Florida Scholarship Basics

McKay Scholarship

The State of Florida has a scholarship program for Special Needs Students.  The requirements are (1) Student MUST have a 504 Plan or IEP. (2) Student MUST be currently attending a Public School, and have been in attendance for the previous October and February FTE Count.

 

BEFORE Enrolling in Dream Academy, a McKay Intent must be filed.  This MUST be done before withdrawing from Public School.  Dream Academy can assist with this process.  Once Approved, there is NO RENEWAL needed.   

 

Intent to Participate in the McKay Scholarship can be filed at: https://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/Intent/McKayIntent/StudentIntent.aspx

Dream Academy can assist in this process.

 

Gardiner Scholarship

To be awarded a Gardiner Scholarship, students must be at least 3 years old and no older than 22 or in 12th grade, whichever comes first. Students must have an Individualized Education Plan or have been diagnosed by a physician or psychologist with one of the following: autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, an intellectual disability, muscular dystrophy, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, spina bifida, Williams syndrome, anaphylaxis, dual sensory impairment or rare diseases which affect patient populations of fewer than 200,000 Americans. Students are also eligible if A) they are identified as deaf or visually impaired, B) they have had a traumatic brain injury defined by the state board of education, C) they are hospitalized or homebound with a medically diagnosed physical or psychiatric condition for more than six months or D) they are students aged 3, 4 or 5 who are considered “high-risk” due to developmental delay.

 

Application can be made at: 

https://www.aaascholarships.org/

And

https://www.stepupforstudents.org/

 

This is a first-come, first-serve scholarship and will be awarded until funds run out.  Application opens February or the preceding school year.

Income Based Scholarship Qualifications:

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship

Students in households earning up to 260 percent of the federal poverty level ($68,120 for a family of four in 2020–21) are eligible for scholarships. . Eligibility recently opened to siblings of current scholarship recipients—as long as they live in the same household—and the income limit for previous scholarship recipients was removed. Additionally, students placed in foster care or out-of-home care, as well as dependents of active-duty military, are now able to apply for a scholarship at any time.

 

Application can be made at: 

https://www.aaascholarships.org/

And

https://www.stepupforstudents.org/

 

This is a first-come, first-serve scholarship and will be awarded until funds run out.  Application opens February of the preceding school year.

 
Family Empowerment Scholarship

Students are initially eligible for Family Empowerment Scholarships if they (a) are directly certified to receive food assistance, TANF benefits or qualify for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, (b) are from families whose income does not exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) ($78,600 for a family of four in 2020–21, or (c) are in foster care.

 

Eligible students must also have been enrolled in a traditional Florida public school during the previous school year. Children whose parent(s) are members of the Armed Forces and who are moving to Florida due to military orders do not need to meet the prior public schooling requirement. Enrollment in a charter school or a state-funded virtual school does not satisfy the prior public schooling requirement.

 

Priority is given to students whose household income does not exceed 185 percent of FPL ($48,470 for a family of four in 2020–21). Once a recipient of a Family Empowerment Scholarship, a student remains eligible until graduating from high school or becoming 21 years old, regardless of the family’s income level. Siblings of participating students are also eligible for the program for the duration of their K–12 education.  

 

Application can be made at: 

https://www.aaascholarships.org/

And

https://www.stepupforstudents.org/

 

This is a first-come, first-serve scholarship and will be awarded until funds run out.  Application opens February of the preceding school year.

HOPE Scholarship

Students in grades K–12 who are victims of bullying or violence in public district schools are eligible for Hope Scholarships. Public school officials must notify parents of bullying victims about their Hope Scholarship eligibility after the parent reports a qualifying incident to school officials. Qualifying incidents include battery, harassment, hazing, bullying, kidnapping, physical attack, robbery, sexual offenses, threats and intimidation, assault and fighting in school.

 

Qualifying incidents may occur within a school building, on school property, at any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity, while riding the bus or while waiting at a bus stop. Students attending public charter schools are not eligible.

 

Students must be Florida residents. Students who receive other scholarships from a Florida SFO are not eligible for Hope Scholarships.

 

Application can be made at: 

https://www.stepupforstudents.org/

 

This is a first-come, first-serve scholarship and will be awarded until funds run out.  Application opens February or the preceding school year.