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The Benacquisto Scholarship Program is a merit scholarship for high school graduates who receive recognition as a National Merit Scholar. UCF is a participant in the Benacquisto Scholarship program.

Eligible scholars will receive an award equal to the institutional cost of attendance for an in-state student minus the sum of Bright Futures and the National Merit award. Out-of-state students will receive an award equal to the in-state cost of attendance minus their National Merit award. These students are exempt from paying out-of-state tuition and fees. An initial application is not required.

Eligibility Requirements

A student who is a Florida resident seeking initial funding 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 away from Florida).
  • Be a 2019 National Merit Scholar.
  • Enroll at an eligible Florida postsecondary institution during the 2019-20 Fall academic term following high school graduation.

A student who is a non-Florida resident seeking initial funding must:

  • Earn a high school diploma comparable to a standard Florida high school diploma or its equivalency (or completes a home education program).
  • Be a 2019 National Merit Scholar.
  • Enroll at an eligible Florida postsecondary institution during the 2019-20 Fall academic term following high school graduation.
  • Physically reside in Florida on or near the institution’s campus where enrolled.

A National Merit Finalist becomes a Scholar by receiving:

  • A National Merit $2500 Scholarship,
  • A Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship, or
  • A College-sponsored Merit Scholarship

NOTE: “Special” Corporate Scholarships and “Presidential” awards do not qualify a student for the Benacquisto Scholarship.

All students will:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (as determined by the institution).
  • Enroll full-time (minimum 12 credit hours per term or quarter equivalency) in a baccalaureate degree program.

Before you apply for any type of financial assistance, make sure you meet the general eligibility requirements.

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.

Award Amounts

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 = COANM

The award may not be used to pay for remedial coursework or developmental education. The award is not available to fund summer coursework.

Renewal Requirements

Eligibility for renewal is determined at the end of the second semester of the academic year (end of Spring Term).

For 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 emergencies, 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.

For more information on the Benacquisto Scholarship Program, visit the Florida Student Scholarship & Grant Programs website.