McKay scholarship program Application 2023-2024 | The Best Information and Tips

McKay scholarship program

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The Mckay scholarship program is available to students with disabilities. Parents have the right to choose the most suitable educational setting for their children.

“The school-choice debate isn’t about public or private schools; it’s about choices. It’s about understanding what works for me and being able to make that choice for my family. McKay Scholarship Parent

The McKay scholarship program will allow over 25000 students with disabilities access to a standard private school in the 2020/2023 academic year.

Parents of disabled children have the option to transfer their children to another school through the scholarship program.

How McKay scholarships were created

Florida’s late 1990s saw an increase in the number of students with disabilities. The public schools could not accommodate all of them, even though they had Exceptional Student Education (ESE).

The need to provide care for these children became an urgent matter. John McKay was a grandfather to a child with disabilities and was President of the Florida State Senate. He created a program that allowed parents to choose whether to use ESE funds for their child or go to another school.

Parents will have the option to choose between public and private schools that would best suit their child’s needs.

This scholarship program had one goal: to create an academic environment unique and supportive for children with disabilities. John Mckay was the first to name the scholarship program, and it quickly became the most well-known scholarship for the disabled in America.


  • Before you can be considered for the McKay scholarship, you must first apply to your school before withdrawing from it. You must submit a 504 Accommodation Plan or Individual Education Plan (IEP) to be eligible for the McKay scholarship program.
  • You must have registered to finance a Florida, public school in the October or February Florida education finance program GRADES k-12.
  • You must also have been a pre-kindergarten student who was said to have received specialized instruction at the office for early learning.
  • You must have been a Prekindergarten student and be at least 4 years of age.
  • You may have been to the Florida school of deafblind in October or February.

You may be eligible to apply for McKay scholarships if you meet the above requirements. However, if you do not have the 504 accommodation or IEP, you might still be eligible.

  • If you’re accompanied by a member of the United States Armed Forces and you transfer from a country to Florida school,
  • You may also be a child raised by someone other than your parents.

McKay scholarship parent responsibility

The McKay Scholarship, as mentioned earlier, allows parents to choose which Florida public school their child will attend.

Before withdrawing your child’s public school education, you must first file an intention to apply for the scholarship program.

Once you have filled out the intent to participate form, you will need to contact the school district regarding the available public schools for your child.

You must understand that you must fill out the McKay scholarship intent at least two months before your first scholarship payment.

You are also responsible for ensuring that your child is eligible and choosing a private school.

You must also ensure that your child follows the rules and regulations of the private school.

Your responsibility is to ensure that your child attends a private school during the academic year. Only illness or other important reasons can cause your child to be absent.

If you are interested in statewide evaluations, you will also need to know how much your child is eligible for a scholarship.

Scholarship terms

The scholarship will be available until you graduate high school, return to public school, or reach 22. Whatever happens first.

You should note that if you are enrolled in McKay private school scholarship and want to transfer to a public school, your parents must inform the district.

The district will determine the number of public schools that you can choose from. You will need to be in an October or February student survey to reinstate your eligibility for private school.

Information for parents about scholarship payments

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It is important to actively participate in selecting the right school for your child and ensuring that you follow up on any questions.

You should also be aware of the scholarship amount for your child and review your child’s fee payment schedule to understand how the funds are being used.

Any tuition or fees you pay that exceed the scholarship funding amount are your responsibility.

No payments will be made if the deadlines do not submit the McKay Scholarship Program parent intent and student fee schedule.

Please note the deadlines that private schools must submit student documentation, as listed below under Private Schools Responsibilities.

The Department of Education will start processing student scholarships at least four weeks before the payment deadline to avoid complications due to unforeseen circumstances.

Based on the student’s enrollment information, payments will be made. You must notify the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice if you withdraw your child or transfer them to another private school within the three-week processing period.

If a parent is transferring their child to a private school, they should not accept a check from the original private school and endorse it to that school. The original private school’s tuition fees and scholarship calculations may not apply to another private school.

The Department of Education can make one payment per student per quarter but cannot make retroactive or partial payments.

After the private school approves the warrant, both the parent and private school will confirm that the quarterly payment amount has been correctly calculated and that the transfer was successful.

Any disputes that arise after this point will be settled between the parents and the private school. The IRS also determined that the acceptance of a scholarship through this program is not personal family income.

The Scholarship Program Award

The scholarship amount is equal to what you would have earned in the public school you are assigned to or the tuition and fees of the private school you choose.

It is important to remember that the scholarship will cover not all private schools. Any tuition or fees beyond the scholarship amount are the responsibility of your parents.

How The Scholarship payments are made

McKay Scholarship payments usually occur in equal amounts of four times per year. Payments are made on a specific date. This is September 1, November 1, February 1st, and April 1st.

The student’s parent/guardian receives the payment through an individual check. It will then be mailed to the DOE to the particular private school to deposit into the private school account.

The parent or guardian will approve the warrant for a direct deposit to the school account.

You have been accepted into the private school and are eligible for the payment.

Deadline for full scholarship award

You must submit your intent before July 3rd and be registered and enrolled by August 2nd to receive the full scholarship amount.

Only 75% of the scholarship amount is available to those who fill out their intent by September 2nd. Enroll by October 2nd.

Only 50% of the scholarship amount is available to those who fill out an intent form by December 3 and enroll by January 2 to be eligible.

Fill out your intent form by January 31st to be eligible for 25% of this scholarship amount. Enroll by March 2nd to receive the scholarship.

You Are Not Eligible For The Mckay Scholarship If:

  • It is impossible to have a face-to-face meeting in a regular and physical setting with your private school teacher.
  • You are taking more than two courses per academic year in a virtual/correspondence school or distance learning program funded by the state.
  • You are now registered at the Florida school of the blind and deaf.
  • You are now registered for a private tutoring session.
  • You are applying for another state scholarship.
  • You are now registered for the department Juvenile Justice Program.

Responsibilities for the school district

You have the sole responsibility to inform parents of disabled students about the McKay scholarship within 10 days after an EIP meeting and by April 1st each academic year.

You are also responsible for submitting a parent notification verification form to the department of education each year. Keep all contact information for your district up-to-date with the department.

You are also responsible for informing parents about the hotline number and address of your school choice website.