““In high school I couldn’t keep up academically with the so called ‘normal’ kids, so everyone else was lumped in together in the ‘special’ classes, even thought there existed a wide range of learning disabilities. I could never find a happy medium where I could learn at my own pace, until I got to Curry.”
Holden Kepecs '85
Emmy Award-winning Editor
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Below are some scholarship, funding, and financial aid opportunities for students with learning disabilities. Please visit the Scholarships and Grants page for general undergraduate scholarship resources:
PAL Scholarships are generously supported from the following sources; John F. Gallagher Jr. Scholarship, Edward Gault Scholarship, Benjamin Gordon Scholarship, Justin Hughes Memorial Scholarship, Jennifer Phillips Fund, Shapiro Scholarship, PAL 30th Fund and Jordan B. Vogel Memorial Scholarship. All current full time PAL students are eligible to apply for these scholarships. Most recipients will receive at least $1,000 per academic year to be used toward the cost of PAL fees.
Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarship
The Anne Ford Scholarship is a $10,000 award given to a high school senior with an identified learning disability (LD) who is pursuing an undergraduate degree.
The ideal candidate is a high school senior who has faced the challenges of having a learning disability; is committed to completing a college degree and setting career goals; has demonstrated perseverance; embraces new opportunities; has a well-rounded perspective shaped by experiences in school, in the community, and with family and friends; understands how LD affects his/her life and recognizes the importance of self-advocacy; believes in contributing to society in a way that increases the opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities; and will feel comfortable serving as a role model for others who struggle with LD.
massachusetts easter seals Assistive Technology Loan Program and Long-Term Device Loan Program:
The Massachusetts Assistive Technology Loan Program through Easter Seals Massachusetts offers low-interest loans to help people with disabilities purchase the technology they need to become more independent and productive members of the community. Low-cost assistive devices also are available through its Long-Term Device Loan Program.
College Funding Strategies for Students with Disabilities
The College Funding Strategies for Students with Disabilities is a six-page document by the University of Washington providing a good list of scholarships and resources for students with disabilities.
DisabilityInfo.gov provides links to quality information on disabilities and related issues for people interested in disabilities--including but not limited to those with disabilities, families, employers, and service providers. Created by a number of different federal agencies as part of President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative, this well-organized and user-friendly site offers broad coverage, with information from almost every governmental agency.
An excellent starting point for information, the site is regularly updated and offers basic and advanced search options. Users can choose accessibility preferences for viewing the pages. The main page provides a list of Hot Topics ranging from currently available resources to assisting with the transition from military to civilian life. The Hot Topics section changes on a regular basis.
The ten main categories are Benefits, Civil Rights, Community Life, Education, Emergency Preparedness, Employment, Housing, Health, Technology, and Transportation. Each category's page includes a short description of how the topic relates to disabilities. Pages also include Popular Links and topic highlights, e.g., News and Events, State and Local Resources, Grants and Funding, and Laws and Regulations. DisabilityInfo.gov works as a type of metasite, with links to hundreds of other Web sites, including those developed by governmental entities such as the departments of Education, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control, and FEMA, to name just a few.
Also available are links to many .edu and .org sites. This site is an excellent resource for anyone looking for information and resources on disabilities.
Disability Scholarships Posted By Disaboom
Disability Scholarships Posted By Disaboom lists scholarships and financial information that exist for people with disabilities ranging from financial aid for students with learning disabilities to scholarships for disabled veterans to grants for students with vision loss, hearing loss, and mobility impairments, among others.
Those with disabilities may want to browse the Disaboom site for lists of organizations focusing on various specific disabilities as well.
HEATH Resource Center
George Washington University has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to operate the National Clearinghouse on Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities, known as the HEATH Resource Center. The web page contains information about funding opportunities along with many other resources.
$750 scholarships are available for those with documented disability (can be physical, learning, cognitive, etc.) and attending trade school, college or university full-time. Scholarship may be renewed up to four years. Visit the Incight Scholarship web page for application information.
Jim Mullen Foundation and Computers for Schools
National toll-free number 1.800.939.6000
Do you have a disability? Are you in need of a computer? The Jim Mullen Foundation and Computers for Schools provide low-cost computers for people who have a disability in the US and Canada. Tell them who you are. Tell them the nature of your disability (along with verification from your doctor), and they will provide you with a free computer. They will attempt to provide you with the necessary adaptive hardware and software so that you will be most productive with your new computer.
Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) Award Programs
The Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Awards are presented to Learning Ally members who are high school seniors with learning disabilities, in recognition of extraordinary leadership, scholarship, enterprise and service to others. Offered since 1991, the awards are given to six students who are chosen by a selection committee. Learning Ally presents the three top winners $6,000 each and three special honors Winners $2,000 each.
Loan Forgiveness Programs
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program was created to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, students may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible federal student loans after they have made 120 payments on loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers. Please see the Federal Student Aid website for more information on eligibility and details.
Scholarships for Students With Disabilities
The Scholarships for Students With Disabilities page presents a short list of scholarships for students with learning disabilities. Due to the very large and growing number of students who claim to be learning disabled, such awards are often highly competitive.