How the Scholarship Works


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.

Students who qualify for the free or reduced school lunch program may qualify for a Step Up For Students Scholarship to a private school or for funds to help cover transportation costs to an out-of-district public school. For the 2013-14 school year, scholarships are valued up to $4,880 for private school tuition or $500 to help cover transportation costs to attend a public school in another district, typically another county.

Our goal is to give your family a choice in your child’s education. It’s your child; it’s your choice.

These scholarships were created by the Florida Legislature in 2001 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. They 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.


More than 43,000 scholarships already awarded. 

For the 2014-2015 school year, we have already awarded more than 43,000 scholarships, and there are approximately 18,000 students on applications that are still being processed.  

Due to an overwhelming response, we urge you to do the following:                              

  • Renewal families: Please apply by May 15, 2014, in order to ensure funding.

  • New families: Please remember that scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis (giving priority to renewal families). We recommend that you apply soon. Please click the ‘apply now’ button above to begin the 2014-15 application process, keeping in mind that you must have a valid email address to start your application.

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2013-14 school year.

Interested in our program but won’t have children starting kindergarten or meeting all the eligibility requirements until 2015-16 school year? Then please click here to sign up for the 2015-16 school year interest list.


Below is eligibility information for children who qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch or who qualify based on income. For eligibility information for children who are in foster care or who are homeless, please click here

Please review the requirements below to see if you qualify for a scholarship for the 2014-15 school year: