first place. My family is an additional benefit.

Does anyone know how to track the status of this bill? Is it too soon to have my parents and sister call their state reps?

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Here is where I am tracking it:



Thanks! I knew there had to be a place to track it (I follow my own state). I also forwarded this to my sister w S23 re the BF even though his probable major would be considered ok for a “career”.

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I don’t think the choice of major has a chance of passing. UF doesn’t even admit by major.

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Hopefully, I suggest everyone keep a close eye and contact representatives when appropiate.


Maybe I’m losing it a bit, but I’m pretty sure this fear is brought up here every year? And every year the legislature funds it.

Also, SO many legislatures are UF grads (heck even our governor, I believe) and they don’t turn their backs on UF.

The Ocala rep wanting to pass that crazy majors that lead to paying jobs only bill will not get support for it.

Florida is nutty in many ways but they aren’t going to leave FL with a big stain on their reputation and stop funding a huge marketing plug for their state.

My .02.


The problem this year is that, for the first time, there is an actual bill circulating in the legislature to defund it. But, no need for fear or panic, just vigilance.


Thank you, @amsunshine and @thehbc, for providing the links, they are very helpful. @MomofNPCC, as I understand it, it is never too early to start calling a rep/senator who is willing to listen (especially, if your parents carry some weight in the community).


@123Mom123 just a small correction. Gov Desantis is a Yale undergrad (I think a baseball hook) and a Harvard JD.

My mom’s senator is on the education committee and she is calling her tomorrow.


Oops! Silly me. My bad. So many governors have been UF grads that I got sloppy. I should have checked first. Thanks for the correction!!!

I also don’t think it is such a great marketing tool to give Florida money to OOS students, even smart ones. Sure, people on CC think getting money to NMF is great, but does it really help the senior living in Jacksonville who isn’t NMF? Does it help the reputation or ranking of the school that much? UCF makes a big deal of the NMF (it really wants them) but I don’t know that it has helped the ranking that much.

As a former Florida resident, I would have preferred that $7M to go directly to the schools, or to help lower testing students with a scholarship. To pay OOS student MORE than the COA to attend an instate school never seemed fair to me.

in state students already have bright futures. the main reason for benacquisto for oos students is that it keeps high achieving students in Florida after graduation. in fact, UF has shot up in the ranks ever since benacquisto was implemented and has made it more of a national attraction. it certainly has for me, at least.

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Florida is an excellent school. But I am already in Michigan and Cal Poly (among others), and waiting on Cornell, Chicago, USC, and Emory. I applied to Florida because of the high amount of National Merit dollars relative the school strength overall and particularly in CS (only USC is better NM value for me because USC gives 1/2 tuition and has the best CS games program in country).

Since Michigan and probably Cal Poly are much better for CS, I would not consider Florida unless I felt I had the full ride guaranteed for all 4 years (subject to keeping my GPA up of course).

And it is a shame because I was so excited when I got admitted to Florida. But unless there is some more certainty on this issue, I think I will most likely end up in Ann Arbor (or Ithaca, Chicago, or Los Angeles).

Most NM finalists will have many top schools to choose from. Florida will probably lose many or most of these students to higher ranked schools if the NM full ride isn’t there. This is a sad but true reality.

Just imagine if Alabama or UT Dallas all of the sudden got rid of their amazing NM scholarships. Do you know how many NM scholars Alabama or UT Dallas would get if that happened? Probably much closer to zero than to their current numbers.

True Florida is not Alabama or UT Dallas. But Florida is also no IVY, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, Michigan, Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, UNC, etc.

Maybe someday. But not yet.


There are plenty of people (not so much on this forum) who see college education as being of no value, or negative value, other than for specific pre-professional preparation for a job. So they may resent paying tax money to subsidize others for what they see as a luxury good (college education in a liberal arts major), especially when the others tend to be skewed toward higher income/wealth to begin with.

At the other end of the scale are the high income/wealth people who may see college as something of value for themselves, but want to limit others’ opportunity to get it and therefore be more competitive with their college educated kids who will attend college on parent money that is pocket change to them.

So it is not hard to understand the motivation behind this bill, even if you do not agree with it.

I always thought this program would go away once there was pressure on the education budget. I just did not think it would come so soon after OOS Benacquisto was enacted. Silly me for not foreseeing a pandemic.

If OOS Benacquisto is axed, I am confident UF will not come up with their own scholarship program to replace it. But I suspect FSU will, at least at a full tuition level. FSU has enjoyed a rise in rankings and is attracting talented students from across the country. It already grants OOS tuition waivers to many students. It’s only another $7000 or so to fund full tuition.


I’ve also been wondering about the impact of the effective date - July 1, 2021. It is well past deadlines to apply for financial aid, which seems goofy (and uninformed).


@amsunshine - Good point. One would hope that, since the budget is likely to be considered independently of this bill, the funds for 2021/22 will be appropriated in the budget before SB86 takes effect.

I’m honestly not sure how that works. We will see how it plays out, I guess.

July 1st is the first day of the FL budget cycle, I assume its a default date for legislation like this. Important to note, that we will likely know the status of the bill by mid-April because the FL legislative session ends at the beginning of May. I will also point out that this bill has yet to get on the calendar for consideration unlike many other bills. That’s a possible indication that it is not a priority but stay vigilant everybody.