Benacquisto Scholarship Guide: Essential Tips and Requirements

The Benacquisto Scholarship Program is a prestigious merit-based scholarship available to high school graduates recognized as National Merit® Scholars. It aims to provide financial assistance to these students, helping them pursue higher education at select universities and colleges in Florida. The scholarship covers a significant portion of a student’s institutional cost of attendance, making it an attractive option for those seeking to lessen the financial burden of college education.

Understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and award structure is essential for prospective Benacquisto Scholarship recipients. This guide will discuss the various aspects of the Benacquisto Scholarship, including renewal requirements, institutional costs, and how it interacts with other financial aid programs, such as FAFSA. Additionally, we’ll showcase the list of universities and colleges in Florida that offer the scholarship, as well as providing contact information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Key Takeaways

  • Benacquisto Scholarship is a merit-based program for high school graduates recognized as National Merit® Scholars, supporting their studies in Florida’s select universities and colleges.
  • The scholarship covers a significant amount of institutional costs, and applicants should be aware of the eligibility criteria, application process, and renewal requirements.
  • It is important to consider the list of participating institutions and understand the relationship between Benacquisto Scholarship and other financial aid programs, such as FAFSA, to make the most out of the available resources.

Understanding the Benacquisto Scholarship

The Benacquisto Scholarship is a merit-based program designed to support high school graduates in Florida who have earned recognition as a National Merit® Scholar. By providing financial assistance, this scholarship aims to encourage academic excellence and help students pursue higher education in the state of Florida.

The Benacquisto Scholarship Program offers 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. This support can significantly ease the financial burden of higher education and enable students to focus on their studies.

Benacquisto Scholarship recipients must meet certain eligibility requirements in order to qualify for the award. Students must be National Merit® Finalists who have received one of the qualifying scholarships: the National Merit® $2500 Scholarship, a Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship®, or a College-sponsored Merit Scholarship®. In addition, eligible students should be enrolling full-time in an undergraduate degree-seeking program during the fall academic term immediately following their high school graduation.

One of the main benefits of the Benacquisto Scholarship is that it can be applied to any university in Florida, allowing students to choose the program that best suits their educational and career goals. With the financial support offered by this scholarship, students can access a wide range of opportunities for academic growth and success.

In summary, the Benacquisto Scholarship is a valuable resource for high-achieving students in Florida who aspire to further their education. By providing significant financial assistance and rewarding academic excellence, this program empowers students to excel in their studies and achieve their full potential.

Eligibility Criteria

Residency Requirement

The Benacquisto Scholarship is available for both Florida residents and non-Florida residents. If the applicant is a Florida resident, they must earn a standard diploma from a Florida high school or its equivalent as per the Florida Department of Education. Non-Florida residents can also apply for the scholarship if they fulfill other specific requirements.

Academic Requirements

The primary academic requirement for the Benacquisto Scholarship is to be a National Merit® Finalist. Applicants must have a high school diploma comparable to a standard Florida high school diploma or its equivalency, or complete a home education program. High school graduates must be eligible to enroll in any Florida post-secondary institution during the fall academic term immediately following their high school graduation, as mentioned here.

Additionally, applicants should have a notable academic record, which may include factors such as GPA and test scores. While specific GPA and test score requirements may vary, the emphasis is on being a National Merit® Finalist.

Other Requirements

In addition to residency and academic requirements, there are other eligibility criteria for the Benacquisto Scholarship. Applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a National Merit Scholar (as mentioned earlier)
  • Enroll full-time in an undergraduate degree-seeking program

Noncitizens and eligible noncitizens may still be considered for the scholarship if they fulfill the other mentioned requirements. The candidate must also be capable of receiving the award for a maximum of 10 semesters.

Application Process

The Benacquisto Scholarship Program is specifically designed for high school graduates who have achieved recognition as a National Merit® Scholar. To be considered for the scholarship, students must be a Florida resident and graduate from a Florida high school.

To begin the application process, students need to meet the criteria of a National Merit® Finalist. This involves taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and achieving a score that places them among the top state-level performers. Once a student is named a National Merit® Finalist, they are in the running to become a National Merit® Scholar.

It’s important to note that students don’t need to submit a separate Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) to be eligible for the Benacquisto Scholarship. However, completing this application could make them eligible for other types of state aid.

Once recognized as a National Merit® Scholar, students will be automatically considered for the Benacquisto Scholarship by the participating Florida universities. This merit-based scholarship awards students with financial assistance equal to the institutional cost of attendance for an in-state student, minus the sum of Bright Futures and the National Merit® award.

In summary, the application process for the Benacquisto Scholarship is straightforward:

  1. Become a National Merit® finalist by performing well on the PSAT/NMSQT.
  2. Achieve the status of National Merit® Scholar.
  3. Be admitted as a first-time-in-college freshman to a participating Florida university.
  4. (Optional) Submit the Florida Financial Aid Application for additional state aid eligibility.

By following these steps and meeting the necessary requirements, eligible students can take advantage of the Benacquisto Scholarship to fund their higher education in Florida.

Award Structure and Amount

The Benacquisto Scholarship program is designed to provide financial assistance to National Merit Scholars for their higher education pursuits. The award structure, eligibility criteria, and the amount of the scholarship varies for Florida and Non-Florida residents.

For Florida Residents

Florida residents who are National Merit Scholars are eligible for the Benacquisto Scholarship. The award amount is equivalent to the per-term institutional cost of attendance (COA) as provided by the Florida Board of Governors, minus the sum of the Bright Futures (BF) award and National Merit award (NM) source. The scholarship covers the following expenses:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books
  • Supplies

Students must be U.S. citizens and meet additional eligibility criteria such as receiving a diploma from a Florida high school and being a National Merit Scholar (source). The scholarship can be received for a maximum of 10 semesters.

For Non-Florida Residents

As of the 2022-2023 academic year, the Benacquisto Scholarship will no longer be awarded to out-of-state students source. Prior to this change, the scholarship was available for non-Florida residents, offering an out-of-state tuition waiver as well as covering tuition and fees, books, and supplies, similar to the benefits for Florida residents.

Overall, the Benacquisto Scholarship for Florida residents provides substantial financial support for National Merit Scholars, covering essential educational expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies. However, non-Florida residents are no longer eligible for the scholarship starting from the 2022-2023 academic year.

Renewal Requirements and Conditions

The Benacquisto Scholarship is a highly sought after award for college students. To maintain its benefits, recipients must meet specific renewal requirements throughout their academic journey. In this section, we will outline the essential criteria for retaining the scholarship along with conditions that must be met by recipients.

First and foremost, students must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA to continue receiving the scholarship. This requirement ensures that recipients are dedicated to their studies and remain focused on academic excellence.

In addition to a strong GPA, students must also earn all credit hours they enrolled in as of the census date (i.e., the day after the Last Day to Drop Without a “W”). This condition fosters a commitment to completing the courses they have selected and reinforces the importance of attending classes regularly.

Furthermore, recipients must be enrolled full-time (a minimum of 12 credit hours per term or quarter equivalency) in a baccalaureate degree program at an eligible, regionally accredited, public or independent Florida postsecondary institution. This ensures that students are progressing towards the completion of their degree in a timely manner.

Benacquisto Scholarship recipients should also be mindful of their citizenship or residency status, as they must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen (as determined by the institution) to continue receiving the scholarship.

In conclusion, meeting the renewal requirements and conditions for the Benacquisto Scholarship demonstrates a strong commitment to academic excellence. Recipients who uphold these standards are well on their way to achieving their educational goals and making the most of this prestigious scholarship.

Institutional Costs

The Benacquisto Scholarship, aimed at National Merit® Finalists, is a merit-based program in Florida designed to support high school graduates pursuing higher education at any university in Florida. While this scholarship offers significant financial assistance, it is essential to understand the institutional costs involved in attending university.

Institutional costs, also referred to as the Cost of Attendance (COA), encompass a range of expenses related to attending college. These costs include tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. Each university in Florida will have its own unique COA, which is an essential factor to consider when determining the overall affordability of a program.

Tuition and fees are among the most substantial COA components, and they can vary significantly between institutions. Public universities typically offer lower tuition rates for in-state students, while private universities may have higher rates. It is important to note that although the Benacquisto Scholarship covers a significant portion of these costs, students and their families should still be prepared for additional expenses related to their education.

Room and board costs include the expenses associated with living on campus or off-campus during the academic year. These costs can vary based on the institution’s location and available housing options. When evaluating institutional costs, it is essential to consider your preference for living arrangements and the costs associated with those choices.

Other COA components, like books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses, can vary depending on the individual student’s needs and preferences. These might include textbooks, lab fees, laptops, meals outside the campus dining plan, and travel costs to and from campus. Students should be mindful of these often overlooked expenses when determining the overall cost of attendance.

In summary, it is crucial for students considering the Benacquisto Scholarship to evaluate their potential institutional costs, encompassing tuition and fees, room and board, and other additional expenses. These factors play a significant role in determining the overall affordability of attending a university in Florida and should be thoroughly assessed before making any decisions about which institution to attend.

Special Scholarships

National Merit Scholarships

The Benacquisto Scholarship program serves as a merit scholarship for high school graduates who achieve the recognition of a National Merit Scholar. One of the requirements for the Benacquisto Scholarship is receiving a qualifying National Merit Scholarship, which can be one of the following: National Merit® $2500 Scholarship, Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship®, or College-sponsored Merit Scholarship®.

It is important to note that not all scholarships qualify for the Benacquisto program. For instance, “Special” Corporate Scholarships and “Presidential” awards are excluded from eligibility. Therefore, students seeking the Benacquisto Scholarship should focus on the three qualifying National Merit Scholarships mentioned earlier.

Other Scholarships

Aside from the Benacquisto Scholarship, various universities and organizations offer other scholarships for students. Some of these scholarships are:

  • Alumni Scholarship: This type of scholarship is typically awarded by universities to children or grandchildren of their alumni, based on academic achievement and/or extracurricular involvement.
  • Sunshine Scholarship: A merit-based scholarship awarded to out-of-state students with outstanding academic credentials. The award amount varies depending on the university and the student’s merit.
  • Gator Nation Scholarship: Offered by the University of Florida, this scholarship recognizes non-Florida residents with exceptional academic achievements. The award amount can cover a significant percentage of out-of-state tuition.
  • John V. Lombardi Scholarship: This prestigious scholarship is awarded to a select number of incoming freshmen at the University of Florida. Recipients exemplify strong academic merit, leadership qualities, and commitment to community service.
  • Stamps Scholarship: A highly competitive merit-based scholarship that covers tuition, fees, room, and board. It also includes additional benefits, such as networking and research opportunities. Offered by several universities, including the University of Florida, the Stamps Scholarship rewards exceptional students who display academic excellence, leadership, and innovation.

These scholarships serve as additional opportunities for students to fund their education, but are not directly related to the Benacquisto Scholarship program. Each scholarship has unique eligibility requirements and application processes; therefore, interested students should conduct thorough research when considering these options.

Universities and Colleges in Florida Offering the Scholarship

The Benacquisto Scholarship Program is a merit-based scholarship awarded to high school graduates recognized as National Merit Scholars. Various universities and colleges in Florida participate in this program, providing financial assistance to eligible students pursuing higher education in the state.

The participating institutions in the 2021-22 academic year include Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Florida State University, New College of Florida, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of Miami, and University of South Florida.

These universities and colleges offer a wide range of academic programs and resources, catering to diverse interests and career goals. As participants in the Benacquisto Scholarship Program, they support National Merit Scholars in their pursuit of higher education, easing financial burdens and fostering academic and personal growth.

In addition to the participating universities and colleges in Florida, the Benacquisto Scholarship Program also supports out-of-state students who wish to attend any of these institutions. This scholarship is designed to provide equal opportunities and financial support to all eligible students, regardless of their state of residence.

Recipients of the Benacquisto Scholarship can expect financial coverage for tuition, fees, housing, textbooks, and other relevant expenses. The scholarship makes attending Florida universities and colleges more accessible for National Merit Scholars, ensuring they receive a high-quality education without incurring significant debt.

Financial Aid and FAFSA

The Benacquisto Scholarship Program is a substantial financial opportunity for high-performing students seeking assistance to cover their educational expenses. To make the most of this program and other available financial aid options, it is crucial to understand the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process.

FAFSA is a critical component of any financial aid package as it determines a student’s eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid, including grants, loans, work-study, and scholarships like the Benacquisto Scholarship Program. To establish eligibility, students must complete the FAFSA application by providing information about their family’s financial situation, including income, assets, and household size. This data is then used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and determine the student’s financial need.

In preparing their FAFSA application, students should gather all necessary documentation, such as tax returns, W-2 forms, and bank statements beforehand. Accurate and timely submission of FAFSA is essential to maximize the financial aid package available for each student. It is crucial to review the deadlines for federal, state, and institutional aid, as they can vary.

Once a student receives their financial aid package, they should carefully review all offered components, including grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study options. Students who believe their awarded financial aid package does not adequately cover their financial need can undergo the scholarship appeal process. This process involves reaching out to the financial aid office with a detailed explanation of the student’s financial situation and any extenuating circumstances affecting the financial aid award. The office can then reevaluate the student’s aid and may make adjustments accordingly.

By confidently navigating the FAFSA process and understanding the financial aid options available, students can capitalize on opportunities such as the Benacquisto Scholarship Program. This comprehensive approach ensures that students receive the support they need to pursue their academic goals.

Miscellaneous Information and Contact Details

The Benacquisto Scholarship program is designed for high school graduates who receive recognition as a National Merit® Scholar. This merit-based award helps students in pursuing higher education at any participating university in Florida, making it essential for eligible candidates to be well-informed about the necessary details.

Students who wish to benefit from the Benacquisto Scholarship should be aware that it is available to those who are National Merit® Finalists and receive one of the following qualifying scholarships: National Merit® $2500 Scholarship, Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship®, or College-sponsored Merit Scholarship® source.

To be considered eligible, a student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen and enroll full-time (minimum 12 credit hours per term or quarter equivalency) in a baccalaureate degree program at a participating postsecondary institution source. In addition, those on military or public service assignments can also be considered for eligibility exceptions.

For additional inquiries and assistance, it is advisable to directly contact the following:

  • National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC): They oversee the National Merit® Scholarship Program and related scholarships. Their website contains a wealth of resources, including details on how to become a National Merit® Finalist source. You can reach them at their official website www.nationalmerit.org or by phone at (847) 866-5100.
  • Florida Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA): They manage and administer the Benacquisto Scholarship Program. For questions regarding your eligibility or other program-related topics, you can contact them at their website www.floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org or by phone at 1-800-827-2004.

By staying informed and proactive, interested students can confidently navigate the Benacquisto Scholarship application process and make the most out of this excellent opportunity to further their education.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Benacquisto Scholarship cover?

The Benacquisto Scholarship is a merit-based program for high school graduates who receive recognition as a National Merit® Scholar. It covers the cost of tuition and mandatory fees, as well as provides a contribution towards room and board, books, and supplies, up to the cost of attendance source.

What are the renewal requirements for the Benacquisto Scholarship?

To maintain eligibility for the Benacquisto Scholarship, students must meet certain criteria, including maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for the fall and spring terms, earning the required number of credit hours per academic year, and remaining enrolled full-time in an eligible program at a participating Florida college or university source.

Is the Benacquisto scholarship a full ride?

While the Benacquisto Scholarship covers many expenses associated with attending college, it is not technically a full-ride scholarship. It provides financial assistance for tuition, mandatory fees, a contribution towards other expenses such as room and board, books, and supplies, up to the cost of attendance. However, it does not necessarily cover all living expenses or extracurricular activities source.

Do all National Merit finalists get the Benacquisto scholarship?

Not all National Merit finalists receive the Benacquisto Scholarship. It is only available to those who qualify and receive one of the following scholarships: National Merit® $2500 Scholarship, Corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship®, or College-sponsored Merit Scholarship® source.

How prestigious is National Merit Scholarship?

The National Merit Scholarship is a highly prestigious award, as it recognizes students who demonstrate exceptional academic ability, commitment to their education, and strength of character. Each year, approximately 1.5 million high school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program, but only about 16,000 students qualify as semifinalists, with 7,500 ultimately being selected as scholarship recipients source.

How to get UF Presidential scholarship?

The University of Florida Presidential Scholarship is awarded to outstanding first-time-in-college Florida residents based on their academic achievements and test scores. Admitted students are automatically considered for this scholarship, which has a total value of $12,000 distributed throughout eight semesters in increments of $1,500 source.

Helpful Resources

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