McKay Scholarship Florida: A Realistic Option for Students with Disabilities

McKay Scholarship Florida

Children who possess abilities that are not typical may have specific educational requirements that must be met. And we think they should have the chance to flourish and acquire knowledge in an atmosphere that will be most helpful to them in achieving their goals and that is where the McKay Scholarship Florida comes in.


Students with disabilities are eligible to apply for scholarships through the McKay Scholarship. 


The ability to choose the educational environment that is best suited for one’s children belongs to the child’s parents.


Through the McKay Scholarship Program, more than 250,000 students with disabilities can attend a traditional private school.


Through the scholarship program, parents of disabled children can move their children to a different school for the benefit of their child.


Learn more about this fantastic scholarship option that gives students with special needs a chance to pursue their dreams with the government’s help and private donations.


What is the McKay Scholarship?


Students with special educational requirements are given the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education in the field of their choice, thanks to the McKay Scholarship.


The 1990s saw a rise in the total number of students diagnosed with a disability. 


Even though they had Exceptional Student Education, the public schools could not accommodate all students with special needs (ESE).


It became an immediate concern when it became necessary to provide care for these children. In addition to his role as President of the Florida State Senate, John McKay was a grandfather to a child with a disability. 


He devised a system that allowed parents to send their children to a different school or use the ESE funds available to them.


Students are eligible to receive funding from the scholarship, which can be used for various education-related expenses, including tuition, room and board, books, and more. 


The scholarship can be renewed for up to four years, provided that the recipient continues to make adequate development in their academic career.


These programs allow parents to select the educational environment—whether public or private—that is most suitable for their child.


Through the McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities, nearly 30,000 students with special needs in Florida can attend a private school participating in the program.


The McKay Scholarship Program allows parents to enroll their child in another public school of their choice if the child is eligible for the program.


Who is eligible for the McKay Scholarship?


Before you are considered for the McKay scholarship, you must first apply to your school before dropping out. 


To be eligible for the McKay scholarship program, you must send in a 504 Accommodation Plan or an Individual Education Plan (IEP).


  • You must have signed up for the Florida education finance program for grades K–12 in October or February if you want to pay for a Florida, public school.
  • You must have also been a student in pre-kindergarten who was said to have gotten exceptional help at the office for early learning.
  • You have to be at least four years old and have been in pre-kindergarten.
  • You may have gone to the Florida school for the deaf and blind in October or February.


If you meet all of the above requirements, you may be able to apply for a McKay scholarship. But you might still be eligible if you don’t have a 504 plan or an IEP.


You do not qualify for the McKay Scholarship. If: 


  • Meeting with your private school teacher in a regular and physical setting is impossible.
  • You are enrolled in more than two courses per academic year in a state-funded virtual/correspondence school or distance learning program.
  • You have now been accepted into the Florida School for the Blind and Deaf.
  • You have now signed up for a private tutoring session.
  • You’ve applied for yet another state scholarship.
  • You have now been registered with the department Juvenile Justice Program.


How does the McKay Scholarship benefits students with special needs? 


The McKay Scholarship is a scholarship for students with special needs. The program offers both merit-based and need-based scholarships. 


Here are some benefits of the scholarship:


  • The McKay Scholarship is a Florida-based program that funds students with special needs to attend a private school of their choice. 
  • The McKay Scholarship can be used for tuition, fees, and other related expenses at participating private schools.
  • The McKay Scholarship benefits students with special needs because it provides them with funding to attend a school that best meets their needs. 
  • Students with special needs often have difficulty attending a traditional public school. Still, the McKay Scholarship allows them to attend a private school where they can receive the individualized attention they need.
  • The McKay Scholarship Program provides students with an opportunity to receive a quality education that meets their unique needs. 
  • The program allows parents and guardians to choose the best educational setting for their children. 
  • In addition, the McKay Scholarship Program provides students with access to various services and supports, including transportation, speech, occupational therapy, and psychological services.


What is the scholarship worth


Students with an Individual Education Plan are eligible for an average scholarship worth $8,262, while students with a 504 accommodation plan are eligible for an average scholarship worth $4,626.


How to Apply


Please click here to access the application page for the McKay Scholarship offered by the Florida Department of Education.




Q: Are McKay students’ siblings eligible for the Family Empowerment Scholarship?

A: Siblings of participating FES UA students are eligible for a scholarship to attend a private school through the Family Empowerment Scholarship program’s Educational Options branch, regardless of their family’s income level. During the transition period, information on siblings should be submitted to your chosen SFO.


Q: Is it possible to forfeit a McKay scholarship?

A: Yes. The scholarship is lost if a parent:

Refuses to restrictively endorse the scholarship payment to the appropriate school for deposit into the participating school’s account as required by F.S. s. 1002.39(5)(f), or The student is enrolled or re-enrolled in a public school.


Q: How is the McKay Scholarship paid?

A: Scholarship payments are made in four equal installments per year (September 1, November 1, February 1, and April 1).

Individual warrant (check) payments are made payable to the student’s parent or guardian and mailed by the DOE to the selected private school for deposit into the private school’s account. 

The parent must expressly authorize the private school to deposit the warrant into the private school’s account. 

Payment eligibility is determined by verification of the student’s initial admission acceptance and continued enrollment and attendance at the private school.




The McKay Scholarship is an alternative for special-needs students who cannot apply for other types of scholarships. 


The program assists in the form of tuition, books, and fees. To qualify for this scholarship, you must have a disability and be a resident of the state.


The McKay Scholarship Florida can help reduce some of the financial burden experienced by students with disabilities, giving them opportunities they may not otherwise have.

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