Florida Scholarships for Lower-Income Families
Please note: On Wednesday, February 19 from 9 p.m. through 11:59 p.m. EST, the application, as well as the parent and school logins, for the income-based scholarships will be unavailable for system maintenance. The parent and school login for the Gardiner Scholarship will also be unavailable during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Please note: When creating or logging in to your Step Up For Students account we strongly recommend using Google Chrome.
More than 784,000 scholarships have been provided to lower-income Florida students in grades K-12 since 2001. Could your child be next?
2019-20 School Year:
Due to overwhelming demand for Step Up’s income-based scholarships, we are no longer accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year.
2020-21 School Year:
Renewal families for the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship may APPLY NOW for a scholarship for the 2020-21 school year by clicking here . (A renewal student is one who is using the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for the 2019-20 school year. For students using the income-based Family Empowerment Scholarship, the Florida Department of Education has sent a communication to current Family Empowerment Scholarship students explaining what needs to be done for the students for the 2020-21 school year. If you currently have a student on the Family Empowerment Scholarship, and do not see that email, please reach out to the Florida Department of Education.)
IMPORTANT: Renewal Florida Tax Credit scholarship students will have processing priority until February 29, 2020. If a renewal family applies on or after March 1, 2020, their renewal student will lose processing priority meaning all applications, for renewal students AND new students, will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis in the order the application and all supporting documents are received.
New families interested in applying for an income-based scholarship (either the Florida Tax Credit or Family Empowerment Scholarships) for the 2020-21 school year will be able to apply in early March 2020. Sign up to receive updates related to income-based scholarship applications for the 2020-21 school year by clicking here.
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis in the order all documents are received, and funding is limited.
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In 2001, the Florida Legislature created the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program to assure that low-income children have more learning options. In May 2019, nearly 20 years later, the Family Empowerment Scholarship was created by the Florida Legislature to further help low-income children.
Both scholarships are based on financial need not how well your child does in school. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) allows families to choose between financial assistance toward private school tuition and fees, or with transportation costs to attend a public school in another district. The Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) may only be used towards private school tuition and fees.
When applications are being accepted, they are processed in the order they are received (including all supporting documentation). Scholarships are awarded with priority given to renewal families followed by new families with the greatest financial need. For the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, renewal families have first-priority. Scholarships can be transferred to other eligible schools if the student moves within the state, or simply wants to attend a different participating private school.
- While the eligibility criteria between the programs vary, the application is the same for both.
- Checks are sent directly to the school in which the enrolled child is attending and are never sent directly to any individuals.
Florida Tax Credit Scholarship – Eligibility and Program Details
Family Empowerment Scholarship – Eligibility and Program Details