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Postsecondary Education Services and Support (PESS)

PESS is available to former foster youth who have completed high school or the equivalent and are pursuing post-secondary education.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Turned 18 while in the legal custody of the Department and spent a total of at least six months in licensed out-of-home care before turning 18, OR
  • Are 18 and was adopted after the age of 16 from foster care or placed with a court-approved dependency guardian after spending at least 6 months in licensed care within the 12 months immediately preceding such placement or adoption


  • You have earned a standard high school diploma or equivalent
  • Are attending a college or vocational school that is eligible under Florida Bright Futures in at least 9 credit hours
  • If you have a documented disability that would prevent full-time attendance and the educational institution approves, you may attend fewer than 9 credit hours.

Additional requirements:

  • Submitted and applied for any other grants and scholarships
  • Submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application
  • Signed an agreement to allow access to school records
  • Completed a PESS application with the necessary documentation


  • PESS payment stipends are in the monthly amount of $1720. Prior to receiving the PESS stipend, the Department will assess your skills and capabilities to manage your stipend.
  • Payments are made directly toward housing and utility vendors, with the remaining funds being disbursed directly to you.
  • This payment arrangement will be made by your CBC and will continue until you are able to demonstrate your ability to responsibly manage housing and utility payments on your own.

Transition Services:
PESS provides continued transitional and financial planning that will include assistance in meeting your current and future needs.

Eligibility Ends:

  • If you’re not meeting academic progress at renewal, with certain exceptions
  • You have turned 23 years of age
  • Obtained a postsecondary degree or certificate
  • No longer a resident of the state of Florida