Florida Hope Scholarship: Overview, Eligibility, Application, Contacts, Awards and Benefits

The Florida Hope Scholarship offers a lifeline to students who’ve faced violence or bullying at school.

It gives scholarships to students, letting them move to a safer learning place, whether it’s a public or private school.

All public school students in Florida can get the Hope Scholarship, no matter their family’s income.

To qualify, students need to have gone through and reported a school violence or bullying incident. The school district must have documented this incident.

An image illustration for Florida Hope Scholarship

Florida Hope Scholarship

The Florida Hope Scholarship is a program that gives scholarships to students in grades kindergarten through 12 in public schools.

It helps those who have experienced incidents like battery, harassment, bullying, hazing, kidnapping, simple battery, robbery, sexual offenses, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual battery; threat, intimidation, or fighting at school.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Be enrolled in a Florida public school
  2. Have experienced and reported an incident of violence or bullying at school
  3. Have the incident documented by the school district

Students who are eligible for the Hope Scholarship have the option to:

Application for Florida Hope Scholarship

To apply for the Florida Hope Scholarship, students need to submit an application to the Florida Department of Education.

The application must include documentation of the incident of violence or bullying they experienced.

Students can choose to apply for the Hope Scholarship either online or by mail. The online application is the quickest and most convenient option.

When applying online, students must create an account with the Florida Department of Education.

After setting up their account, they can log in and initiate the Hope Scholarship application.

For the application, students are required to provide the following details:

  1. Personal information like their name, address, and date of birth.
  2. School information, including the name of their school and their grade level.
  3. Information about the incident of violence or bullying they encountered.
  4. Documentation of the incident, such as a police report or a school discipline report.

Once the application is submitted, an SFO will reach out to the students to arrange for the disbursement of their scholarship funds.

Contact Details

The Florida Hope Scholarship program is overseen by the Florida Department of Education, and you can reach them at the following contact information:

  • Florida Department of Education
  • Address: 325 West Gaines Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
  • Phone: (850) 245-0505

For students with questions about the Hope Scholarship program, there’s another option. You can also reach out to one of the approved SFOs (Scholarship Funding Organizations). Here’s a list of these approved SFOs:

  1. Step Up For Students
    • Address: 1120 SE 5th Avenue, Suite 400, Miami, FL 33131
    • Phone: (800) 987-2958
  2. Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program
    • Address: 1025 NW 15th Street, Suite 201, Miami, FL 33125
    • Phone: (800) 577-6370
  3. AAA Scholarship Foundation
    • Address: 101 E Washington Street, Suite 1200, Orlando, FL 32801
    • Phone: (800) 624-3089

Students and parents can contact any of these SFOs to receive assistance with the application process and to gather more information about the Hope Scholarship program.

Awards and Ratings

The Florida Hope Scholarship program has earned recognition and positive evaluations from various organizations.

In 2022, the American Federation for Children bestowed the program with the title of “Best School Choice Program.”

Additionally, the program has garnered commendable ratings from both the Cato Institute and the EdChoice Foundation.

Notably, parents and students have lauded the Florida Hope Scholarship program for its effectiveness in providing a safe and supportive learning environment.

According to a 2022 survey of Hope Scholarship recipients, an impressive 95% of parents expressed that the program had a positive impact on their child’s education.

Here’s a quick summary of the specific awards and ratings received by the Florida Hope Scholarship program:

  • 2022: Best School Choice Program, American Federation for Children
  • 2021: A+ Rating, Cato Institute
  • 2020: Gold Rating, EdChoice Foundation

Advantages of the Florida Hope Scholarship

  1. Safe and Supportive Learning Environment: The Hope Scholarship provides students with a safe and supportive learning environment, offering a refuge for those who have faced violence or bullying in their previous schools. This supportive atmosphere encourages their growth and success.
  2. Educational Choices: Students and parents benefit from the flexibility of the Hope Scholarship, as it can be used to attend an eligible private school or facilitate transportation to a public school in a different school district. This expanded choice empowers families to make decisions aligned with their child’s educational needs.
  3. Ease of Application: The Hope Scholarship’s application process is streamlined and user-friendly, available online for convenient access. This simplicity makes it accessible to a broad range of students and families.
  4. Funded by Private Donations: The Hope Scholarship is funded through tax credits provided to purchasers of motor vehicles in Florida. This unique financing approach ensures that the program does not impose any financial burden on taxpayers, making it a sustainable and cost-effective initiative.