The Best Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
For college students with physical, intellectual or mental-health disabilities, the quintessential American university experience may seem less than inviting.
Luckily, there are numerous scholarships available so these students can get the help they deserve to pay for college. In fact, there are so many that it would be impossible to list them all, but these stand out as some of the most lucrative.
AmeriGlide Achiever Scholarship
Every year, the $2,500 AmeriGlide scholarship is awarded to a college student who uses a wheelchair (manual or electric) or a mobility scooter. Eligible students must also have at least one year of college experience and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
National MS Society Scholarship Program
Twice a year, the National MS Society awards scholarships to high school seniors or recent high school graduates who are either living with MS or have a parent or legal guardian with MS. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $3,000 based on financial need.
Soozie Courter Hemophilia Scholarship Program
15 high school graduates and current college students are awarded the Soozie Courter Scholarship for students diagnosed with hemophilia. Awards are $4,000 each.
Organization for Autism Research
The OAR awards one-time scholarships of $3,000 to students on the autism spectrum who are working toward accreditation or certification in a particular area of study.
Jill M. Balboni Memorial Scholarship
The Balboni Memorial Scholarship is an award of $5,000 given to two graduating high-school seniors who have been formally diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Eligible students need to have had a high school GPA of 3.2 or higher and must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in college.
Anders Tjellstrom Scholarship
This scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students who have received the Baha (Bone-anchored hearing aid) system. The award of $2,500 is eligible for yearly renewal if the student maintains a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships
These are two related scholarships, started by a mother and daughter. They’re for students with formal diagnoses of learning disabilities or ADHD.
The Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship awards $2,500 to one student enrolling in a two-year community college for vocational technological programs or other programs for students with learning disabilities.
That scholarship was a spin-off of The Anne Ford Scholarship, which awards $2,500 a year (up to $10,000) to a graduating high-school senior enrolling in a four-year bachelor’s program.
UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship
The UCB Epilepsy Scholarship awards $5,000 to 30 students seeking secondary education who have been diagnosed with epilepsy or have an immediate family member who has.
There are also two awards of $10,000 for exceptional applicants. This scholarship is also open to students with a documented history of caregiving for a person with epilepsy who is not necessarily related to them.
Disabled War Veterans Scholarship
Merit-based scholarships of up to $2,500 are awarded by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association to honorably discharged veterans of the United States military who are living with a disability.
Student veterans will be eligible if they’re majoring in engineering, technology, mathematics, physics, computer science, information systems or security.
Craig H. Nielsen Scholarship Fund for Students with Disabilities
This scholarship awards $7,000 to fund supplies, materials and class costs for students with spinal cord injuries. All students with spinal cord injuries are welcome to apply, but preference is given to students pursuing law or a business-related major.
As many as 20 high-school graduates who are legally blind can receive a scholarship of $10,000 each. There’s also a 21st award given to a graduate student.
Lilly Reintegration Scholarship
The Center for Reintegration offers financial aid to currently-enrolled secondary-education students who have been formally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder.
Eligible students must currently be receiving treatment for their illness and participating in a rehabilitative program.
Jay Cutler Athletic Scholarship
Partnered with the Diabetes Scholars Foundation, scholarships of $5,000 are awarded to five incoming college freshman who are student athletes with Type-1 Diabetes and who plan to continue playing a sport at the collegiate level.
Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship
Open to all students with diagnosed disabilities, the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship awards $5,000 to students with a demonstrated financial need. This scholarship is specifically geared toward students majoring in fields including, but not limited to, business, law, engineering, computer science and computer information systems.
Google Lime Scholarship Foundation
Not-for-profit organization Lime Connect is partnered with tech giant Google to offer $10,000 to students with disabilities who are entering the fields of engineering or computer science. Furthermore, recipients are automatically invited to the annual Google Scholars’ Retreat.
These are only a few of the many scholarships available specifically for students with disabilities. There are many more out there that are geared specifically to students majoring in certain subjects, or students who are from or are going to attend school in specific cities, counties or states.
If this list doesn’t have one that seems quite right, there’s probably a perfect match out there that isn’t too hard to find.