Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) Program 2020/2021

The Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) Program is one of Florida’s greatest victories for low-income and working-class families, and it is the first of its kind to extend support to middle-income families. The FES program will provide an educational lifeline to students waiting for an opportunity to find the school that will best work for them and puts more parents in the driver’s seat to determine the best educational environments for their children.

Family Empowerment Scholarship Program Details

Organizer: Florida Department of Education

Department: Department of Education

Course Level: kindergarten to Florida public school

Award: Varies

Nationality: US citizens

The award can be taken in the United States

Scholarship Benefits

  • Florida’s FES Program offer vouchers ($7,122 in 2018–19 or a private school’s tuition and fees, whichever amount is less.) to students from low- and middle-income families to attend a private school of their choice.
  • The award is based upon the grade level and district in which the student resides.
  • For a student, the award amount will be calculated at 95% of the funds per unweighted FTE full-time equivalent in the FEF (Florida Education Finance) program.

Eligibility Criteria

Admissible Criteria: A student is eligible for a scholarship if the student meets the following criteria:

  • The student’s household income level does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level ($77,250 for a family of four) or the student is on the direct certification list (list of children who qualify for the food assistance program, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program, or the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations program), or
  • 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 student is eligible to enrol in kindergarten or has spent the prior school year (2018-19) in attendance at Florida’s public school.
  • Prior attendance means the student was enrolled in and in attendance at a Florida public school for the period of both the October and February student counts.
  • Before scholarship funds being awarded, the student must be accepted and enrolled in a participating private school. For a list of eligible schools, view the Department’s Private School Directory.
  • A private school which is currently eligible to participate in any of the award programs is qualified to join in the FES. Although, parents should contact the schools to verify as to whether the private school will take part in the program.

How to Apply

Parents, guardians and students who have the interest to apply for the FES, firstly contact one of Florida’s scholarship funding organizations (SFOs) to complete the income verification process.

  1. Applicants who have already applied for the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) program may be scheduled to meet income eligibility without having to resubmit the household income document to the SFO.
  2. Family Empowerment Scholarship District Notification Memo
  3. Family Empowerment Scholarship District Notification Form

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