Project STARS FAQs

How does the pledge process work?

The Foundation receives pledge letters in February for the next contract year. The pledges are totaled and given to the state Legislature to request funds for the next year. Donors should send in a letter to the Foundation office with the foundation/organization’s name and the total dollar amount of matching funds the Donor is requesting for the following year.

June 1st is the due date for letters requesting excess matching funds, dollars that were requested, but not used, by other foundation partners. The Foundation reallocates the excess funds based on partner requests, if funds are available on July 1st. In October, the Foundation will allocate out all available STARS dollars based on the pledge requests.

Is the STARS Donor obligated to raise the amount of their pledge?

Donors are not obligated to raise the full amount of their pledge request; however, future allocations may be affected by your ability to fulfill your existing allocations.

How should a Donor decide how much to pledge?

Donors should evaluate the number of students they expect to bring into the program in the coming year and the amount of funds they are able to raise and designate for scholarship purchases.

How does Prepaid work if a student goes A) straight to university; B) out of state; C) to a private school; D) to a for-profit school?

A)  If a student is using Florida Prepaid Plan hours at a state university, Florida Prepaid will convert the hours and pay the invoice in full: i.e. a student takes 15 hours at a state university – Florida Prepaid will use 20-21 Florida College hours to cover these classes. Note –hours are used faster and student may run out of hours prior to graduating college.

B)  A transfer form must be completed. Florida Prepaid will use the current average rate for Florida Colleges or Universities and pay directly to the school.

C)  A transfer form must be completed. It works the same as an out of state school.

D)  All schools that receive title IV funding or are eligible to receive federal funds have been approved by the Florida Legislature to receive funds from Florida Prepaid. If approved, a transfer form must be completed.

When and how can I reassign a scholarship?

A Donor may reassign scholarships at their discretion. Only one student may be assigned to one scholarship at any given point in time. If a student has not met his/her obligations you may contact the Foundation and request that the student be removed from the scholarship. A new or existing student may then be reassigned to the TBA scholarship. If assigning a new student, the required checklist items must be mailed to the Foundation office. Any new student assigned to a STARS scholarship must meet the criteria of a qualified beneficiary as outlined in the policies and procedures.

How long can a student keep using his/her prepaid plan?

Florida Prepaid allows 10 years for students to use their plans. Donors may set their own criteria and can track student’s usage through quarterly Contract Detail Reports.

Do I have to take it back 5 years after they graduate?

It is your decision on how long you give a student to use their plan. You may set your own criteria. Donors must deplete the scholarship within ten years of the original projected enrollment year.

When is it effective for me to use the Scholarship Reinvestment Opportunity to combine unused credits?

The Foundation recommends you evaluate your scholarships each quarter to determine if they are being utilized in an effective manner.

     Does the scholarship have a matriculation year older than one year?

     Is the scholarship’s last usage older than one year?

     Does the scholarship have fewer than 30 hours remaining?

If the answer to all three questions is ‘yes’, then the Foundation feels it is a good candidate for cancellation through the SRO process.

What will scholarships cost next year?

Traditionally the cost of Florida Prepaid contracts go up about 6.5% a year; however, each year Contract Prices are evaluated and set by Prepaid Board’s actuarial firm. The firm assumes investment yield, current and future tuition rates and prices the contract. The Prepaid Board approves the contract prices at its September Board Meeting and prices are released to the public in October.

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