Pursuant to s. 1009.26(19), Florida Statutes, and Board of Governors Regulation 7.008 Waivers and Exemptions of Tuition and Fees, the state university Free Seat Program has been created to encourage veterans, active duty members of the United States Armed Forces, active drilling members of the Florida National Guard, and nontraditional students to enroll in an online baccalaureate degree program at a state university.
FAQs for the Free Seat Program
Who created the Free Seat Program and for what purpose?
The 2021 Florida Legislature created the Free Seat Program to encourage veterans, active duty members of the United State Armed Forces, active drilling members of the Florida National Guard, and nontraditional students to enroll in an online baccalaureate degree program at a state university.
What does the Free Seat Program cover at UF?
The tuition and fees for one online baccalaureate course will be waived in the first term in which the student participates in the Free Seat Program. After the one-time waiver, the standard UF Online tuition and fees will apply for all subsequent courses.
Who is eligible for the Free Seat Program?To be eligible for the Free Seat Program, undergraduate students must:
- Be a Florida resident for tuition purposes as defined by Florida Statute Section 1009.21 Learn more on our website.
- Not have previously earned a bachelor’s degree.
- Enroll in one of the online baccalaureate degree programs included in the Free Seat Program. Additional information below in FAQs.
- Meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
- Is a veteran as defined in s. 1.01(14), F.S. Additional information below in FAQs.
- Is an active duty member of the United State Armed Forces. Additional information below in FAQs.
- Is an active drilling member of the Florida National Guard. Additional information below in FAQs.
- Is a non-traditional student, defined for this program as a student who graduated high school at least 5 years ago and has not enrolled in a post-secondary institution in the past 5 years. Additional information below in FAQs.
What UF Online majors and courses are eligible for the Free Seat Program?
The online baccalaureate degree programs for the Free Seat Program are determined by the Board of Governor’s Approved Online Program Inventory. Currently, all UF Online majors are included in the Free Seat Program.
Are all UF courses eligible for the one-time tuition and fee waiver in the Free Seat Program?
No, the course must be part of the approved online baccalaureate degree program in which the student is enrolled. UF will determine the online courses whose tuition and fees will be waived. The wavier will not be used/granted by the university if other waivers, 3rd party contracts, and/or scholarships that are expressively restricted to and applied/credited toward a student’s tuition and fees have already been applied.
Are PaCE students eligible?
No, PaCE students are not eligible for the free seat waiver. This program is designed for fully online undergraduate programs. Although PaCE students start in online courses, they eventually transition to campus
Are dependents of military eligible for the Free Seat Program?
No, the benefits of the Free Seat program do not extend to military dependents.
If a student stops attending and reapplies to UF, will they be able to qualify again for the Free Seat Program?
Students are only able to receive a waiver for one course total.
How To Apply
How do students apply for this benefit?
Students who wish to be considered for the Free Seat Program must submit the online application with the appropriate documentation and be approved by the University to participate in the program.
*Please read the eligibility criteria above before submitting an application.
How do students verify military status as a veteran, active-duty member of the United States Armed Forces, or active drilling member of the Florida National Guard?
- Veterans must provide proof of their status with a DD-214 Member 4 version.
- Active duty military members must provide proof of their status with either a Leave and Earnings Statement or a copy of orders.
- Active drilling members of the Florida National Guard must complete a form and obtain a signature from the member’s Unit Commander and/or designation representative serving as the Unit Point of Contact (electronic signatures may be used, if needed).
How do non-traditional students qualify?
To qualify as a non-traditional student, a student must have graduated high school, home education program, or equivalent at least 5 years ago and cannot be currently enrolled or previously enrolled in a postsecondary institution in the last 5 years. This means a student must apply for the Free Seat Program during their first semester at UF to qualify. Application materials will be used to verify their status.
Will all eligible students be approved/selected for the Free Seat Program?
No, waivers are limited and will be granted on a first come, first serve basis. The maximum number of students each Florida university can approve for the Free Seat Program has been set by the state. UF can select 32 students per academic year for the Free Seat Program.
How will students know if they are selected for the Free Seat Program at UF?
The UF Online OneStop will review applications, verify eligibility, and notify students by email once their application is reviewed.