Scholarships for Students With Disabilities

portrait of Heather Mullinix
by Heather Mullinix
Published on November 3, 2021
Reviewed by Angelique Geehan

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26% of adults in the United States, or 61 million adults, have some kind of disability. Disabilities can include mobility or physical disabilities, loss of hearing or vision, learning disabilities, or intellectual disabilities.

In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that individuals living with disabilities were less likely to complete a bachelor's degree program. Scholarships and other forms of financial aid can help students with disabilities access the education necessary to pursue a rewarding career.

Below, learn about scholarships geared toward learners with disabilities, as well as general scholarships and grants.

Scholarships for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 4% of college students with disabilities were deaf or hard of hearing during the 2008-2009 academic year. These students may find it difficult to follow instructors during class when adequate accommodations are not available.

Colleges can provide various accommodations to help students who are deaf and hard of hearing succeed in the classroom, including sign language interpreters, real-time captioning of lectures, or scribes.

Sertoma Hard of Hearing or Deaf Scholarship


Graeme Clark Scholarship


Cheryl D. Conkling Memorial Scholarship


Help America Hear Scholarship

Scholarships for Students With Visual Disabilities

The National Federation of the Blind estimates about 7.7 million people in the United States were living with a visual disability in 2016. But only about 16% had earned a bachelor's degree and 30% had earned an associate degree or some college education. About 30% of people with a visual disability worked full time.

Schools can help students with visual disabilities succeed by providing class accommodations and assistive technology, as well as making campus easier to navigate.

American Council of the Blind Scholarship Program


Blind Service Association Scholarships


National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program


Team See Possibilities Scholarship


Lighthouse Guild Scholarships

Scholarships for Students With Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual disabilities can interfere in learning, problem-solving, or judgement, and impact daily activities like communication and independent living. About 1% of the population has a diagnosed intellectual disability, the American Psychiatric Association reports. Conditions include Autism Spectrum Disorders and ADHD.

Ruby's Rainbow College Scholarship


Adults with Autism Scholarship


Hydrocephalus Association Scholarship Program


Kerry Magro Scholarship Program


ABC Law Centers Cerebral Palsy Scholarship

Scholarships for Students With Learning Disabilities

About 1 in 5 elementary and high school students have a learning disability, the most common form of disability diagnosed in students under 18. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, these students attend four-year college at half the rate of their peers.

Many students with learning disabilities also may not disclose their disability to their college, disqualifying them from accommodations that could help them succeed. Find learning disability scholarships below.

Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship


Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award


Buckley Moss Endowed Scholarship


Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Awards


INCIGHT Scholarship

Scholarships for Students With Physical Disabilities

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mobility disabilities impact 1 in 7 adults, but physical disabilities can include a variety of conditions. Physical disabilities can impact a person's motor skills or can include limb or bone formations that limit movement.

Christina Skoski, MD, Scholarship


Anne M. Fassett Memorial Scholarship


180 Medical Scholarship Program


Scott Decker, MD, Memorial Scholarship

Students With Psychiatric Disabilities

Psychiatric disabilities encompass a range of mental health and behavioral health conditions. These conditions may include anxiety disorders, eating disorders, bipolar disorders, or personality disorders. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly 42% of college students reported experiencing anxiety in 2013.

Drake Davis Foundation Scholarship


Jared Monroe Foundation Scholarship


Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship


RCA Hope for Addiction Scholarship


The Center for Reintegration Scholarship Program

General Scholarships for Students With Disabilities

The following scholarships assist students with disabilities. You can also find additional scholarship resources through employers, private foundations, or civic organizations. Learn more about additional resources and career planning for students with disabilities.

Microsoft Disability Scholarship


Mays Mission Scholarships


BMO Capital Markets Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholarship


disABLEDperson, Inc. National Scholarship Competition for College Students with Disabilities


Wells Fargo Scholarship Program for People with Disabilities

Grants for Students With Disabilities

Grants typically consider student financial needs. Several federal grant programs can assist students with disabilities with limited budgets afford their college education. Programs such as federal work-study can also help students gain valuable work experience for their future careers.

Federal Pell Grants


Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants


Federal Work-Study


Maryland Community College Tuition Waiver for Students with Disabilities


Tennessee Tuition Reduction

Reviewed by:

Angelique Geehan works to support and repair the connections people have with themselves and their families, communities, and cultural practices. A queer, Asian, gender binary-nonconforming parent, Geehan founded Interchange, a consulting group that offers anti-oppression support. She organizes as part of several groups, including the National Perinatal Association's Health Equity Workgroup, the Health and Healing Justice Committee of the National Queer and Trans Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance, QTPOC+ Family Circle, and Batalá Houston.

Angelique Geehan is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network.

Featured Image: Guendalina Fiore / Moment / Getty Images

Learn more about available resources to help students with disabilities attend college and pay for their education. Learn about scholarships and financial aid available for students pursuing a degree in education. College students with disabilities will find that many campuses address accessibility, accommodation, and assistive technology for a diverse range of needs.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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