Scholarships for Students with Disabled Parents


Disabled Parents Scholarships

Many times students who have one or more parents or guardians who suffer from a disability have a more difficult time affording college because of the likelihood that the family’s earning potential is also likely debilitated. To help students who find themselves in this particular situation, a few organizations fund scholarships for students with disabled parents and who have at least one parent with a disability.

There are not many general parent disability scholarships, but an excellent place to search for scholarships specific to a particular disability is They have compiled scholarships on a number of physical and mental disabilities, from ADD to Cystic Fibrosis to Spina Bifida. The site will provide names of the scholarships as well as the amount offered and will give a brief overview of the award. This way you can look through a number of scholarships and jot down those which seem most promising to look up later. Most others not found their can easily be found with the title and any search engine, though.

Through the Looking Glass is the National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families and this organization funds several $1,000 disabled parents scholarships yearly for students pursuing higher education. The 2011 deadline is March 1 and next year’s fund will determine the scholarships able to be awarded for the 2011-2012 school year.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society funded approximately $1 million in scholarships awarded to 470 students whose lives have been directly or indirectly affected by MS. These disabled Scholarships generally range from $1,000 to $3,000, although a few may exceed this amount. The scholarship application period closes in mid-January they are awarded usually in April to college freshmen and are one time scholarships for disabled students only. Information for 2012 scholarships will be available in Oct. 2011.

Veterans of any branch of the US Military have paid a high cost for our country and its citizens. One way to support these individuals and their families is through educational scholarships. The Paralyzed Veterans of America has disabled parents scholarships and offer $500 scholarships to part-time college students and $1,000 to full-time students that are Paralyzed Veterans members, spouses or dependent, unmarried children under the age of 24. Applications for the 20011-2012 school year must be submitted online by June 17, 2011

The Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship is affiliated with The Blinded Veterans Association, because Gruber was one of its pioneer members. Spouses or children of a blinded veteran are eligible for the scholarships. It is a one year scholarship but can be reapplied for and awarded up to four times to an eligible student. The blinded member of the family need not be a BVA member for an applicant to receive the award. Applications for the six $2,000 awards for the 2011-2012 school years must be received by Friday April 15, 2011.

Another scholarship available to children of wounded, deceased or missing servicemen and women is from the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund. The amount available for award yearly is dependent on donations, but hundreds of disabled scholarships have been awarded to the children of faithful service people since 1989. Students receiving an initial disability scholarship may be eligible for its renewal for up to four total years, as long as the student meets eligibility requirements such as a 2.0 GPA. The deadline for the 2011-2012 school years is June 30, 2011.

There are also several scholarships for students with disabled parents available to children who lost a parent or whose parent became disabled as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The Families of Freedom Scholarship is offered to such a student attending Columbia Basin College. The $20,000 Glenn D. Kirwin September 11th Fund is awarded to a junior or senior student at the University of Virginia, with special consideration given to children whose parents were a victim of Sept. 11.

There are professional disability studies scholarships available directed at students who are planning to make a career out of working for those with mental or physical disabilities. There are a few national organizations offering disabled studies scholarships and many colleges offering similar awards through their own college programs. There is a vast number of disabilities in which you can plan a field of study on while attending college so this may be well worth investigating.

There are many things that can be considered a disability. Severe illness is not often considered a disability but it can be as devastating and detrimental to the financial and emotional status of a family. Where there are few general disability scholarships, there are many more general scholarships for life-threatening illness, like cancer. If you have a parent who suffers from a disability, you might want to also check some of the requirements for illness scholarships, as your circumstance may fit some of those general eligibility requirements. A good place to start for a listing and general description is the site.



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40 Responses

  1. Heather Merchant says:

    My son attended his Freshman year of college at Birmingham Southern College. I, his mother, have since been physically disabled and we are in dire need financial aid along with fafsa. Can you help is find scholarships or grants for students with disabled parents with limited income?

    God bless, Heather Merchant

  2. admin says:


    go to to read more which can help you. Make sure you sign up to get their newsletter – it’s good usable information. Also go to your states website look for student aid for disabled students. Government student loans without cosigner needed are a great option for anyone looking for student aid.

  3. Karen Siudzinski says:

    I am on disability due to severe asthma and complications of prednisone dependency. My husband is the only one that is working. Our youngest son is a senior in high school and has applied at Utah State University for the fall session. Are there any scholarships available for us? Thank you so much, Karen

  4. admin says:


    apply to as many as you can. You may want to contact Utah State University FinAids office to discuss student aid specific to your particular situation. They will be more then happy to help in any way they can. Go to high school scholarships for seniors to read more. Student loans without a cosigner needed are also a great option if scholarships don’t work out.

  5. Melanie says:

    I have a mother who has a severe case of arthritis in her hands. She also has slipped discs in her back and both of her knees are in bad shape. I have a learning disability too are there any scholarships that are avilable that I could look into to continue my college education? I greatly appreciate your help in this matter.

  6. susan epstein says:

    I am an injured R.N. who’s career came to a halt after lifting a patient and suffering a back injury. After two unsucessful surgeries I can no longer practice nursing and am permanently disabled. My daughter who has narcolepsy is about to apply to colleges and would like to find out if there are any scholarships that she could apply for. Any help would be appreciated.

  7. admin says:


    we are not familiar with any scholarships just for narcolepsy. The best plan of action is to look for organizations which support narcolepsy and see if they have any educational student aid programs your daughter can apply to. As long as she has a documented case of this then she should be a good candidate for them. Otherwise apply to any general disability scholarship program – ones where you just have to have any documented case of a disability.

    If your daughter is living at home then you may be able to collect monies from SS because you have a disability and she is living at home with you. Check into SS programs to see.

  8. michael ray says:

    I am a disabled law enforcement officer from Ga. I have heart disease. My daughter will be attending college in the fall of 2013. I am trying to find any type of scholarships that would be applicable thanks!

  9. admin says:


    have her check out this great website at high school scholarships fro college. She will have to qualify based on her own financial situation, but there should be many need based grants and scholarships to look into. Read more at FAFSA to get started. Also go to:

  10. Laura Hemby says:

    My mother was diagnosed with DDD in 06 and my father has recently had a stroke so neither one of them are able to work. We were able to make it while my father was working, but now thats all gone. I am in dire need of more money to finish out my last semester at college (I start a new semester in Aug and it will be my last yr there). I am currently enrolled and filled out fafsa but didnt get enough to pay for everything. This scholarship would work perfectly but I cant seem to find where to fill out an application or anything. Could you find that for me and if you have any other scholarships/grants that would work, PLEASE let me know!!! Thank you.

  11. admin says:


    You can apply to any scholarship on our website by going directly to the scholarship sponsors website. You must apply to see if you have a chance to win a schoolarship.

    As a great last resort, government student loans without cosigners needed are the sure way to pay for your college.

  12. Laura Hemby says:

    Ok, thank you. So where would I go to apply for this one?

  13. admin says:


    you must go to the scholarship sponsor’s website to apply. Sometimes we put the link in the article, other times you mat have to search for it. It depends if they change the URL of the scholarship page every year we will not put the link in the article.

  14. Patricia Flores says:

    my dad is disabled because of kidney disease and is unable to work because of a pinched sciatic nerve. my mom has fibromyalgia and gets S.S.I. what kind of grant can i get? nothing i search up is what i’m looking for.

  15. kevin bresett says:

    I have had 2 AVM’s I have a son in college and a son in 9th grade my wife and I where both teachers. My wife still teaches but I am disabled. Were should I look for assistance?


  16. admin says:


    you may want to read more at: – link ‘education’.

  17. Anna says:

    My mother is disabled due to many auto-immune diseases. She is unable to work. She has arthritis, colitis, asthma, osteoporosis, diverticulitis, etc. Are there any scholarships for her specific diseases? Where should I look?

  18. admin says:


    go to and hit links Education/scholarships & finacial aid to read more.

  19. susan epstein says:

    At the time that my daughter was attending college I too looked for scholarships that my daughter would be eligibile for because I am disabled. I could not find too many for my disability but there are some specifically for certain diseases and very little for those diseases that were not listed. My daughter is very shy and needs to work on being assertive so this was and is challenging. I can tell you a couple of helpful hints from experience. My daughter remains a student and from our personal experience these were some unexpected positive findings from needing financial assistance. . When your daughter or son applies for college they will send him her a package which includes a statement from financial aide as to what your child is eligible for based on the FAFSA info that was filled out. There is another form specifically for some colleges that ask who the child lives with etc. If in fact you as the parent are divorced and receiving SSD and he lives with you , they base his financial aide package on your info only {although the child might be supported finacially by his or her father.} This could be a positive thing in that your SSD might be less than 25K per year. What I mean by this is your child will get more financial aid coming to him/her. The other thing Iearned {from a seminar for filling out the FAFSA and financial aid}. Once your child gets his financial aid package you do not have to agree with this. You can file an appeal. Filing a appeal is a very simple process and basically if you don’t ask you don’t recieve.. Private colleges and State Colleges have monies that they have asside for special needs. Your child has special needs and you can help her write or write the appeal yourself. The appeal should indicate your disability and financial difficulty in detail. Get this in asap cuz many people apply for appeals and they only have so much to go around. The appeal can give your child thousand of dollars to help with the tuition. Also depending on the school your child attends, they might pay for your childs books which could be costly. Ask the financial aid department how this works. For example we found from asking that there was a simple form that needed to be filled out within the school that allowed her to go to the book store and from filling this form out it gave her an account which she did not have to pay anything for her books. I hope these hints help you and others. It is very hard to pay for college tuition and every little bit helps.

  20. admin says:


    man did you give good information and we checked it out and this is ALL true. Yes you will help many that read this. Thank you so very much for your wisdom on financial aid and thank you for helping someone else!

  21. phil smitz says:

    My son is a junior in HS and has severe ADHD. His mother, my wife, had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 5 times since he was born and she continues to go through treatments for the complications of the bone-marrow transplant she had in 2006. I was told to look at scholarships for students of cancer survivors but I see many of the scholarships are for the students that have been diagnosed themselves. Do you have any suggestions as to where I could begin?

  22. admin says:


    you want to look for organizations which provide support for ADHD (ADHD foundations, memorial, support co’s, etc) and look to see if they have a scholarship program your son can apply to. Many do. Read more about learning scholarships.

  23. susan epstein says:

    I believe you should do a search for students that have parents with cancer and not concentrate on your son’s diagnosis. In this case he might benefit you and your son this way. My daughter has narcolepsy and there was little to find. The American Cancer Society might be another resource. When your son applies to a college of his choice he might want to consider including this in his “application letter”. I am sure that it has been a struggle for him to have a parent undergo treatment for cancer along with having ADHD as a diagnosis. Most colleges have disability programs where your son can get the support that he needs during his school year. Also, When he applies for financial aid and he finally gets his award letter. You have the right to appeal there decision. I did this myself and other’s do. It is important that he does this early after he choses the school he wants to attend. This is when you can request additional assistance based on not just financial burden but how your family as a whole have been affected by the lymphoma diagnosis treatment for this. Colleges have monies set aside to aid families in need but you have to ask! God Bless you and your family. Please let me know if I can help further

  24. admin says:


    well said and great advice which we know to be 100% accurate!

    Thanks for your great comment!

  25. Amy says:

    My dad is mentally disabled and I am looking for scholarships.

  26. admin says:


    many disability scholarships allow students whose parents are disabled; apply for their scholarships – even though scholarship criteria states students applying must be disabled. Only way to tell is to ask them using the contact/email section of their website. Look also for organizations and Foundations which provide support for the disability your parent has – many times you can apply because scholarship criteria requires applicant lives in a household who you; or a family member has the disability.

  27. Ben Hall says:

    I am an insulin dependent type ! diabetic and a recent amputee. Have dealt with diabetes for 36 of my 38 years. I am permanently disabled now and my oldest son has just been accepted to PTI in Cleveland Ohio and I am trying to find links as too where I can help him find some scholarships to assist with his further education!!! Please help me get links as too where to go, I am having no luck. Thank You

  28. admin says:


    your son will qualify based on his qualifications for most all scholarships and grants. To get aid from you to your son is always more difficult and there are a few places- such as the ones mentioned in our site. Also look for Foundations and organizations which provide support for your type of disability. Many have educational awards which you can apply to. Ask them if their educational award can be used for your son. Many will be OK with this. You also want to talk with the FinAids office of the college your son is attending to see what they have which can help. Many have there own programs specifically for this type of situation.

  29. Marcus says:

    My mother is divorced and has several health complications which is blindness, congestive heart failure, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and she’s an amputee. Are there any scholarships I can apply for?

  30. admin says:


    yes you can apply to all those disability scholarships which your mother is disabled with. There are a number of them on the website as you can see. Also search for organizations which provide support for people with disabilities which your mother has. many times they have educational awards which she can apply to. Read more at:

  31. Lynette says:

    Where is the link to apply for the cancer survivor scholarship?

  32. Sabina says:

    Surgical Watch – Disability Scholarship Award Program:
    This scholarship offers a unique funding opportunity to students who have never let their disabilities dictate the scope of their future achievements. We invite you to review the following eligibility requirements and application procedures.

    Award: $1000

    Eligibility Requirements:
    Surgical Watch is accepting applications from candidates who are EITHER:
    Currently accepted or enrolled in a 4-year college program, OR
    Currently accepted or enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school
    ALL candidates must provide a doctor-confirmed diagnosis of either a learning OR physical disability.

    Deadline: December 31

    Please visit the website at for more details.

  33. Paul says:

    First, I empathize with all the inquiries you receive. I am a recognized cancer survivor from working @ Ground Zero in NYC. I am also receiving SS benefits from this. Is there any grants or programs to help pay for 2 future students? Thanks.

  34. admin says:


    apply to any awards that look like you may remotely qualify for because of your unique disability position. Apply to can cancer scholarships too which you may have a better than average chance to receive one. Go to high school college scholarships too and look at the various ones at this site.

  35. Teri Wehrheim says:

    I am on disability for PTSD, major depression, anxiety, mood disorder, ADHD. I also have had 3 back fusions in the past 2 years and have lost range of motion, have severe nerve pain too. I’m a single mom, my daughter will be going into the 10th grade. She goes to a private school and I am trying to find some financial aid, scholarships ect. that would help me with the cost of tuition.

  1. August 11, 2014

    […] the Looking Glass Scholarships for students with disabled parents is aimed specifically at students whose parents are disabled in one way or the other, and they face […]

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