Disability Scholarships for Higher Education

Disability Scholarships - Introduction

One piece of advice that I always tell students in relation to the process of searching and applying for scholarships, is to break down and identify each and every thing that defines who you are as a student and as a person in general so you can search strategically and maximize your potential sources for financial aid.

If you're a student with a disability, know that there are lots of great disability grants and scholarships out there that you may be eligible to apply for to help you pay for college.

Disability scholarships can stem from a wide variety of sources. First up we have the colleges and universities themselves. Whether you're still in high school or currently enrolled in college, you can certainly reach out to your future or current institution's financial aid office to inquire about scholarships that are specific to you.

Second, students with disabilities can also look into the US Department of Education's TRIO Program, which aims to assist individuals with disadvantages (disabilities, low-income, first-generation) with the resources that they need to obtain a higher education degree.

In addition to leveraging those school-specific disability scholarships and the TRIO Program, you can find these types of scholarships for students being offered through large corporations, government organizations, disability groups, and non-profit organizations.

Since there are so many disability scholarship opportunities being offered in the latter category (non-college or university scholarships), in this post, I will focus more on those! Read on to learn about 24 great scholarship opportunities for disabled students.

Scholarship money

Frequently asked questions about disability scholarships

What types of scholarships are out there for students with disabilities?

There are annual scholarship awards of all kinds available for students with disabilities.

Each and every scholarship is unique in terms of the specific disability that applicants must have in order to be eligible. Some are for students with autism, others for students who are deaf, and others are for students living with mental illness.

Do I have to be a certain year in school to apply for disability scholarships?

The majority of these scholarships are open to students who are seniors in high school as well as students studying at the undergraduate and graduate school level.

What are the application requirements I need to apply for disability scholarships?

The application requirements vary for each and every scholarship, however, the majority of these scholarships require students to submit proof or documentation of their disability. For example, if you are visually impaired, you may have to submit documentation alongside your application that proves this.

24 scholarships for disabled students

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: August 15

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to high school seniors and college students

    -Must have a documented disability of any kind 

    -Must be planning to attend a 2 or 4-year college or university

  • Amount: $500

    Deadline: August 1

    Eligibility: 

    -Must be a legal resident of the US 

    -Open to students with physical and mental impairments

    -Minimum 2.5 GPA 

    -Open to high school, college, and graduate school students

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: July 31

    Eligibility: 

    -Must be a high school senior living in Canada 

    -Should plan on pursuing a degree (at a Canadian university) in one of the following areas: healthcare, criminal justice, or community and social services

  • Amount: $15,000

    Deadline: February 15

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to undergraduate, graduate, and law school students

    -Must demonstrate committed interest in pursuing a career in intellectual property law

  • Amount: $5,000 - $10,000

    Deadline: February 21

    Eligibility: 

    -Must be a current undergraduate or graduate student at a 4-year college or university in the US or Canada

    -Pursuing a degree in business/commerce, computer science, engineering, math, physics, statistics, or a related discipline

    -Students with all types of disabilities are encouraged to apply

  • Amount: $4,000

    Deadline: July 28

    Eligibility: 

    -Must have a significant disability of any kind – for example, physical, visual, developmental, cognitive, hearing, learning, emotional, or other;

    -Planning to attend, or be in the first two years of, a 2- or 4-year college, university, or a trade school program, and 

    -Must live in Washtenaw, Livingston, or Monroe County, Michigan

  • Amount: $2,500

    Deadline: November 28

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to high school seniors and current undergraduate students

    -Minimum 2.5 GPA

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: December 1

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to undergraduate seniors and graduate students

  • Amount: $5,000

    Deadline: March 15

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to undergraduate juniors and seniors, as well as graduate school students studying at institutions in the state of Washington

    -Must have a demonstrated interest and history in the field of intellectual or other developmental disabilities - do not need to have a disability to be eligible

  • Amount: $3,000

    Deadline: May (date TBD)

    Eligibility: 

    -Must have an established autism diagnosis

    -Eligible individuals need to be enrolled on a full-time basis (minimum 6 credits) or be working toward certification or accreditation in a particular field

    -Open to high school seniors, college, and graduate school students

  • Amount: $5,000 - $15,000

    Deadline: early January 

    Eligibility: 

    -For students with AS, CD, HS, JIA, Ps, PsA, RA, UC, or UV who are seeking an associates degree, undergraduate degree, graduate degree or Doctorate from an accredited United States (US) university/college

    -Must be a US citizen or a legal and permanent resident of the US

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: January 28

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to individuals who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    -Open to high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate school students

  • Amount: $5,000

    Deadline: June 1

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to students who were diagnosed with cancer and whose disease and related treatments placed a significant financial burden on them and their families

    -Must be a US citizen

  • Amount: $1,000 each

    Deadline: June 12

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to full-time undergraduate students

    -Must be living with a congenital limb difference or an acquired amputation

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: March 30

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to students who are pursuing four-year undergraduate degrees 

    -Must be a high school senior or current college student 

    -Minimum GPA 3.2/4.0

    -Must have a minimum 40dB bilateral hearing loss, as evidenced on audiogram by an SRT & PTA of 40dB or greater in both ears

    -Only US citizens can apply

  • Amount: $2,000 - $7,500

    Deadline: February 15

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate school students

    -Must show involvement in your local/surrounding community

    -Minimum 3.0 GPA 

    -Must be legally blind

  • Amount: up to $2,500

    Deadline: March 17

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to high school and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in STEM majors/areas of study

    -Can be studying at a community college, trade/technical school, or four-year university 

    -Must have a documented learning disability

  • Amount: up to $3,500

    Deadline: April 1 (this year application was extended to May 1)

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to high school seniors planning on enrolling at a California community college

    -Must be a US citizen and California resident

    -Must have documentation of a specific learning disability - note: ADHD alone does not qualify

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: July 31

    Eligibility: 

    -Open to high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate school students

    -Must have cerebral palsy 

    -Minimum 3.0 GPA

  • Amount: $20,000

    Deadline: March 1

    Eligibility: 

    -Must be a current high school senior living with a disability of any kind

    -Planning to attend a 2 or 4-year undergraduate program to study in one of the following areas: engineering, computer science, computer information systems, law, business, or a related field (e.g. paralegal, pre-law, finance, business administration, or marketing)

    -Must have financial need

    -Minimum 3.0 GPA

  • Amount: $3,000

    Deadline: March 1

    Eligibility: 

    -Must be an undergraduate student

  • Amount: N/A

    Deadline: June 15

    Eligibility: 

    -Must be a full-time undergraduate student attending an accredited four-year institution in the US 

    -Can have a documented disability of any type

  • Amount: $1,500

    Deadline: November 30 

    Eligibility: 

    -Must be currently enrolled at or planning to attend a 2-4 year university, community college, or graduate school program located in the United States

    -Minimum 2.5 GPA

    -Must have a medically recognized physical or mental disability

  • Amount: $5,625

    Deadline: May 20

    Eligibility: 

    -Must be a high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student in the US (citizenship not required!)

    -Be interested in pursuing a career in communications, media, or entertainment (all majors are welcome to apply)

    -Must self-identify as a person with any type of disability

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