Family Empowerment Scholarship
for Unique Abilities
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2022-23 school year for this program.
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A Unique Education for a Unique Child
Important Information for McKay Scholarship Recipients
Welcome to families who have been receiving the McKay Scholarship for the 2021-22 school year. We are here to help you with the transition to the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities (FES-UA) that went into effect July 1, 2021.
Under the new legislation, students who received the McKay Scholarship to attend a private school must transition to the FES-UA for the 2022-23 school year. All students who remain eligible will have funding.
Speak with your school about which Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) is best for your family. McKay families will need to work with an SFO, such as Step Up For Students. Not every school works with every SFO, so it is important to know which SFO your school prefers.
If you want to work with Step Up For Students, please update your contact information if you have not done so already and monitor your email.
The Florida Department of Education FAQ about the transition
The Florida Department of Education email regarding the McKay Scholarship
Unique Abilities Scholarship Handbook
Who Is Eligible?
How Does It Work?
The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities (FES-UA) provides access to an education savings account (ESA) that functions like a bank account from which you direct funds to pay for tuition and fees for a private school, homeschooling options, therapies, tutoring and more.
Families have the option to purchase services and products through MyScholarShop without having to pay upfront and apply for reimbursement. However, they can still use providers or vendors outside of MyScholarShop for pre-approved purchases by paying upfront and submitting a reimbursement claim.
- Apply for a scholarship through Step Up For Students. You will need to show proof of your child’s age, diagnosis and residency. Here is a checklist of documents you may need.
- Once approved, funds will be deposited into an ESA
- Go to MyScholarShop to find preapproved services and products. Payments to providers and vendors are made directly from the ESA
- Purchase preapproved services and products for your child’s education and request reimbursement
Interested in becoming a provider? Learn More ›
Stepping Up To Success
Working with Providers
Specialized services by approved providers include but are not limited to the following:
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services
- Services provided by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
- Services provided by a licensed occupational therapist
- Services provided by licensed physical therapists
- Services provided by listening and spoken language specialists
- Other specialized services provided by an approved provider
Specialized services providers must be one of the following:
- An organization approved by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) as a provider
- An individual licensed by the Florida Department of Health
- A staff member, listed under an organization approved as a provider through the Office of Early Learning for Specialized Instructional Services Provider (SIS), which includes behavior analysts licensed by the Behavioral Analyst Certification Board
- An individual listed on the BACB website as practicing in the state of Florida.