Benacquisto Scholarship Program
(Formerly referred to as the Florida Incentive Scholarship Program)
The Benacquisto Scholarship Program is a state sponsored merit scholarship for Florida & Non-Florida high school graduates who achieved the National Merit® or National Achievement® Scholar designation. UCF is a participant in the Benacquisto Scholarship program.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (as determined by the institution) and enroll at an eligible, regionally accredited, public or independent Florida postsecondary institution.
- Earn an approved secondary education credential based on residency status:
- If a Florida resident, the student must earn a standard Florida high school diploma or its equivalency, unless the student completes a home education program or earns a high school diploma from a non-Florida high school while living with a parent who is on military or public service assignment out of Florida.
- If a non-Florida resident, the student must earn a high school diploma comparable to a standard Florida high school diploma or its equivalency, unless the student completes a home education program.
- Enroll full-time (minimum of 12 credit hours per term) in a baccalaureate degree program.
- Enroll at an eligible Florida postsecondary institution during the 2018-19 Fall academic term following high school graduation.
- Physically reside in Florida on or near the institution’s campus where enrolled if a non-Florida resident.
- Be a National Merit Finalist (starting 2014) and receive one of the following:
- A National Merit® $2,500 Scholarship
- A Corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship®, or
- A College-sponsored National Merit Scholarship®
Note: “Special” Corporate Scholarships do not qualify a student for the Benacquisto Scholarship.
Terms of the Scholarship
This program will provide funds for 100 percent of the number of credit hours required to complete a baccalaureate degree program, or until completion of a baccalaureate degree program, whichever comes first.
A student is eligible to receive an award for a maximum of 10 semesters or 15 quarters.
A student must maintain enrollment at the institution where the student was initially funded in order to maintain scholarship eligibility.
Eligible students will receive an annual award equal to the institutional cost of attendance (COA), minus the sum of the Bright Futures (BF) award and National Merit®/Achievement Award® (NM).
[Benacquisto Scholarship Program = COA – (BF+NM)]
Out-of-state students will receive an award equal to the in-state on-campus cost of attendance, minus their National Merit® award. These students are exempt from paying the out-of-state fees.
[Benacquisto Scholarship Program = COA – NM]
The award may not be used to pay for remedial coursework or developmental education. The award is not available to fund summer coursework
Eligibility for renewal is determined at the end of the second semester for the academic year (end of Spring Term).
For an automatic renewal, an award recipient will have:
- Earned credit for all hours enrolled by the regular drop/add period each term.
- Earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
In order for the credit hours to be counted as “earned hours”, the student must earn successful grades such as A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C- and D+, D, D-. Grades NC and F will not result in earned credit hours. Withdrawn courses will not result in earned credit hours.
A student who does not meet the required hours or GPA shall be ineligible to continue in the program.
Scholarship Appeal Process
If a student did not meet the Benacquisto Scholarship Program renewal requirements due to a verifiable illness or other emergency, the student may file a Scholarship Appeal Form with our office. The medical or emergency circumstances that affected the semester/s in question must be documented. You should provide as much documentation as possible regarding the illness or emergency to our office.
Please go to Forms to access the Scholarship Appeal Form and instructions for submitting the appeal to our office.
Additional information and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Benacquisto Scholarship can be found on the State of Florida’s Office for Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) website www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/SSFAD/home/uamain.htm or by contacting the Office of Student Financial Assistance at 407-823-2827.