What is the Step Up For Students Program?
It is an initiative of the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program. The innovative program provides K-12 education scholarships for qualifying low-income students who are entering kindergarten or first grade OR who attended public school the previous year. The scholarships give low-income parents the opportunity to choose the K-12 school that best meets their children’s needs. The scholarships cover up to a projected $5,886 for private school tuition and books or up to $500 in transportation costs to an out-of-district public school.
NEW & RENEWAL families: We are accepting applications and supporting documents for the 2017-18 school year. All Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis if funding is available.
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.
Students who qualify will receive financial assistance toward either private school tuition and fees or transportation to a public school in another county/district.
- 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.
- 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 found in the chart below titled “Eligibility Chart”, the student may qualify.
Scholarships are awarded with priority given to renewal families followed by new families with the greatest financial need. If the household income is more than the income criteria on the chart below titled ‘Priority’, the student, while eligible, will be placed on a waiting list until all renewal families and new families whose income is below the amounts on the ‘Priority’ chart have received funding. If, at that time, funds are still available, students on the waiting list will be awarded in the order their applications were received, including all supporting documentation.
Eligibility: If the household income is at or below the following criteria, the student may be eligible for a scholarship:
|Number of people in household||Total gross monthly household income for a 100% scholarship||Monthly maximum income for an 88% scholarship||Monthly maximum income for a 74% scholarship||Monthly maximum income for a 60% scholarship||Monthly maximum income for a 50% scholarship|
See 2017-18 Income guidelines for families with more than 5 people in the household.
Children who are homeless
- 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.
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:
1. Child’s name
2. Effective date(s)
3. Signature of the local educational liaison or the director of the homeless shelter.
*There is no income threshold for homeless students to qualify.
Children who are in foster care or out-of-home care
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 2016-2017 school year, please call us at 877-735-7837 and we’ll help you get started. 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.
|Kindergarten or 1st grade||Foster care|
|Out of home care||Group home|
You are a new family if you have not used a Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and wish to apply for the 2017-18 school year. You will be required to create an account in order to apply.
You are a renewal family if your child used a Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for the 2016-17 school year. To apply for 2017-18, you need to log into your existing account with the same email address and password that you used last time.