Applying for the Personalized Education Program

A step-by-step guide for parents applying for PEP scholarships in Florida

The Personalized Education Program (PEP) is one of several available state scholarships in Florida. It provides parents with direct access to their child’s education funds, enabling them to choose the learning environment and resources that best suit their child's needs. PEP funds are managed by a scholarship funding organization (SFO). 

Prenda works with Step Up for Students (SUFS), an authorized SFO to provide the Prenda experience to students in Florida. PEP funds can be used to pay for a student’s microschool experience, including paying the student’s quarterly Prenda invoices.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How to apply for the PEP scholarship
  • Funding timelines, amounts, and distribution
  • What you need to do to enroll in a Prenda microschool and apply PEP funds towards Prenda fees

Applying for the Personal Education Program (PEP)

Applying for PEP funds is a 4 step process:

  1. Create an Education Market Assistant (EMA) account 
  2. Add your students in the EMA portal 
  3. Apply for the PEP scholarship 
  4. Create your student’s Learning Plan

Step 1 Details - Create an EMA Account 

Create an EMA account using this link and set up login credentials for the primary account holder. Choose the option to Sign Up and follow the verification and security question prompts:

Step 2 Details - Add Students in the EMA Portal

You must add students in the portal before applying for PEP funds. Do not proceed to the next steps until ALL of your students are added. 

Click the Add Student button and fill out basic information about your child. 

Repeat this process for each PEP-eligible student:

Note: Student FIELD numbers are optional. You do not need this number to submit your application and it should not affect processing times if you submit your application(s) without it.

Step 3 Details - Apply for the PEP Scholarship

After you’ve added all students, use the left navigation bar, go to the Dashboard, and scroll down the page to locate the option: Scholarships for Eligible Private Schools or Personalized Education Program. Click the APPLY button:

In the Student Selection, toggle on the students who you are seeking this scholarship for in. Fill out additional details about each student in the next section, Student Information.

It’s important to select “Florida Home School” in the Expected School InformationType of School dropdown:

In the next section, Guardian Information, you will opt in or out of income verification. 

Only opt in to income verification if you meet the threshold for prioritization, which is less than 400% of the federal poverty level. If you opt in, you must provide supporting documentation as proof of income. Families who meet this threshold will have their applications prioritized for processing. 

Otherwise, opt out of income verification:

Next, you will be required to upload proof of residency documentation. This is required of all applicants.

In the Household Members section add any other people residing in the house–aside from the students who applied for PEP and the guardians of these students–that reside in the house. This includes other children in the home under 18. 

You’ll agree to terms and conditions, electronically sign, and then submit the application. 


Step 4 Details - Create your Student’s Learning PlanYou MUST submit a Student Learning Plan in order for the PEP application(s) to be processed.

Use the left navigation bar to go to the Dashboard and locate the Student Learning Plan section and click Get Started:

This is a simple 3 step process where you select your student, their learning priorities, and a current evaluation of those priorities. The selections you make here have no impact on your application processing timelines or scholarship approval:


After you complete this step, your application status(es) will show pending on the Dashboard as they are in queue for processing. You will also receive a confirmation email. 

The video below is provided by Step Up For Students as a supplemental aid for application guidance:


Funding Timelines, Amounts, and Distribution

Application processing timelines are approximately 6 weeks. Scholarships are awarded quarterly, and funds will be deposited into your student's scholarship account during the following windows:

  • Quarter 1: August 15 – September 15 
  • Quarter 2: November 15 – December 1 
  • Quarter 3: January 15 – February 1 
  • Quarter 4: April 15 – May 1

Funding distribution happens in EMA. EMA acts as a holding party and purchasing portal. You will use the EMA to pay for educational services like Prenda. 

Scholarship funding amounts are dependent on grade and county. You can find exact funding amounts here

Note: these are the amounts for the 2023-2024 scholarships, updated amounts won't be released until the state wraps up budget negotiations

Enrolling a Child in a Prenda Microschool and Using PEP Funds

Once your PEP application is submitted, reach out to your chosen microschool guide and ask them to invite your child to their microschool if you haven’t already. 

You must accept and invite in order to be enrolled in their microschool.

If you are a parent using Prenda’s single family microschool option to homeschool, you should add your child now in your Prenda World account. 


Additional Resources

Parent Handbook

Purchasing Guide

Scholarship Award Amounts