How do I verify my Florida residency?
The Florida Department of Education requires institutions to verify student claims of Florida residency before disbursing Florida financial aid to students. Proof of Florida residency consists of signing a certification, such as Beacon College’s Florida Data Form, and providing an official state document to establish that legal residence has been maintained for 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of classes of the academic term for which assistance is requested. Acceptable state documents include a voter’s registration card or a driver’s license. Dependent students must provide an official state document for one of their parents or a legal guardian and the same person must sign the Florida Data Form certificate.
If you are a new freshman or transfer student who was awarded Florida student financial aid, you should have received with your award letter a Florida Data Form. Download the FRAG form.
Once your Florida residency has been verified by Beacon, you should not need to verify it again unless other facts, such as subsequent FAFSA information, indicate that your residence may have changed.
How will I be affected by changes the Florida Legislature made to Bright Futures awards for the current school year?
There were two significant changes that directly affect Beacon recipients of the Bright Futures Scholarships (see note).
- All recipients must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for Bright Futures awards.
- The per credit hour award amounts decreased for the current school year. Your award will still be based on the number of credit hours you are actually taking rather than being a fixed amount per term.
- Florida Academic Scholarship (FAS) – $100 per semester hour
- Academic Top Scholars (ATS) – $43 per semester hour
- Florida Medallion Scholarship (ATS) – $75 per semester hour
- Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars (GSV)- $75 per semester hour
- The legislature continued the requirement for the college to reduce awards for every class a student drops, no matter when the drop occurs.
Students must pay for dropped classes (“W” grades) so it is important to stay on top of your classes. Seek help immediately if you have a problem class and consider your own limits – take what you can pass and pass what you take.
Note: Bright Futures includes three award programs: Florida Academic Scholars Award, Florida Medallion Scholars Award, and Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award.
How will my Florida Resident Access Grant (FRAG) be affected by changes the Florida Legislature?
The legislature made two changes to the Florida Resident Access Grant:
- All recipients must file the FAFSA to be eligible for a FRAG award.
- The annual maximum decreased for 2011-2012 to $ 2,149.
- The legislature continued the requirement that you must be a full time student.