(1)(a) The general requirements for eligibility of students for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants consist of the following:
1. Achievement of the academic requirements of and acceptance at a state university or Florida College System institution; a nursing diploma school approved by the Florida Board of Nursing; a Florida college or university which is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the State Board of Education; any Florida institution the credits of which are acceptable for transfer to state universities; any career center; or any private career institution accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the State Board of Education.
2. Residency in this state for no less than 1 year preceding the award of aid or a tuition assistance grant for a program established pursuant to s. 1009.50, s. 1009.505, s. 1009.51, s. 1009.52, s. 1009.53, s. 1009.56, s. 1009.60, s. 1009.62, s. 1009.68, s. 1009.72, s. 1009.73, s. 1009.77, s. 1009.89, or s. 1009.891. Residency in this state must be for purposes other than to obtain an education. Resident status for purposes of receiving state financial aid awards shall be determined in the same manner as resident status for tuition purposes pursuant to s. 1009.21.
3. Submission of certification attesting to the accuracy, completeness, and correctness of information provided to demonstrate a student’s eligibility to receive state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants. Falsification of such information shall result in the denial of any pending application and revocation of any award or grant currently held to the extent that no further payments shall be made. Additionally, students who knowingly make false statements in order to receive state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants commit a misdemeanor of the second degree subject to the provisions of s. 837.06 and shall be required to return all state financial aid awards or tuition assistance grants wrongfully obtained.
(b)1. Eligibility for the renewal of undergraduate or career certificate financial aid awards shall be evaluated at the end of the second semester or third quarter of each academic year. As a condition for renewal, a student shall:
a. Have earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale; and
b. Have earned, for undergraduate full-time study, 12 credits per term or the equivalent for the number of terms for which aid was received or have earned, for career certificate study, at least the equivalent in clock hours of 6 semester credit hours per term or the equivalent for the number of terms for which aid was received.
2. A student who earns the minimum number of credits required for renewal, but who fails to meet the minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average, may be granted a probationary award for up to the equivalent of 1 academic year and shall be required to earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale by the end of the probationary period to be eligible for subsequent renewal. A student who receives a probationary award and who fails to meet the conditions for renewal by the end of his or her probationary period shall be ineligible to receive additional awards for the equivalent of 1 academic year following his or her probationary period. Each such student may, however, reapply for assistance during a subsequent application period and may be eligible for an award if he or she has earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
3. A student who fails to earn the minimum number of credits required for renewal shall lose his or her eligibility for renewal for a period equivalent to 1 academic year. However, the student may reapply during a subsequent application period and may be eligible for an award if he or she has earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
4. Students who receive state student aid and subsequently fail to meet state academic progress requirements due to verifiable illness or other emergencies may be granted an exception from the academic requirements. Such students shall make a written appeal to the institution. The appeal shall include a description and verification of the circumstances. Verification of illness or other emergencies may include but not be limited to a physician’s statement or written statement of a parent or college official. The institution shall recommend exceptions with necessary documentation to the department. The department may accept or deny such recommendations for exception from the institution.
(2) These requirements do not preclude higher standards specified in other sections of this part, in rules of the state board, or in rules of a participating institution.
(3) Undergraduate students are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 8 semesters or 12 quarters. However, undergraduate students participating in college-preparatory instruction, students requiring additional time to complete the college-level communication and computation skills testing programs, or students enrolled in a 5-year undergraduate degree program are eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 10 semesters or 15 quarters.
(4) No student is eligible to receive more than one state scholarship that is based on academic merit. Students who qualify for more than one such scholarship shall be notified of all awards for which they qualify and shall be provided the opportunity to accept one of their choosing.
s. 413, ch. 2002-387; s. 120, ch. 2003-1; s. 119, ch. 20