May 20, 2024
Floridians pass up $300M in college aid each year. Why that could change.

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Floridians pass up $300M in college aid each year. Why that could change.

| 10/26/2023

Floridians pass up $300M in college aid each year. Why that could change.

Millions of dollars in federal student aid sit unused each year, even as college costs rise and student debt skyrockets. Florida families are among the nation’s leaders in forgoing those funds. But a streamlined application process is aimed at easing access and getting the money in more hands. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid has undergone its largest overhaul in decades, according to the U.S. Department of Education. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Virtual School selected as operator for juvenile detention education program

Florida Virtual School will operate a new program, known as the Florida Scholars Academy, for students in the Department of Juvenile Justice system. Lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis this year approved creating the Florida Scholars Academy and using $12 million in state money. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida rule would limit talk of ‘social issues’ at public universities

A proposed regulation aimed at restricting diversity programs and social activism at Florida’s public universities has stirred confusion, with some saying its broadly worded passages could limit free speech. The regulation, when approved, will determine how the state enforces the law known as Senate Bill 266, a measure pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that seeks to gut diversity, equity and inclusion programs at colleges and universities. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

See also:
» Professors, students ask judge to temporarily block DeSantis' DEI funding ban

Florida Lottery reaches major milestone contributing over $45B so far to education

The Florida Lottery has contributed more than $45 billion to education in Florida, marking a major milestone. Officials announced on Tuesday the Florida Lottery passed the $45 billion mark. The contributions have gone to K-12 programs, state colleges and universities and the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery said more than $8 billion has funded Bright Futures since 1997 and helped over 983,000 students pursue a college education. [Source: CLick Orlando]

Florida orders pro-Palestinian student group off its university campuses

The head of Florida’s university system has directed schools to disband campus chapters of a pro-Palestinian student group he alleges are aligned in support of terrorists. In a letter Tuesday to the state’s 12 university presidents, State University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues said the Florida chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine “must be deactivated.” More from the Tampa Bay Times and Reuters.


› UF’s Juan Gilbert honored with National Medal of Technology and Innovation
President Joe Biden honored University of Florida computer science professor Dr. Juan Gilbert at the White House this week with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for pioneering a universal voting system that makes voting more reliable and accessible for everyone and for increasing diversity in the computer science workforce.

› Can UM-led team create a ‘perfect’ reef? Why the U.S. military is banking on it
The nation’s military has been working on a new weapon: Creating a ‘perfect,’ self-healing coral reef that can withstand disease, warming temperatures and sea rise. So for the past 14 months, the Department of Defense has been working with three international teams of scientists, including from the University of Miami, to build a hybrid reef made of concrete and coral.

› Jacksonville University launches ‘Future. Made.’
Jacksonville University announced the public launch of a new fundraising initiative, “Future. Made.” on Oct. 21 at a presentation at the university. “’Future. Made.’ represents our core identity and mission as a university: building a better future. It’s who we are and what we do,” JU President Tim Cost said in a news release.

› Science lesson at the beach? In post-pandemic South Florida, 'unconventional' education thrives
To Luna Ojeda, flipping over on a surfboard feels the same as riding a roller coaster. "I couldn't breathe," said the 6-year-old on a sunny afternoon this spring, hardly shaken up after a wave overwhelmed her tiny frame, knocking her into the ocean. "But I took a breath, and I felt okay." Her teacher was with her in the water, and her mom watched from the shore. Her classroom was the sand and sea of Deerfield Beach.

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