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Can Private High Schools Give Athletic Scholarships?

September 20, 2023
By Bayshore Christian School

High schools in Florida, including private schools such as Bayshore schools, cannot give out athletic scholarships. According to the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), scholarships cannot be awarded to students based on “a student’s athletic interest, potential, or performance.” However, student athletes can receive other scholarships, as well as financial aid.


Though private high schools in Tampa cannot offer students athletic scholarships, there are other scholarships available. These scholarships include merit scholarships, disability scholarships, and even scholarships for children who have been bullied. According to the Florida Department of Education, these are some K-12 scholarships that schools may accept: 

  1. Family Empowerment Scholarship. This is a scholarship based on a family’s income that gives K-12 children the opportunity to attend a private school instead of the public school they are zoned for. There is also a Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities.
  2. Florida Tax Credit Scholarship. This scholarship is for students from low-income households. Nonprofit scholarship funding organizations (SFOs) are given money from the state that is used to award students with these scholarships. 
  3. McKay Scholarship. This scholarship is for students with disabilities. Starting July 1, 2022, it will fall under the Family Empowerment Scholarship in its Scholarship for Unique Abilities. 
  4. The Hope Scholarship. This scholarship is for students who have been bullied in the public school they are zoned for. It gives them the ability to transfer to a private school or to another public school that is not in their area.

Each private school has the ability to choose what scholarships they will accept for tuition payment. Therefore, it is recommended that you inquire about which scholarships a school takes before enrolling your child.

Financial aid

Within the budget of many private schools, there is money set aside for financial aid every year. Financial aid offered by schools is typically offered in the form of grants, which means you are not expected to pay this money back. Financial aid is need based and is usually dependent on the family’s income. However, a family does not have to be “poor” to receive financial aid. The students that are given financial assistance, as well as the amount they are given, is decided based on need and how much money the school has within the budget.

Private high schools Tampa

Looking for a private high school in Tampa? Bayshore Christian School might be the right fit! Bayshore schools offer financial aid each year, as well as accept a number of scholarships awarded to students.

Contact us, today, if you have any questions about the scholarships we accept or if you would like to learn more about our financial aid opportunities.    

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