How to Apply for Scholarship Opportunities for Affordable Private Elementary School in Clearwater, FL - Lakeside Christian School

How to Apply for Scholarship Opportunities for Affordable Private Elementary School in Clearwater, FL

How to Apply for Scholarship Opportunities for Affordable Private Elementary School in Clearwater, FL

With the recent policy changes due to COVID-19 and conflicting information about how best to keep children safe during the pandemic, more parents now than ever are now considering a private education for their families. In fact, a recent survey by Ed Choice found that around 41% of parents in the U.S. were more likely to prefer a private education for their children post-pandemic despite the potential difference in cost.


Families who used to consider private school out of reach for their budget are now considering their options as they look to keep their children safe and are finding that a private education is not out of reach regardless of their budget because of scholarship options. Over a quarter of all families receive financial aid, according to the National Association of Independent Schools, putting this option within reach for millions of families across the country.


To help families take advantage of scholarship options and financial aid, our team of advisors at Lakeside Christian School, an affordable private elementary school in Clearwater, FL, share some of the scholarships available and how to apply for them.


Available Scholarships for Elementary School


Florida recently passed House Bill 7045, which was signed into law in June in order to expand school choice options and provide greater scholarship availability to students. This bill stated:


“School Choice; Revises student eligibility requirements under Family Empowerment Scholarship program to include students with disabilities; revises provisions related to calculation of maximum amount of scholarship funds granted to a student with disabilities; revises provisions related to funding and payment of scholarships awarded under program; providing requirements for use of funds under program; revising program administration obligations; repeals Gardiner Scholarship Program; provides for future repeal of John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program; providing certain students with disabilities are eligible for enrollment in transition-to-work programs; revising amount of eligible contributions used for administrative expenses by an eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization under Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.”


In layman’s terms, this bill expanded the availability of the Family Empowerment Scholarship to include a greater number of students with qualifying disabilities, children of active-duty military, and foster-to-adopt vouchers.


Lakeside Christian School is one of the private elementary schools in Clearwater, FL that offers the following scholarship opportunities:


  • Step Up for Students: Step Up for Students scholarships are a product of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program that was started in 1998 to help lower-income families have a choice in where their children went to school. The scholarship allows parents the opportunity to take their children to participating private schools if they felt they were not being served with quality in their local schools. The Step Up for Students scholarship program is different because it targets students who tend to have the most limited options for improving the quality of their education. Families who are active duty military can also qualify for this scholarship.
  • McKay Scholarship: The McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities provided nearly 30,000 Florida students with special needs the opportunity to attend a participating private school during the 2020-21 school year. The McKay Scholarship Program also offers parents public school choice. A parent of an eligible special needs student may choose to transfer the student to another public school. This scholarship is now combined with the Gardiner Scholarship. Currently, the McKay scholarship is available to all students currently in the Florida Public School system who have a qualified IEP or 504 plan for specific learning issues.
  • Family Empowerment Scholarship: The Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) is a scholarship program offered by the State of Florida through the Department of Education. It is intended for low-income and working-class families. This is different from the Step Up program.
  • FACTS Program: The FACTS scholarship is available to all parents who desire that their student attend Lakeside Christian School. This is an income-based scholarship designed to help create more affordable tuition.


It should be noted that currently the McKay and Step Up scholarships do not cover 100% of tuition costs.


How and When to Apply for Scholarship Opportunities


If you’re considering starting your elementary school student in a private school, it can be confusing to know when and how to apply for these scholarship options. For example, should you apply for scholarships before applying to the school itself to know what you can realistically afford? Or apply to the school and then learn more when accepted?


Many Christian elementary schools in Clearwater ask that parents apply for scholarships prior to admission, however, you may find it more beneficial to speak with the school you are considering directly. School advisors will help guide you through the process of both applying for admission and applying for financial assistance.


With over 40 years of experience and a diverse student body of children from families of all socioeconomic backgrounds and income levels, Lakeside Christian School is built on the biblical principles of loving God and loving others. This care is demonstrated through the warm, respectful relationships among staff and between staff and students, and uses a tailored approach to your child’s education. If you’re interested in learning more about how we challenge all of our students to achieve their academic and personal goals, give us a call.


Each year, Lakeside, the best private school in Clearwater, FL, provides over $250,000 in scholarships to qualified families. For more information and to schedule a tour, please call Jim Jensen, Administrator at (727) 477-8542. New inquiries only. For all other concerns, please use: (727) 461-3311.


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

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