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 impairment, a specific learning disability, an orthopedic impairment, 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 15, 2017

Requirements

  • Must have a documented disability
  • Must be enrolled full-time as undergraduate student or part-time/full-time as graduate student at accredited U.S. institution
  • U.S. citizen or legal resident

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

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The Google Lime Scholarship $10,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Meet Lime Connect’s Disability classification requirements
  • Be pursuing a degree in computer science or computer Engineering
  • Attend school in the U.S. or Canada

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

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Global Teletherapy's Academic Excellence Award $1,000

Deadline
September 15, 2017

Requirements

  • Must be enrolled in college or university
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Must be in good academic standing

Additional Info
Students must complete an essay discussing the importance of bettering one’s community. Must apply for scholarship through email.

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'Business Plan' Scholarship for Students With Disabilities $1,000

Deadline
November 1 and April 1 annually

Requirements

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

Additional Info
This scholarship is awarded twice annually. Spring applications are open January 1 through April 1. Fall applications are open August 1 through November 1.

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Rehabmart Disability Scholarships $250-$25,000

Deadline
May 31 annually

Requirements

  • An essay on provided topic
  • Must be student with a disability, health science student, or special needs education student

Additional Info
Distribution of awards depends on volume of applications. Essay section of application may be published to Rehabmart website.

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Incight Scholarship $500-$1,500

Deadline
April 1, 2018

Requirements

  • Resident status in California, Washington, or Oregon
  • Must have documented disability
  • 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
June 19, 2017

Requirements

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

Additional Info
This scholarship is awarded to eight students each year.

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Academy of Special Dreams Scholarship $250-$1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • A portfolio of creative work included in scholarship application
  • Must be studying art or creative writing at a U.S. institution
  • 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
2018 deadline TBA

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, 2017

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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Newcombe Scholarships for Students With Disabilities $1,733 on average

Deadline
Varies based on college/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-$20,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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

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The Jan La Belle Scholarship Program Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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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BMO Capital Markets Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholarship $5,000-$10,000

Deadline
September 24, 2017

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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The Ability Center Disability Scholarship $20,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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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The John Lepping Memorial Scholarship: Disabled Youth $5,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Diagnosed with disability
  • Must be resident of New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania
  • Demonstrate academic excellence
  • Accepted for admission at higher education institution

Additional Info
Applicants must provide proof of disability, including physical and psychological conditions, with letter from physician.

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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 disability 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
2018 deadline TBA

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
2018 deadline TBA

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 $10,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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
2018 application will be posted in October, 2017.

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Joseph James Morelli Scholarship for Students with Learning Disabilities $500-$2,500

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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
Details for 2018 application will be posted in January 2018.

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Gemm Learning Dyslexia Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Documentation proving college enrollment
  • Dyslexia diagnosis
  • A 300-500 word essay

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 with disabilities such as ADHD/ADD 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
2018 deadline TBA

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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The Dottie-Walker Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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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Chad Stovall Memorial Scholarship $500

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Should be student diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, OCD, or ADD/ADHD
  • Incoming freshmen, transfer students, or currently enrolled undergraduate/graduate students at Western Illinois University
  • Enrolled full-time
  • Documentation of disability

Additional Info
Applicants need at least one letter of recommendation from a WIU faculty or staff member.

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Scholarships for Students with Hearing Impairments

Hearing impairment can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. There are several disability 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 $2,500-$10,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Hearing loss diagnosed before fourth birthday
  • Hearing loss must be bilateral
  • Full-time student pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree at four-year institution
  • Minimum 3.25 GPA

Additional Info
Students who wear hearing aids must meet certain PTA requirements. This scholarship is merit-based and financial need is not weighed heavily in selection process.

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Graeme Clark Scholarship $2,000

Deadline
September 30, 2017

Requirements

  • Must have Nucleus Cochlear Implant
  • Be a graduating high school senior in spring 2017
  • Enrolled/plan to enroll in 2017/18 school year at accredited institution
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA

Additional Info
Scholarship paid in annual installments at end of each year of study.

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

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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 Hard of Hearing or Deaf Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
May 1, 2018

Requirements

  • Have minimum 40dB bilateral hearing loss
  • U.S. citizen
  • Pursuing a bachelor’s degree full-time at U.S. institution
  • Minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA

Additional Info
Scholarship can be used to cover tuition, books, and supplies.

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Foundation for Sight and Sound Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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
Award recipients will also receive two hearing aids.

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Foundation for Sight and Sound Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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
Application process opens on January 1.

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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.

Bear Reintegration Scholarship Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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
Scholarship applications generally available from October to January each year.

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The JC Runyon Foundation Scholarships Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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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The Drake Davis Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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
2018 deadline TBA

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
2018 deadline TBA

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]

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 Up to $15,000

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 31, 2018

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
Application period begins November 1, 2017

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ACB Scholarship $1,000-$4,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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 $1,000-$3,500

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

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

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

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USABA Scholarship Program $500

Deadline
July 31, 2017

Requirements

  • Legally blind
  • Enrolled in two-year or four-year higher education institution as full-time student
  • Current USABA member

Additional Info
The program offers two scholarships, eligibility requirements for which differ slightly.

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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

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

Diabetes Scholars Foundation $1,000-$5,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • High school seniors with Type 1 diabetes with plans to enroll at accredited higher education institution
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Additional Info
The foundation offers multiple scholarship opportunities, each with slightly different eligibility requirements. Details are provided on the scholarship website.

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Andrew Sobel Award $5,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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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IDF 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 $5,000-$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 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 college students with disabilities like these 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
2018 deadline TBA

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
2018 deadline TBA

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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The Claude S. Weiler Scholarship for Amputee College Students Varies

Deadline
August 31, 2017

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 Foundation Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline

Requirements

  • Have a diagnosed spinal deformity
  • Proof of medical diagnoses with physician statement
  • Demonstrate community involvement and financial need
  • Enrolled as undergraduate or graduate of any major

Additional Info
Student must be enrolled full-time at ASU, NAU, or UofA

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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 Scholarships $3,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Pursuing full-time, post-secondary, undergraduate education, or vocational-technical training at two-year or four-year college, a trade, technical, or vocational skill, or cooperative life skills programs

Additional Info
Scholarships include the Schwallie Family Scholarship and the Lisa Higgins Hussman Scholarship.

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KFM Making a Difference for Autism Scholarship $500

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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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Avonte Oquendo Memorial Scholarship for Autism $1,000

Deadline
July 31, 2017

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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The Autism Society of Iowa College Scholarships Varies

Deadline
July 31, 2017

Requirements

  • Student resides in Iowa
  • Is on the autism spectrum

Additional Info
The Autism Society of Iowa has four different scholarships, each of which has slightly different eligibility requirements.

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ASAN Autistic Scholars Fellowship Program $5,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Must be autistic with interest in advocacy for autistic people and people with disabilities

Additional Info
Applications for this award will become available mid-July annually and close at the end of October.

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Percy Martinez Autism Scholarship $5,000

Deadline
December 31, 2017

Requirements

  • Must be student with autism, including high school undergraduate, graduate, and autism school students
  • Should provide either proof of enrollment in accredited school, two letters of recommendation, or have interest in education/volunteer or intern experience

Additional Info
Students must submit a short essay discussing the future of education.

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Feldman Law Firm Autism Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
Varies

Requirements

  • Be diagnosed with ASD (DSM-V)
  • Planning to continue education at vocational school, college, or university

Additional Info
Applicants do not need to be enrolled in school at the time they submit their application, but must use funds within year the scholarship has been awarded.

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Scholarships for Students with Cerebral Palsy

Scholarships

Achievements and Abilities Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
July 31, 2017

Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Enrolled or plan to enroll at U.S. institution as undergraduate or graduate student
  • Have cerebral palsy or a family member with cerebral palsy
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA

Additional Info
Preference goes to applicants from Michigan. Present or future clients of Michigan Cerebral Palsy Attorneys not eligible for award.

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UCP of MetroBoston Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Must have medical diagnosis of cerebral palsy
  • Be incoming college freshman or current undergraduate/graduate student
  • Reside in Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Additional Info
Student should be able to demonstrate academic excellence.

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AACPDM Student Scholarship Up to $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Must be enrolled in full-time degree program or be a medical trainee
  • Submit an abstract to AACPDM annual meeting
  • Be an AACPDM member or have applied to become one

Additional Info
The scholarship covers expenses to send recipients to AACPDM’s annual meeting, where they attend instructional courses, network, and learn from experts in the field of childhood-onset disabilities.

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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 for students with parents with disabilities can help cover the cost of tuition, books, and living expenses, and can help students focus less on finances and more on academics.

Scholarships

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

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Be the hearing son or daughter of deaf parents
  • Be enrolled for undergraduate or graduate study at any accredited higher education institution

Additional Info
Preference goes to first-time winners.

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

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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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The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship $4,000

Deadline
December 1, 2017

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 Scholarships $5,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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 may vary 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
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Must be a Paralyzed Veterans of America member, the spouse of a member, or unmarried child under 24 who is a dependent of a member
  • Must be accepted at or attending an accredited college or university
  • Must be a U.S. citizen

Additional Info
Previous award recipients may reapply.

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Feldman Law Firm Disabled Veterans Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
February 5, 2018

Requirements

  • Be a veteran of any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States
  • Have a disability rating of 30% or higher
  • Plan on attending trade, vocational school, college, or junior college

Additional Info
Applicants do not need to be enrolled at the time they submit their application, but must use the funds within a year after the scholarship is awarded.

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War Veterans Scholarship $2,500

Deadline
November 15, 2017

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 and Conditions

Scholarships

Leukemia & Lymphoma Law School Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
July 31, 2017

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 law school tuition and/or books.

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Little People of America Scholarship $200-$1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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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Terril Foundation Scholarship Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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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Terril Foundation Scholarship $500-$1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

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
2018 deadline TBA

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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Social Security Disability Benefits for Students

Individuals who are unable to work due to a disability or medical condition are sometimes eligible for Social Security benefits. These benefits are available through two programs. The first is the Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program, which provides benefits to disabled people who have worked and paid a certain amount of Social Security taxes. The second is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which is available to disabled adults and their children based on financial need (income and countable resources or assets).
Individuals who apply for disability benefits must meet strict eligibility requirements, and those with short-term or partial disabilities are typically not eligible. Students who are capable of attending a college campus, completing coursework, and going about day-to-day activities are therefore not always suitable candidates for disability benefits. However, some students are eligible for SSDI and SSI.

Students who are receiving SSI may be able to exclude grants, scholarships, and other types of financial assistance from their countable resources for a nine-month period or longer. For example, any type of financial aid received from Title IV Higher Education Act or a BIA assistance programs will not be considered when the SSA calculates a student’s resources. These types of programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Pell grants
  • Byrd Scholars
  • Academic Achievement Incentive Scholarships
  • Federal Educational Loans
  • LEAP, SLEAP, and work-study programs

You can learn more about SSI and SSD support for young people with disabilities or children of disabled parents by visiting the Social Security Administration website.


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.