FAQ: Higher Education Opportunity
What is covered by the Higher Education Opportunity?
For each child who receives the HEO benefit, the university will pay the instate matriculation fees, less any Bright Futures scholarship award, for a maximum of 132 credit hours toward an undergraduate degree at the University of Florida or a Florida public community/state college in the event the child is not admitted to the University of Florida. The program is limited to covering 12 credit hours per spring and fall semesters and 6 credit hours for the summer semester. For students participating in the UF Innovation Academy (IA) undergraduate program, the HEO will cover the in-state matriculation fees, less any Bright Futures scholarship award, for up to 12 credits per spring and summer semester and to up to 6 credit hours per fall semester.
What is not covered by the Higher Education Opportunity?
The HEO does not cover any costs outside of the in-state matriculation fees, including costs associated with housing, books, late registration, late payment, materials, lab fees, or supplies. Additionally, the HEO does not cover state required or local fees associated with tuition. These can include capital improvement, building, activity and service, athletic, health, and transportation access fees (although this list may not be exhaustive). For a breakdown of current tuition fees at the University of Florida, please visit the University Bursar website.
What is meant by “matriculation?”
Matriculation fees are the actual instructional fees charged by an academic institution to take college courses. This includes tuition and tuition differential costs.
How can I figure out exactly how much the HEO is going to cover?
For UF HEO students, please see the Sample Payment Chart. For other colleges and community colleges, you should subtract the in-state matriculation (tuition + tuition differential) from the total fees per credit hour and then multiply that dollar amount by the amount of credits the student is taking up to 12. Note: Any amount (per credit hour) received from Bright Futures should be subtracted from the amount (per credit hour) the HEO can pay.
- For example, in Fall the in-state matriculation fee, including the tuition differential for UF, was $149.24 per credit hour, while the total rate per credit hour was $212.71. If an eligible HEO student who was not awarded a Bright Futures scholarship was taking 12 credits in Fall at UF, the HEO would cover $1,790.88 ($149.24 multiplied by 12 credits). The student would be responsible for $761.64 ($212.71 – $149.24 multiplied by 12 credits) plus any other applicable costs (labs, supplies, books, housing, etc.) to attend UF.
- It would be best to speak with a member of Student Financial Services at your institution to find out what you owe for a particular semester. Remember that your portion of the fees is due by the deadline specified by your institution and that it is your responsibility to find out what you owe and to pay it on-time—the HEO will not cover late fees.
My child has Florida Prepaid, does this impact the HEO Scholarship?
The Florida Prepaid College Program does not impact the HEO scholarship. It is important to visit Florida Prepaid to learn more about the Florida Prepaid College Program requirements. For questions about Florida Prepaid and the HEO scholarship, contact the University Bursar at: Ask Bursar Help, or call Third Party Contracts at (352)-392-9545.
How does Bright Futures impact the HEO Scholarship?
The full amount of the Bright Futures scholarship award (per credit hour) will be subtracted from the amount the student can receive from the HEO. It is important to note, Florida legislative changes affect the HEO award amount for Florida Academic and Florida Medallion Bright Futures Scholarship students. Bright Futures funding is reviewed each academic year. The examples below are based the current UF academic year. Funding amounts are subject to change. For other colleges and community colleges, students should contact the financial departments directly.
- Florida Academic Bright Futures recipients will receive an award amount equal to 100% of tuition and applicable fees; which currently includes the summer semester. Applicable fees include activity and service fee, health fee, athletic fee, financial aid fee, capital improvement fee, campus access/transportation fee, technology fee and tuition differential fee. See chart below.
|Fees||Amount||Covered by Florida Academic BF Scholarship?|
|Capital Improvement Trust Fund||6.76||Yes|
|Student Financial Aid||5.25||Yes|
|Activity & Service||19.06||Yes|
In the current academic year ,the HEO pays $149.24, per credit hour. This amount includes the instructional tuition and tuition differential.
In this example above, the total amount covered by the Florida Academic Bright Futures scholarship ($212.71) is greater than the amount the HEO pays for tuition and tuition differential ($149.24). Therefore no HEO funding will be applied in semesters the Bright Futures student receives Bright Futures funding.
- Florida Medallion Bright Futures recipients will receive an award amount equal to 75% of tuition and applicable fees; which currently includes the summer semester. Applicable fees include activity and service fee, health fee, athletic fee, financial aid fee, capital improvement fee, campus access/transportation fee, technology fee and tuition differential fee. See chart below.
|Fees||Amount||Covered by Florida Medallion BF Scholarship?|
|Capital Improvement Trust Fund||6.76||75%|
|Student Financial Aid||5.25||75%|
|Activity & Service||19.06||75%|
In the current academic year, the HEO pays $149.24, per credit hour. This amount includes tuition and tuition differential.
In the Medallion example above, the total amount covered by the Medallion Bright Futures scholarship ($159.53) is greater than the amount the HEO pays for tuition and tuition differential ($149.24). Therefore no HEO funding will be applied in semesters the Bright Futures student receives Bright Futures funding.
- For other colleges and community colleges, students should contact the financial departments directly for a complete tuition breakdown.
What if the HEO pays more than Bright Futures, per credit hour?
In cases where Bright Futures pays less than the HEO pays, the HEO will pay the difference between the total Bright Futures per credit hour amount and the HEO covered (instructional portion) amount. See example below.
State College X, tuition (instructional portion) = HEO pays $78.94, per credit hour
State College X, tuition, and fees = $103.32, per credit hour
At the Medallion level, Bright Futures would pay (approximately 75%), or $77.49,
HEO $78.94 – Bright Futures Medallion $77.49 = $1.45 per credit hour, the difference is the amount that would be applied by the HEO scholarship, up to 12 credit hours. $1.45 x 12 = $17.40.
My child just transferred from Santa Fe College to the University of Florida and it seems like we owe much more for tuition. Has there been some kind of mistake?
Each institution implements additional student fees above and beyond the instate matriculation (instructional) fees assessed for taking the course, including fees for transportation, buildings, capital improvement, health, and so forth. You can see the breakdown of fees on the University Bursar website.
When is the deadline to pay the student’s portion of the financial fees?
Each educational institution has its own fee payment deadline for each semester. You can look at the calendar of critical dates maintained on most academic institutions’ websites to determine when your fees are due.
Does the HEO “freeze” the cost of tuition?
Future changes to in-state matriculation fees will continue to be covered by the HEO as described above. Any adjustments to fees outside the in-state matriculation will be the responsibility of the student.
How long does my child have to complete their 132 hours?
Until December 31 of the year the child turns 26. HEO participants may attend school part-time in this program; however, the total obligation of the University for each HEO participant will not exceed 132 credit hours.
Can my child elect to put off college for a year (or more)?
To remain eligible for the HEO the student must enroll in their respective HEO-approved institution, as indicated on the HEO Acceptance Form, for the fall semester following acceptance into the program. In future semesters, the child may elect not to enroll; however, the student must meet eligibility requirements to continue to participate.
Will the HEO cover the summer semesters?
The HEO covers up to 6 total credit hours during the summer. Newly awarded HEO participants do not receive tuition assistance until the first fall semester of their award year.
What happens if my child’s cumulative GPA drops below a 2.75?
Should an HEO participant’s cumulative GPA drop below a 2.75, the student will be classified as “GPA ineligible” and will remain ineligible for continued participation in the HEO until their cumulative GPA is 2.75 or higher. The student will be responsible for costs normally covered by the HEO while in the “GPA-ineligible” status. Any hours attempted while “GPA ineligible” will count toward the max of 132 credit hours.
What if I leave TEAMS employment at UF?
If a parent is not a full-time TEAMS employee on the first day of classes each new semester, the student is removed from HEO program participation. If the parent leaves full-time TEAMS status after the first day of classes, the HEO will cover the student in that semester only, and the student is removed from future HEO participation. If the parent later returns to UF as a full-time TEAMS employee, they may reapply to participate in the next available HEO drawing for the child.
Is the HEO Scholarship considered financial aid?
Yes. When filling out a financial aid document, you should note the funds that you receive from the Higher Education Opportunity program.