A South Florida lawmaker wants to send Florida students to college for free, as long as they agree to work in the state when they graduate.
The “Sunshine Scholarship Program,” as Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-Broward, dubbed it, covers tuition 100 percent for Florida students who meet certain conditions, including having an annual household income of $125,000 or less, taking at least 30 credits a year and maintaining a 2.5 GPA.
The biggest condition, however, is that students who accept the scholarship must attend a state school, live and work in the state for the same amount of time they received the scholarship. Students who leave Florida before that time is up must repay the entire scholarship, plus interest.
Jerrick Leonard, Jones’ legislative aide, said Tuesday the $125,000 figure mimics the language of the Tennessee Promise Scholarship, a similar bill that went into effect in 2015.
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“We have great aspirations of it passing,” Leonard said. “But we know we’re up for a fight.”
Jones filed his bill — HB 181 — on Monday. Lawmakers don’t start vetting bills until Oct. 9.