Gardiner Scholarship Program Application 2023-2024 | Wait-list

Gardiner Scholarship Program Application 2023-2024|Wait-list

Gardiner Scholarship Program Application 2023-2024|Wait-list

The Gardiner Scholarship (previously known as the PLSA) assists parents in personalising education plans for their children with special needs.

Austin College alumni Scholarships and Acceptance rate

The Gardiner Scholarship programme differs from other state scholarships in that parents can provide their children with unique skills while also allowing them to have a better future.

In the 2023 school year, the average amount for students is $10,000. If you don’t want to miss out on this fantastic opportunity, apply now.

What You Should Know About the Gardiner Scholarship Level/Field of Study 2023-2024

The Scholarship is available to Florida students aged 3 to 22 or in the 12th grade who have special needs or disabilities as listed in the Eligibility section below.

Nationality of the Host
Step Up For Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organisation in the United States that administers scholarships for Florida students.

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) for low-income children and the Gardiner Scholarship (PLSA) for children with special needs are two of the scholarships they administer.

Nationality Eligible
The Gardiner Scholarship Program 2023 is only open to United States citizens and permanent residents of Florida.

Scholarship Value
The scholarship is funded prorated based on the date the student is found eligible by the SFO.

Applications received on or before August 1 and determined eligible on or before September 1 = 100%
Applications received on or before October 1 and determined eligible on or before November 1 = 75%
Applications received on or before January 1 and determined eligible on or before February 1 = 50%
Applications received on or before March 1 and determined eligible on or before April 1 = 25%

However, the amount varies based on the counties and grades as stated in the Pdf below:

The following are the eligibility requirements for the Gardiner Scholarship Program 2023:

The scholarship is open to Florida students aged 3 to 22 years old, or who have completed the 12th grade, whichever comes first, who have one of the following disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Williams Syndrome, Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, or Delayed Mind are all examples of developmental disorders ( severe cognitive impairment).
Students aged three, four, or five who are behind or deemed “high risk” due to developmental delays may be eligible for the year they apply. (Please keep in mind that students must be no older than 5 years old on September 1st.)
Students require a Florida school district’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or an official diagnosis from a Florida-licensed physician or psychologist.

On September 1st, students must be at least 3 or 4 years old. Kindergarten students must be 5 years old on or before September 1st. Students entering first grade must be six years old by September 1st.
As part of their home education, students can participate in the Gardiner Scholarship Program (PLSA). They cannot, however, be registered for any other state-sponsored scholarship (McKay Scholarship or Florida Tax Credit Scholarship).

How To Apply

Renewal Families: If your child received a Step Up Gardiner scholarship (formerly PLSA) for the 2017-2018 school year, please use the link below to apply for the 2023 school year or to access your account using your existing user name and password.

New Families: They are also accepting scholarship applications for the 2023 school year, with priority given to students who have previously been waitlisted.

To create an online application, all applicants must have an email address. To begin the application, you must first create an active email address.

To begin your application, first-time applicants should click on the link below.

Important Reminder:

If you applied for the Gardiner Scholarship with Step Up in a previous year or have started an application for the 2023-2024 school year, but you need to access your account to submit documents, check status, and so on, you can do so. Log in with your existing username and password by clicking here. to sign in using your current username and password

If you’ve forgotten your password, click the “Forgot Password” link for assistance.

Application Closing Date
All applications must be submitted on or before June 30, 2023, as those who submit before the deadline will be given funding priority.

Due to a requirement to give renewal students priority, all new students found eligible for the Gardiner Scholarship 2023 will be placed on a waitlist.


Scholarships are funded by the Florida Department of Education through a state grant to AAA Scholarship Foundation . The state determines the level of funding for the program each year . If sufficient funding runs out or is not available , eligible students will be placed on a waiting list.

The scholarship is open to Florida students aged 3 to 22 or in the 12th grade, whichever comes first, who have one of the following disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Williams Syndrome, Phelan – McDermid Syndrome, or Delayed Mind are some of the conditions that can cause autism ( severe cognitive impairment )


• The student is a resident of Florida . • The student will be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1 .

• The student is eligible to enroll in kindergarten through grade twelve in a public school in Florida ; and • The student has at least one of the disabilities ( as defined by Section 1002.385 ( 2 ) ( d ) , Florida Statutes ) listed below ; and

• The student has an AAA Diagnosis of Disability Form completed and signed by a U.S , licensed physician or a Florida licensed psychologist that matches at least one of the disabilities ( as defined by Section 1002.385 ( 2 ) ( d ) , Florida Statutes ) .

Autism Grants for Families

ACT Today! grants

ACT Today! grants are designed to provide access to individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. Grant payments will be made directly to pre-approved treatment providers, assessors or materials vendors.

CARE Family Grant Program

CARE Family Grant Program is mainly for helping families with medication, autism diagnosis/evaluation, therapy session (including speech, OT and ABA,) and autism summer camps.

Chrysalis Fund

We offer small grants and stipends averaging $1,000 per family to assist with the financing of limited, targeted educational investments for these children.

Danny’s Wish iPads for Autism

Danny’s Wish iPads for Autism applications will only be accepted September 1st through December 31st of each calendar year. Applications received and approved will be acknowledged by email & submitted to lottery for the next allocation of iPads awarded. Unfortunately incomplete applications will not be considered for award. iPads will be awarded each April of each calendar year.

First Hand

First Hand is dedicated to impacting the health of children, their families and communities through reactive and preventative initiatives. To fulfill that mission, we provide funding for individual children with health-related needs when insurance and other financial resources have been exhausted.


Our programs have evolved to include free or low-cost wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment, vehicle and home adaptations and more.

Friends of Man

Friends of Man, the charitable arm of the Institute for the New Man, gives help to people who find themselves in a situation where they have nowhere else to turn.


We help them obtain expensive medical and adaptive equipment such as augmentative communication devices, bathing and feeding chairs, enclosed beds or sensory equipment.

Maggie Welby Foundation Scholarships

The Maggie Welby Foundation offers scholarships for children grades Kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Modest Needs

Modest Needs hallmark grant is our Self-Sufficiency Grant. We make Self-Sufficiency Grants in an effort to assist individuals and families who, because they are working and live just above the poverty level, are ineligible for most types of conventional social assistance but who, all the same, are living one or two lost paychecks away from the kind of financial catastrophe that eventually leads to homelessness.

ASDF’s Holiday Gift Card Program

Through the ASDF’s Holiday Gift Card Program, we provide families across the country with $250 gift cards for the holidays.

iPad For Kids Program

The iPad For Kids Program revolutionized and unlocked the communication barrier for children on the spectrum. The iPad gives a voice to the voiceless.

ASDF Social Skills Camp

Parents email us when they find a camp for their child. We ask them for the name of the camp, the dates they are looking at and the cost of the camp. If funds are available and we are able to help them, we will require documentation from their child’s doctor stating that he/she is on the Autism Spectrum.


MyGOAL Inc. Enrichment Grant is a grant program that will enable families to take advantage of socialization and educational opportunities designed for individuals with special needs.

NAA’s Give A Voice program

The intent of NAA’s Give A Voice program is to provide communication devices to individuals with autism who are non-verbal or minimally verbal, and whose communication challenges put them at increased risk of injury or harm.

NSWKids program

Our NSWKids program supports direct educational diagnostic testing, services and tutoring/mentoring and support to the families of active duty SEALs, SWCC and support personnel who have special needs children. Recent examples of where we’ve helped include: spouse respite, emergency home repairs for deployed service members, urgent child care and primary care individual replacement.

Small Steps in Speech

Small Steps in Speech is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization which provides grants on behalf of children with speech and language disorders for therapies, treatments, communicative devices, and other services aimed at improving their communication skills.

UHCCF grants

UHCCF grants provide financial help/assistance for families with children that have medical needs not covered or not fully covered by their commercial health insurance plan.  

Varghese Summersett PLLC Annual Scholarships

The special needs scholarships can be used offset the cost of camp, tutoring, classes, secondary education, post-secondary education or tools to help them learn and flourish.


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