The Definitive Guide to Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

Intuit has put together a comprehensive guide to Scholarships for you students that have disabilities. College is expensive and when you factor in the additional healthcare costs that students with disabilities have (estimated to average $11,637 per year) any scholarship money they can receive should be very welcome.

What Are Scholarships for People with Disabilities? 

Scholarships for people with disabilities are any kind of scholarship that’s specifically aimed at someone with a type of disability. These can be physical, learning, speech, or any other number of disabilities. Some scholarships are for anyone with a disability, while others are for specific types of disabilities. 

Scholarships are a huge part of making college affordable, especially when it comes to those with disabilities. In fact, the percentage of college students with disabilities has increased from 10% in 2000, to 19% of undergrads and 11% of grad students in 2016. But, who exactly is eligible for these scholarships?

Who’s Eligible for These Scholarships? 

In general, you need to have some kind of disability to be generally eligible for disability scholarships. Beyond this, many scholarships will have very specific disability requirements, as well as a demonstrated need for financial aid. 

For example, the Anders Tjellström Scholarship requires that any applicant have a GPA of 3.0, use Cochlear implants for hearing loss, and be a U.S. or Canadian citizen. 

Because of their often very specific requirements, it can make your search a lot easier if you search specifically for scholarships tailored to your disability. 

21 Scholarships for Those With Disabilities

Scholarships for People with Autism

Dan Archwamety Scholarship

Amount: $500 toward course completion

Eligibility: Applicant must have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, be a resident of Nebraska, and be currently registered or enrolled in a post-secondary school.

Application requirements: Applicants need to fill out the application and provide documented proof of ASD and their enrollment or registration with a post-secondary institution. 

KFM Autism Scholarship

Amount: $500 for education costs

Eligibility: Any upcoming or current college students with autism can apply for the KFM Autism Scholarship. 

Application requirements: To apply, applicants need to create a cover letter, supply a resume, get reference letter, and write an essay that aims to inspire those with autism or improve understanding of autism for those outside the community. 

OAR Scholarship for Students with Autism

Amount: $3,000 for education costs

Eligibility: Any person that’s been diagnosed with autism and plans on attending a post-secondary institution in pursuit of a certification or accreditation is eligible to apply as long as they haven’t won this scholarship in the past.

Application requirements: Applicants must fill out an online application, answer three essay questions, and provide basic information about their diagnosis. If an applicant’s speaking or writing abilities are hindered, two letters of recommendation are required. 

Scholarships for People with General Disabilities

Auger & Auger Disabled Scholar Award

Amount: $1,000 for tuition and related expenses

Eligibility: Anyone with a disability that’s a graduating high school senior or already enrolled in an accredited higher education institution within the U.S. Applicants must also have a GPA of 2.8 at the time of applying.  

Application requirements: To apply, applicants must supply an unofficial copy of their transcript and complete one out of a selection of essays. 

BMO Capital Markets Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholarship

Amount: $5,000 in Canada, $10,000 in the U.S. for school-related expenses

Eligibility: Must be a current undergrad or grad student with a visible or invisible disability and a 40% course load minimum. Applicant must also be pursuing a degree in business, commerce, computer science, engineering, math, physics, statistics or a related discipline.

Application requirements: Applicants must join the Lime Network, submit a current resume and transcripts, provide a letter of recommendation from a professor or advisor, and answer an essay on their career goals and why they should be chosen as the recipient of the scholarship.

INCIGHT Scholarship

Amount: The amount varies and is used toward tuition.

Eligibility: To be eligible for this scholarship, students must have a documented disability, attend a higher education institution during the scholarship period, maintain full-time enrollment throughout the academic year, and be a resident of Oregon, California, or Washington.

Application requirements: Applicants need to submit document proof of their disability as well as proof of residence in Oregon, California, or Washington. If selected, the winner will have to do 30 hours of community service or help work one INCIGHT event. 

Scholarships for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired 

AG Bell College Scholarship for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Amount: Varies, up to $5,000 toward college costs

Eligibility: In order to qualify, applicant must have bilateral hearing loss in the moderate to profound range. Additional specific hearing-related requirements apply. Applicants must also have an unweighted GPA of 3.25 and be pursuing a four-year degree or graduate degree at an accredited college.

Application requirements: Application for this scholarship requires a recent unaided audiogram, transcripts, a completed essay, and three referrals that can speak on your behalf. 

Cochlear Graeme Clark Scholarship

Amount: $2,000 per year for up to four years, applicable toward tuition.

Eligibility: Applicants must be a Baha or Nucleus recipient, a citizen of the U.S. or Canada, a graduating or recently graduated senior, or an undergrad in an accredited university. Applicants must also have a 3.0 or higher GPA when applying. 

Application requirements: To apply, applicants must send their official transcripts, provide proof of Baha or Nucleus implant, and complete the application form. 

Love-Peel Scholarship Fund for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Amount: Varies depending on individual, but must be used toward school.

Eligibility: Anyone that’s lived in Michigan for at least one year, has any form of hearing loss can apply.

Application requirements: Applicants need to supply a report card or transcript if enrolled in college already, attain two letters of recommendation, list out any community service activities if available, provide proof of hearing loss or deafness, and complete a number of questions on the form. 

Scholarships for People with Learning Disabilities

The Dottie R. Walker LEAD Scholarship

Amount: $1,500 for academic use

Eligibility: Must be a resident of Nevada or Colorado, plan on being enrolled in full-time higher ed the next year, and have a learning disability per the definitions of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). 

Application requirements: Letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor, certified high school transcript, and certified proof of severe learning disability (SLD) required.

Joseph James Morelli Scholarship Fund

Amount: $500-2,500 for tuition, tutors, and research

Eligibility: Open to high school and college students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and/or dyscalculia. Applicant must be interested in STEM degree. 

Application requirements: Certified proof of above learning disability or disabilities required. 

Anne Ford Scholarship

Amount: $10,000 spread out over four years, must be used on tuition

Eligibility: Applicant must have a learning disability or ADHD, be a graduating high school senior attending college in the fall, have a 3.0 GPA or higher, and exhibit financial need. Ideally an applicant is interested in making life better for those with a learning disability or ADHD after they graduate. 

Application requirements: To apply, applicants need to fill out an application, have three letters of recommendation, and supply documentation of their disability.

Pine Cone Foundation Scholarship

Amount: Up to $5,550 over three years for community college expenses.

Eligibility: Applicants for this scholarship need to have a Specific Learning Disability, be a graduating senior, plan on attending a community college in California, have a GPA of at least 2.5, and be a citizen of California. 

Application requirements: To apply, applicants must provide their transcript, signed reference letter, documentation on their Specific Learning Disability, photo, and completed application. 

Scholarships for People with Mobility and Physical Disabilities

ABC Law Centers Cerebral Palsy Scholarship

Amount: $1,000 for tuition or general expenses

Eligibility: Applicants must be seeking or currently enrolled at a higher learning institution, have cerebral palsy, be a legal citizen of the U.S., and have a 3.0 GPA. 

Application requirements: All applicants must provide their transcripts, complete an essay, and describe what they plan on doing with the funds.

CHASA Scholarship

Amount: The amount varies but must be used on tuition

Eligibility: All applicants must have hemiplegia or hemiparesis prior to age 18, from any cause, including a stroke. Applicants must also currently be enrolled in an undergraduate program or post-secondary school, be under the age of 25, and be enrolled during the fall semester of their application.

Application requirements: Applicants must complete an essay, have their physician send verification of their disability, and fill out a complete application. 

The Claude S. Weiler Scholarship for Amputee College Students 

Amount: The amount varies but it used for tuition costs. 

Eligibility: Applicants must have a major amputation, meaning any loss of limb starting at or above the wrist or ankle. Applicants must also be attending a college or enrolled to attend, and in good standing.

Application requirements: To apply, applicants must provide a transcript, school or student ID number, and answer an essay about how their status as an amputee has impacted their life. 

Karman Healthcare Scholarship

Amount: $500 for tuition

Eligibility: Any currently enrolled students that are 16 or older and have a mobility disability, do well in school, and advocate for disability awareness in America are eligible. 

Application requirements: Applicants must fill out an application and write an essay on how a single moment in their life influenced their development. Applicants also need to supply proof of disability, transcript or proof of GPA, and a photo to be used it they’re chosen as the winner.

Scholarships for People with Speech and Language Disorders

Bennett A. Brown Scholarship

Amount: Amount varies and is used toward tuition

Eligibility: All applicants need to have documented proof of any disability that inhibits their ability to read, write, or speak, and must be entering as a freshman or currently enrolled at Georgia State University.

Application requirements: In order to apply, applicants must be registered with the Margaret A. Staton Office of Disability Services at Georgia State University, supply documented proof of their disability, and demonstrate financial need. 

Scholarships for People with Visual Impairment

National Federation of the Blind Scholarship

Amount: $3,000-12,000 for tuition

Eligibility: Citizens in the U.S., District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that are blind in both eyes and plan on pursuing a full-time degree at a U.S. institution can apply. Winners must also attend the National Federation of the Blind convention and any scheduled events. 

Application requirements: To apply, applicants simply need to prove they’re blind in both eyes and send in an application via email or post. 

American Foundation for the Blind Scholarships

Amount: $1,000-3,500

Eligibility: The American Foundation for the Blind offers a number of scholarships with varying requirements. For all of them, applicants must be legally blind or visually impaired to some degree and fit one of the course-related requirements of their multiple scholarships. 

Application requirements: Application requires an official transcript, two letters of recommendation, and proof of legal blindness. Additional requirements for application may be present depending on the scholarship offered by AFB. 

TSP Scholars Program

Amount: Varies, up to $5,000 toward college costs

Eligibility: Applicants must be legally blind and a citizen of New Zealand or the United States. Applicants must also be a senior in high school or graduate, who plans on attending or is currently attending an accredited university. 

Application requirements: The scholarship is relatively new and the application process may change in the coming year. To apply, go to their website when the application process reopens and complete it per the instructions. 

Intuit’s Guide includes additional information on:

  • Additional sources of Financial Aid for people with Disabilities
  • Tips for Applying for Disability Scholarships and Aid
  • Additional Resources with links

Check out their guide using this link: