How the Income-Based Scholarship Works 

SINCE 2002, NEARLY 399,000 SCHOLARSHIPS HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO LOW-INCOME FLORIDA STUDENTS IN GRADES K-12.

COULD YOUR CHILD BE NEXT? Click here to sign up for the 2015-16 school year interest list. Please note: Children who are in foster care or out-of-home care may apply year-round. Please click here to learn more.

In 2001, the Florida Legislature created the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (income-based scholarship) to assure that low-income children have learning options. Under the law, the scholarships are based on financial need, not how well your child does in school.  

Students learn in different ways and parents need to find the best school for each child. Sometimes that means another public school in a different neighborhood or sometimes that means a private school. Step Up For Students exists to help low-income families enjoy all of those options.

With the income-based scholarship, families can choose between two options: 

  • A scholarship to help cover private school tuition and fees, worth up to $5,272. The scholarship will pay for the following school expenses, in this order until maximum award amount is reached, or until all fees are satisfied, whichever is first: 1) Tuition 2) Books* 3) Registration 4) Transportation 5) Uniforms* 6) Testing 7) Other(*Applicable for books and uniforms sold by the school, not a third party vendor.)

  • A scholarship to assist with transportation costs to attend a public school in a different county, worth up to $500. The public school must be out of the student’s assigned district, which typically means it is in a different count. Also, the student must have permission from the district in which the student resides and the district in which the student wants to attend. (Step Up will need documentation of the approval by both districts before being able to award the scholarship.)

(Scholarship amounts for the 2014-15 school year are noted. The private school scholarship amount may increase for the 2015-16 school year.) Please note: Both the private school scholarship and the transportation scholarship have the same application and eligibility process.

If a child is entering kindergarten through 12th grade and meets one of the following, he/she may qualify for a scholarship:



For eligibility information for children who are in foster care or in out-of-home care, please click here

For eligibility information for children who are homeless, please click here


Eligibility for children who qualify based on income:


Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and can be transferred to other eligible schools if the student moves within the state, or simply wants to attend a different Step Up partner school.  

Application News:

RENEWAL FAMILIES: You may now apply for the 2015-16 school year.

If your child received an income-based Step Up scholarship for the current 2014-15 school year, click here to apply for the 2015-16 school year. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis (giving priority to renewal families) and the deadline to complete the online application AND submit all required documentation is April 30, 2015, so please apply early.

NEW FAMILIEwill be able to apply in spring 2015.  Please continue to visit our site for more details. We also encourage you to sign up for our income-based interest list by clicking here, so you may receive notifications regarding the application season.

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2014-15 school year for the income-based scholarship.