Tuition Assistance and Scholarships

Private schools in Lakeland and Winter Haven are committed to provide a quality Catholic education to every student and family who wishes to be part of our educational community. Do not let finances prevent you from providing your child or children with the very best educational opportunity in Polk County. Various forms of tuition assistance and scholarship programs are available to assist families in their desire to provide a Catholic education to their children.

Please click on any of the links below or fill out our contact form to request information on tuition assistance.

Polk County Catholic Schools

AAA Scholarship Foundation

The AAA Scholarship Foundation provides economic and other assistance to economically-disadvantaged families and families of children with disabilities to enable them to select the best schools for their children.

AAA Scholarship Foundation (AAA), a private non-profit organization, is an approved Florida Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO).  AAA awards annual scholarships to eligible students entering eligible grade levels from eligible households to help them attend an eligible private school of their choice or assist with transportation costs to attend a public school outside the district. The scholarships for private schools are for tuition and fees. Please click on the link below for more information.

Step Up for Students

Step Up For Students provides legislatively authorized K-12 scholarships and related support to give disadvantaged families the freedom to choose the best learning options for their children.

Step Up For Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer two scholarships for Florida school children:

  • The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) for low-income families was created to benefit children whose educational options are limited by household income. The scholarships are not tied to the performance of public schools nor the students who receive them.

The McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program, originally created in 1999, provides scholarships for eligible students with disabilities to attend an eligible public or private school of their choice. Students with disabilities include K-12 students who are documented as having an intellectual disability; a speech or language impairment; a hearing impairment, including deafness; a visual impairment, including blindness; a dual sensory impairment; an emotional or behavioral disability; a specific learning disability, including, but not limited to, dyslexia, dyscalculia, or developmental aphasia; a traumatic brain injury; a developmental delay; or autism spectrum disorder.  For more information, please visit the McKay Scholarship web site.

The Gardiner Scholarship is a newly created program administered by state-approved nonprofit Scholarship Funding Organizations that is designed to provide the option for a parent to better meet the individual educational needs of his or her eligible child.

The Gardiner Scholarship provides eligible students a scholarship that can be used to purchase approved services or products. To participate, parents must apply to one of the non-profit scholarship funding organizations that are administering the program.

The Gardiner Scholarship is for Florida students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, or Florida children ages 3 or 4 years old (by September 1), with one of the following disabilities:

  1. Autism Spectrum Disorder
  2. Down syndrome
  3. Cerebral palsy
  4. Intellectual disability
  5. Prader-Willi syndrome
  6. Spina bifida
  7. For a 3-5 year old, being a high-risk child
  8. Muscular Dystrophy
  9. Williams syndrome

Florida was one of the first states in the country to offer free prekindergarten for all 4-year-olds regardless of family income. The Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program prepares early learners for success in kindergarten and beyond. Children must live in Florida and be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the current school year to be eligible. The program helps build a strong foundation for school using educational materials that are geared to various stages in a child’s development.  For more information or to apply for VPK, please click on the link below.