Family Empowerment Scholarship
On March 27, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill (HB) 1, which expands available school choice options for all students in Florida. As of the 2023-24 school year, the bill eliminates financial eligibility restrictions and the current enrollment cap for the Family Empowerment Scholarship Education Options. HB 1 also increases the annual scholarship cap growth for the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities from one percent to three percent annually to address high demand and wait lists.
With these expansions along with other school choice options, Florida is empowering every family and every child to achieve their educational goals.
Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for Educational Options (EO)
This branch of the scholarship eligibility provides additional educational options for all K-12 students, such as attending a participating private school. Families apply and annually renew through one of the approved scholarship funding organizations (SFO), which are responsible for determining and distributing funding. FES EO also offers families of eligible students the option to receive a $750 scholarship to provide transportation to a public school different from the school to which the student was assigned.
Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities
This branch of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program is designed to offer families of students with disabilities, as young as 3 years of age, access to additional education options. Families may choose to enroll their student in another public school, or they may choose to take the opportunity to receive a personal education savings account (ESA) for their student. With an ESA, instead of having their child attend a public school, parents receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses. An ESA can be used to fund not only items such as private school tuition and fees, but also online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education expenses and other approved customized learning services and materials. Families apply and annually renew for participation in FES UA through one of the approved SFOs, which are responsible for determining eligibility, awarding and distributing funding to eligible student accounts, and approving eligible expenditures.
How do I apply?
If you are interested in applying for either branch of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, please contact one of the two scholarship funding organizations that administers these programs.
Director, Guidance and Choice Department
Executive Secretary, Guidance and Choice Department