While getting accepted into and paying for college is rarely simple for anyone, navigating through the complex college admissions process can be much more challenging for students who have been diagnosed with disabilities. Despite all of the potential obstacles, including learning difficulties, physical challenges, and mountains of costly healthcare bills, more students with disabilities are achieving their college goals each day with the aid of thousands of scholarships and grants. Since every student has the right to obtain a college degree, the following are 25 scholarships that have been created to serve the unique needs of students with disabilities.
1. 180 Medical College Scholarship Program
Deadline: June 1st
The College Scholarship Program established by 180 Medical Inc. is committed to awarding five $1,000 scholarships each year to students who are under a physician’s care for spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, and/or neurogenic bladder. Eligible applicants for the program must be U.S. citizens and be attending an accredited U.S. university to pursue an associates, undergraduate, or graduate degree in a major of their choice. Along with the application, candidates must write a 750-word maximum essay on their long-term goals to overcome adversity in their life.
180 Medical College Scholarship Program
5324 W. Reno, Suite A
Oklahoma City, OK 73127
2. 1800wheelchair.com Scholarship
Deadline: January 5th
As a corporation that focuses on the sale of various kinds of medical equipment for individuals with disabilities, 1800wheelchair.com awards two $500 scholarships annually to students who experience mobility issues on a college campus. Applicants must be a high school senior or currently enrolled undergraduate student at an accredited college or university in the United States with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 or higher. On the application, it is required for students to write an essay or poem between 750 and 1,000 words answering the provided questions.
320 Roebling St. Suite 515
Brooklyn, NY 11211
3. Alice Chavez Pardini Education Advancement Grant
Deadline: October 31st
Sponsored by the San Francisco Chapter of the California Council of the Blind, the Alice Chavez Pardini Education Advancement Grant provides up to $2,500 to a legally blind student who demonstrates a need for assistance in improving his or her access to education. In order to be considered for the scholarship, applicants must be residents within one of the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, or Contra Costa in California.
Alice Chavez Pardini Education Advancement Grant
966 Union St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
4. CAPED General Excellence Scholarship
Deadline: September 13th
Each year, the California Association for Postsecondary Education and Disability (CAPED) offers a $1,500 General Excellence Scholarship to celebrate the achievements of students with disabilities. The scholarship is only awarded to college students enrolled in at least six semester units at a California public or private institution who demonstrate high academic standing with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Preference is also provided to applicants who are strongly involved in his or her community and campus life.
CAPED General Excellence Scholarship
10073 Valley View St. #242
Cypress, CA 90630
5. Cleft Palate Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: February 1st
The Cleft Palate Foundation awards a minimum of three scholarships worth $500 each annually to full-time college students enrolled in an accredited higher institution in the United States who have craniofacial anomalies. Along with the completed application, students must submit a letter of recommendation for an academic advisor, medical documentation for a craniofacial anomaly, and an official transcript. Selection for the scholarships is based on academic performance, leadership skills, and community/extracurricular involvement.
Cleft Palate Foundation Scholarships
1504 East Franklin St. Suite 102
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
6. Disabled War Veterans Scholarships
Deadline: November 15th
The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) offers merit-based scholarships each year for $2,500 each to assist honorably discharged veterans and disabled veterans of the U.S. military who are currently enrolled full-time in an accredited university. Candidates for the scholarships must be majoring in fields related to engineering, technology, security, information systems, computer science, physics, or mathematics. Applicants are required to submit a copy of their Certificate of Service, Discharged Form DD214, or a copy of their current Coast Guard Identification Card.
Disabled War Veterans Scholarships
4400 Fair Lakes Court
Fairfax, VA 22033
7. DisABLEDperson Inc. Scholarship
Deadline: October 19th
On a yearly basis, disABLEDperson Inc. hosts a nationally based scholarship competition for a top prize of $2,000 specifically for full-time U.S. college students with mental or physical impairments. To participate in the competition, students need to compose an essay with a maximum of 750 words in response to a given prompt. Upon winning the prize, recipients are required to prove their disability through the Disability Student Services department.
DisABLEDperson Inc. Scholarship
P.O. Box 230636
Encinitas, CA 92023
8. Foundation for Science and Disability Student Award Program
Deadline: December 1st
The Foundation for Science and Disability (FSD) offers the Student Award Program to graduate and professional students with disabilities who are interested in research opportunities in science, engineering, technology, mathematics, and medicine. From funding in the Graduate Student Grant Fund, senior undergraduate students can earn an award of $1,000 to cover the costs of attending an accredited graduate program related to further knowledge in the sciences.
Foundation for Science and Disability Science Student Grant Fund
503 NW 89th St.
Gainesville, FL 32607
9. Gabriel’s Foundation of Hope Scholarships
Deadline: June 2nd
In honor of Gabriel who was born with severe congenital birth defects in 1990, the Gabriel’s Foundation of Hope provides several $500 scholarships annually. Eligible applicants for the funds include college students living with a diagnosed disability, students desiring to work in a field that will benefit the disabled community, and immediately family members who reside with a person with a disability and are seeking financial assistance to further their education.
Gabriel’s Foundation of Hope Scholarships
P.O. Box 2437
Woodinville, WA 98072
10. Google Lime Scholarship Program
Deadline: December 2nd
Partnered with Google, the non-profit organization Lime Connect provides $10,000 scholarships for college students with disabilities in the United States to become future leaders in the field of computer science and technology. Eligible applicants must be enrolled full-time in an accredited university, maintain a strong academic performance, exemplify leadership, and demonstrate a strong passion for technology. Recipients of the scholarships are invited to attend the annual Google Scholars’ Retreat.
Google Lime Scholarship Program
590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10022
11. Incight Go-Getter Scholarship
Deadline: April 2nd
Each year, Incight offers up to one hundred Go-Getter Scholarships for students with disabilities who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and community service involvement while overcoming challenging obstacles. To receive the awards ranging in worth from $500 to $2,500, applicants must have a physical or mental disability, a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher, and at least two letters of recommendation to be considered eligible.
Incight Go-Getter Scholarship
310 SW Fourth Ave. Suite 630
Portland, OR 97204
12. JCS Newhoff Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
The JCS Newhoff Scholarship for a Jewish Student with a Diagnosed Learning Disability is available each year to high school seniors graduating within the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Scholarships can be applied as assistance for pursuing a vocational, trade, college, or university education at an accredited higher learning institution in the United States. When evaluating applications, the committee searches for students who demonstrate great financial need, high academic potential, and involvement in extracurricular activities within the Jewish community.
JCS Newhoff Scholarship
5750 Park Heights Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215
13. John Weir Academic Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
The John Weir Academic Scholarship is awarded annually by the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (CIL) to exceptional students struggling with disabilities. Although most receive a one-time scholarship ranging from $50 to $450, one lucky candidate will be awarded a $500 scholarship with an opportunity to continue receiving three more $500 grants through his or her academic career. Eligible applicants must be high school seniors living in Washtenaw, Monroe, or Livingston counties in Michigan and planning to attend a two or four-year university in the state.
John Weir Academic Scholarship
3941 Research Park Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 971-0277 ext. 17
14. Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund
The Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) offers the Kristofer Robinson Scholarship annually to paraplegic and quadriplegic students. In order to receive the $5,000 award and renew the scholarship for up to four years, applicants must be a legal resident of Texas, attend an accredited school in Texas, and in need of financial assistance to cover the costs of tuition or other academic expenses. Within the application packet, candidates must submit a copy of their most recent college transcript, two recommendation forms, and a signed copy of the latest tax return from their parent or legal guardian.
Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund
5500 Caruth Haven Lane
Dallas, TX 75225
15. Lilly Reintegration Scholarship
Deadline: January 31st
The Lilly Reintegration Scholarship from the Center for Reintegration is designed to provide financial assistance to students who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, or Major Depressive Disorder. Eligible applicants for the scholarship must have documentation proving the diagnosis from a mental health professional, be currently receiving treatment for the illness, be actively involved in rehabilitative effort services, and be enrolled in an accredited U.S. program at the vocational, associates, undergraduate, or graduate level.
Lilly Reintegration Scholarship
310 Busse Highway
Park Ridge, IL 60068
16. Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarships
Deadline: January 14th
From the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation, the Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarships award $10,000 to two deserving student producers annually whose work sheds light on the daily battle with disabilities. Eligible filmmakers for the scholarship must be full-time female undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at an accredited university. The winning films will be showcased in a special screening at the Television Academy Foundation’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood and recipients will also receive complimentary tickets to the annual Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York City.
Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarships
5220 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
17. Nancy J. Bloch Leadership and Advocacy Scholarship
Deadline: March 22nd
Every summer, the National Association of the Deaf offers the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership and Advocacy Scholarship for qualified applicants to spend the summer at their headquarters to actively participate in NAD advocacy efforts for the betterment of the American deaf community. One applicant pursuing a Juris Doctor degree in law school will earn a full $6,000 stipend, while two applicants at the baccalaureate level will receive stipends of $3,000 a piece. Eligible applicants must be currently enrolled in academic studies related to law, public policy, or non-profit management within the U.S.
Nancy J. Bloch Leadership and Advocacy Scholarship
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820
Silver Spring, MD 20910
18. National MS Society Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 15th and October 1st
The National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society awards bi-annual scholarships to financially assist highly accomplished qualified students who have been diagnosed with MS or who have a parent or legal guardian with MS. Eligible applicants must be current high school seniors or graduates who will be attending an accredited postsecondary institution within the United States for at least six credit hours per semester. Scholarships from the Society range from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on eligibility criteria and financial need.
National MS Society Scholarship Program
1100 New York Ave. NW Suite 660
Washington, DC 20005
19. OAR Scholarship Program
Deadline: April 26th
Funded by the beloved Schwallie Family, the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) provides scholarships for tuition assistance to qualified undergraduate students who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum and are pursuing a two or four-year degree full-time in the United States. Although the organization respects the sensitivity of medical information by assuming applicants have an autism diagnosis, finalists will need to submit documentation of the diagnosis to receive the funds. In addition, applicants will need to provide a personal letter and at least one letter of recommendation.
OAR Scholarship Program
2000 North 14th St. Suite 240
Arlington, VA 22201
20. Sacks for CF Scholarship
Deadline: January 11th
The Boomer Esiason Foundation offers scholarships ranging from $3,000 and $10,000 to undergraduate and graduate students who have been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. As the name suggests, the program receives more funding from each sack made during Monday Night Football every season. In order to become one of the 30 chosen recipients for the awards, applicants must submit an application, letter from physician confirming diagnosis, official college transcript, detailed breakdown of financial aid from academic institution, and W2 forms from both parents or legal guardians.
Sacks for CF Scholarship
483 10th Ave. Suite 300
New York, NY 10018
21. Scholarship for People with Disabilities
Deadline: May 31st
Each year, the Scholarship for People with Disabilities is awarded to eligible individuals with physical and/or sensory disabilities in order to assist with pursuing their educational and career goals. To be granted the scholarship for up to $1,000, qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens, residents of Minnesota, and a recipient of Courage Center services. Students must be enrolled as an undergraduate at an accredited institution in the state and carry a minimum of full-time coursework.
Scholarship for People with Disabilities
3915 Golden Valley Rd.
Minneapolis, MN 55422
22. Scholarship Trust for the Hearing Impaired
Deadline: March 1st
The Travelers Protective Association of America (TPA) has established the Scholarship Trust Fund for the Hearing Impaired to provide scholarship assistance to individuals who suffer from deafness or hearing impairments. Supported by gifts from members and corporations, the scholarships are designed to help students gain access to the mechanical devices, specialized medical treatment, and education accommodations directly related to their impairment.
Scholarship Trust for the Hearing Impaired
3755 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, Missouri 63108
23. The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships
Deadline: December 31st
The National Center for Learning Disabilities grants the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships annually to two graduating high school seniors with documented learning disabilities who are seeking assistance to pursue a postsecondary degree. Since recipients of the scholarship must be accepted into a full-time bachelor’s degree program, Anne Ford Scholars are awarded $2,500 each year for four years for a total of $10,000 in funds. Along with the application, candidates must submit a personal statement, high school transcript copy, three letters of recommendation, financial statement, all standardized test scores, and medical proof of a specific learning disability.
The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships
381 Park Ave. South, Suite 1401
New York, NY 10016
24. Through the Looking Glass Scholarships for Students with Parents with Disabilities
Deadline: March 11th
Sponsored by the National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families, the Through the Looking Glass scholarships are awarded to outstanding high school seniors and enrolled undergraduate college students who have parents with disabilities. In order to receive one of the 15 scholarships worth $1,000 apiece, eligible applicants must be planning to attend or are currently enrolled in a two or four-year degree program at an accredited institution. Selection by the committee is made based on academic performance, community involvement, letters of recommendation, and an essay describing applicants’ experiences of growing up with a disabled parent.
Through the Looking Glass Scholarships for Students with Parents with Disabilities
3075 Adeline St. Suite 120
Berkeley, CA 94703
25. Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired Scholarships
Deadline: April 8th
Each year, the Wisconsin Council of the Blind is offering scholarships up to $1,500 in value for Wisconsin students who are legally blind or visually impaired. Eligible applicants for the awards must be residents of the state, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher, and a visual field of 20 degrees or less. The scholarships are only granted to students who are enrolled part-time or full-time within a college of university program to pursue an undergraduate degree.
Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired Scholarships
754 Williamson St.
Madison, WI 53703
Since the legislation for the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, more and more scholarships have been created to help accommodate the unique needs of disabled student populations and demolish the barriers that once stood in the way of these students accessing higher education. If you are a student with any type of physical, emotional, or mental disabilities, it is highly recommended that you further investigate these 25 exceptional scholarship opportunities to help offset the financial burden and overcome all setbacks to academic success.