In order to help accommodate the needs of physically disabled student populations and demolish the barriers that once forced these students to give up their academic goals, many organizations have created scholarships for paraplegics to pursue post-secondary education.
While paying for college is rarely simple due to the rising price of tuition nationwide, it can be even more challenging for paralyzed students who are struggling with the costs of healthcare treatment and medical assistive equipment. However, the following are 25 of the best scholarships that have been established to provide the financial resources paraplegics need to pursue a college degree.
1. American Association on Health and Disability Scholarships
Deadline: November 15th
Each year, the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) grants $1,000 scholarships to currently enrolled full-time undergraduate or graduate students attending any U.S. accredited institution with a documented permanent physical disability. Preference will be given to students majoring in public health, disability research, disability studies, health promotion, or any other field related to disability or health. Applicants must submit medical proof of their disability, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a transcript.
American Association on Health and Disability Scholarships
110 North Washington St. Suite 328J
Rockville, MD 20850
2. AmeriGlide Achiever Scholarship Program
Deadline: May 31st
As the leading supplier of home accessibility products, AmeriGlide hosts the Achiever Scholarship Program annually to provide up to $2,500 to full-time college students with a physical disability that requires the use of a manual wheelchair, power wheelchair, or mobility scooter. Eligible candidates must be enrolled at an accredited two or four-year college within the United States, have at least one year of college experience, and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
AmeriGlide Achiever Scholarship Program
3901A Commerce Park Drive
Raleigh, NC 27610
3. BC Paraplegic Foundation Scholarships for Spinal Cord Injury
Deadline: May 24th
In order to provide bursaries to paraplegics for supporting their pursuits in obtaining post-secondary education for greater independence, the BC Paraplegic Foundation offers $3,000 annual scholarships specifically to graduating high school seniors with a spinal cord injury. While it is required that candidates are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants living in British Columbia, the scholarship funding can be applied as tuition assistance at any accredited educational facility in Canada or the United States.
BC Paraplegic Foundation Scholarships for Spinal Cord Injury
780 Southwest Marine Drive
Vancouver, BC V6P 5Y7
4. Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: June 27th
With the goal of providing financial assistance to those who suffer from neurological disorders and spinal cord injuries that have resulted in paralysis, the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation awards $1,000 and $2,000 scholarships annually to two or three individuals with neurological disabilities who will be pursuing post-secondary education after high school graduation. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, be college bound for receiving a two or four-year degree, and write an original essay on their life goals.
Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation Scholarships
P.O. Box 1388
Waukesha, WI 53187
5. Catherine T. Murray Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
Sponsored by the Ocean State Center for Independent Living (OSCIL) in memory of a dedicated volunteer who wished to support greater access to education for persons overcoming disabilies, the Catherine T. Murray Memorial Scholarship is granted for $1,000 annually to Rhode Island residents with a significant physical disability, including paralysis. Selection is based on academic merit, economic need, educational goals, use of assistive or adaptive equipment, and extra-curricular activities.
Catherine T. Murray Memorial Scholarship
1944 Warwick Avenue
Warwick, RI 02889
6. Chair Scholars National Scholarship Program
Deadline: April 15th
Available to students in every state in the continental United States, the Chair Scholars National Scholarship Program provides up to $20,000 to deserving graduating high school seniors and college undergraduate students who have overcome the challenge of a serious physical challenge to excel academically. Qualified candidates must have verifiable unmet financial need, have at least a B average, exhibit participation in some form of community service, and provide medical documentation of a severe physical disability.
Chair Scholars National Scholarship Program
16101 Carencia Lane
Odessa, FL 33556
7. Chanda Plan Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: June 23rd
Designed to improve the health and quality of live for persons with permanent physical disabilities or paralysis, the Chanda Plan Foundation presents annual scholarships for up to $5,000 as financial assistance to graduating high school seniors seeking to pursue post-secondary education at an accredited U.S. institution. For consideration, candidates must submit an online application, two letters of reference, an official sealed transcript, and documentation of limited financial resources.
Chanda Plan Foundation Scholarships
866 East 78th Avenue
Denver, CO 80229
8. Cindy Kolb Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: September 13th
Sponsored by the California Association for Postsecondary Education and Disability (CAPED), the Cindy Kolb Memorial Scholarship awards $1,000 annually to students with a physical disability who are attending a public or private California university at least part-time with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Along with the application, students are asked to attach a letter of recommendation, verification of disability, official transcripts, proof of current enrollment, and a financial statement of estimated expenses.
Cindy Kolb Memorial Scholarship
10073 Valley View St. Suite 242
Cypress, CA 90630
9. Disability Awareness Scholarship
Deadline: January 10th
With the hopes of contributing to continued disability support to improve the schooling of those with serious permanent disabilities, the Disability Awareness Scholarship is presented for $1,000 to any individual 17 years of age or older who is currently accepted or enrolled full-time in an undergraduate college program. Eligible candidates must have a verified physical disability, be pursuing an accredited degree at a U.S. higher learning institution, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Disability Awareness Scholarship
200 112th Avenue NE Suite 310
Bellevue, WA 98004
10. Dr. E. Bruce Hendrick Scholarship Program
Deadline: April 30th
Established by the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario, the Dr. E. Bruce Hendrick Scholarship Program provides financial support to students with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus who are pursuing higher education with the ultimate goal of developing independence and responsibility for their own future. Although the program is open only to Canada citizens residing in the province of Ontario, the awards are valid at any accredited university, technical school, or career institute.
Dr. E. Bruce Hendrick Scholarship Program
555 Richmond St. W Suite 1006
Toronto, ON M5V 3B1
11. Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation Scholarship for Women
Deadline: June 1st
In honor of an outstanding advocate of higher education for women who was paralyzed by a spinal cord tumor since the age of two, the Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation Scholarship for Women presents up to $2,000 to female graduate students with physical disabilities who are currently enrolled in any U.S. university. Qualified candidates must be working towards an accredited master’s degree or above and be active in a local or national disability organization.
Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation Scholarship for Women
2460 North Lake Avenue
P.O. Box 128
Altadena, CA 91001
12. Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE Scholarship
Deadline: July 1st
Annually, Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE awards college scholarships for $500 to students overcoming a diagnosed disability to pursue post-secondary education as well as to students desiring to work in a field that will benefit the disability community. Along with the application, applicants must create a list of academic achievements, a statement on extra-curricular activates or work experience, a short essay on career goals, and a brief autobiography.
Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE Scholarship
P.O. Box 2437
Woodinville, WA 98072
13. Independence Foundation Amity Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 15th
Established in loving memory of Amity Graham, the Independence Foundation Amity Scholarship Fund provides three awards for $500 each annually to graduating high school seniors or current undergraduate students who are wheelchair users due to a severe physical disability or paralysis. Applicants must write a 500-word essay about how their physical limitations have presented challenges and how they are committed to persevering despite them to reach higher education goals.
Independence Foundation Amity Scholarship Fund
2220 Hall Rd.
Elma, NY 14059
14. Jackson-Stricks Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 16th
Sponsored by the New York Section of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJWNY), the Jackson-Stricks Scholarship Fund offers annual scholarships for varying amounts to physically disabled students who will be pursuing academic or vocational training at an accredited higher learning institution in the New York City metropolitan area. Recipients will be chosen based on inspirational goals, financial need, physical disability, community service, and academic merit.
Jackson-Stricks Scholarship Fund
820 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
15. Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund
For up to $5,000 per year for a maximum of four years, the Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas is awarded annually to paraplegic and quadriplegic students who are residents of Texas and are pursuing a post-secondary education at any accredited school in the state. In order to qualify, applicants need to submit a completed application, recent academic transcript, two recommendation forms, and a signed copy of a recent tax return demonstrating financial need.
Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund
5500 Caruth Haven Lane
Dallas, TX 75225
16. Lazof Family Foundation Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
The Lazof Family Foundation Scholarship is presented annually for $2,000 to high school juniors or seniors who have been diagnosed with spina bifida and have experienced paralysis or other orthopedic abnormalities as a direct result. Qualified candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and be accepted for enrollment at any four-year university accredited in the United States. If academic progress and full-time enrollment is maintained, the scholarship can be renewed for up to four years of funding.
Lazof Family Foundation Scholarship
4590 MacArthur Blvd. NW Suite 250
Washington, DC 20007
17. Mei Yuen Hoover Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
Created in 1999 by a generous donation to George Washington University’s Disability Support Services, the Mei Yuen Hoover Scholarship is designed to assist students with physical disabilities who wish to study within the university’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences to receive their undergraduate or graduate education. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens, be residents of any state except the District of Columbia, demonstrate financial need, and be admitted for full-time enrollment.
Mei Yuen Hoover Scholarship
800 21st St. NW Suite 242
Washington, DC 20052
18. Michael Hogue Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: Contact sponsoring organization
In honor of a paratrooper with the 101st Airbourne Division who was wounded in action in the Vietnam War and lost the use of his legs, the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America (MPVA) distributes the Michael Hogue Memorial Scholarship for $500 annually to Michigan residents who are paralyzed veterans, the spouses of paralyzed veterans, or unmarried children dependent on a paralyzed veteran. Qualified applicants must be accepted or enrolled as a full-time or part-time student in a degree-granting program at any accredited U.S. institution.
Michael Hogue Memorial Scholarship
40550 Grand River Avenue
Novi, MI 49375
(248) 476-9000 ext. 06
19. Patrick Juris Scholarship Fund
Deadline: May 1st
Sponsored by the Illinois Spina Bifida Assoication and the Juris family, the Patrick Juris Scholarship Fund was established to provide financial assistance to students with spina bifida who are pursuing a master’s degree in a field of service that helps others. In order to be eligible for the $2,000 special scholarship, candidates must have significant spinal cord problems that force them to use a wheelchair, demonstrate a love of learning, and exhibit a commitment to touching the lives of other students with disabilities.
Patrick Juris Scholarship Fund
1011 Lake St. Suite 406
Oak Park, IL 60301
20. Robert and Rosemary Low Memorial Award
Deadline: April 8th
Awarded on the basis of academic achievement, financial need, and service involvement, the Robert and Rosemary Low Memorial Award presents $1,500 annually to academically qualified graduate students who are overcoming severe physical handicaps. Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens, have been admitted to a graduate degree program with regular status, be enrolled in at least six credits per semester, demonstrate financial need, and submit medical verification of a significant physical disability.
Robert and Rosemary Low Memorial Award
1825 SW Broadway St.
Portland, OR 97201
21. Rotary Club of Victoria Scholarship for the Disabled
Deadline: May 31st
Administered by the British Columbia Paraplegic Association, the Rotary Club of Victoria Scholarship for the Disabled provides up to $3,000 annually to a physically disabled student with permanent mobility impairments that lead to the need for assistive equipment. Qualified candidates must be currently enrolled at an accredited institution in Canada or the United States, be on a reduced course load with at least three credits per term, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better.
Rotary Club of Victoria Scholarship for the Disabled
3800 Finnerty Rd.
Victoria, BC V8P 5C2
22. Spina Bifida Association Four-Year College Scholarships
Deadline: March 1st
To enhance the lives of all affected, the Spina Bifida Association (SBA) offers four-year college scholarships to high school junior or senior students with spina bifida who will be enrolling full-time at any college or university accredited in the United States to pursue an undergraduate degree. In order to qualify for the $5,000 scholarship, candidates must submit a physician statement of physical disability, college letter of acceptance, and financial need statement.
Spina Bifida Association Four-Year College Scholarships
4590 MacArthur Blvd. NW Suite 250
Washington, DC 20007
23. Swim with Mike Scholarship for Physically Challenged Athletes
Deadline: May 1st
With the mission of providing financial resources for advanced education that pay the way for physically challenged athletes to overcome their tragedies and realize their fullest potential, the Swim with Mike Scholarship grants up to $5,000 annually as assistance for attending a four-year or graduate-level institution of higher learning. For consideration, high school and collegiate athletes must have sustained a life-changing accident or illness, including paralysis, blindness, amputation, or severe head injuries.
Swim with Mike Scholarship for Physically Challenged Athletes
3501 Watt Way Suite 203A
Los Angeles, CA 90089
24. Todd Brown Memorial Medical Scholarship
Deadline: June 1st
Established by the leading urologic catheter supplier in the United States in honor of the founder who was permanently paralyzed in a motocross accident, the Todd Brown Memorial Medical Scholarship program grants five scholarships annually for $1,000 apiece to disabled students attending a two-year, four-year, or graduate school program on a full-time basis. Qualified applicants must be under a physician’s care for a spinal cord injury, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, or neurogenic bladder for consideration.
Todd Brown Memorial Medical Scholarship
5324 West Reno Suite A
Oklahoma City, OK 73127
25. Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Scholarship
Deadline: March 14th
Created by Learning Ally, the Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Scholarship is presented to high school senior and college undergraduate student members in Southern California who have learning disabilities, physical mobility disabilities, or visual impairments. In order to receive up to $3,500 in scholarship funding, candidates must reside in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, San Diego, or Imperial counties, be accepted for enrollment in an accredited public or private California institution, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Scholarship
5022 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Despite the challenges of physical limitations, mobility impairments, and mountains of costly healthcare bills, more paraplegic students than ever before are able to achieve their higher education goals with the financial assistance provided by the various scholarships and grants available. If you have become paralyzed as a result of a traumatic accident, spinal cord injury, birth defect, or other serious medical condition, you are strongly encouraged to further investigate these 25 excellent scholarships for paraplegics to help overcome obstacles to academic success.
Additional Resource: 25 Great Scholarships for Students with Disabilities