Many college funding opportunities exist for prospective students who suffer from mental or physical disabilities. In fact, disabled students can apply to multiple scholarships available to those who seek for the necessary financial assistance. Families who have loved ones that suffer from a mental or physical ailment can also receive the appropriate assistance to send their children to college. Many federal and private organizations award scholarship funds for students who meet their requirements. A portion of these scholarships or grants may require the student to meet their standards of academic excellence. Others may evaluate the student’s income levels and then determine whether to distribute the funds accordingly. These college funding opportunities enable thousands of disabled students to attend college on the same campus as able-bodied students.
A percentage of grants and scholarship funds cover the full costs of education, including tuition, books, learning materials, laboratory equipment, and living costs. Other college funds will evaluate the disabled student’s financial need based on the organization’s criteria. Some grants and scholarship funds only cover students from a specific locality, or may only support the student’s decision in choosing a particular educational institution. Disabled students who receive grants or scholarship funds do not need to repay the awarded amount back to the association or organization who administered it.
In 1975, the United States Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which enabled over forty million citizens to receive more accessibility and mobility within the United States. The Individual with Disabilities Education Act amended other benefits that allowed organizations to provide grant and scholarship funds to disabled Americans. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act forbade discriminatory practices that took place at a number of community colleges and universities. As a result, many of these same institutions provided disabled students with educational funding. Disabled students can inquire with their chosen educational institution for further information about in-house funding opportunities.
The United States government also provides federal grants, such as the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, National SMART Grant, and the Academic Competitiveness Grant, for those suffering from mental or physical disabilities; however, private organizations account for the bulk of scholarship awards. For instance, the Schwallie Family Scholarship Program supports students who suffer from Autism (autistic spectrum disorder) and Aspergers Syndrome. In addition, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides an array of grants in the amount of one to ten thousand dollars for students who suffer from hearing disorder. Other organizations offer grants and scholarships to disabled students in general.
Disabled students can also consider loans and work-study programs as a secondary option. Many lending institutions will offer general student loans, such as the Federal Stafford and Student PLUS loans, for disabled students eager to enroll into college. In addition, many college campuses offer work-study programs for students who wish to lower their tuition costs. Disabled students can also check with their employer or religious organization to see if they can reimburse a portion of the cost it takes to complete a semester at a local university. The United States military may also offer opportunities for wounded soldiers and their children. Sending disabled students off to school has become easier than ever before; therefore, no excuse exists for opting out of attending college.
Please follow these links to learn more about college grants for students with disabilities: