The Ultimate Guide To Scholarships For Students With Disabilities
If you’re looking for scholarships for students with disabilities, you’ve come to the right place. Disability scholarships are more widely available today. Colleges and universities are increasingly creating programs and resources to help students with disabilities. Approximately 11% of undergraduate students have a disability, which represents about 2 million people. Further, approximately 30% of full-time undergraduate students and 8% of part-time college students reported having a disability. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students with disabilities may have one or more of the following: a specific learning disability, a visual impairment, hearing loss, deafness, a speech impairment, an orthopedic impairment, or a health impairment. The National Center for Education Statistics also found that 8% of Asian students, 10% of Hispanic students, 11% of White students, 12% of African-American students, 14% of Native American students and 15% of Pacific Islander students reported having a disability.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are landmark laws that were enacted in 1990 to protect the rights of students with disabilities. To make your college and graduate school experience most successful, make sure to advocate for any additional accommodations that you believe you need. Most colleges and universities will be willing to accommodate your needs.
With tuition costs continuing to rise, students with disabilities need access to helpful resources and scholarships to help pay for college and graduate school. This guide to scholarships for students with disabilities can help provide a path to expanded educational and professional opportunities.
In this scholarship guide, we will discuss:
Resources For Students With Disabilities
Disability scholarshipsare available from colleges, universities, non-profit organizations and foundations. If you are a student with a disability, scholarships are available to help pay for tuition, room and board, books and other essential items for college and graduate school. The following are some helpful resources:
- American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
- Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring (DREAM)
- Mobility International USA (MIUSA)
- National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD)
How To Pay For College
There are many ways to pay for college. Paying full tuition, fees and room and board is not the only choice. Here are the main ways for how to pay for college:
Scholarships. Scholarships are available from non-profit organizations, companies and civic organizations who want to make a difference in the lives of students with disabilities. There are hundreds of scholarships available, each has its own separate application process.
Grants. Grants are based on your financial need and are available from your school, federal government or state government. Unlike a student loan, grants do not need to be repaid.
Student Loans. Student loans are the most popular way that students pay for college or graduate school. After you have received scholarships and grants, you likely will borrow student loans. You can borrow student loans from the federal government and from a private lender. If you borrow from the federal government, you receive the same interest rate as all other borrowers. If you borrow from a private lender, you may receive a lower interest rate if you have a credit history or apply with a co-signer.
Federal Work Study. Federal work study is available for undergraduate and graduate students. The program is based on need and provides students with a job to earn money and pay for college or graduate school.
The Scholarship Application Process
Each scholarship has different requirements so make sure to check for qualifications. There also may be eligibility requirements that you need to satisfy in addition to applying for a particular scholarship. Here are some common components of the scholarship application process:
Grades. Many scholarships may have a minimum grade point average. Even if the scholarship is need-based, scholarship organizations may require a minimum level of academic achievement.
Essay. You may need to answer one or more essay questions. Scholarship organizations may want to evaluate your writing ability and the reasons you believe you are best qualified to receive a scholarship.
Recommendations. You may be asked to provide one or more written recommendations. These recommendations can be from teachers or employers who know you well and can highlight your strengths and aptitude.
Interviews. Some scholarships may require an interview. These interviews may be on the telephone or in person. In either case, it’s helpful to prepare for your interviews.
These scholarships for students with disabilities collectively offer thousands of dollars annually students based on merit and financial need.
This scholarship is for high school seniors or current undergraduate students with a minimum 3.0 GPA. There is no formal printed application or requirements in terms of physical disability or ability.
Deadline: November 15, 2020
This scholarship is for full-time undergraduate or graduate students who have a disability. Preference is given to applicants who are pursuing a career in the field of health and disability.
Deadline: January 1, 2021
This scholarships is for a graduating high school senior with a documented learning disability and/or ADHD who will be enrolled in a two-year community college, a vocational or technical training program, or a specialized program for students with a learning disability.
This scholarship is for a graduating high school senior with a documented learning disability and/or ADHD who will be enrolled in a full-time bachelor’s degree program.
This scholarship is for high school, undergraduate or graduate students with cystic fibrosis.
This scholarship is available to an undergraduate or graduate student with any type of disability, including, but not limited to, physical disabilities, medical conditions, mental and psychiatric conditions, speech and language, learning disabilities, behavioral conditions and all other disabling conditions.
This scholarship is for students who have been diagnosed with hemiplegia or hemiparesis due to any cause or a diagnosis of pediatric stroke.
Deadline: August 1, 2020
This scholarship is for students who are attending college institutions that have a debilitating condition, support the disabled, or plan on making a difference in the disabled community.
This scholarship is for students who have a medically diagnosed impairment (physical or mental) that interferes with everyday activities and quality of life while continuing their college education. Applicants must provide a physician’s statement of diagnosis.
This scholarship is for students with a history of a blood disorder or cancer. Applicants must submit an essay.
Deadline: April 12, 2020
This scholarship is for high school seniors who plan to attend an accredited institution who have a Cochlear Nucleus Implant.
This scholarship is available for high school, college and university students who have a mobility disability, have excelled academically and who have a regard for disability awareness in America.
This scholarships is for individuals with Down syndrome who are pursuing educational or job training opportunities beyond high school. There are also scholarships for individuals who are pursuing a junior college, undergraduate or graduate degree.