State of Florida Scholarships
Step Up for Students
Step Up for Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer five scholarship programs for Florida schoolchildren: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) and the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for lower-income families, the Gardiner Scholarship for children with certain special needs, the Hope Scholarship for public school students who are bullied or victims of violence, and the Reading Scholarship Accounts for public school students in third through fifth grade who struggle with reading.
Cardinal Newman accepts three of these Step Up for Students administered scholarships: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC), the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES), and the Gardiner Scholarship. Cardinal Newman will accept the FTC and FES scholarships for all registered students. We will accept students who have been awarded a Gardiner Scholarship on a case by case basis. Cardinal Newman will assess students who have been granted a Gardiner Scholarship to determine whether we can provide a learning environment that will contribute to the student's educational needs.
Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC)
In 2001, the Florida Legislature created the income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program to ensure that low-income children have more learning options. The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship allows families to choose between financial assistance toward private school tuition and fees, or with transportation costs to attend a public school in another district.
For the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, renewal families have first-priority. Step Up will begin accepting applications for the 2020-2021 renewal students in January 2020. Renewal Students will have processing priority until February 29, 2020. If a family applies on or after March 1, 2020, their application for their renewal student will lose processing priority. Their application will be added to the applications for new students and will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis in the order the applications and all supporting documents are received. Step Up will begin accepting applications for new students for the 2020-2021 school year in early March 2020.
Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES)
In May 2019, the Florida Legislature passed and Governor DeSantis signed SB7070 which created the Family Empowerment Scholarship for 18,000 low-income children. The Family Empowerment Scholarship may only be used towards private school tuition and fees. Besides income qualifications, a student must be transferring from a public school to a private school in order to be eligible for this scholarship. The FES is a once-in, always-in scholarship meaning a formal application is not needed after the first year. The Florida Department of Education administers the FES program and will contact renewal families regarding what needs to be done to receive the scholarship for the 2020-2021 school year.
Both the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and the Family Empowerment Scholarship are based on financial need. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis in the order all documents (including supporting documentation) are received. Scholarships are awarded with priority given to renewal families followed by new families with the greatest financial need. Funding is limited.
For more information about these two programs or to sign up to receive updates related to income-based scholarship applications for the 2020-2021 school year, visit the Step Up for Students website: https://www.stepupforstudents.org/ or call 1-877-735-7837.
AAA Scholarship Foundation (AAA)
The AAA Scholarship Foundation started in Florida in 2002 advocating for the under-served, under-represented, and academically disadvantaged members of our communities. Donors to the AAA Scholarship Foundation are companies and individuals who care about their community and desire the opportunity to partner with AAA Scholarship Foundation in a effort to create a brighter future for all of our children.
Families interested in applying for a scholarship must complete AAA's online or paper application and provide supporting documentation in order to prove their eligibility. Households must meet both the state and AAA's requirements. Each household member is required to provide proof of income. Households must reapply annually.
Once a household is determined eligible, they are provided with an award letter and school commitment form (SCF) for each scholarship student. The parent or guardian takes the award letter and SCF to the eligible school of their choice and enrolls their student(s). The school returns the completed SCF to AAA, certifying that the student has accepted the scholarship and enrolled in the eligible private school.
AAA sends each participating school a verification form four times during the school year to ascertain whether the student remains enrolled and is current on any funds personally owed to the school. Once received back, AAA disburses one quarter of the scholarship award in the form of a check made payable to the parent/guardian but for deposit only by the school. The parent/guardian must restrictively endorse the check over to the school before it can be deposited.
Cardinal Newman High School (CNHS)
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Cardinal Newman allocates a portion of its budget for financial aid. Cardinal Newman is also blessed to have several benefactors who provide funds for scholarships.
All applications for financial aid and scholarships are processed by FACTS. Families may apply beginning on January 1st for the 2020-2021 school year. Families must submit a financial aid application every year. Applications missing required documents such as tax returns or other supporting documents are not complete and will not be considered. Decisions regarding applications for financial aid and/or scholarships are made by the Financial Committee. The Committee will not review a family's application until the student's $500 registration fee has been paid. .The first meeting of the committee to review financial aid and scholarship applications is typically scheduled for the first or second week of April. Funds are limited so it is very important to apply as early as possible. Letters regarding the Committee's decision will be mailed to families during the first week of May.
To access Cardinal Newman's application for financial aid or scholarships, please use the following link to FACTS: