Frequently Asked Questions
Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, a public school student who was a victim of bullying or violence within a public K-12 educational institution, any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity, riding on the school bus or waiting at the school bus stop may be eligible for a scholarship to attend an eligible private school. The Hope Scholarship allows parents the opportunity transfer their child to another K-12 public school with available capacity within the school district, receive a scholarship to transport the student to a public school in another school district, or to request a scholarship for the student to enroll in and attend an eligible private school. Step Up For Students is administering the private school and transportation options for the Hope Scholarship.
Qualifying incidents include battery; harassment; hazing; bullying; kidnapping; physical attack; robbery; sexual offenses, harassment, assault or battery; threat or intimidation; or fighting at school as defined by the Florida Department of Education in accordance with s. 1006.09(6).
Once a student submits a report of an incident that occurred on or after August 1, 2018, the school principal, or his/her designee, will investigate the incident. Once the investigation is complete, or within 15 days after the incident was reported, whichever occurs first, the principal, or his/her designee, must notify the parent about the Hope Scholarship Program, and provide the parent with the completed Hope Scholarship Notification Form (Form IEPC-HS1), which is required for Step Up For Students to determine scholarship eligibility.
For further questions, please call 1-877-735-7837. You may also use our website’s chat feature.
Hope Scholarship applications are completed online when applications are being accepted. Please continue reading for important information you need to know before you apply:
- The incident must have occurred on or after Aug. 1, 2018.
- A report of an incident must be submitted to the school principal or his/her designee so the incident can be investigated.
- Once the investigation is complete, or within 15 days after the incident was reported (whichever comes first), the principal or his/her designee must notify the parent about the Hope Scholarship and provide the parent with a fully completed Hope Scholarship Notification Form (Form IEPC-HS1). This form is required to be submitted with your online Hope Scholarship application so that Step Up For Students can determine scholarship eligibility. Please make sure all parts of the form are completed – by the principal or his/her designee. Submitting a form that is not fully completed will delay the processing of the application.
- Applications are processed in the order they are received. Scholarships are awarded to eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis pending funding availability. Students who were on the Hope Scholarship the previous school year (renewal students) are given priority.
Families can choose one of the following:
- Financial assistance toward private school tuition and fees.
- Assistance with transportation to a public school in another school district.
Students may be eligible for multiple scholarships; however, they cannot receive funding from more than one scholarship program.
Step Up For Students will need the Hope Scholarship Notification Form (Form IEPC-HS1) that the parent received from the public school’s principal or his/her designee that notates the student’s eligibility for the Hope Scholarship.
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