Two UF students recently learned they were getting a little help from a big name: Florida’s governor.
Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Certified Public Accounting would be awarding $99,000 in scholarships to 16 minority accounting students at Florida universities.
Among those names were Ivan Garcia and Alicia Saint John, both fifth-year accounting students at UF.
The 22-year-olds were notified that they were recipients on Aug. 24.
“I had an idea that I had a good chance of winning it, but I was very, very happy when I did,” Garcia said.
For Saint John, the news was a bit more surprising.
“I was ecstatic,” she said. “I honestly didn’t think I’d win.”
Garcia and Saint John were each awarded $6,387.10, to be disbursed in halves for the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters, according to a press release.
The scholarships were awarded through the CPA Education Minority Assistance Program, which was created in 1999 to provide financial support to fifth-year minority accounting students, according to an email from Sandi Poreda, director of communications for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. A $5 portion of each individual and firm license fee in Florida funds the scholarship.
Applicants are considered based on financial need and academic performance, as well as an essay included in the application, according to Poreda’s email. The program’s Advisory Council reviews the applications and recommends winners.
“I was lucky enough to find out about this opportunity before the deadline,” Garcia said.
Both he and Saint John said the money from the scholarship would lessen the burden of student loans. Saint John said she might not have even been able to remain at UF without it.
“I was contemplating going somewhere cheaper for grad school,” she said. “With this scholarship, I know I made the right choice to stay here.”