College Scholarships for Disabled Students

Find Scholarships Designated for Disabled College Students

College scholarships help provide funds to cover the cost of attending a college or university. There are a number of scholarships available specifically to students with disabilities. Students and their parents will find this list a useful place to begin when exploring these opportunities.

Depending upon availability, scholarships may be given once per year, semester or quarter. Application requirements vary from organization to organization, so be sure to read the instructions thoroughly before submitting an application for a scholarship.

180 Medical College Scholarships - for Students with Spinal Injuries

college student in wheelchair
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180 Medical offers a number of annual $1,000 scholarships for students with spinal injuries.

180 Medical College Scholarship Requirements:

  • Students attending a two-year, four-year, or graduate school program full time in the fall are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be under a physician's care for a spinal cord injury, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, or neurogenic bladder.
  • Legal resident of the U.S. 

Deadline: June of each year (check the website for specific dates)

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AAHD Scholarship - American Association on Health and Disability

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) offers an annual college scholarship for students with disabilities that are currently enrolled in a college or university.

The AAHD Board of Directors Scholarship Committee will evaluate the applicants and make a decision in December of each calendar year. It is the discretion of the Scholarship Committee to determine how many scholarships will be awarded each year and the amount of each scholarship. Scholarships will be limited to under $1,000. 

AAHD Scholarship Requirements:

  • Applicant must be enrolled as a full-time student in an undergraduate school (freshman or greater status) or be enrolled part-time or full-time in a graduate school. (Applicants who have not yet graduated from high school will not be considered.)
  • Have a documented disability and provide documentation of their disability.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident living in the U.S/ and enrolled in an accredited United States university.
  • Preference will be given to students majoring in public health, disability studies, disability research, health promotion or a field related to disability and health.

Deadline: November of each year (check the website for specific date)

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Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships - for Learning Disabilities

The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Scholarships provide financial assistance to graduating seniors with documented learning disabilities for their post-secondary education.

One scholarship applies to a four-year college program and the other to a two-year college and vocational training.

Anne Ford Scholarship Requirements:

  • Graduating high school seniors who will be attending a four-year bachelor’s degree program.
  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale.
  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Provide documentation of an identified learning disability.
  • Open to United States citizens.

Allegra Ford Scholarship Requirements:

  • Graduating high school senior who will be attending a two-year community college, a vocational/technical training program, or specialized program for students with a learning disability.
  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Provide documentation of an identified learning disability.
  • Open to United States citizens.

Deadline: December of each year (check the website for the exact date)

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Bridges Scholarships - for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Bridges is a non-profit organization in Tennessee that serves the Deaf community. They offer annual scholarships for Deaf and hard of hearing students.

The Linda Cowden Memorial Scholarship Requirements:

  • One scholarship of $1,000 offered each year.
  • Applicant must be a Deaf or a hard of hearing student who has been accepted into a secondary education program.
  • OR - A hearing person who has been accepted into a program that will lead to a career that serves the Deaf and hard of hearing community.
  • Applicant must live in one of 16 Tennessee counties that Bridges serves.

Deadline: Varies. Contact info@hearingbridges.org for current deadline information.

Prior to 2015, Bridges also offered The Minnie Pearl Scholarship Program. This has been discontinued. However, the Bridges website refers those students who do not qualify for The Linda Cowden Memorial Scholarship to explore other scholarship opportunities they may have available. 

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Central Intelligence Agency - Graduate Scholarships

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offers an annual graduate scholarship and it is designed to assist minority and disabled students though it is open to all students.

The Graduate Scholarship Program is extremely competitive. Part of the requirement is to work with the agency at a facility in Washington D.C. during and after college. Opportunities are available in multiple disciplines.

The Graduate Scholarship Program Requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • 18 years of age
  • 3.0/4.0 scale college GPA or higher
  • Full-Time Student taking at least 9 credits per semester
  • Financial need as demonstrated by the household income ceiling up to $70,000 for a family of four, and $80,000 for a family of five or more (if a 'dependent,' more details on the website).
  • After completing a 60 to 90-day work tour, the student should still have at least one year remaining of full-time classes prior to graduation.
  • Meet the same employment standards as permanent employees, successfully completing both security and medical processing.

The following are desired, but not required, critical languages that the CIA are looking for: Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Indonesian, Korean, Kurdish, Pushto (Pashtu), Persian (Farsi), Russian, Somali, Turkish, Urdu.

If you are eligible for this Program, please apply at least 12 months prior to your anticipated start date in order to allow for security processing. Qualified applicants will be contacted and asked to provide additional information.

Deadline: 12 months prior to anticipated need

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Central Intelligence Agency - Undergraduate Scholarships

Similar to the CIA's Graduate Scholarship, the Undergraduate Scholarship Program is available to high school seniors and undergraduates pursuing a 4 or 5-year college degree. 

The CIA Scholar Program is extremely competitive. The chosen Scholars will work with the CIA during summer break and gain experience in their college major of choice while attending school.

The Undergraduate Scholarship Program Requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • 18 years of age by April 1 of your senior year
  • 1500 SAT (1000 Math & Critical Reading, 500 Writing) or 21 ACT scores or higher (high school students)
  • 3.0/4.0 scale high school or college GPA or higher
  • Financial need as demonstrated by the household income ceiling up to $70,000 for a family of four, and $80,000 for a family of five or more.
  • Meet the same employment standards as permanent employees, successfully completing both security and medical processing
  • Available to work in the Washington, D.C. area during your periods of employment.

Deadline October 15 for Summer, generally 12 months prior to anticipated need for other semesters

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Georgia Council of the Blind Scholarship

The Georgia Council of the Blind offers a one-time $1,000 scholarship to one or more legal residents of the state of Georgia each year.

Georgia Council of the Blind Scholarship Requirements:

  • Applicant must be legally blind or be financially dependent on a legally blind parent.
  • Be accepted into a post-secondary program of study at a two or four-year college, a vocational/technical school or a Master's or Doctoral program at an accredited institution.
  • Proof of legal blindness from an ophthalmologist or qualified professional in the field of blindness.

Deadline: June 15 of each year

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Google Lime Scholarship - for Computer Science Students with Disabilities

The Google Lime Scholarship provides annual scholarship opportunities to computer science students with disabilities. Candidates will also be considered for internships and future career positions with Google.

Dependent on tuition costs, the $10,000 is awarded to U.S. students and $5,000 to Canadian students. Selected students will also be invited to the annual Google Scholars' Retreat at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California.

Google Lime Scholarship Requirements:

  • Students pursuing a Computer Science or Computer Engineering degree, or a degree in a closely related technical field (such as software engineering or electrical engineering with a heavy computer science course load).
  • Maintain and demonstrate a strong academic performance.
  • (1) A current sophomore/second year or junior/third year undergraduate continuing studies in the 2013-2014 academic year 
    or - (2) an undergraduate senior/fourth year accepted to or enrolled in a graduate program in the 2013-2014 academic year
    or - (3) a current graduate student (masters or PhD) continuing studies in the 2013-2014 academic year.
  • Candidates must be enrolled in a university in the United States or Canada (International students in the U.S. and Canada are also encouraged to apply).
  • A student with a visible or invisible disability. "We know that 90% of disabilities on campus are invisible, and candidates with all disabilities are encouraged to apply."
  • The ability to demonstrate a commitment to and passion for computer science and technology
  • Previous Google Lime Scholars are ineligible

Deadline: Changes annually (historically it has been December or February). Be sure to check the current deadline on the website.

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Graeme Clark Scholarship - for Students with a Nucleus Cochlear Implant

The Graeme Clark Scholarship is available to individuals around the world who have a Nucleus Cochlear Implant.

Recipients receive $2,000 per year for up to four years as long as a 2.5 GPA is maintained.

Graeme Clark Scholarship Requirements:

  • Available to those currently completing their final year of high school and to current undergraduate and graduate university students.
  • Scholarship applicants must have applied or be enrolled in an accredited college, university or technical school.
  • Scholarship applicants must receive a 2.5 GPA or better to enroll for and maintain the scholarship.

Deadline: October of each year (check the website for the exact date)

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Incight Scholarship - for Students with a Disability

Incight offers a number of annual scholarships to students with disabilities who are residents of Oregon, Washington, and California.

Scholarships range from $500 to $1,500 and the priority is given to applicants "who have demonstrated outstanding merit in giving back to the community and overcoming obstacles in order to pursue higher education."

Incight Scholarship Requirements:

  • Permanent resident of Oregon, Washington, or California.
  • Involvement in community projects, charity, and other activities that 'give back' (little focus given to academic records).
  • Must have a documented disability.
  • Attend higher education full-time during funding cycle. Includes college, university, community college, and vocational school.

Deadline: April of each year (check the website for the exact date)

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NASA Scholarships and Internships - for Students with STEM Majors

The NASA Harriet G. Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Project awards the following scholarships:

  • Ph.D. Fellowship
  • Master's Fellowship
  • Tuition offset for both Ph.D. Fellows and Master's Fellows

NASA also offers a number of pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate internships. The NASA Pathways Programs are available as well and are designed to help STEM students and recent graduates find a career path with Federal employment.

NASA Scholarship and Internship Requirements:

  • Applicant must have a college major in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM).
  • Applicants must be a U.S. Citizen either by birth or naturalization.
  • Applicants must be a member of an underrepresented group, which includes women, ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities.
  • Applicants must either be within the first 3 years of a graduate program at an accredited, U.S. university or be in the process of applying to an accredited STEM graduate program.
  • Minimum 3.00 on a 4.00 grading scale

Deadline: Dates vary according to fellowship, scholarship or internship

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National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) scholarships are available to blind college students in the United States and Puerto Rico. Applicants have the opportunity to win one of thirty national scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000.

National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program Requirements:

  • Must be legally blind in both eyes.
  • Applicant must reside in the United States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.
  • Pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time, post secondary course of study in a degree program at a United States institution in the current academic year. One scholarship may be given to a person employed full-time while attending school part-time.
  • Must participate in the entire NFB national convention and in all of its scheduled scholarship program activities.

In addition to a scholarship, each winner will receive assistance to attend the annual National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. This provides an excellent opportunity for high-level networking with active blind persons in many different professions and occupations.

Deadline March of each year (check the website for exact date)

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Spina Bifida Association Scholarship

In 2015, the Spina Bifida Association (SBA) reorganized their scholarship program and are currently using the funds for other youth-focused programming.

While the SBA Scholarship is no longer available, their website does list a number of other scholarship opportunities available to disabled students. A number of those opportunities are also listed in this article though there are a few that are not.

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