Paying for college can be a challenge for any student, but it can be particularly difficult for students with disabilities. Luckily there are many public and private organizations that recognize the specific needs of students with disabilities and offer financial aid opportunities to help them pay for school. Though there are many scholarships intended for disabled students, there are three in particular that stand out.
This is one of the most substantial scholarships there is for students with disabilities. Every year the Chair Scholars National Scholarship Program offers 15 to 20 high school seniors and college freshmen up to $20,000 for their college expenses. Applicants must reside in the continental U.S. (sorry Hawaii) and have a significant physical challenge. They are serious about verifying that the applicant’s physical challenge is significant and specifically state that minor disabilities will not be considered. The applicant must also have verifiable financial need, at least a B average, and exhibit some form of community service or social contribution.
The Guide Scholar Award is presented to 12-16 legally blind college-bound students every year. The award is a hefty $15,000. Applicants must provide proof that they are legally blind, that they are U.S. citizens, documentation of academic achievement, three letters of recommendation, and two personal statements.
Though a much small dollar amount than the previous two (under $1000 this year), the AAHD is still a prestigious national award. It is awarded to undergraduate or graduate students with a physical disability. Unfortunately students who have not graduated from high school are not eligible. Preference is given to students who are majoring in public health, disability studies, health promotion, or some other field related to disability and health.