We believe enrollment in our school should not be limited to families who are able to pay full tuition. Our tuition assistance program enables us to assist deserving students in grades 1-12 who could not otherwise afford to attend. The tuition assistance program helps to achieve social and economic diversity within our school community. This goal is an integral and respected part of our school’s philosophy, operating budget, and fund raising objectives. The First Academy may not be able to meet 100% of demonstrated need for each applicant, and frequently, the number of qualified applicants exceeds the tuition assistance resources of the school. Therefore, there is no guarantee that every qualified applicant will receive tuition assistance.
Tuition assistance is offered as a reduction of full tuition, which is determined through an analysis of family financial need. Student employment, academic merit scholarships and athletic awards are not offered.
Tuition assistance has been allocated and is closed for the 2022-2023 school year. Tuition assistance is also closed for the 2023-2024 school year at this time.
Your online student application must be completed before applying for Financial Assistance. Please call the Business Office at 407.206.8758 with questions.
The First Academy uses a third party company, FACTS Grant & Aid, to assess need. The Application cost is $40.
The FACTS application can be started by logging in to Family Portal, choosing FACTS, then “Start Application” under “Grant & Aid”.
The First Academy accepts several Florida Department of Education Scholarships, as outlined below.
Family Empowerment Scholarship – Administered by Step Up For Students
The Family Empowerment Scholarship Program was enacted in 2019 and is designed to give more families access to private school education. This scholarship is accepted for students in The First Academy day program. There are income qualifications for this scholarship that can be found on the Step Up for Students website. However, the following groups do not have to income qualify–siblings of Florida Empowerment Unique Abilities (FES-UA) families, active military and police officer families. To find out more information about the application process, please click this link. Applications for all students open in March of each year. If you are currently receiving a scholarship, you will receive an email reminder from Step Up for your students when the application opens. If you are new to Step Up, you can go to their site and be added to their interest list, and will be notified when the application opens.
Florida Tax Credit Scholarship – Administered by Step Up For Students
The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship is an income-based scholarship administered through the Step Up for Students Organization. This scholarship is accepted for students in The First Academy day program. Applications for new students for the 2020-21 school year will be open in March of 2020 and applications for current Step Up families will open in January 2020. To find out more information about the step up for students scholarship, please click this link.
The Hope Scholarship – Administered by Step Up For Students
The Hope Scholarship was created to give parents the option to place their student in a safer family environment. This scholarship is accepted for students in The First Academy day program. To find out more information about the Hope scholarship, please click this link.
The Family Empowerment Unique Abilities Scholarship – Administered by Step Up For Students
The Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities (FES-UA) is different than other state scholarships in that it allows parents to personalize the education of their children with unique abilities by directing money toward a combination of programs and approved providers. These include schools, therapists, specialists, curriculum, technology – even a college savings account. For information about qualification requirements and to apply for this scholarship, click this link. Please note: If your student receives the FES-UA scholarship, siblings of that student enrolled in a full-time private school are eligible for the Florida Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO). Please have your FES-UA student account number handy when you apply for FES-EO siblings.
Additional information on affordability options are outlined below.
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December of 2017, qualified distributions are now allowed of up to $10,000 per year for K-12 tuition at any private school. These plans were designed as a vehicle to fund a college education, and now but there are educational situations where using these funds can be beneficial. For example, perhaps your funding is running ahead of projections for college financing needs and won’t be needed for college or you may have a 529 plan intended for an older sibling that wasn’t used. K-12 private school tuition can be a great use of these funds!
ROTH IRA contributions (not investment returns) can be distributed at any age without penalty. This can be a great way to fund private school tuition as the investment earnings keep growing after withdrawing the original contributions. You should never compromise your future financial security. If you determine that you don’t need to rely on these funds for retirement and you enact proper investment strategies, a Roth IRA can be a great way to help fund your private school education.
Coverdell Education Savings Account
Parents who meet certain income guidelines are eligible to contribute up to $2,000 per year to a Coverdell ESA. Contributions are made from your after-tax income and earnings on those contributions grow tax-free. Distributions from these accounts aren’t taxed if they are used for qualified education expenses such as private school tuition and fees, books, supplies, uniforms, and tutoring.
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
If your employer offers a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, funds you deposit can be used toward eligible dependent care expenses. Since contributions to a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account are pre-tax, it can be a great way to save on your overall expenses. Eligible dependent care expenses include afterschool programs, preschool and K-4 tuition, and even summer camps for dependent children under the age of 13. To find out how this might impact your personal situation, make sure to talk to your accountant or financial advisor.
Other Family Assistance
Grandparents and other family members may be willing to help support your student with the gift of tuition. Whether they contribute by directly paying a portion of your student’s tuition or by investing in one of the options outlined above, this can be an invaluable resource for the education of your student.
Knowing a school’s fees is just as important as knowing the tuition. While most schools charge additional fees for educational resources, such as books and technology, The First Academy does not. These expenses are already included in your statement.
Every grade level plans special events and activities that vary from year to year. These are reflected in the grade-level fees outlined below.
Tuition Payment Plans
Please review the following payment plans for specific deadlines, relatable service fees, and options.
FACTS Tuition will bill the full tuition by invoice to be due by April 5. The invoiced amount will include a 1% discount. Payments can be made to FACTS by check, checking account or credit card. Credit card payments will have an additional 3% fee assessed. Payments are considered late on April 6 and the 1% discount will be removed.
Monthly payments will be withdrawn by FACTS Tuition from a bank account. The pay date is the 5th of each month. There is a service charge of $250 per student.
Tuition Refund Program
The purpose of the Tuition Refund Program is to allow partial refund/waiver of tuition owed under the annual tuition contract in the event of a student’s withdrawal. The program is available to all students attending The First Academy.
Tuition will be refunded for the reasons and at the amounts listed below:
Withdrawal for Medical Reasons……………..100% of unused tuition
Withdrawal for Non-Medical reasons…………60% of unused tuition
Dismissal from School………………………………50% of unused tuition
Includes disability or mental disorder certified by a licensed doctor that prevents enrollment at any school for the remainder of the current school year. Request for medical withdrawal must be received before any other withdrawal reason. A letter from a physician must be presented for approval.
Student dismissed from the school for academic or disciplinary reasons.
Election of the Tuition Refund Program can only be made during the enrollment change period. Families who choose not to participate in this program and then withdraw will be responsible for tuition as shown below. The enrollment deposit is never refundable.