Gardiner Scholarship Program 2021

Filed in Study in USA by on 3rd May 2021

Gardiner Scholarship Program 2021

The Gardiner scholarship program is unlike any other state scholarship program, it was created for special needs students. It was formerly called PLSA. This scholarship program was created in honor of former Florida Senate President, Andy Gardiner. Together with his family, Andy Gardiner pulled legislative effort towards the creation of this program. Andy and his wife Camille have spent several years championing the cause for special needs students. They have three children, two daughters and a son, Andrew who has Down Syndrome.

The program is designed to help parents tailor education plans to specifically fit their child’s needs. Parents personalizing the education of their children helps the institution know what programs to channel fundings to. These include what school the child attends, the therapist, what curriculum to use and even the technology that would be made available. 

Gardiner Scholarship Eligibility 2021

Scholarships are granted to applicants from the age of three up to the age of twenty two. (3yrs – 20yrs)


It is important that applicants are aware that this funding is strictly for residents in the United States, precisely for those in Florida. The oldest grade for acceptance is the 12th.

General Information About Gardiner Scholarship Application 

It is common knowledge now that funding is always limited and not nearly enough students are granted scholarships. That is why, we have compiled the basic information you need.

For renewal students, funding priority is given. It lasts up until the 30th of April. As soon as the deadline reaches expiration, the admission process will begin and it will depend on the funding available. 

  • The first to be considered would be students on the Gardiner scholarship wait list of 2020/2021.
  • Next would be the new and renewal students in their order of eligibility.
  • All applications should have been made before the 30th of June.
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Scholarship Worth Based On The Date An Application Was Submitted.

  • Applications submitted on or before the first of August will receive feedback on or before the first of September. The applicant will receive 100% funding.
  • Applications submitted on or before the first of October should expect feedback on or before the first of November. The applicant will receive a 75% funding.
  • Applications submitted on or before the first of January should receive feedback on or before the first of February. The applicant will receive a 50% funding.
  • Applications sent on or before the first of March should receive feedback on or before the first of April. The applicant will receive a 25% funding.

Applications are only given on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, there is not preferential selection. As regards the priority groups as listed above, scholarships and funding will be awarded based solely on the time of application and the eligibility of the said applicant. 

If the applicant is deemed qualified for scholarship but funding is unavailable at said time, the applicant will be placed on the waitlist and would be among the first ones to be admitted once funding is provided.

How Much Funding Is Available Per Applicant?

The scholarship amount for the Gardiner institute varies greatly. It is often influenced by the grade and the county of residence of the applicant. However, the available funding per student for the 2020-2021 session has yet to be decided upon. And so for reference, we revert to the 2019-2020 average funding for applicants which was at $10,400 per year.

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The county an applicant is from and the grades they have influences the funding to be disbursed.

  • For Renewal Students

There is a matrix system available for the disbursement of funding for students. For renewal students, it remains the same. A default matrix that provides the student with 90% of the 253 level. The only change that can occur in this matrix is if the parents of the students specifically request a revised matrix from the school district. To reapply, use the link attached below and input your existing password and email.

Click Here

  • For New Students

Being new implies that there is no assigned matrix of funding and so by default, students get 90% of the 253 level. For new students that have been formerly enrolled in public schools and have a matrix level of service file with the Florida Department of Education, they will receive funding for 90% of that matrix level (254 or 255).

They also will have no need to be a part of the matrix review process that allows students to get more funding as stipulated by Gardiner law.

Also, students with the Individualized Education Program (IEP) will not be given a matrix level for service. It is advised that an applicant with IEP does not request to be assigned a matrix level. This would cause his or her matrix level to be adjusted. The result is always lower fundings for the said applicant. 

For the first-time applicants, click on the link below to begin your application process. 

Click Here

Who Is Eligible?

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As earlier mentioned, eligibility for the Gardiner scholarship program of 2021 is restricted to the residents in America with Florida being the state of focus.

Here are the specifics;

  • Scholarship is awarded to applicants from age 3 – 22 with such special needs as; Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (extreme cognitive impairment) and Prader-Willi Syndrome.
  • Students who have been deemed “high risk” especially between the ages 3, 4 and no more than 5. This category is solely for applicants who have suffered delay in development that has caused them to lag behind. They are eligible for the year they rendered their application.
  • Applicants will need to get an official diagnosis from a licensed physician or psychologist in Florida. Applicants can also get an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) from a school district in Florida. Either one of the two is acceptable.
  • Age specifics must be adhered to. On the first of September, the student has to be 3 or 4 years old. For the kindergarten classes, the student has to be at least 5 years old on or before the first of September. And for first grade students, they have to be 6 years old on or before the first of September.
  • Participation in the Gardiner scholarship program of 2021 can be done from home. It can be added to the home-school plan. This however exempts the students from being a part of any other state scholarship like Florida Tax Credit Scholarship or McKay Scholarship.
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