Gardiner Scholarship Program

The Gardiner Scholarship Program provides eligible students a scholarship that can be used to purchase approved services or products in order to design a customized educational program for the student.

Scholarships can be used for specialized services such as speech or occupational therapy, instructional materials, tuition at an eligible private school, contributions to a college prepaid account and more. The program is directly administered by state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organizations. 

Who is eligible to receive a Gardiner Scholarship?

To be eligible to receive a scholarship a student must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Is a resident of this state
  • Is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade 12 in a public school in this state or will be 3 or 4 years old before September 1
  • Has a disability as defined below:
  1. Autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, an intellectual disability, Prader-Willi syndrome, Spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, Williams syndrome or a high-risk child as defined in s. 393.063(20)(a), Florida Statutes. 
  2. Is the subject of an IEP (individual educational plan) written in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education or has received a diagnosis of a disability as defined above from a physician who is licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or a psychologist who is licensed in this state. 

How do I apply for the Gardiner Scholarship Program?

The Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO) listed below are approved to administer the Gardiner Scholarship Program.  Contact the SFO for instructions and deadlines for applying for a scholarship. 

A.A.A. Scholarship Foundation-FL, LLC
P.O. Box 15719

Tampa, FL 33684
Phone: 888-707-2465   

Step Up For Students
P.O. Box 54367
Jacksonville, FL 32245
Phone: 877-735-7837  

How much is the average scholarship amount?

The amount of a child's scholarship is dependent on a number of different factors, including grade level, county of residence and a student's individual level of need. The average for the 2014-15 school year was approximately $10,000.

Where can I find out more about the Gardiner Scholarship Program?

For more information about the Gardiner Scholarship Program, such as frequently asked questions, eligibility, parent resources and district contacts, visit the FDOE website at