Scholarships For Private School (or transportation help to public schools)

Eligibility & Program Details

What to know

  • Applications are processed in the order they are received (including all supporting documentation).
  • Lower income students have funding priority for both, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship. 
  • While the eligibility criteria between the programs vary, the application is the same for both.
  • Renewal students have first priority for both programs.
  • 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.
  • Scholarship payments for private school tuition and fees are sent electronically to the school in which the enrolled child is attending on a quarterly basis. Scholarship payments must be approved by the parent/guardian prior to dissemination of payments. 

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship – Private School Option:

For new students, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship private school option is based on the student’s grade level and county. (Note: The county is the one the student lives in according to their current scholarship application.)

If your student received funding in 2018-19 and was a renewal student in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 years, they will be awarded the greater of the current award calculation OR the amount below.

K- 5th grade — $6,519
6-8th grade — $6,815
9th-12th grade — $7,111

Click here to view the 2021-22 scholarship award amounts for FTC/FES

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship private school option can be used towards the following fees, in this order, until all fees are covered OR the student’s maximum scholarship award amount is reached, whichever is less.

1. Tuition
2. Books**
3. Registration
4. Transportation
5. Uniforms**
6. Testing
7. Other
** Applicable for books and uniforms sold by the school, not a third-party vendor.

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship – Transportation Option:

With the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship transportation option, families can choose a scholarship to assist with the cost of transportation to a public school other than the one the student is assigned to attend. To learn more, click here

Income Eligibility:

  • If a member of the household receives SNAP (food stamps), TANF, or FDPIR, the student may qualify.
  • If the household income qualifies for free or reduce-priced lunch, the student may qualify.
  • If the household income is at or below the income criteria, the student may qualify. (EXAMPLE) For a family of four: The Family Empowerment Scholarship income level will serve students in households at $99,375 or below. Priority will be given to students whose incomes are below $48,470.

Students who attended an eligible, participating private school and received funding for at least one day during the previous academic year, remain eligible for a Florida Tax Credit Scholarship regardless of the household income until they graduate high school or turn 21.

Please note: Applications are processed in the order they are received, including all supporting documentation. Scholarships are awarded with a priority given to renewal families followed by new families with the greatest financial need.

Age Eligibility:
  • Students entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept. 1.
  • Students entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept. 1.
  • 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.
There is no income threshold for homeless students to qualify; however the family must provide documentation to validate the child’s homeless status.

Acceptable documentation includes:
A letter/document on letterhead written and signed by the homeless liaison in the public school district to which the child is assigned or by the Owner/Executive Director of the shelter or transitional housing facility of which the family resides.

Documentation must include:
  • Child’s name
  • Effective date(s)
  • Signature of the local educational liaison or the director of the homeless shelter

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).

These students may apply at any time during the school year as long as funds are available. If you are interested in applying for the current school year, please call us at 877-735-7837 and we’ll help you get started. 

If you have questions on whether a child in your care may be eligible, please call our contact center for more information at 877-735-7837.

Required Documents:

Out of home careFoster care
  • The court order signed by the judge  and/or DCF placement paperwork
  • A copy of foster care placement paperwork.
  • A copy of the current foster care provider license issued by DCF.
Group home 
  • The administrator or director should complete the application for the student and submit the required paperwork.
 

Family Empowerment Scholarship

The Family Empowerment Scholarship Private School and Transportation option: 

Family Empowerment Scholarship award amounts are based on the student’s grade level and county. (Note: The county is the one the student lives in according to their current scholarship application.)

Click here to view the 2021-22 scholarship award amounts for FTC/FES

The Family Empowerment Scholarship may be used towards the following private school fees, in this order, until all fees are covered OR the student’s maximum scholarship award amount is reached, whichever is less.

1. Tuition
2. Books**
3. Registration
4. Transportation
5. Uniforms**
6. Testing
7. Costs to provide a digital device, including Internet access**
8. Other
** Applicable for books, uniforms, digital device or internet sold or provided by the school, not a third-party vendor.

The Family Empowerment Scholarship – Transportation Option:

With the Family Empowerment Scholarship transportation option, families who meet the following requirements can choose a scholarship to assist with the cost of transportation to a public school other than the one the student is assigned to attend, if the school district does not provide transportation to the school:

1. The student is on the direct certification list or the student’s household income level does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level; or
2. The student is currently placed, or during the previous state fiscal year was placed, in foster care or in out-of-home care as defined in s. 39.01;

The transportation scholarship award amount for the 2021-22 school year is $750.

Families interested in this option should complete the Step Up For Students income-based application.
If awarded a scholarship, the family can email FTCTransportation@sufs.org for next steps.

The 2021-22 Transportation Payment Distribution Schedule is not yet available

Income Eligibility: 

  • If a member of the household receives SNAP (food stamps), TANF, or FDPIR, the student may qualify.
  • If the household income qualifies for free or reduce-priced lunch, the student may qualify.
  • If the household income is at or below the income criteria, the student may qualify. (EXAMPLE) For a family of four: The Family Empowerment Scholarship income level will serve students in households at $99,375 or below. Priority will be given to students whose incomes are below $48,470.
  • If the student is a dependent child of an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the student may qualify, regardless of income. This
    only includes active-duty members of the United States Air Force, Army, Coast
    Guard, Marines, Navy and Space Force.
  • A  sibling of a student who participates in the Family Empowerment Scholarship, including those who qualify based on a disability, may qualify for the private school option or transportation option, regardless of income.

Age Eligibility:

  • Students entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept. 1.
  • Students entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept. 1.
  • The student is eligible to enroll in kindergarten 
  • The student must be accepted and enrolled in a private school that is participating in the Family Empowerment Scholarship. Parents should contact the schools to inquire as to whether the private school will participate in the program
A student who is/was placed at any time in foster 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 Florida law in statute 39.01(29).
  • A child who qualifies under this section, does not need to meet the income guidelines or the prior year public school requirement to be eligible
  • A child must be accepted in a participating, eligible private school
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 Florida law in statute 39.01(48).
  • Children and Families Rule: 65C-30.001 Definitions. (91).
A child who qualifies under this section does not need to meet the income guidelines to be eligible.

A child must be accepted in a participating eligible private school

Families may APPLY NOW for the 2021-22 school year.