The Florida-Eastern Europe Linkage Institute (EELI) is one of 11 institutes initiated in 1987 by the Florida Legislature. The Linkage Institutes were initiated "to assist in the development of stronger economic, cultural, educational, and social ties between Florida and select countries through the promotion of expanded public and private dialogue on cooperative research and technical assistance activities, increased bilateral commerce, student and faculty exchange, cultural exchange, and the enhancement of language training skills. For more information, please click here.

Out-of-State Tuition Exemption Program

Florida Statute 288.8175 enables the EELI to award out-of-state tuition waivers to citizens of qualified Eastern European countries. The purpose of the tuition fee exemption program is to provide international students attending any institution of the State University System of Florida (http://www.flbog.edu/forstudents/ati/international.php) or community college (http://www.fldoe.org/fcs/colleges.asp) the opportunity to pay in-state tuition rates. To qualify, the student must be a citizen of one of the countries recognized by the EELI. The selection process is highly competitive and awards are limited. Candidates are evaluated based on their academic record, area of specialization, and their aspirations for the future. The tuition exemption that is offered covers the out-of-state portion of tuition costs. Students are responsible for the in-state tuition costs.


All new and renewal applicants of the Florida-Eastern Europe Linkage Institute (EELI) awards must comply with the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen of one of the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan and maintain F-1 non-immigrant student visa status while in the U.S.
  • Be accepted into any institution of the State University System of Florida or community college and maintain full-time enrollment – 12 undergraduate or 9 graduate credit hours per semester.
  • Must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher when submitting the application and maintain the institutional GPA thereafter.
  • Return to Home Country within 3 years after completing the degree for a period of time equal to the period of the exemption award.
  • Take classes only when living in Florida. Distance learning is not supported by EELI.
  • Send EELI a fee invoice or schedule prior to the first day of classes for the semester and provide documentation of GPA within ten days after the end of each semester.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment status in a Florida state university or community college (12 Credit hours for undergraduates and 9 credit hours for graduate students) during the semesters that he/she receives an award.
  • Report any changes in enrollment or academic status to the Florida-Eastern Europe Linkage Institute (e.g., recipient's enrollment is lower than the credit hours listed in the award letter).

IMPORTANT: New applicants to the Out-of-State Tuition Exemption Program must submit the required documents by the stated deadline.

The continuation of funding is not automatic. All recipients must submit a renewal application and other supporting documents by the renewal deadline.