2022/23 Family Empowerment Scholarship Program

What is the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program?

The Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) Program is a state of Florida school choice program. On May 11, 2021, Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 7045 into law, resulting in several changes to the state funded scholarship programs, including an extensive expansion of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program. Family Empowerment Scholarships are available for eligible students to select and attend a private or public school of choice.

Who is eligible?

Educational Options

A student is eligible for a scholarship if the student meets one or more of the following Educational Options criteria:

  • The student’s household income level does not exceed 375% of the federal poverty level.
  • or
  • The student is a military dependent.
  • or
  • The student is 5 years old by September 1st.
  • or
  • The student is a sibling of an eligible student.

Unique Abilities

A student is eligible for a scholarship if the student meets one or more of the following Unique Abilities criteria:

  • The student was previously using the Gardiner Scholarship Program.
  • or
  • The student has a qualifying diagnosis from a physician or psychologist, or has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  • or
  • The student is 3 years old or 4 years old by September 1st or is eligible to enroll in K-12.

How do I apply?

To apply for a private school, please contact one of the following nonprofit Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO):

To apply for a public school option (for Students with Unique Abilities):

  • How much will the scholarship be worth?

    The scholarship amount is the lesser of the school’s tuition and fees or the calculated scholarship amount (described next). The scholarship amount is based upon the grade level and district in which the student resides and will be calculated at 95% of the funds per unweighted FTE full-time equivalent in the Florida Education Finance program for a student in the basic program established pursuant to s. 1011.62(1)(c)1., plus a per-full-time equivalent share of funds for all categorical programs, except for the Exceptional Student Education Guaranteed Allocation.  The Department will post actual scholarship amounts on the page in the near future. 

    Educational Options

    Students qualifying for an Educational Options criteria may receive one of the following:

    • Tuition and fees at an eligible private school.
    • or
    • $750 transportation scholarship to a public school.

    Unique Abilities

    Students qualifying for a Unique Abilities criteria may receive one of the following:

    • Tuition and fees at an eligible private school or enrollment in a home education program.
    • or
    • Instructional materials, digital devices, assistive technology and curriculum.
    • or
    • Specialized services and therapies.

  • Who will verify my household income?

    An approved non-profit scholarship funding organization will verify your household income.