Reimbursem*nts - Step Up For Students (2024)

Reimbursem*nts - Step Up For Students (1)

Important note for New Worlds Scholarship Families: As a result of House Bill 1361 from the 2024 Florida legislative session, reimbursem*nts for program purchases will be eliminated after the 2023-24 school year. New Worlds families must submit requests for reimbursem*nts of items or services purchased between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024 with all necessary documents by Sept. 30, 2024. Please visit the New Worlds Scholarship Handbook for more information.

Making Educational
Spending Easier

We are pleased to announce that reimbursem*nt services will now be managed through the family's EMA account, replacing the U.S. Bank Focus Cards. Renewal FES-UA students remain unaffected, continuing with the legacy system for now.

*Please read below for more information if you are a family with funds on a U.S. Bank Focus Card.

Families seeking a reimbursem*nt can select from one of the following payment methods:

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Direct Bank Transfer
Securely deposit funds directly into your bank account via an ACH transfer.

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Check
If you prefer a more traditional approach, you can select to have a check mailed to the address in your EMA profile.

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PayPal®: Opt for PayPal®, a widely used and trusted online payment platform, to receive your reimbursem*nt with ease. Note: By selecting this method, families may be subject to receiving a 1099-K form. Click here to learn more.

Factors to Consider

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Direct Bank Transfer

Once a reimbursem*nt request is approved, Step Up will initiate the transfer of funds which will be electronically transferred into the families’ bank account ten business days later. This option requires a bank account and is convenient for families who prefer an automated process.

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Check

A check will be mailed roughly one week after the reimbursem*nt request is approved by Step Up. This option may be preferred by those who are more comfortable with traditional transactions and/or families who do not have a bank account.

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PayPal®

After the reimbursem*nt request has been approved, transactions often occur within 10 business days. However, it may take additional time to transfer funds from a PayPal® account to a bank account or a credit/debit card. Paypal® is also widely accepted on various websites, and it allows for quick peer-to-peer transfers.

Note: By selecting this method, families may be subject to receiving a 1099-K form. Click here to learn more. Step Up is not able to provide tax advice. For additional questions related to the 1099-K form, please speak with a tax professional.

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Selecting Your Preferred Payment Method

Families who intend to submit reimbursem*nt requests will need to log in to their EMA account to select their preferred payment method before submitting a reimbursem*nt.

  1. Log in to your EMA Account
  2. Click on the “Profile” icon in the top right corner of the dashboard
  3. Select "Edit Profile"
  4. Scroll down to the “Payment Method” section and click on "Manage"
    If you need to change your address, please do so in your EMA parent profile then return to the Payment Method screen.
  5. Select “Next” and choose your payment method from the dropdown menu
    The fields will vary based on the payment method selection. Please ensure all details are accurate before submitting.
  6. Save Changes
    Save the changes to update your profile. You will see a green box confirming your “Payment Method Connected.” You are now ready to submit a reimbursem*nt.
  7. It may take up to 12 hours for this change to be reflected in your EMA account. If you continue to see the "Payment Method Needs Attention" message after updating your payment method, please log out, open a new window and log back in.

Resources:

How to Select Your Preferred Method

How to Submit Your Reimbursem*nt Request

Additional Resources

Additional resources are being updated and will be provided here when available

Reimbursem*nt Video

Reimbursem*nt Presentation

Accessing and Managing Funds on Your U.S. Bank Focus Card

Families with a balance on their U.S. Bank Focus Card can continue to use those funds until they run out; however, reimbursem*nts approved after January 8, 2024 will be accessible through the new process in the family’s EMA account.

Card users can access the funds on their US Bank Focus Card in the following ways:

Direct Spending

Families can use the card like any other pre-paid debit card to make purchases or get cash.

Request a Check

At the family’s request, U.S. Bank will issue a check for the balance that remains on their Focus Card. Please contact U.S. Bank by calling the number on the back of your card.

Withdraw at a Bank

Cardholders can make a cash withdrawal from a network of ATMs* free of charge. View the ATM Map >

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Frequently Asked Questions

Has the reimbursem*nt process recently changed?

Yes, as of January 8, 2023, families will need to log in to their EMA account to select their preferred payment method prior to submitting an expense for reimbursem*nt. Reimbursem*nt funds will no longer be made to the families U.S. Bank Focus Card. If you need assistance with your U.S. Bank Focus Card, call (888) 863-0681.

What if I have funds left on my U.S. Bank Focus Card?

Families with a balance on their U.S. Bank Focus Card can continue to use those funds until they run out, withdraw them at a bank or call U.S. Bank and request a check for the balance that remains on the card. New reimbursem*nt funds will not be added to the U.S. Bank Focus Card after January 8, 2023. If you need assistance with your U.S. Bank Focus Card, call (888) 863-0681.

What factors should I consider when choosing between a direct bank transfer, mailed check, or PayPal®?

When choosing between direct bank transfer, Check, or PayPal®, consider factors such as speed of access, convenience, banking access and accessibility. Click here for details >

Do I need to be concerned about receiving a 1099k from PayPal®? What should I do if I receive it?

If you receive a 1099k from PayPal®, it means that you have reached the threshold for receiving payments that require additional tax reporting. To address this, it is important to consult with a tax professional. You can learn more on PayPal's website here.

What do I do if I need assistance with my U.S. Bank Focus Card?

If you need assistance with your U.S. Bank Focus Card, call (888) 863-0681.

What do I do if I need assistance with selecting my payment method on my EMA account?

If you need assistance with selecting your preferred payment method, call Step Up at (877) 735-7837 or utilize the online chat feature on our website for help from our representatives.

I see my banking information is entered into Tipalti. Can this platform be trusted?

Yes! Tipalti is SSAE 18 SOC compliant as well as ISAE 3402 (SOC1) and ISAE 3000 (SOC2) Type II verified, which means that the Tipalti system has passed all required conditions or rules related to securing data. They are a secure cloud platform for payment distribution with internal user security features (SUFS) and they have Disaster Recovery.

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