Scholarships and Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), approximately 11% of undergraduate students have a disability. Considering that around 20.2 million students are enrolled at U.S. colleges, an estimated 2 million of them are likely living with some type of a disability. This may include a visual handicap, a specific learning disability, an orthopedic handicap, hard of hearing/deafness, or a speech disability, among others. Many of these students receive federal financial aid in the form of grants and loans, while some work part-time and/or receive financial assistance from their families to help pay for college. As medical and tuition costs continue to rise, however, more and more scholarships for students with disabilities are being made available to fill critical financial gaps.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal for colleges and universities to discriminate against students with disabilities in any way. While colleges and universities are not required to provide financial accommodations in the form of disability scholarships to students, most do. There are a large number of scholarships for students with disabilities from outside sources, but these can often be difficult to find, even using popular online scholarship locator tools.

To assist in this search, we’ve created a list of the current disability scholarships being offered from various foundations and organizations.

All colleges are required by law to provide certain reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities.

Read on to find a list of general scholarships for students with disabilities, as well as those specifically aimed towards students with learning disabilities, students with hearing or visual impairments, students with psychological disabilities, students with mobility impairments, and more.


Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

Scholarships

AAHD Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability $1,000

Deadline
November 15th, 2016

Requirements

  • Must have a documented disability
  • Must be enrolled full-time as an undergraduate or enrolled part-time or full-time graduate student at an accredited US school
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or a legal resident

Additional Info
This scholarship is open to all majors but a preference is given to students pursuing a degree in disability and health.

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disABLEDperson, Inc. National College Scholarship Award $2,000

Deadline
Varies each year

Requirements

  • Apply with an essay based on a provided prompt
  • Essay must not exceed 1,000 words
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens enrolled full-time at a college or university

Additional Info
Upon award of the scholarship, students provide proof of physical or mental disability through their school’s disability services department.

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The Google Lime Scholarship $10,000

Amount
$10,000 (or 5,000 CAD)

Deadline
Varies each year

Requirements

  • Meet Lime Connect’s disability classification requirements
  • Be pursuing a degree in computer science or computer engineering
  • Must attend school in the U.S. or Canada

Additional Info
Students who exhibit natural leadership qualities and potential for innovation in the technology sector are encouraged to apply.

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Business Plan Scholarship For Students With Disabilities $1,000

Deadline
November 1 and April 1 of each year

Requirements

  • Must have written a business plan for a class or academic competition
  • A 500 to 1,000 word essay regarding lessons learned while writing the business plan
  • Must be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program
  • Documentation of a disability

Additional Info
Essays are judged by Marc Prosser and David Waring, the co-founders of Fit Small Business.

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Rehabmart Disability Scholarships $250-$2,500

Deadline
May 31 and Oct 31 of each year

Requirements

  • An essay about a medical device, technology, or type of therapy that has made a difference in the applicant’s life
  • Must be a student with a disability, health science student, or special needs education student

Additional Info
Rehabmart publishes winning essays on their site with the permission of award-winners.

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Disability Care Center Scholarships for Students with Disabilities $500

Deadline
TBA

Requirements

  • An essay about overcoming a hardship
  • A physician’s statement of diagnosis of disability
  • Full-time enrollment as an undergraduate or graduate student

Additional Info
Graduate student applicants are only required to be enrolled in 9 credit hours of classes to be considered full-time.

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Incight Disability Scholarships $500-$1,500

Deadline
April 1 of each year

Requirements

  • Resident status in California, Washington, or Oregon
  • Must have a disability documented by a specialist
  • Must attend a higher education institution during the funding cycle following the year of application

Additional Info
Incight awards 100 scholarships to students each year based on demonstrated community involvement.

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NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship $5,625

Deadline
July 1 of each year

Requirements

  • Must be a college sophomore or upperclassman, or earning a master’s degree
  • Only for students pursuing careers in entertainment, communications, or the media
  • Must have a disability as defined by the ADA

Additional Info
This scholarship honors the legacy of Tony Coelho, a former United States Representative and the primary author of the ADA. It is awarded to eight students each year.

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Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Disability Scholarship Program $1,000

Deadline
April 1 of each year

Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen enrolled at an accredited college or university
  • Have a disability diagnosis from a physician or educator
  • Have completed at least one semester of college coursework

Additional Info
All interested students with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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Academy of Special Dreams Scholarships for Students with Disabilities $250-$1,000

Deadline
Varies each year

Requirements

  • A portfolio of creative work included in the scholarship application
  • Must be studying art or creative writing at a college or university in the U.S.
  • Must provide documentation of disability

Additional Info
The Academy of Special Dreams features the creative work of scholarship recipients on their website.

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1800wheelchair.com Scholarship $500

Deadline
Varies each year

Requirements

  • Enrollment at the undergraduate level or in final year of high school
  • Must be a U.S. resident
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Submit a visual poem about overcoming adversity

Additional Info
This scholarship is available to all qualified students, regardless of disability status. However, special preference is given to students with disabilities.

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Foundation for Science and Disability Student Award Program $1,000

Deadline
December 1 of each year

Requirements

  • Enrollment as an undergraduate senior or graduate student
  • Must be pursuing a degree in mathematics, medicine, science, engineering, or technology
  • Must have a verifiable disability

Additional Info
Undergraduate applicants must have plans to pursue graduate study in a STEM field.

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Friedl Richardson Disabled Students Pursuing a Career in Law Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
August 1 of each year

Requirements

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Plans to enroll as an undergraduate or law student in the upcoming fall semester
  • Plans to pursue a career in law
  • Proof of disability

Additional Info
The application for this scholarship gives students the choice of recording a video or writing an essay about their qualifications.

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Newcombe Scholarships for Students with Disabilities $1,733

Amount
$1,733 on average

Deadline
Varies based on college or university’s financial aid schedule

Requirements

  • Documented financial need
  • A disability verified by a college or university’s student services department
  • Enrollment at one of the foundation’s eight partnering higher education institutions

Additional Info
Scholarship funds are provided to students through the financial aid offices at their schools.

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Microsoft disAbility Scholarship $5,000

Deadline
April 15 of each year

Requirements

  • Be a high school senior planning to attend a two-year or four-year college or university the next fall
  • Plan to declare an engineering, computer science, IT systems, law, or business major
  • Demonstrate a strong interest in technology
  • Have a disability as defined by WHO

Additional Info
Applications ask for your résumé, transcript, three essays, and two recommendation letters.

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The Jan La Belle Scholarship Program Varies

Deadline
January 31 of each year

Requirements

  • Either attending college or vocational/trade school
  • Must be a Florida resident
  • Must be an individual with a disability
  • Have passing scores on Florida Standard Assessments

Additional Info
Award amounts vary based on factors such as the available amount of funds and the number of qualified applicants each year.

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HOPE College Scholarship $500

Deadline
July 1 and November 1 of each year

Requirements

  • Have a diagnosed disability
  • Plan to work in a field that serves those with disabilities
  • Must attend a college or university or plan to attend one the semester following completion of the scholarship application

Additional Info
Family members of those with disabilities are also invited to apply.

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BMO Capital Markets Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholarship $10,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Have a visible or invisible disability
  • Attend college at a four-year university in the U.S. or Canada
  • Must be majoring in business, math, statistics, engineering, finance, or a related field
  • Must be interested in a Financial Services Career

Additional Info
Interested students can sign up for alerts about this scholarship from Lime Connect.

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Alpha One Powering Education Scholarship $2,000

Deadline
April 1 of each year

Requirements

  • Be a high school senior in Maine
  • Have documentation to support disability
  • Provide a college acceptance letter

Additional Info
Award winners receive scholarship payments after the completion of their first semester in college.

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The Ability Center Disability Scholarships Varies

Deadline
March 31 of each year

Requirements

  • Be a college student with a disability
  • Have a permanent address in select counties in Ohio and Michigan
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA

Additional Info
The scholarship website details which Ohio and Michigan counties are applicable.

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Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities

Some types of learning disabilities include dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dysphasia, visual processing disorder, and auditory processing disorder. Plenty of scholarships are offered specifically for students with learning disabilities, and can help alleviate some of the financial strain associated with pursuing a post-secondary degree.

Scholarships

Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship $2,500

Deadline
December 15th

Requirements

  • Provide documentation of learning disability
  • Be a high school senior planning to attend a two-year college or technical school
  • Demonstrate financial need

Additional Info
Students who have overcome obstacles to achieve academic goals are encouraged to apply.

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Anne Ford Scholarship $10,000

Deadline
December 15th

Requirements

  • Be a high school senior planning to attend a four-year college or university
  • Provide current documentation of a learning disability
  • Demonstrate financial need

Additional Info
Students with awareness of the importance of self-advocacy are encouraged to apply.

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RiSE Scholarship Foundation, Inc. Award Varies

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Have documentation of a learning disability
  • Be a college-bound senior in the U.S.
  • Have at least a 2.5 GPA

Additional Info
An ADD or ADHD diagnosis alone does not qualify students for learning disability scholarships from this foundation.

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Marion Huber Learning Through Listening (LTL) Awards $2,000-$6,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Attend a U.S. high school as a senior with plans to enter college the next school year
  • Have a record of academic achievement
  • Provide proof of a learning disability

Additional Info
Students with dyslexia are especially encouraged to apply for these learning disability scholarships.

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Joseph James Morelli Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities $500-$1,000

Deadline
March 30th

Requirements

  • Be a high school senior with college plans or a college student
  • Be pursuing a STEM career
  • Provide evidence of learning disability

Additional Info
This award is eligible for renewal each year of college if students maintain a 3.0 GPA.

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Gemm Learning Dyslexia Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
June 30th

Requirements

  • Documentation proving college enrollment
  • Dyslexia diagnosis
  • A 300-500 word essay on living with dyslexia

Additional Info
Recipients’ essays are published on the Gemm Learning blog.

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Scholarships for Students with ADD/ADHD

The number of scholarships for students with ADHD and ADD grows each year, as foundations continue to recognize the importance of providing students who have ADHD/ADD with options for financing their college educations. The following ADHD scholarships are awarded to students based on factors like academic merit, community involvement, and financial need.

Scholarships

Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarships $2,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Have a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD from a licensed professional
  • Be accepted to or enrolled in a two-year or four-year college or university
  • Regularly see a healthcare professional for treatment of ADD or ADHD

Additional Info
Scholarship recipients also receive a year of ADHD coaching from the Edge Foundation.

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Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award Varies

Deadline
February 15th
Requirements

  • Have a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD or other learning disability
  • Be a student who is 19-years-old or younger
  • Provide details of accomplishments in one or more academic fields

Additional Info
Preference is given to applicants who have made a significant difference in their schools and communities.

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The Focus-MD Focus On Your Future Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
April 1st

Requirements

  • Be a high school senior or college student diagnosed with ADHD
  • Write an essay about the treatment of your ADHD
  • Provide a letter of recommendation

Additional Info
The award is sent to and distributed by the winner’s college or university.

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Dottie R. Walker Scholarships for Students with ADHD $1,000

Deadline
March 5th

Requirements

  • Have documented ADHD or other documented learning disability
  • Be a Colorado high school senior with college plans or college student in Colorado
  • Have at least a 2.8 GPA

Additional Info
Ideal candidates have an awareness of the importance of self-knowledge and self-advocacy.

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Shire Canada ADHD Scholarship Program $1,500

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Have an ADD or ADHD diagnosis
  • Live in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, or Québec
  • Attend a college or university or provide proof of college acceptance and future enrollment

Additional Info
One year of academic coaching is included with the organization’s scholarships for ADHD.

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Scholarships for Students with Hearing Impairments

Hearing impairment can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. There are several scholarships for students with hearing impairments of all levels of severity to help them finance their time in college. The following scholarships may be of particular interest to qualified students with bilateral hearing loss.

Scholarships

Alexander Graham Bell Association College Scholarship Program $2,500-$10,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Must have been diagnosed with hearing loss prior to fourth birthday
  • Must have moderate to severe bilateral hearing loss
  • Must attend a four-year college or university (or have plans to attend the next school year)
  • Must have a 3.25 GPA

Additional Info
The selection committee looks for strong leadership qualities and academic excellence.

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Cochlear Graeme Clark Scholarship $2,000

Amount
$2,000 annually

Deadline
September 30th

Requirements

  • Have a Nucleus Cochlear Implant
  • Acceptance to or enrollment in an accredited college, university or technical school
  • A GPA of 2.5 or higher

Additional Info
Applicants should demonstrate the Cochlear ideals of leadership and humanity.

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George H. Nofer Scholarship for Law and Public Policy $5,000

Deadline
April 22nd

Requirements

  • Have pre-lingual, bilateral hearing loss
  • Acceptance to or enrollment in an accredited law school or graduate program in public policy or public administration
  • Use spoken language as primary mode of communication

Additional Info
Previous recipients of the award may reapply each year of their studies.

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Sertoma's Scholarship for the Hard of Hearing or Deaf $1,000

Deadline
May 1st

Requirements

  • Provide documentation of clinically significant bilateral hearing loss
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be a high school senior or college student with a 3.2 GPA

Additional Info
Only recipients of the scholarship are notified; other applicants do not receive notification.

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Foundation for Sight & Sound Help America Hear Scholarship $500

Deadline
March 27th

Requirements

  • Be a high school senior who plans to attend college or technical school
  • Must have hearing loss that requires daily use of a hearing aid
  • Must write an essay about experience with hearing loss

Additional Info
Recipients are chosen based on the quality of their essays.

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Louise Tumarkin Zazove Foundation Scholarship $500

Deadline
May 26th

Requirements

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. with considerable bilateral hearing loss (at least a 50 dB unaided hearing loss in both ears)
  • Attend a non-profit, higher education institution in the U.S.

Additional Info
The award committee factors in financial need of applicants in their selection process.

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Scholarships for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities

Mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder are considered psychiatric disabilities. The scholarships listed below were created specifically to help students living with psychiatric disabilities ease the burden of tuition as they pursue their degree.

Scholarships

Baer Reintegration Scholarship Varies

Deadline
January 29th

Requirements

  • Enrollment in a U.S. high school, college, or graduate school
  • Student is diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder
  • Demonstrate financial need

Additional Info
Recipients are invited to re-apply for this award annually until they reach their educational goals.

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The JC Runyon Foundation Scholarships Varies

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Successful completion of an inpatient program at a psychiatric facility
  • Must attend an accredited college or university (or plan to attend one next school year)

Additional Info
This scholarship aims to be a resource for students and families affected by the financial costs of inpatient treatment.

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Charles A. Olayinka Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
June 30th

Requirements

  • Be a college student with Bipolar Disorder living in the U.S.
  • Be under the care of a licensed mental health professional
  • Complete a 500-word essay to help raise awareness about Bipolar Disorder

Additional Info
Winning essays are featured on the scholarship’s website.

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Drake Davis Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
First Tuesday in April

Requirements

  • Be a graduating high school senior in the U.S.
  • Plan to attend a college or university and be accepted to one at the time of application
  • Have a personal commitment to suicide prevention and awareness

Additional Info
This scholarship is open to all students who wish to help prevent suicide.

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Jerry Greenspan Student Voice of Mental Health Award $3,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Must be enrolled at an accredited college or university
  • Must be active in raising awareness of mental health issues on campus
  • Must want to raise the visibility of students who are tackling mental health issues on campuses across the country

Additional Info
Recipients are also invited on a trip to New York to attend the JED Foundation’s Annual Gala.

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Sarah Gaulin Memorial Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
April 1st

Requirements

  • Enrollment at an accredited college or university in Canada
  • Documentation of a mental health condition lasting longer than two years
  • Strong, demonstrated commitment to academics

Additional Info
Awards are paid directly to post-secondary institutions and then transferred to recipients’ accounts.

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Scholarships for Students with Visual Impairments

Those who are legally blind or who have other visual impairments can apply for scholarships provided by foundations and organizations that serve them. The following list of scholarships for visually impaired students provides financial assistance to help empower them on their college campuses and beyond.

Scholarships

Brother James Kearney Scholarship Program for the Blind Varies

Deadline
Rolling

Requirements

  • Be a legal U.S. resident
  • Diagnosed as legally blind or severely visually impaired
  • Attend one of the 11 partner universities in the New York area

Additional Info
A full list of the applicable partner universities can be found on the scholarship website.

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National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program $3,000-$12,000

Deadline
March 31st

Requirements

  • Must be legally blind in both eyes
  • Must be enrolled in a post-secondary institution or provide proof of future enrollment
  • Must participate in the National Federation of the Blind Convention if accepted

Additional Info
Scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, leadership skills, and community involvement.

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ACB Scholarship $1,000-$3,500

Deadline
March 1st

Requirements

  • Be an entering college freshman, college student, or graduate student
  • Be considered legally blind
  • Maintain at least a 3.3 GPA

Additional Info
Adults working full-time and attending college part-time are also eligible for this award.

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American Foundation for the Blind Scholarship Program $500-$2,500

Deadline
April 1st

Requirements

  • Proof of legal blindness
  • Documentation of enrollment or future enrollment in college
  • Two letters of recommendation

Additional Info
This scholarship program offers provides six different scholarship opportunities with slightly different requirements for each, as detailed on the scholarship program website.

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Scholarships for Students with Mobility Impairments

Mobility impairments that require the use of wheelchairs, canes, and walkers can be caused by a number of conditions including cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and spinal cord injury. Students with mobility impairments are eligible to apply to the scholarships presented here for additional financial assistance beyond what is provided by their schools and the federal government.

Scholarships

Silver Cross Scholarship Program 2016 $1,500

Deadline
December 15th

Requirements

  • Must be a full-time college/university student using mobility equipment, i.e. a power wheelchair, mobility scooter, or manual wheelchair
  • Must write a 500-word essay regarding leadership qualities and involvement in the community

Additional Info
This scholarship is available to students in the U.S. and Canada.

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Mobility Scooters Direct Scholarship Program $1,200

Deadline
December 31st

Requirements

  • Documentation of a disability that limits mobility
  • Registration in at least 6 hours of courses at a college or university
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completion of at least 40 undergraduate hours

Additional Info
Applicants are encouraged to describe their on-campus involvement and community engagement.

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Karman Healthcare Scholarship $500

Deadline
September 1st

Requirements

  • Must have a mobility disability
  • Must be a full-time college student at an accredited institution
  • Must demonstrate academic excellence

Additional Info
Students with an interest in increasing disability awareness are ideal candidates for this award.

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Wheelchair Success Foundation Scholarships Varies

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Enrollment in at least 9 hours of college courses
  • At least a 2.5 GPA
  • Proof of disability requiring use of a wheelchair

Additional Info
Scholarship may also be used to pay for technical school expenses and GED classes.

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Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation Scholarship $1,000-$2,000

Deadline
December 18th

Requirements

  • Have a spinal cord injury or disease resulting in paralysis
  • Possess a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Be in the last semester of high school or currently in college

Additional Info
The award selection committee gives preference to applicants living in Wisconsin.

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AbbVie Rheumatology Scholarship $15,000

Deadline
April 4th

Requirements

  • Must be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or psoriatic arthritis
  • Must be accepted to or enrolled in a college, university, or vocational school
  • Must be a U.S. resident

Additional Info
The scholarship judges pay particular attention to applicants’ academic records and extracurricular activities.

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Scholarships for Students with Chronic Illnesses

Chronic illnesses including diabetes, asthma, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, immune deficiency disorders, and Lou Gehrig’s Disease can take a serious financial toll on college students in terms of medical expenses. The following scholarships for students with chronic illnesses can help lower academic costs and provide relief from financial strain.

Scholarships

Edelman Krasin & Jaye Annual Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
June 30th

Requirements

  • Documentation of a chronic illness
  • Proof of enrollment at a college or university
  • A 1000-word statement about living with chronic illness

Additional Info
Selection committee strongly considers both financial need and academic accomplishments.

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Diabetes Scholars Foundation College Scholarships $5,000

Deadline
April 15th

Requirements

  • Be a U.S. college student
  • Provide proof of Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis
  • Provide evidence of financial need

Additional Info
The foundation also provides scholarships to cover the costs of attendance at the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference.

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Andre Sobel Award $5,000

Deadline
January 31st

Requirements

  • Must be between the ages of 12 and 21
  • Must be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness
  • Write a 1000-word or less essay about experiences with illness

Additional Info
Selected essays are published on the foundation’s website.

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Immune Deficiency Foundation Academic Scholarship Programs Varies

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Have an applicable immune deficiency disorder
  • Attend classes as a full-time student at a U.S. college, university, or technical school
  • Demonstrate need for financial assistance

Additional Info
The foundation’s website contains more information about which immune deficiency disorders are applicable.

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Boomer Esiason Foundation Scholarships $500-$10,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Letter from a physician confirming cystic fibrosis diagnosis
  • Transcript from high school, college, or graduate school
  • Detailed breakdown of current educational expenses

Additional Info
The foundation offers eight different scholarship opportunities for students with cystic fibrosis.

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Scholarships for Students with Physical Disabilities

Physical disabilities can be the result of many types of injuries and conditions including muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, scoliosis, kyphosis, spina bifida, and transverse myelitis. The number of scholarships for students with physical disabilities increases each year. Below is a list of some current scholarship opportunities students may find to be helpful.

Scholarships

180 Medical College Scholarship Program $1,000

Deadline
June 1st

Requirements

  • Attend a two-year, four-year, or graduate school program as a full-time student in the U.S.
  • Be under a doctor’s care for a spinal cord injury, transverse myelitis, spina bifida, ostomy, or neurogenic bladder condition

Additional Info
This program aims to offset some of the costs of medical expenses for college students.

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Independence Foundation Amity Scholarship $500

Deadline
April 17th

Requirements

  • A 500-word essay about the impacts of having a physical disability
  • Plans to attend college the school year following the award selection process
  • Proof of physical disability

Additional Info
Award committee selects three recipients for this scholarship annually.

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Claude S. Weiler Scholarship Varies

Deadline
Auguest 31st

Requirements

  • A letter from a physician confirming limb amputation
  • A letter from a college or university confirming enrollment
  • Copy of academic transcripts

Additional Info
Scholarship award is sent to bursar’s office at the student’s school.

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Sonoran Spine Research and Education Foundation $1,000

Deadline
May 16th

Requirements

  • Must attend college in Arizona
  • Provide proof of spinal condition, i.e. scoliosis or kyphosis
  • Have financial need for educational expenses

Additional Info
Recipients exhibit academic excellence and commitment to community service.

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Jain Foundation Scholarship $3,000

Deadline
May 25th

Requirements

  • Registration as a full-time college student
  • Be between the ages of 17 and 30
  • Educate at least 25 people about Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophies (LGMDs)

Additional Info
One of the purposes of this scholarship is to increase awareness about LGMDs.

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Scholarships for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorders include autism, Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. Autism scholarships can be a valuable resource for college students who need help financing their degree programs. Below is a list of autism scholarships for students to choose from.

Scholarships

Organization for Autism Research Scholarship Program $3,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Documentation of two-year or four year college attendance
  • Full-time student enrollment status

Additional Info
Past scholarship recipients are ineligible for consideration.

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KFM Autism Scholarship $500

Deadline
August 29th

Requirements

  • Autism diagnosis from a medical professional
  • Enrollment in a post-secondary program
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Personal essay

Additional Info
Winners of the scholarship are featured on the organization’s website.

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KFM Autism Scholarship $500

Deadline
August 29th

Requirements

  • Autism diagnosis from a medical professional
  • Enrollment in a post-secondary program
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Personal essay

Additional Info
Winners of the scholarship are featured on the organization’s website.

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Dan Archwamety Scholarship $500

Deadline
March 18th

Requirements

  • Proof of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis
  • Admittance to or registration at a post-secondary school
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Must be a Nebraska resident

Additional Info
Scholarship is awarded at the Nebraska ASD State Conference in April.

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Avonte Oquendo Memorial Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
July 31st

Requirements

  • Diagnosis of a form of autism, including Asperger syndrome
  • College enrollment or acceptance (for high school seniors)
  • A 500- to 1000-word essay

Additional Info
Close family members of those with autism are also invited to apply.

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Zach Paulsen Memorial Scholarship For Students With Autism Disorders $500

Deadline
March 1st

Requirements

  • Documentation of autism spectrum disorder
  • Acceptance to a college, university, or technical school
  • Interest in working in automotive technology and related fields*

Additional Info
*Related fields include collision repair, diesel technology, marine technology, motorcycle technology, plumbing, and heating.

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Scholarships for Students with Disabled Parents

Those who have one or more parent with a disability, including mobility impairments, physical disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities, are also eligible for several different scholarships created specifically for students with disabled parents. The scholarships that follow can help cover the cost of tuition, books, and living expenses, and can help students focus less on finances and more on academics.

Scholarships

Through the Looking Glass Scholarships for Students with Disabled Parents $1,000

Deadline
March 1st

Requirements

  • Must have a parent with a disability
  • Must be a current college student or high school senior planning to attend college
  • Must be under the age of 21

Additional Info
Financial need and academic merit are both important in the selection process.

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Millie Brother Scholarship for Hearing Children of Deaf Adults $3,000

Deadline
First Friday in April

Requirements

  • One or more parents with bilateral hearing loss
  • Verification of college enrollment
  • A two-page essay

Additional Info
First-time applicants receive preference.

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National MS Society's Scholarship Program $1,000-$3,000

Deadline
January 15th

Requirements

  • A parent with multiple sclerosis
  • Proof of enrollment in at least six hours of college courses
  • Must be a U.S. citizen

Additional Info
Students diagnosed with multiple sclerosis can also apply.

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Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship $4,000

Deadline
December 1st and March 31st

Requirements

  • Have a parent who has battled or is currently fighting cancer
  • Be a full-time college student
  • Be in good academic standing

Additional Info
Students who have battled cancer can also apply.

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Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship $5,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Must be a child or spouse of a disabled or deceased veteran
  • Must attend an accredited post-secondary institution
  • Proof of parent or spouse’s military service and disability

Additional Info
Award amount varies based on financial need.

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Scholarships for Veterans with Disabilities

The GI Bill often covers most of veterans’ educational expenses, but it does not necessarily cover all costs, particularly if students are attending private colleges or if they have other important financial obligations. Scholarships for veterans with mental and physical disabilities can be of tremendous help. Below are some current scholarships for veterans with disabilities.

Scholarships

Paralyzed Veterans of America Scholarship Program $1,000

Deadline
June 17th

Requirements

  • Must be a Paralyzed Veterans of America member
  • Must be accepted at or attending an accredited college or university
  • Must be a U.S. citizen

Additional Info
Spouses and children of Paralyzed Veterans of America members are also invited to apply.

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Disabled Veterans National Foundation Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Provide proof of active duty service and honorable discharge
  • Provide proof of financial need for educational expenses
  • Attend college at an accredited institution

Additional Info
Applicants receiving 100% GI Bill payments need to specify a reason for applying.

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Feldman Law Firm Disabled Veterans Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
November 10th

Requirements

  • Must be a veteran with disabilities of the United States Armed Forces
  • Must be a college student or have plans to attend college

Additional Info
All applications are published on the law firm’s website, and they are partially judged by how much online interest they generate.

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AFCEA War Veterans Scholarships $2,500

Deadline
November 15th

Requirements

  • Be an honorably discharged veteran who served in Iraq or Afghanistan
  • Provide evidence of college enrollment as a sophomore or junior
  • Provide evidence of a declared major in the STEM fields

Additional Info
Reservists and National Guard personnel are also qualified for this scholarship opportunity.

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Scholarships for Other Disabilities

Scholarships

Leukemia & Lymphoma Awareness/Law School Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
July 31st

Requirements

  • Be an incoming or current U.S. law student
  • Have previously been affected by lymphoma or leukemia (or have a family member who has been affected)
  • Provide evidence of at least a 3.0 GPA

Additional Info
Award must be used only on tuition and/or books.

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Little People of America Scholarship $250-$1,000

Deadline
April 30th

Requirements

  • Be a member of Little People of America
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student

Additional Info
Students who are active volunteers with Little People of America are given preference in the selection process.

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Terrill Foundation Scholarship $250-$1,000

Deadline
March 15th

Requirements

  • Must have experienced a traumatic brain injury or neurologic disease
  • Must be a high school senior accepted to college or current college student
  • Two letters of recommendation

Additional Info
Military personnel and veterans are especially encouraged to apply.

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Cleft Palate Foundation Scholarships $500

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Be diagnosed with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate
  • Be enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution
  • Must not be a previous scholarship recipient from the foundation

Additional Info
The selection committee looks for students with leadership experience and a commitment to academics.

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Turner Syndrome Society College Scholarships $500

Deadline
February 1st

Requirements

  • Turner Syndrome Society membership
  • Current college transcript and proof of enrollment

Additional Info
Previous recipients who make the Dean’s List get a year of free membership to the Turner Syndrome Society.

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Total Permanent Disability (TPD) Loan Forgiveness

Legally, an individual who has a Total Permanent Disability (TPD) is unable to work due to injury, illness, or a disability that has become more severe over time. A TPD can dramatically affect a person’s ability to pay off student loans and may significantly impact how he or she pays for other expenses. The federal government acknowledges this, and offers federal student loan forgiveness to qualifying individuals to help them better meet their basic financial obligations. The government offers what is called “TPD Discharge” to those with severe disabilities limiting their ability to work.

A TPD Discharge is essentially forgiveness of money owed to the federal government in the form of loans. The following loans are eligible for forgiveness for those who provide proof of permanent disability: Federal Perkins Loans, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Family Education Loans. People with permanent disabilities can apply for loan forgiveness for these loans through the Federal Student Aid Office of the U.S. Department of Education.

People who have disabilities can qualify for TPD Discharge in a number of ways. One option is to provide appropriate documents from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that certify the inability to work as a result of a disability caused during military service. Another option is to submit a notice of award of disability insurance or supplemental security income from the Social Security Administration. The final option for approval of TPD Discharge is to have a physician provide a document that certifies permanent disability. Please keep in mind that documentation from a physician must note that the disability has lasted for a period of at least 60 months and will continue to affect the individual’s ability to work for at least 60 additional months. For more specific information regarding qualifications for TPD Discharge, consult this resource.


Utilizing Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Each state in the U.S. has a Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) office. VR offices provide assistance to people with disabilities to help them find jobs and develop professional skills and qualifications. These offices can also help high school students with disabilities prepare for the transition to college, and work with colleges to help students with disabilities find part-time and summer jobs. Many students are able to find on-campus jobs with the help of VR offices who have connections with local college employment departments.

Recent college graduates can additionally use the help of VR offices to launch their post-college careers and ensure that they have the assistive technology they might need to excel in their professions. College graduates can also benefit from VR technical training programs to equip them with highly technical skills they may not have acquired in college. This can be particularly useful if college graduates with disabilities decide to change fields during some stage of their careers.

In addition to the services outlined above, many VR representatives work with college students with disabilities to help them find on-campus and off-campus housing and to adjust to independent living. VR independent living training programs are often designed specifically to help recent high school graduates adjust to living on their own. Both college students with disabilities and recent high school graduates who have entered the workforce can take advantage of these programs. If interested in any of the assistance VR offices provide, college students can find their state’s office here.


Financial Aid Resources

  • Federal Student Aid Website This website powered by the U.S. Department of Education is one of the first places students should visit online when looking for financial aid opportunities. Students can use this resource to submit their Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs) to apply for federal grants and loans.
  • Disability.gov Guide to Student Financial Aid This guide is a comprehensive portal of information about obtaining financial aid, types of financial aid available, paying off student loans, and college funding available for students with disabilities.
  • College Funding for Students with Disabilities Published by the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Organization at the University of Washington, this resource contains information for students with disabilities about federal financial aid, scholarship opportunities, vocational rehabilitation, social security benefits, and more.
  • Student with Disabilities College Guide This is the Virginia Department of Education’s guide to attending college for students with disabilities. It contains information regarding picking out a college, financial aid options, and other resources students can consult to help set themselves up for success.
  • Office for Civil Rights The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights website provides information about laws that affect college students with disabilities. It also explains what students should do if they believe their college or university is violating a law.
  • National Association of Blind Students This website provides information about mentoring opportunities, networking options, and scholarship possibilities for college students who are visually impaired.
  • Navigating College A product of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Navigating College offers a blog written by contributors who have autism and have completed college. It provides tips for navigating college life and insights into what it is like to have autism in college.
  • College Resources for Students with ADD/ADHD The Attention Deficit Disorder Association’s college resources page provides students access to virtual peer support groups and workshops, professional networking opportunities, and general information about what to expect about having ADHD/ADD in college.
  • Fast Web Application Tips Fast Web offers some useful information about finding scholarships, applying to them, and increasing the chances of winning them. This website also provides a helpful list of “Don’ts” to help students better their chances of receiving scholarships by avoiding common mistakes.
  • Self-Advocacy Handbook for Students with Disabilities This resource published by Colorado State University is a thoughtful and informative online guide to planning for college, reaching academic goals, and learning the self-advocacy skills necessary to excel as an undergraduate with disabilities.