Scholarships and Resources for Students with Disabilities

Find funding, advocacy organizations, networking opportunities, and other support that make paying for and getting through college easier.

Supporting students with disabilities, along with other student groups, as they work toward higher education is critically important, as is improving access to educational resources and funding. Doing so makes college and professions more diverse and representative, something we can all get behind.

If you’re a student with a disability and you’re looking for some extra help paying for college or want to take advantage of the many academic and career support programs available, you’ve come to the right place. This guide highlights 40 scholarships to help you reach your academic and career goals, including paths focused on public service such as teaching, law, nursing, and firefighting. Read on to find the funding sources that fit your individual goals and learn about professional resources, advocacy organizations, and opportunities for networking.

Scholarships & Grants for Students with Disabilities

Plenty of scholarships and grants are exclusively available to students with disabilities, and even those that aren’t are worth applying to. Whether you have visual or hearing loss, a speech impediment, a physical disability, or a different type of disability, here’s a look at 40 top scholarships to consider for public-service-related majors and other academic fields.

General Scholarships & Grants

Organization

Auger & Auger Attorneys at Law

Amount

$1,000

Deadline

7/31/20 and 11/30/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants with a demonstrated disability can apply for this award if they are a graduating high school senior or current undergraduate. They must possess a 2.8 or higher GPA.

How to Apply

Students should submit an unofficial copy of their high school and/or college transcripts and write an essay ranging from 500-1,000 words.

Organization

American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

5/13/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Master’s and doctorate students pursuing degrees in accredited programs focused on communication sciences and disorders can apply to this award if they plan to help others once they graduate.

How to Apply

Applicants must supply university transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a letter of good standing, an essay, and a completed application.

Students with Visual Disabilities

Students with Hearing Loss

Students with Speech/Language Impairment

Students with Learning, Cognitive, or Developmental Disabilities

Students with Physical Disabilities

Scholarships & Grants in Public Service

Organization

Virginia Emergency Management Association

Amount

$1,000

Deadline

2/14/21 (Annual)

Eligibility

Virginia residents or those enrolled in a Virginia-based college can apply for this award if they’re seeking a bachelor’s in emergency management or related degree on a full-time basis.

How to Apply

Requirements include a completed online application, 500-word essay, two letters of recommendation, current resume, official transcripts, and proof of current enrollment.

Organization

The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation

Amount

Varies

Deadline

Varies by institution

Eligibility

Students attending a participating campus must agree to spend at least 10 hours per week engaged in community service and 280 hours each summer. Students receive a scholarship and stipend.

How to Apply

Application materials and deadlines are set by individual campus partners, so students should check with the representative at their school.

Student and Career Resources for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities have many resources at their disposal to help support their academic and professional goals. We highlight a few in this section, with emphasis on financial aid tools, professional development opportunities, advocacy services, and educational services.

Financial Aid

30 Top Scholarships for Public Service StudentsLooking for even more funding opportunities for your public service career goals? Use this comprehensive resource to find a variety of scholarships, grants, and fellowships.

Getting Financial Aid for Your Public Service DegreeUse this guide as a starting point for understanding all of your college financial aid options, how to fill out the FAFSA, and more.

Reducing Your Student Loans Through Acts of Public ServiceDid you know that qualifying students can have some or all of their federal loans forgiven by working in underserved areas, for a nonprofit, or through other options? Learn more about the variety of programs available.

Professional Development and Networking

ADA National NetworkThis comprehensive resource provides information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act – including resources for jobseekers.

Lime ConnectThis global nonprofit connects university students with disabilities and hiring companies to help them find professional opportunities after college.

Networking Tips for Workers with DisabilitiesMonster offers several actionable ideas for making the most of networking opportunities with a disability.

Advocacy Groups

Association on Higher Education and DisabilityAHEAD has worked to advocate for the rights of students and education professionals with disabilities since 1977. The group provides many resources and professional development opportunities.

Disability Rights Education & Defense FundDREDF serves students with disabilities by providing legal advocacy, public policy initiatives, and promotion of civil rights laws for individuals in all walks of life.

DREAMDREAM focuses on providing disability rights, education, activism, and mentoring for college students across the U.S. with disabilities of all types.

Public Service Education

Disabled Teachers NetworkDTN provides information on training resources for teachers with disabilities, a teachers with disabilities taskforce, and other programming that supports these educators.

Law School Disability Programs DirectoryThe American Bar Association offers this resource for law students with disabilities as well as lawyers and others in the legal community who advocate for this population. Students can learn about which law schools offer programs related to disabilities.

National Association of Social WorkersThe NASW provides a section of its website devoted to resources for students considering a career in social work. Students can find information on tools for job seekers, financial resources, and continuing education opportunities.