Hope Scholarships for Students Who Have Experienced Bullying

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A Fresh Start

A student who has experienced harassment, hazing, intimidation, assault or other types of bullying at school may suffer academically. They may continue to feel threatened in a place where they should feel secure and comfortable.

The Hope Scholarship supports families in finding a safe academic environment where their K-12 students who have experienced bullying can thrive. The scholarship provides funds that can be used to attend a private school or a public school in a different district.
Who Is Eligible?
The Hope Scholarship is available to Florida public school students in grades K-12 who have experienced reported and documented incidents of bullying, regardless of their family’s income. Bullying includes harassment, threats, intimidation, hazing, battery, physical attack, kidnapping, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Hope Scholarship Parent Handbook

For more information on the Hope Scholarship, download our handbook.
Download the Handbook

How Does It Work?

1. Apply through Step Up For Students

2. Once awarded, you choose between:

Private School Scholarship

Private school scholarships are an average of $7,800. The final award depends on the student’s grade level and the county in which the student lives.
View 2023-24 Hope Award Amounts
1. Select a participating private school

2. Scholarship funds are sent directly to the school. You will be asked to approve the electronic payment before the payment can be issued to the school.

Funds can be used for tuition, registration, books, uniforms through the school, transportation, testing and other fees.

Transportation Scholarship

Transportation scholarships are worth at least $750 and help with the cost of attending a public school other than the one to which a student has been assigned. Once awarded a scholarship, please follow the instructions on your award letter to notify us that you will be using the transportation scholarship option. Familes will be required to provide a report card or progress report quarterly to confirm the student’s attendance and receive payment that is sent directly to families.

To ensure the continuity of educational choice, once awarded, a Hope Scholarship remains in place until the student returns to their zoned public school or graduates from high school.

Stepping Up To Success

“But when I got to this school there was this good atmosphere that nobody was going to be mean to me, and all the teachers were nice and caring.”
Nick Guiley
Hope Scholarship Recipient
“I knew it was going to be good.”

Jordyn Simmons-Outland
Hope Scholarship Recipient
“But here, I’m excited to get out of bed to come to the beach at my own school. And I’m excited to learn about fun stuff. Definitely.”

Parker Hyndman
Hope Scholarship Recipient

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the guidelines to be eligible for the Hope Scholarship?

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 to 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.

How can I apply for a Hope Scholarship?

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.

Where can I find an eligible school?

Find an eligible school here.

What are my child’s options and what can be covered by the Hope Scholarship?

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.

Can a student receive more than one scholarship from Step Up For Students?

Students may be eligible for multiple scholarships; however, they cannot receive funding from more than one scholarship program.

What documentation will I need to submit with my application?

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.