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The admissions process for GCSA is simple


Have an enrollment discussion with the director or assistant director of Gulf Coast School for Autism.


Apply for scholarships. Check the other pages in our Admissions category for help with this.


Schedule a meeting with the director to determine curriculum and classroom placement for your child.


Return with all required documents, enrollment packet and tuition agreement.

To schedule a meeting with the director or assistant director, please call Gulf Coast School for Autism at the number listed on our site. Thank you!


John McKay


Gulf Coast School for Autism’s primary funding source is the John M. McKay Scholarship. The John M. McKay Scholarship Program allows parents of students with disabilities to choose the best learning environment for their children. The parent of a Florida public school student who is dissatisfied with the student’s progress may request a McKay Scholarship to enroll in and attend our private school. The McKay Program puts the power back into the parent’s hands. To be eligible, a student must have an IEP and have been enrolled in grades K through 12 in a Florida public school for at least a year, prior to coming to Gulf Coast School for Autism. Students receiving a McKay scholarship and attending Gulf Coast School for Autism automatically retain their scholarship every year until they return to their public school, graduate from high school or reach the age of 22. You may file your intent to participate in the McKay Scholarship program by logging on to the Florida School Choice website at or click here. You cannot file your intent by phone, but you can call the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice at 1-800-447-1636 if you have questions.


The Gardiner Scholarship (PLSA), previously called the Personal Learning Scholarship Account, allows parents to personalize the education of their children by directing money toward a combination of programs and approved providers. These include schools, therapists, specialists, curriculum, technology – even a college savings account.

This scholarship is for Florida students 3 years old through 12th grade or age 22, whichever comes first, with one of the following disabilities: autism spectrum disorder, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Spina bifida, Williams syndrome or intellectual disability (severe cognitive impairment). Also, students ages 3, 4 or 5 deemed “high risk” due to developmental delays may be eligible for the year they apply. (Please note: Students must not be older than 5 on Sept. 1.)

• Students need an Individual Education Plan (IEP) from a Florida school district or a formal diagnosis from a Florida licensed physician or psychologist.

• Students must be at least 3 or 4 on or before Sept 1. Students entering kindergarten must be 5 on or before Sept 1. Students entering first grade must be 6 on or before Sept 1.

• Students can participate in the Gardiner Scholarship (PLSA) program as part of home education. However, they cannot be enrolled in a public school or receive any other state-sponsored scholarship (McKay Scholarship or the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship).


For more information and to find out how to apply, please click here

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