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Topic : ACADEMIC COMMON MARKET
FAQ
QUESTION:
How does the Academic Common Market (ACM) process work?

ANSWER:
Students who are eligible for participation in the ACM may fill out an application for ACM certification at any point following acceptance to the university program of choice. Florida’s application can be found on the BOG-ACM (http://www.flbog.org/forstudents/upi/acm.php ) Web site. The state ACM coordinator will review the application for completeness and if the student has been able to meet documentation requirements, the following will happen:
  1.  If the program has already been approved for Florida residents, the state coordinator will certify the student for participation in this program. 
  2.  If the program has not been approved for Florida residents, the state coordinator will see if there are comparable programs offered in Florida. 
    • If there are comparable programs offered in Florida, the state coordinator will not certify the student.
    •  If there are no comparable programs offered and Florida does not have access to this program via the ACM, the state coordinator will request access. This process may take up to 2 months, depending on whether the program is currently available through the ACM or if new approvals are required at the university. If the program is added to the ACM inventory for Florida residents, the state coordinator will certify the student.
  3. The state coordinator will notify the university coordinator once the student is certified for participation in the ACM. The student must then contact the university coordinator to ensure that necessary measures have been taken at the university to put the out-of-state waiver in place.    The student will not need to reapply for participation in the ACM as long as continuous enrollment is maintained in the program. 



QUESTION:
Why are undergraduate programs and graduate certificate programs ineligible for participation in the Academic Common Market (ACM)?


ANSWER:
Because Florida is a large state with many undergraduate program offerings, the high number of students who would enter Florida’s universities with an out-of-state tuition waiver would make this program very costly to the state if it were administered at the undergraduate level. Participation in certificate programs is not allowed by the Southern Regional Educational Board's (SREB) guidelines.


QUESTION:
Can I get an out-of-state tuition waiver if Florida does not offer the degree I am interested in?

ANSWER:
Florida is one of 16 states participating in the Southern Regional Educational Board's (SREB) Academic Common Market (ACM).  The ACM is an agreement between participating states that allows students to enroll in approved degree programs not offered in their home state at in-state tuition rates.  Florida participates in the ACM for graduate degree programs only. No ACM out-of-state tuition waivers are granted to students participating in undergraduate programs or graduate certificate programs.  
Florida residents are encouraged to visit the BOG-ACM Web site (http://www.flbog.org/forstudents/upi/acm.php) to access more information about the ACM and a downloadable application for participation in the program.  Students from other states should visit the SREB-ACM state directory (http://search.sreb.org/acm/states.aspx) to access contact information for the ACM coordinator of your home state and the state ACM Web site. Residents of non-SREB states are not eligible for ACM participation.



QUESTION:
What evidence should be required to show residency at the current time?


ANSWER:
The student must meet the requirements of residency for tuition purposes specified in section (s.) 1009.21, F.S., and Board of Governors Regulation 7.005.



QUESTION:
If I am certified for participation in the Academic Common Market (ACM) and decide to change majors, will I lose my out-of-state tuition waiver?

ANSWER:
If you are enrolled in a program as an ACM participant and decide to change majors, you will need to contact your university ACM coordinator as soon as possible (search.sreb.org/acm/participating/inststates.aspx). If your new major is ACM eligible and not offered in your home state, you will be able to reapply for your waiver. If the program is not eligible for ACM or is offered in your home state, you will be assessed the regular out-of-state tuition once you have formally changed majors at the university.


QUESTION:
Where can I find information and assistance regarding a Tuition Waiver for Recipients of Purple Heart or Superior Combat Decorations?

ANSWER:

A fee waiver is available to recipients of the Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence if the recipient is enrolling in a Florida public community college or state university, and provided he or she meets specific criteria:

1.      Admitted as a full-time, part-time, or summer-school student in an undergraduate program of study leading to a degree or certificate;

2.      Is currently, and was at the time of the military action that resulted in the awarding of the Purple Heart or other superior combat decoration, a resident of Florida; and

3.      Submits to the community college or university Department of Defense Form 214 (DD-214), issued at the time of separation from service, as documentation that he or she has received a Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence.

This waiver is applicable for 110 percent of the number of required credit hours of the degree or certificate program for which the student is enrolled.  For more information about applying for the waiver, please contact the veterans’ certifying official at the college or university you plan to attend.  Additional information is available by visiting http://www.floridavets.org/pdf/ph_waiver.pdf.  




QUESTION:
I have been enrolled in a program for several semesters and just learned that I am eligible for participation in the Academic Common Market (ACM). What should I do?

ANSWER:
Many universities will not reimburse tuition for students who are not certified for participation in the ACM prior to entry. To find out the university policy on ACM tuition reimbursement, you will need to contact your university ACM coordinator. Even if you are ineligible for reimbursement, you may apply for ACM certification and receive in-state tuition for future semesters.   
Florida residents are encouraged to visit the BOG-ACM (http://www.flbog.org/forstudents/upi/acm.php) Web site to access a downloadable application for participation in the program.   Students from other states should visit the SREB-ACM state directory (http://search.sreb.org/acm/states.aspx ) to access contact information for the ACM coordinator of your home state and possibly a state ACM Web site. Residents of non-SREB states are not eligible for ACM participation.



Topic : ADMISSIONS
FAQ
QUESTION:
Question: Where can I find information on admission to a state university?


ANSWER:

The Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) Web site provides a variety of information for students seeking admission to a state university. Information is available for secondary and postsecondary students, as well as high school guidance counselors. Helpful information is included on topics such as general admissions,  university degree program offerings, residency guidelines, and transfer requirements. For questions regarding a specific university, please consult the university admissions office Web site.




QUESTION:
What should I do if I am denied admission to my university of choice?


ANSWER:
Under the current higher education governance structure in Florida, the Board of Trustees for each state university is granted authority for operations of its university, which includes student admissions. With approval from the Board of Trustees, each state university sets the criteria for admissions. Each university receives a large number of applications each year from many highly qualified students, which makes the admissions process very competitive. Therefore, all applicants may not be admitted to their first choice due to the lack of space. If applicants wish to appeal an admissions decision, they should contact the admissions office of the university which denied the admission to obtain information regarding the appeals process. 


QUESTION:
Who should I contact about the Talented 20 program?

ANSWER:
Contact the Florida Student Support Services Project at (850) 922-3727 or visit its Web site.
For information on Florida’s Talented 20 Program, students may visit http://www.fldoe.org/Talented20/. Students may also contact the financial aid offices at the University of their choice or contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) for information related to State Scholarship and Grant Programs by phone at 1-888-827-2004 or by e-mail at osfa@fldoe.org.



Topic : ADOPTION AND FOSTER CARE
FAQ
QUESTION:

What opportunities are available for students who come from adoptive or foster homes, or are in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)?



ANSWER:

 

Pursuant to Florida law, a student who comes from one of the backgrounds listed below is exempted by the State of Florida from payment of tuition and fees, including lab fees, in a postsecondary career program, a Florida public community college, or a state university:
 
  • A student who is or was at the time he or she turned 18 years of age in the custody of DCF or the Relative Caregiver Program.
  • A student who was adopted from DCF after May 5, 1997.
  • A student who, after spending at least 6 months in DCF custody after reaching 16 years of age, was placed in a guardianship by the court.
 
The exemption remains valid until the student reaches the age of 28 years of age. Contact your DCF representative for information about applying for this waiver.



Topic : COMPLAINT
FAQ
QUESTION:
Where do I go if I have a grievance against a public university?

ANSWER:
For admissions issues, students should initially contact the university admissions office.  For registration or residency issues, students should initially contact the university registrar's office. If you have not received resolution after contacting the appropriate office and need additional assistance, contact your institution’s ombudsman to determine the appropriate process on your campus. Every state university employs an ombudsman to provide accurate information and resources needed to pursue and resolve academic and campus conflicts.



QUESTION:

How can I file a consumer complaint concerning a particular private/independent institution?



ANSWER:

The appropriate state level entity to address student concerns regarding private institutions is the Commission for Independent Education. The CIE office phone is 850-245-3200 or toll free 888-224-6684. 




Topic : DISABILITIES
FAQ
QUESTION:
What resources are available within the State University System for students with disabilities?

ANSWER:
Services for students with disabilities are provided by each university. In order to receive the services, students must self disclose their disability at the Disability Resource Centers. If you are a student with a disability, you will be required to provide documentation of your disability in order for university staff to determine what accommodations will be the best to serve you. The process and records are confidential.
 
Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Resource Center as soon as possible as it may take time to obtain the required documentation. The individual Web sites of the resource centers provide a listing of the documentation required. Students should consider talking with staff from the center, even if they feel that they may not need any accommodations. This will prevent any delays in services if and when needed.



Topic : DISTANCE LEARNING
FAQ
QUESTION:
Are distance education degrees recognized as real college degrees by employers and other educational institutions?

ANSWER:
Distance education degrees awarded by institutions in the State University System are real degrees.   On-line programs offered by SUS institutions meet the same accreditation requirements as programs offered on campus Visit the Florida Distance Learning Consortium(http://www.distancelearn.org/ ) Web site for a catalog of online courses and programs offered by Florida’s colleges and universities.


QUESTION:
Where can I find information about distanced education courses and programs offered by Florida institutions?

ANSWER:
Visit the Florida Distance Learning Consortium (http://www.distancelearn.org/ ) Web site for a catalog of online courses and programs offered by Florida’s colleges and universities. All college and university Web sites, public and private, also include information on distance learning options.


Topic : FINANCIAL AID
FAQ
QUESTION:
Where can I find information on Bright Futures?

ANSWER:
The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program is administered by the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Student and Financial Aid. 


QUESTION:
I am qualified for a tuition waiver in the State of Florida but I wish to attend a private university. Can the funding be transferred to a private institution?

ANSWER:
No. Waivers cannot be transferred to private institutions because there is no state funding component associated with most waivers. State universities absorb the costs associated with waiver recipients internally. Common waivers in the State University System include the state employee tuition waiver, the DCF tuition waiver, the Purple Heart waiver and the SREB Academic Common Market out-of-state tuition waiver. More information about fee waivers can be found in Florida Statute 1009.26 (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/).        


Topic : GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
FAQ
QUESTION:

What do I need to know about returning to the university system after being absent for a period of time, ranging from several months to several years?



ANSWER:
Every university has a student handbook and/or bulletin that outlines university policies and the curriculum requirements to graduate with a particular degree.  If a student is absent from the university for a period of time specified in the student handbook, the student may be required to seek readmission to the university.
If a student is attempting to return to the university after several years of absence, many universities have policies regarding recency of academic credit. Students should contact the individual university Registrar's Office regarding questions relating to graduation requirements.



Topic : HOUSING
FAQ
QUESTION:
What do I need to know about university housing contracts?

ANSWER:
Housing application deadlines are set by the individual universities. Although many universities have expanded housing opportunities on campus, there may be a waiting list if you wait too long to apply for a spot.
 
Check with the university to determine the recommended timeline for your housing application. Since housing is usually on a first-come, first-served basis, your chances of securing your preferred housing assignment may be better if you apply as soon as possible.   Be sure to read the contract thoroughly. If you or your parents sign a housing contract, it is your responsibility to cancel it before cancellation deadlines to avoid charges should you decide not to attend (or if you have not been admitted to the university).
 
Some institutions require first year undergraduate students to live on campus. Certain exceptions are made to the policy. Check with the institution of your choice to determine if housing is required.
 
Students with special interests (such as music, nursing or engineering) may find that they have the opportunity to live and learn with students with like interests. Some universities offer “learning communities” – housing which provides students to interact with faculty and other students who share common academic interests. Some may take courses in their residence hall. Check with your university of interest to see if this opportunity is available to you!


Topic : ICUF
FAQ
QUESTION:
What are the other colleges and universities found in our state besides the twelve state universities?

ANSWER:
There are publicly funded community colleges and state colleges (http://data.fldoe.org/workforce/contacts/default.cfm?action=showList&ListID=11) that belong to the Florida College System. There are also nonpublic institutions that fall under either the Council of Independent Education or the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida. Please be advised that if you attend an independent institution and then apply to transfer to a public institution, not all courses offered by the independent institution may be covered by the Statewide Course Numbering System’s (SCNS) course transfer agreement. For a list of courses approved as part of SCNS, please visit http://scns.fldoe.org/scns/public/pb_index.jsp.


QUESTION:
Where can I obtain a copy of my transcript from a private college or technical school that is now closed?

ANSWER:
The Commission for Independent Education (CIE) has access to many old college records, and may know which institution now has ownership of the records not in CIE's possession. The CIE office phone is: 850-245-3200 or toll free 888-224-6684, and the Commission’s web site is: http://www.fldoe.org/cie/request.asp.


Topic : MISCELLANEOUS
FAQ
QUESTION:
I am a state employee who would like to take a class at a local public university or community college. How do I apply for the state employee tuition waiver?


ANSWER:
State employees may enroll for up to six credit hours per semester on a space-available basis at a state public university or community college (OPS employees are not eligible). Because application processes may vary by department, contact your human resources office for more information. 


QUESTION:
How do I have my degree from a university in another country evaluated so that I can pursue further postsecondary education and/or obtain a job in the U.S.?

ANSWER:
If you are planning to enroll in a Florida university, contact the university admissions office to determine which degree evaluation services are preferred by that university. If you are seeking a job in the United States, you should first contact potential employers to determine if a credential evaluation is necessary. Should the employer require a credential evaluation, we recommend the evaluation be done by a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or the International Education Credential Services provided by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.


QUESTION:
I am planning to return to my home country with a degree attained in Florida. Can you certify that my degree is legitimate?

ANSWER:
The Department of State provides this service. The procedure for document authentication is located on the ‘Notaries and Apostilles’ page.  The phone number for the Department of State is: 850-245-6945.


Topic : RESIDENCY
FAQ
QUESTION:
Where can I find information on Florida residency for tuition purposes?


ANSWER:

Please go to the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) Web site for responses to all questions related to residency for tuition purposes.




Topic : TEACHER ED AND CERTIFICATION
FAQ
QUESTION:
Where can I obtain a list of all state approved teacher preparation programs in the State of Florida?

ANSWER:
Please visit the Florida Department of Education’s Web site at http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/approval.asp for information related to state approved teacher education programs.


Topic : VETERANS
FAQ
QUESTION:
How do I qualify for a Tuition Waiver for Recipients of Purple Heart or Superior Combat Decorations?


ANSWER:
Beginning with the 2006-2007 academic year, a fee waiver is provided to recipients of the Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence if the recipient is enrolling in a Florida public community college or state university, and provided he or she meets the following specific criteria:
  1. Admitted as a full-time, part-time, or summer-school student in an undergraduate program of study leading to a degree or certificate;
  2. Is currently, and was at the time of the military action that resulted in the awarding of the Purple Heart or other superior combat decoration, a resident of Florida; and
  3. Submits to the community college or university Department of Defense Form 214 (DD-214), issued at the time of separation from service, as documentation that he or she has received a Purple Heart or other combat decoration superior in precedence.

 

This waiver is applicable for 110 percent of the number of required credit hours of the degree or certificate program for which the student is enrolled.

Contact the veterans’ representative at your college or university for more information.




QUESTION:
Are active duty military personnel eligible for the Tuition Waiver for Recipients of Purple Heart or Superior Combat Decorations?


ANSWER:
Yes, certain active duty military personnel may be eligible for this waiver. Since these individuals have not been discharged, they will not have the DD-214. However, they may submit other evidence as clarified heretofore.



QUESTION:
Are students enrolled in Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science, or community college certificate programs eligible for the Tuition Waiver for Recipients of Purple Heart or Superior Combat Decorations?


ANSWER:
Yes, a student enrolled in any associate degree, baccalaureate degree, or career education certificate program at a community college or state university would qualify. Students enrolled in graduate or professional programs are not eligible.



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