Parent FAQs

Eligibility

Application

Program Participation

Provider Participation


Eligibility

    Who is eligible to apply for the Autism Scholarship Program?

    A child who has been identified by their district’s evaluation team report (ETR) as qualifying for special education under the Autism category is eligible.

    The child must also have a current Individual Education Program (IEP) from the district of residence that is finalized and all parties, including the parent, must agree with the IEP upon submission of the application.

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    How old must a child be to participate in the Autism Scholarship Program?

    A child is eligible to participate in the program between the ages of 3-22. If the child does not meet high school graduation requirements, the child may continue to participate in the program up to age 22.

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    Can a community school student apply to participate in the Autism Scholarship Program?

    Yes, a child that attends a community school may apply to participate in the program. The child must obtain a current IEP from their district of residence to apply for the program. If awarded the scholarship, the parent must withdraw the child from the community school.

    A child would need to be either enrolled in a nonpublic school or registered as homeschooled. Please refer to the Nonpublic vs. Homeschool flowchart for more information.

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    Can I use the Autism Scholarship Program to supplement my child’s public education?

    No. If a child is approved and accepted for the scholarship, the public school district is no longer responsible for providing a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

    A child would need to either be enrolled in a nonpublic school or be registered as homeschooled. Please refer to the Nonpublic vs. Homeschool flowchart for more information.

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Application

    How does a parent apply for the Autism Scholarship Program?

    The first step is to select a participating Autism Scholarship provider to obtain their child's special and related services. A list of registered providers is available through our online search tool that can be accessed by clicking here. The paper application form is available from providers, who will then submit the application electronically on behalf of the child.

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    What is the deadline for applying for the Autism Scholarship Program?

    The scholarship deadline is March 31.A scholarship application deadline for a child that is are newly turning three is May 31.

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    Does the provider have to accept my child for services?

    No, a provider participating in the Autism scholarship program is not required to accept a child who is eligible for the scholarship, nor are they required to alter any of their business practices or policies under the program. A parent/guardian must comply with all the provider’s policies.

    If a provider participating in the Autism scholarship program accepts a child, a parent/guardian must read and understand any contracts/agreements entered with the provider. Parent/guardian must obtain written copies of any contracts/agreements entered with the school (e.g. tuition and fee schedules).

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    Can my child receive the Autism Scholarship and another state funded scholarship through the department?

    No. Parents can apply for multiple scholarships for their child, but they can only accept one state funded scholarship.

    Please contact the scholarship office for more information on these scholarship programs.

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    How do I complete the scholarship acceptance process?

    Once you receive your child’s award letter and acceptance form in the mail, please follow the steps below:
     

    1. On the acceptance form, indicate whether you intend to accept or decline the scholarship by checking the appropriate box.
    2. Next, indicate the service start and end date with the provider.
    3. Then, you will need to allocate your scholarship dollars.
    4. Once you have indicated your dates of service and allocated your scholarship dollars, sign the form.
    5. Lastly, review the “Check Deposit Consent” section of the form. This section allows your provider(s) permission to deposit checks from the Jon Peterson Scholarship without your signature. The scholarship checks are written in the name of both the provider and the parent. The parent must endorse each scholarship check before the provider can cash or deposit the scholarship payment.

     
    Note: You can change your allocations through your primary provider at any point during the year. You do not have to allocate the full amount, but you cannot allocate more than the total amount of your scholarship.

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Program Participation

    What services are covered by the scholarship?

    The scholarship allows funding for special education and related services through an Autism provider.  The cost of education services (tuition) may also be funded through the scholarship if the provider is a non-public school and if funding remains after any special education services have been paid for.

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    What is the maximum amount of money available for the scholarship?

    The maximum scholarship amount is $31,500 per program year. The child must be participating for a full program year to receive the maximum amount.

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    What can cause my child’s scholarship award to be prorated?

    Proration of the scholarship may occur based on the following:
     

    • Submission date of the application.
    • Withdrawal from scholarship prior to the end of the program year, June 30.
    • Enrollment in a vocational program.
    • Enrollment in another scholarship program
    • Enrollment in a public district or community school.

     
    For more information, please contact the scholarship office.

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    If the services rendered exceed the maximum amount for the Autism Scholarship, who is responsible for the costs of these services?

    If the cost exceeds the maximum amount allowed, the parent is responsible for covering the additional cost.

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    How do I know how much my provider has billed?

    The on-line scholarship system will track all payments and a printout of payment history may be obtained from your provider. Parents may also access their child’s financial information through the Parent Portal. Please click here for information on how to access the Parent Portal.

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    How will I find out about my child's progress?

    Each provider that works with your child will be required to complete progress reports.  The reports are completed quarterly and given to the parent by the provider.  Reports are due on September 30, December 31, March 31 and June 30.  The reports will give the parent information on their child's progress toward the goals and objectives that each provider is addressing. Parents may also access their child’s progress information through the Parent Portal. Please click here for information on how to access the Parent Portal.

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    What service(s) is/are my public-school district responsible for providing?

    By accepting the scholarship, you have relinquished your right to FAPE. Your district must renew your child's IEP annually and conduct required evaluations.
     

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    Can my child use the scholarship for summer services?

    Yes, the scholarship is an annual amount and our program year runs from July to June. Services are eligible to be used through a participating provider. The scholarship cannot be used for summer services only.

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    If my child is on scholarship, are they eligible for transportation?

    Transportation may be obtained from a participating provider qualified to provide transportation services. If a child is parentally placed in a nonpublic school and is in grades K-8, the child may be entitled to transportation through the district. A child parentally placed in nonpublic school and in grades 9-12 may be offered transportation by their district of residence. However, the child is not entitled to transportation.

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    How do I change or add a provider?
    1. Complete the Request for New Provider form
    2. Submit the completed form to the provider.

    Note: Any time you add a new provider, you will need to reallocate your funds. Only your primary provider can change your allocations in the system.

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    Who is responsible for making sure my child gets the services on their IEP?

    The parent must work with the providers that they choose to ensure that their child's educational needs are met, and they receive the necessary supportive services.

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    What happens if my child is reevaluated mid-year and no longer qualifies for the Autism Scholarship?
    Children who have been re-evaluated and no longer meet the criteria for Autism on the ETR will be able to continue in the program for the remainder of the scholarship award period. The scholarship will not be eligible for renewal the following year.

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Provider Participation

    Who can provide services for students on the scholarship?

    Registered private providers and registered alternative public providers can provide services under the scholarship.

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    Is there a set amount that providers can charge for services?

    Providers can establish their rates, but they cannot charge a higher rate to a student on the scholarship program than they would charge the general public.

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Last Modified: 7/7/2021 9:46:02 AM