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Higher Education Opportunity Policy

Purpose

The Higher Education Opportunity is designed to provide children of full-time TEAMS employees with enhanced opportunities for post-secondary education.

Initial Eligibility

Parent must be:

A full time TEAMS* employee at the University of Florida
*The HEO is not available to OPS, USPS, Academic Personnel, or part-time TEAMS employees.

Student must be:

  • The natural, adopted, step, foster, or any other child for which legal guardianship can be documented, of a full-time TEAMS employee. Upon request, official documentation of legal guardianship, marital status, and/or age verification must be provided to Human Resource Services.
  • In age between the date of his or her high school graduation and the end of the calendar year of his or her 26th birthday.

Continued Eligibility

To continue to participate in the HEO, the following conditions must be met on the first day of classes for each new semester:

  • The HEO participant’s qualifying legal guardian must be a full-time TEAMS employee on a regular annual or multi-year contract.
    • In the event that the HEO participant does not have a qualifying parent who is a full-time TEAMS employee on the first day of classes, the HEO participant will be ineligible to continue to participate in the program.
    • Should a qualifying parent terminate full-time TEAMS employment during the course of a semester in which the HEO participant is enrolled, the HEO participant will remain eligible for the remainder of that semester.
    • If a qualifying parent returns to full-time TEAMS employment at a later date, the prior HEO benefit does not carry over to a new TEAMS appointment after a break in service. The parent may submit their eligible child’s name for the next available HEO drawing.
    • In the event of the HEO participant’s qualifying parent’s death, the participant will remain eligible for the duration of his/her original eligibility in the program so long as the student maintains the GPA requirement.
  • The HEO participant’s cumulative GPA must be 2.75 or higher.
    • The HEO participant must give approval to Human Resource Services to access his or her student records to determine his or her cumulative GPA.
    • If the student is attending a public or state community college, he/she must provide to the HEO Coordinator in UF’s Human Resources an official copy of each semester’s transcript of grades from the community/state college showing all courses attempted and grades received.
    • Transfer students and/or students who took dual enrollment community or state college courses in high school that count towards his/her GPA in college will be covered by the HEO program only if the student’s GPA is 2.75 or better.
    • 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 his/her cumulative GPA is 2.75 or higher.
    • The participant’s future benefit will be prorated to reflect any credit hours earned while GPA ineligible.
    • The University will not retroactively compensate the participant for any credit hours attempted while GPA ineligible
  • The HEO participant will continue to be eligible for the program through the end of the calendar year in which the child turns 26 years of age.
  • 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.
  • Each semester, the student must complete the HEO Status Verification web form that confirms contact information and verifies where the student is attending school, as well as how many credits he or she plans to take that semester. The student will not be covered by the HEO for the coming semester if the form is not completed within the specified timeframe.

Procedures

In order to be placed in the pool of names for the HEO program for the next academic year, each of the following must be completed by the deadline for freshman application, as established by the Office of Admissions for the academic year under consideration.

1. The child of the TEAMS employee must apply for admission to the University of Florida, Office of Admissions.

  • All eligible students must apply for admission to the University of Florida. Admissions eligibility is established by the Office of Admissions for the academic year under consideration. The following students are eligible to apply for admission to UF (and therefore required to do so for the HEO benefit):
    • Students with 11 semester hours or less (earned following high school graduation)
    • Students with 60 semester hours or more (earned following high school graduation)
  • Students who are not eligible to apply for admission must provide documentation of ineligibility (e.g., transcripts verifying credit hours earned after high school graduation) to Human Resource Services.

*Note: Regardless of whether or not a child wants to attend the University of Florida or a community college, the child must apply for admission to UF by the deadline to be considered. If the child is not admitted to UF, only then will he or she have the option of attending a community college instead.

2. The TEAMS employee must notify Training and Development in the Office of Human Resource Services that he/she wishes to enter his/her child into the HEO drawing for the coming academic year by submitting the online HEO Application Form by the established deadline.

  • Each eligible full-time TEAMS employee may submit one eligible child’s name per year for entrance into the HEO program.
  • More than one full-time TEAMS employee may enter the same eligible child’s name for consideration in this program, provided that the eligible child meets the eligibility criteria for each full-time TEAMS employee.
  • If a full-time TEAMS employee has an eligible child selected for participation in this program, he or she may enter a different eligible child’s name in subsequent years, provided that the subsequent eligible child meets the eligibility criteria.
  • A new application must be made for each subsequent year the eligible child wishes to submit their name for the HEO.
  • Once a child’s name is selected for the HEO, there is no need to submit his or her name again.
  • If the eligible child is already admitted to the University of Florida, no new application for admission is necessary.

3. Once the Human Resource Services has confirmed the eligibility of those requesting to be in the HEO, the pool of names of children who have completed the application for admission to UF by the specified deadline will be forwarded to UF’s Director of Admissions. In the event greater than 150 are confirmed eligible, to ensure fairness, the 150 names will be selected at a public drawing to take place each spring.

4. In the month of March, a public drawing coordinated by Training and Development in the Office of Human Resource Services will be held to select 150 names from the pool of eligible HEO applicants who have applied for admission to the University, as verified by the Office of Admissions. All eligible HEO applicants and their qualifying parents will be given appropriate notice of the date, time, and location of the drawing.

  • Those children among the 150 selected, who meet admissions requirements to the University of Florida, will be offered admission to the University, conditional upon receipt of their high school diploma before the date of entry into the University offered by the Director of Admissions.
  • If selected for the HEO and offered admission to the University, the HEO recipient must attend the University to receive the benefit of the HEO.
  • Please note that the University of Florida reserves the right to make changes based on administrative errors.
  • Those children among the 150 who do not meet admissions requirements to the University, who receive a high school diploma before the beginning of the academic year and who wish to continue in this program must enroll at a public community college in Florida.

5. Once an offer of admission has been made, the Office of Human Resource Services will provide an electronic HEO acceptance letter to the qualifying TEAMS parent. The HEO acceptance letter must be completed and submitted by the established deadline.

6. The HEO benefit will be activated by the following:

  • Receipt of a completed online HEO Acceptance form, submitted by the TEAMS parent.
  • Receipt of a completed online HEO Status Verification form, submitted by the student and enrollment by the HEO student at the institution indicated on the HEO Status Verification form. Enrollment must occur for the fall semester of the first academic year of the student’s eligibility. If the student does not take courses that fall semester, he or she will lose the HEO benefit.

7. The University will pay the in-state matriculation fees less any Bright Futures Scholarship award for each of the 150 children for up to twelve credits per semester during the academic year and for up to 6 credits per twelve (12) week summer semester at the University of Florida or a public college or community college, in the event the child is not admitted to the University of Florida. 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.

  • The students are responsible for payment of all other fees charged by the institution and for any costs associated with attending the institution.
  • The HEO will not pay for any late fees incurred by the students for not submitting their portion of payments on-time.

8. To receive the HEO funds for each semester, students must complete the HEO Status Verification web form online during the specified timeframe each term.

Financial Obligations

University: Responsible for all in-state matriculation fees (the actual instruction fee) less any Bright Futures scholarship award for a maximum of 132 credit hours.

  • All completed courses, passed or failed, and withdrawals are totaled in the count of credit hours.

HEO Student: Responsible for all other fees, including those related to books, supplies, building, capital improvement, student financial aid, activity and service, athletic, health, transportation, etc.

  • A complete list of the breakdown for fees at UF is maintained on the University Bursar web site. For other community colleges, students should contact the financial departments directly.
  • Students are responsible for paying the difference in the in-state matriculation fees the HEO Program covers and the total amount per credit hour by the deadline specified by UF or the community college. The HEO program does NOT cover any late fees when the student fails to pay their fees on-time.

Bright Futures and the HEO Scholarship

In academic year 2019-20, the HEO pays $149.24 per credit hour. This amount includes tuition and tuition differential.

It is important to note, legislative changes affect the HEO award amount for Florida Academic and Florida Medallion Bright Futures Scholarship students. The full amount of the Bright Futures scholarship award will be subtracted from the amount the student can receive from the HEO.

Florida Academic Scholars 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?
Tuition 105.07 Yes
Tuition Differential 44.17 Yes
Capital Improvement Trust Fund 6.76 Yes
Student Financial Aid 5.25 Yes
Technology 5.25 Yes
Activity & Service 19.06 Yes
Athletic 1.90 Yes
Health 15.81 Yes
Transportation Access 9.44 Yes
Total $212.71 $212.71

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?
Tuition 105.07 75%
Tuition Differential 44.17 75%
Capital Improvement Trust Fund 6.76 75%
Student Financial Aid 5.25 75%
Technology 5.25 75%
Activity & Service 19.06 75%
Athletic 1.90 75%
Health 15.81 75%
Transportation Access 9.44 75%
Total $212.71 $159.53

In the Medallion example, the total amount covered by the Bright Futures award ($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.