FES-EO Scholarship: Guide To Win

The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) is a program designed to provide families in Florida with greater autonomy over their children’s education. Funded through the Florida Education Finance Program, it mirrors the financial support that district public schools and public charter schools receive, ensuring that educational funds are accessible to a broader range of students. This initiative not only empowers parents to choose the best educational environment for their children but also expands the landscape of educational opportunities available to them.


Understanding the FES-EO is crucial for parents who are seeking the best educational outcomes for their children. The scholarship addresses various needs by providing financial assistance for private school tuition, related costs, and transportation for public schools if the public school option is preferred. With eligibility criteria set in place, the application process is streamlined to facilitate the increasing number of families interested in this program, which is expected to serve a large student population.

Key Takeaways

  • The FES-EO program offers financial flexibility for families to select the appropriate educational path for their children.
  • Financial support covers private tuition, related costs, and potential public school transportation.
  • The scholarship is designed with a straightforward application process and clear eligibility requirements to aid families in the decision-making process.

Overview of the Florida Empowerment Scholarship Program


The Florida Empowerment Scholarship Program (FES-EO) is a Florida state initiative designed to grant educational choices to families with limited financial resources, ensuring that students have access to quality education.

History of the FES-EO

The Family Empowerment Scholarship was first established by the Florida Legislature in 2019, under Section 1002.394 of the Florida Statutes, with the intention of aiding children from families with fewer financial options. On March 27, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expanded the program, thereby broadening the range of educational choices available to students within the state. The program initially served over 17,000 students in its inaugural year, and for the 2022-23 academic year, it was expected to support over 82,000 students.

Key Benefits of the FES-EO

The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options provides significant benefits for eligible students in Florida. It affords parents the freedom to select the most suitable learning environment for their children, whether that be private schools, transportation to different public schools, or assistance with homeschooling expenses. Moreover, it equips students with the necessary financial backing to pursue a personalized education path that best fits their individual needs, fostering a path toward greater academic success.

Eligibility Criteria

The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) sets forth specific criteria for eligible applicants. These parameters ensure that the program targets the intended beneficiaries efficiently and equitably.

Residency Requirements

Applicants must be Florida residents to qualify for the FES-EO. Proof of residency is a prerequisite that upholds the intent of the program to serve students within Florida’s educational system.

Income Requirements

The household income of the applicant plays a critical role in eligibility. The FES-EO is designed to aid families with limited financial resources, emphasizing the goal of democratizing educational opportunities.

Academic Enrollment Status

Students must be enrolled in or entering kindergarten through a specified grade level. This condition ensures that students are at an educational stage where they can fully benefit from the options provided by the FES-EO.

Applying for the Scholarship

The process of applying for a scholarship requires attention to detail, timely submission, and a thorough understanding of the required documentation and guidelines set forth by the approved scholarship funding organizations.

Documentation and Application Process

Applicants must gather all supporting documentation to ensure a smooth and accurate application process. This typically includes, but is not limited to, proof of residence, income verification, and the student’s birth certificate or passport. The scholarship application must be completed online through the website of an approved scholarship funding organization. For instance, Step Up For Students provides a detailed how-to guide to assist families during the application process.

Deadlines and Priority Considerations

Deadlines are critical in the scholarship application process. Applicants should be aware of the application opening and closing dates, as these are strictly enforced. Scholarships are often awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, which means priority is given to those who apply early. It is also important to understand if there are any priority considerations such as income level or student status that may affect the application.

Approved Scholarship Funding Organizations

Families must apply to an approved scholarship funding organization. These organizations, such as Step Up For Students, are responsible for administering the scholarship program. They will determine a student’s eligibility and manage the distribution of scholarship funds to eligible recipients. Applicants can find a comprehensive list of such organizations on relevant educational department websites.

Educational Options and School Choices

The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) provides a spectrum of choices to Florida families, ensuring that each student can find a learning environment that suits his or her needs. Below are detailed insights into public and private school selection, special programs for those with disabilities, and information on home and online education possibilities.

Public and Private School Selection

Students in Florida have access to a wide variety of public and private schools. The Family Empowerment Scholarship helps families afford private school tuition if they prefer an alternative to their zoned public school. Choices range from traditional public schools to charter and magnet options, each offering different focuses in curriculum.

Special Programs for Students with Disabilities

Special programs are available through various scholarship options for students who require tailored educational experiences due to disabilities. The FES-EO scholarship is inclusive, ensuring that schools accommodate diverse learning needs. Parents of a child with a disability can also explore the McKay Scholarship, which was specifically designed to aid in providing a suitable learning environment for such students.

Information on Online and Home Education

For families considering a non-traditional educational route, home education and online learning programs offer flexible alternatives under the guidance of the FES-EO. Parents can decide to educate their children at home or enroll them in approved online learning programs that can be accessed from anywhere, aligning with individual educational needs and schedules.

Financial Aspects of the FES-EO


The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) in the State of Florida facilitates broader educational choices. It provides financial aid that covers tuition and associated expenses for eligible students attending private schools, as well as support for additional education-related services.

Scholarship Value and Tuition Coverage

The FES-EO provides a substantial financial contribution towards private school tuition and fees. For the 2023-2024 school year, the amount awarded on average was around $7,950 per student. These funds apply directly to covering tuition costs at participating private schools, ensuring that more families have access to private education options.

Additional Funds for Tutoring and Transportation

Beyond tuition, the FES-EO also offers financial resources for tutoring services and transportation. This ensures that scholarship recipients can gain educational support tailored to their needs and can afford travel to their chosen educational institution. Allocation for transportation can be up to $750 per year, serving as a crucial aid for families who may not reside in close proximity to their selected schools.

Managing Scholarship Funds

Scholarship funds are to be managed carefully according to the Agreed-Upon Purchasing Guidelines. Misuse of these funds is considered unlawful. Families and schools must ensure that FES-EO scholarships are used specifically for educational expenses, as stipulated by state statutes. It is essential for scholarship recipients and providers to be aware of and comply with these guidelines to continue benefiting from the program.

Utilizing the Scholarship

The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) provides financial support for a range of educational needs, making it crucial for recipients to understand what the scholarship covers and how funds can be managed.

Allowable Expenses

The scholarship funds can be used for various eligible expenses to enhance a student’s educational experience. These expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Tuition and fees for participating in private schools or eligible out-of-state institutions.
  • Textbooks that follow the school’s curriculum.
  • Instructional materials needed to meet the educational curriculum requirements.
  • Tutoring services by an authorized individual or entity.

It’s essential for guardians to keep in mind that every expenditure must align closely with the purchasing guidelines provided by the Scholarship Funding Organization.

Purchasing Educational Materials and Services

To effectively utilize the FES-EO scholarship, families should be aware of the proper channels for purchasing educational materials and services:

  1. Curriculum: Funds may be applied towards purchasing curriculum materials that have been approved by the Florida Department of Education.

  2. Educational services: Services like tutoring should be acquired from providers who meet the FES-EO’s educational options criteria, ensuring compatibility with the scholarship’s scope.

Guardians are responsible for keeping accurate records of all transactions to demonstrate that the scholarship funds are being used according to the state’s regulations for educational expenses.

Obligations and Compliance


The Obligations and Compliance section ensures that participants are well-informed about their responsibilities under the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) program. Compliance with the Department’s regulations and maintaining proper participation standards are essential.

Participation Requirements

Participants must meet specific eligibility criteria to take part in the FES-EO program. It is mandatory for schools to partner with organizations such as Step Up For Students to join the scholarship program. They should adhere to the defined guidelines to remain in good standing and continue to receive funding.

Reporting and Accountability

Schools are obliged to submit reports on a quarterly basis to demonstrate compliance with the FES-EO program requirements. They must provide accurate information to the Department to ensure accountability. Failure to meet reporting standards can result in loss of funding or other penalties. Compliance with these requirements is monitored by the Department, ensuring that the provided funds are used appropriately.

Additional Support and Resources

The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) provides not just financial aid but also additional resources that ensure a well-rounded support system for families navigating educational opportunities. These resources range from guidance services to rich educational materials outside the standard curriculum.

Guidance and Counseling Services

Families with an FES-EO scholarship have access to guidance and counseling services to craft a personalized education program suited to their child’s needs. The Choice Navigator, available through Step Up For Students, offers individual assistance, helping families to understand various educational settings and making informed decisions about their child’s education.

External Educational Resources

A variety of external educational resources are also made available to enrich students’ learning experiences. These can include online educational platforms, supplemental materials to enhance study, and tutoring services. Through the Step Up For Students program, parents can access the Parent Handbook, which lists these additional resources and provides guidance on how to effectively utilize the FES-EO scholarship.

Future of the Scholarship Program


The evolution of the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) is closely tied to changes in legislation and the ambitious objectives set by its proponents for expanding access to various school choice options.

Legislative Developments

Recent legislative adjustments have solidified the position of FES-EO within Florida’s education system. Governor Ron DeSantis has been a vocal supporter of such programs, ensuring that changes in legislation continue to facilitate the growth and robustness of school choice initiatives. The scholarship’s future will likely be influenced by newly enacted laws, aimed at both refining the program and extending its reach.

Expansion and Long-Term Goals

Long-term goals for the FES-EO include increasing the number of scholarships available and widening the eligibility criteria to encompass more families seeking alternative education options. The program also aims to integrate with other initiatives like the New Worlds Reading Scholarship, which is designed to help K-5 public school students struggling with reading. The synergy between these programs is expected to strengthen the educational landscape in Florida by providing comprehensive support to a broader student base.

Contact and Further Information

This section provides precise contact information and channels for inquiries related to the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO). Readers seeking assistance or additional details will find the necessary organizational contacts and procedures for submitting feedback or questions.

Department and Organization Contact Details

Step Up For Students

  • Phone: Customer Service can be reached for queries specific to the scholarship program.
  • Website: Detailed information and handbooks are accessible on the Step Up For Students official website.

A.A.A. Scholarship Foundation- FL, LLC

  • Address: Contact details, including physical address, for sending correspondence or visiting in person are available for the A.A.A. Scholarship Foundation- FL, LLC.

Feedback and Inquiries

Submitting Feedback

  • Online Form: Feedback regarding the scholarship processes, website, or services can be submitted through an online form provided by Step Up For Students.

Inquiries about the Scholarship

  • Email: Direct inquiries can be made via email to the contact provided by the organization.
  • FAQs: A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions on topics ranging from eligibility to scholarship value is offered and can be an efficient first step for common queries on the FAQ page.

Frequently Asked Questions


This section provides concise answers to common inquiries about the Family Empowerment Scholarship—Educational Options (FES EO).

How does the FES EO scholarship work for eligible students?

The FES EO scholarship is a government-funded program that provides financial assistance to Florida students for educational options outside of public schools. Once approved, the funds are distributed quarterly through Scholarship Funding Organizations to the educational institution serving the student.

What is the difference between the FTC and FES EO scholarships?

The main distinction lies in funding sources; the FTC scholarships are private, often relying on corporate donations, while FES EO scholarships are funded by the state, specifically through the Florida Education Finance Program.

Can the FES EO scholarship be used for homeschooling purposes?

FES EO scholarships support various educational options, however, it is essential to check with the administering Scholarship Funding Organization for the most current policies regarding their use for homeschooling.

What are the income guidelines for applying to FTC FES EO scholarships?

Income guidelines are established to prioritize lower-income families, but specific figures are subject to change. Applicants should consult the latest handbook or the scholarship funding organization for the current income requirements.

What steps are required to utilize the FES EO scholarship effectively?

To utilize the scholarship effectively, parents must apply through a recognized non-profit scholarship funding organization, ensure their chosen educational institution is eligible, and adhere to the deadlines and guidelines specified by the scholarship program.

How much funding does the FES EO scholarship provide to recipients?

The amount of funding provided to recipients can vary based on several factors, including the number of applicants and available state funds. For detailed information, the scholarship funding organization will provide the most accurate figures for the current academic year.

Helpful Resources

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