Everything Parents Need to Know About the Gardiner Scholarship

All children are entitled to the attention and care that comes with private education, including and especially children with special needs. But these children are all too often barred from a proper education by the costs of private schools in Clearwater, FL. For this reason, Step Up For Students, a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization, was created to empower and provide families with learning options that would otherwise be unobtainable. The Gardiner Scholarship, in particular, was created to help children with special needs and bring genuine, positive change to their lives. 

Special Needs Scholarship

The Gardiner Scholarship program is designed to better allow parents to individualize their child’s education. Unlike other state scholarships, the Gardiner Scholarship allows funds to be directed to the programs and approved providers that would benefit a child the most. Awarded funds may be directed to the following: 

  • Schools 
  • Therapists
  • Specialists
  • Curriculum
  • Technology
  • A College Savings Account 

On average, the scholarship amount for most students is $10,000. This scholarship could allow your child to receive the physical, speech, or occupational therapy that they may desperately require. 

Eligibility and Requirements 

In order to be eligible, a student must be between the ages of 3 and 22 and have yet to complete the 12th grade. Additionally, a child must have a qualifying disability or impairment, a rare disease, developmental delays, or be hospital or homebound to qualify for the scholarship. Click here for a full list of qualifying disabilities and requirements.

Applying for the 2019-20 School Year 

If you did not receive funding for a Gardiner Scholarship during the 2018-19 school year, you and your child are considered a new family. In order to give returning families a priority, new families were placed on a waiting list until June 30, 2019. Now that the deadline has passed, students who were on the 2018-19 waitlist will be seen to first, followed by new students. Renewing families that apply after the June 30th deadline may be placed on a waitlist. 

Apply Now! 

Click here to apply. There is no application fee for applying to the Gardiner Scholarship. However, scholarships are first come, first served, and the state has only provided enough funding to support about 11,500 students. Don’t miss out on providing your child with the outstanding education that they deserve. Enroll them at Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private schools in Clearwater, FL. At Lakeside Christian School, we provide over $250,000 in scholarships annually, including opportunities for students with special needs. 

If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private schools in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.