It’s not a secret that college can cost a small fortune. What you may not know is that specific scholarships are available for students with learning and attention issues. There are also general grants, loans and scholarships. Explore some of the opportunities below. College financial aid offices are a great place to learn more.
Scholarships for Students With Learning and Attention Issues
Many private scholarships are available for students who have learning and attention issues. FinAid is a good place to look for information about financial aid and specific scholarships.
Here are a few of the scholarships available to kids with learning and attention issues:
Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships: These scholarships, offered by founding partner the National Center for Learning Disabilities, range from $2,500 to $10,000. They’re for high school seniors with learning disabilities who are pursuing higher education or career training.
BMO Capital Markets Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholarship: Applicants for this $10,000 scholarship must be living with a disability, attending a four-year university or a graduate program, pursuing a degree in business/commerce, engineering, math, physics, statistics or a related discipline, and interested in a career in financial services.
Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award: This $1,000 award from Smart Kids with Disabilities recognizes the strengths and accomplishments of young people with learning disabilities and ADHD. It will be given to a student age 19 or younger who has demonstrated initiative, talent and determination resulting in a notable accomplishment in any field—including art, music, science, math, athletics or community service.
Google Lime Scholarship: Applicants for this $10,000 scholarship must be living with a disability and pursuing a degree in computer science, computer engineering or a closely related technical field.
Injury Lawyer News Scholarship: To apply for this $1,000 pre-law and law school scholarship, students must have a documented disability, which can either be a physical disability or a learning disability.
Joseph James Morelli Scholarship: This $1,000–$2,000 scholarship supports high school and college students with learning challenges who wish to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Karina Eide Memorial College Scholarships: The Dyslexic Advantage offers these $2,500 scholarships to students with dyslexia who are currently enrolled in college, university or vocational school. A total of 16 awards will be given.
Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship: A $5,000 scholarship for high school seniors planning to attend a two-year or four-year university or college program. Applicants must be living with a disability, have financial need and plan to major in engineering, computer science, or a legal or business-related major.
P. Buckley Moss Endowed Scholarship: An annual college tuition grant of up to $1,000 to one or more high school seniors with language-related learning issues. Applicants must be planning to pursue a career in visual arts.
Through the Looking Glass Scholarship: Available to students who have parents with disabilities and who may have a disability themselves. A total of 15 awards of $1,000 will be given to high school and college students.
Rise Scholarship Foundation: Five $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to current high school seniors planning to attend college in the next year. Applicants must have a documented learning disability.
Federal Student Aid Programs
The U.S. Department of Education provides billions of dollars of federal aid each year. This goes to students pursuing higher education. Grants and scholarships are “free.” But you must repay loans. These are examples of federal aid programs:
- Federal Pell Grants are for undergraduates.
- Federal Stafford Loans are based on financial need and have variable interest rates. The government pays the interest on the loan while your child is in school.
- Federal PLUS Loans are made to the parents. These have variable interest rates.
- Campus-based programs are managed by participating schools. They include federal supplemental educational opportunity grants, federal work-study and Perkins loans.
Before your teen applies to any of these programs, check to see if the college participates. You can get more information by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.
Other General Scholarships and Awards
States also offer grants and loans. You can learn more through the high school guidance counselor or college financial aid office.
A wide range of other sources may offer aid. Some target a student’s specific achievements, interests or background. Don’t forget to check opportunities like these:
- Your employer
- Local organizations, such as labor unions or the Elks Club
- Religious groups
- Chamber of Commerce
All students interested in financial aid need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible. It’s also wise to contact the college’s financial aid office. Many schools offer grants, loans and scholarships. Separate funding also might be available from college academic departments.
There are many avenues available for financial aid. Starting your financial planning for college early can really help. What does your child want to study? What activities has she been involved in? Is she a member of any associations or groups? Any of these may lead to a financial aid.