For Children in Foster Care or in Out-of-Home Care

Step Up For Students has special guidelines for children in foster care or in out-of-home care that are intended to make it easier for them to qualify.

Please note: A child who is in foster care or out-of-home care may apply for an income-based scholarship (FTC) year-round. If you are interested in applying for the current school year (2014-2015) or the upcoming 2015-16 school year, please call us at 877-735-7837 and we’ll help you get started.


Students who may qualify

A student who is/was placed at any time in foster care or out-of-home care during the current OR previous state fiscal year may be eligible (The state fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.)

  • A child in foster care is defined by the following:

    • “Foster care” means care provided a child in a foster family or boarding home, group home, agency boarding home, child care institution, or any combination thereof, as defined by s. 39.01(29).

  • A child in out-of-home care placement is defined by the following:

    • “Out-of-home” means a placement outside of the home of the parents or a parent, as defined by s. 39.01(48).

    • “Out-of-Home Care” means the placement of a child in licensed and non-licensed settings, arranged and supervised by the department or contracted service provider, outside of the home of the parent, as defined by DCF Rule: 65C-30.001 Definitions. (91).

    Longevity of scholarship

  • A student who initially receives a scholarship based on eligibility due to placement in foster or out-of-home care remains eligible until the student graduates from high school or attains the age of 21 years, whichever occurs first. (Once in, always in.)

  • In cases such as reunification or adoption, etc., the child may maintain the scholarship regardless of the household income level.

    Siblings of children previously in foster care, or out-of-home care

    • A sibling of a student who is participating in the scholarship program under this eligibility rule is also eligible for a scholarship if the sibling resides in the same household as the student.

    Income guidelines

    • There is no income threshold for a child who is in foster care or in out-of-home care placement.

    Age requirements:

    • A child who is in foster care or out-of-home care and entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept 1.

    • A child who is in foster care or out-of-home care and entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept 1.

    Required documents

    If in kindergarten or first grade:

    • Birth certificate or a passport.

    If in foster care:

    • A copy of the foster care placement paperwork.

    • A copy of the current foster care provider license issued by DCF.

    If in out-of-home care:

    • The court order signed by the judge and/or DCF placement paperwork.

    If in a group home:

    • The administrator or director should complete the application for the student and submit the required paperwork.


    If you believe that any child in your care may be eligible, and if you have any questions, please call the contact center as each situation is different: 877.735.7837.

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