For Children in Foster Care or Children Who Are Homeless

Step Up For Students has special guidelines for children in foster care and children who are homeless that are intended to make it easier for them to qualify.

Step Up For Students 2014-15 applications are now open for NEW and RENEWAL FAMILIES.

The Step Up For Students application is now available for 2014-15. Please click here to begin the 2014-15 application process, keeping in mind that you must have a valid email address to start your application. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis (giving priority to renewal families), so please apply early.

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.

Children in Foster Care 

Age requirements:

  • A child in foster care entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept. 1.
  • A child in foster care entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept. 1.


Income guidelines:

  • There is no income requirement for a child in foster care who meets the definition of a child in foster care (i.e., where the household has a  current foster care license from the Department of Children and Families).

Document requirements:

  • The foster parent must be able to provide acurrent foster care license issued by DCF.
    • If the child in foster care is in “someone’s care” that “someone” must have be a licensed foster care provider for the student to be deemed a ‘foster student.’
    • If this person is a relative, but does not have a current foster care license from DCF, then the child does not meet the state’s definition of foster and the family would need to be within the income guidelines, and able to validate that income, or the child would need to be receiving TANF (supporting documentation must be provided) to qualify for a scholarship.
    • If the child in foster care is in a group home the Administrator or Director can complete the application for the student and submit the required paperwork.

What the scholarship pays for:

For the 2013-14 school year, scholarships are valued up to $4,880 and can be used at any of the more than 1,450 participating private schools across the state. The scholarship will pay for the following school expenses, in this order:  1) Tuition; 2) Books; 3) Registration; 4) Transportation; 5) Uniforms; 6) Testing; 7) Other.

Children Who Are Homeless


Age requirements:

  • A child who is homeless and is entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept. 1.
  • A child who is homeless and is entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept. 1.
  • A child who is homeless and is entering grades 6-12 must have attended a Florida public school the (entire) year prior to the school year for which s/he is applying.  Please be sure to check our website for the most current requirements.

Income guidelines:

  • There is no income threshold for children who are homeless, and they are not required to provide any income information.

Documentation requirements to validate the status of a child who is homeless:

  • The homeless liaison in the public school district to which the child is assigned can create a letter or document for them to include with their application packet.
  • (OR) a letter may be submitted (on letterhead) by the owner or Executive Director of the shelter or transitional housing facility.

Acceptable documentation must include:

  • Child’s name
  • Effective date(s)
  • Signature of the local educational liaison or the director of the homeless shelter.

Transportation Scholarship


Step Up also provides a transportation scholarship to an out-of-district Florida public school. The application and eligibility process is similar to the other scholarships.

  • The public school must be out of the student’s assigned district, which typically means it is in a separate county.
  • The family/guardian must get permission from both the district in which the student resides and the district which the student wants to attend.
  • Step Up will need documentation of the approval by both districts before being able to award the scholarship.


Please contact Step Up For Students with any questions:

Scholarship number

Or e-mail us at:

Contact center hours:
Monday – Friday  
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
(closed from 11 a.m to noon)


Step Up For Students 
P.O. Box 54367 
Jacksonville, FL 32245-4367