June 15, 2024


Science It Works

Understanding the Gardiner Scholarship Program

For many, scholarship programs are the only way in which a child can receive the tools needed for a high-quality education. This can be especially true for children with special needs. The Gardiner Scholarship program is one such option for special needs children in Florida, and it can open up a world of opportunities for recipients and their families.


In order to qualify for a scholarship, the family must prove that their child has been diagnosed with Autism, Down syndrome, Muscular dystrophy, or other cognitive impairments or rare diseases. The child must be aged 3 – 22, and those looking to renew their scholarship will receive top priority in order to ensure a complete education. The diagnosis must come from an active physician or psychologist, or a written Individualized Educational Plan

Approved Usage

Students who receive gardiner scholarships tampa or other areas of Florida can choose to use the money towards tuition and fees for a private school that has been approved to opt into in the program. Alternatively, home bound students can receive a home education program through their chosen private school. Those postsecondary institutions and programs that have been approved to participate are also eligible, and can include colleges and universities, technical centers, and adult education centers. Other uses may include necessary instructional material such as a variety of assistive devices, digital or sensory material, online coursework, sports and PE supplies and lessons, and musical instruments. Where necessary, families can opt to build custom curricula to fit their child’s needs, as well as specialized therapeutic services including physical, occupational, and behavioral therapy, and speech and spoken language specialists.

Modern day education often follows a one size fits all model, and while many students find success within the standardized curriculum, it is important to ensure all children have the opportunity to learn and grow. Programs that provide needed resources for students with special needs is an effective way to provide all children with a solid educational foundation.