Government Disability Scholarships and Student Financial Aid

government disability scholarships

Government Disability Student Financial Aid

Individuals with disabilities will find that there are numerous options for government disability scholarships and student financial aid that can provide assistance with completing a college education. One such option is available from the National Federation of the Blind scholarship program.

This program is specifically for students who are blind. College students who are blind have the opportunity to apply to win one of 30 scholarships. The government disability scholarships are awarded nationally. Scholarships range in value from $3,000 each to $12,000. The deadline to apply is March 31st. Applications become available November 1st.

To be eligible for this scholarship, students must be legally blind in both eyes. Additionally, applicants must either be pursuing or planning to pursue a post-secondary course of study full-time. There is one scholarship reserved for a student who works full-time and attends school part-time. Recipients must participate in the NFB National Convention and all scheduled scholarship program activities. Along with the scholarship, winners will receive assistance in attending the NFB annual convention.

The American Council of the Blind also offers disability scholarships for students who are legally blind and attending school full-time. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.3. In extenuating circumstances the GPA requirements may be adjusted. The deadline to apply is March 1st.

The Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired also sponsors aid through the William & Dorothy Ferrell Scholarship. This is a $500 award that is given annually to two students who are legally blind. Applicants must be pursuing a career in service to visually impaired or blind persons. The latest date to apply is April 15th.

The Association of Blind Citizens awards seven $1,000 general education grants to students who are blind. The Association also offers a Technology Fund that offers grants to cover as much as 50% of the cost for software and adaptive devices for students who are visually impaired or blind.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities also offers several disability scholarships for students with learning disabilities. These scholarships include the Anne Ford & Allegra Ford Scholarships. These scholarships are for seniors in high school with plans to pursue an undergraduate degree and who have a learning disability. Scholarships are provided to two graduating seniors. The first Anne Ford scholarship was awarded in 2002. Applications become available in the summer. The deadline for submitting all application materials is December 31st. Each scholarship has a full value of $10,000. $2,500 is awarded per year for a total of four years.

Other government disability financial aid includes the Through the Looking Glass scholarship. These disability scholarships are specifically for children of parents who have disability. Through the Looking Glass is a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships for disabled students who have at least one parent living with a disability. There are fifteen $1,000 scholarships available. Separate eligibility requirements exist for high school seniors and college students.

To be eligible for the high school senior scholarships, students must be a high school graduate by the fall of 2012 and must have plans to attend either a two-year or four-year college or university. Applicants must also have at least one parent with a disability. College students must be currently enrolled in a two-year or four-year college, must not be older than 21 years of age as of March 5th and must have at least one parent with a disability. All application materials must be received by March 5th.

Grants are also available through the Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship Foundation for young adults living with Cystic Fibrosis who are pursuing a higher education. Awards are granted on the basis of leadership, academic promise, and financial need. Each grant has a value of $1,000. The deadline to apply is March 21st.

Government disability scholarships and student financial aid is also available through The United Student Aid Funds’ Access to Education Scholarship. A $1,500 disability scholarship is awarded to students with a physical disability. Applicants should have an annual family income that is less than $35,000 per year. The deadline to apply is March 15th.

12 Responses

  1. DeAnne Nicholson says:

    My husband had to take permanent disability Social Security in 2012 60due to Congestive Heart Failure, Atrial Fibrillation and Short term memory loss. Our income dropped severely from $60,000-70,000 per year. We have had to use his retirement and our savings to cover our expenses over the last 7 years. Even though he was not officially on Social Security Disability until 2012, he was on long-term disability before that. We now have one child in college and one graduating from high school in 2016 and about to begin college next fall. It has been a struggle with one in college so, we are exploring all possibilities for help in getting the next one started and would appreciate any help, advice, etc….I am a special education teacher, a job I dearly love but, obviously, I don’t make a huge sum of money. I tutor students after school every day to help with expenses. Thank you for any help you might could give us.

  2. admin says:


    have your children apply to all scholarships they fit the criteria for – it’s never too early. There are need based scholarships they may fit into because of what you described above. Go to high school scholarships for college and list of scholarships to see more. Also read about scholarships for students with disabled parents. Read too about simple scholarships to get.

  3. DeAnne Nicholson says:

    Thanks so much! I will look in to all of those options!

  4. admin says:

    You’re welcome!

  5. Dexter Roberts says:

    I am a 58 year old black male. I was able to use financial aide to get my bachelors degree in social work in 2005. I was employed from 2005 to 2009. I was diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, COPD, asthma, kidney failure, toxic megacolon and asthma (since 4 y.o.). I was placed on disability and was unable to return to work or adequately provide for my family. You see my disability benefits of $1,100 a month is not enough income when you have a family of three. My only option is to return to school and get my master’s degree. This has become a problem because I owe student loans. I badly need a scholarship to be able to further my education. I desperately need your help.

  6. admin says:


    Best Bet:
    you may want to sit down with the FinAids manager at the college you are considering attending to see what they have to offer at this time. Then apply to all scholarships you seem to fit the criteria for, especially disability scholarship awards.

  7. Jeff Campbell says:

    I am a 49–year-old Caucasian male who has been accepted to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. I was supposed to start this past Fall Semester, but I had to defer my admission to Spring Semester because I could not receive enough financial aid to attend both semesters. Now, the financial aid office at UMass Dartmouth has cut almost $4,000 out of my financial aid package because other than a $1,400 scholarship I won for being a Portuguese major, I am only eligible for a small amount of unsubsidized federal student loans, and the financial aid office said that after I would receive that amount of student loan funding, I would no longer be able to get student loans as an undergraduate student. UMass Dartmouth’s 2016-2017 tuition for out-of-state students exceeds $30,000 for the year and would be over $14,000 for the spring semester alone. But they only want to offer me $7,600 in financial aid, leaving me with a bill for over $6,500. I have not worked in over 2½ years, and I have a pending application for Social Security Disability, for which I had to go to a doctor’s appointment in a suburb of Cleveland (Ohio) this past Saturday, and I may or may not hear within enough time to attend classes for this spring semester. I will probably wind up deferring my admission once again to Fall Semester 2017 which starts after Labor Day. I would not be able to defer my admission again after that, and I paid a non-refundable $200 tuition deposit, which I may wind up having to pay again in order to secure my spot for September, seeing as it is very likely that I will have to postpone my start of classes there until Fall. I have hydrocephalus, for which I have had 8 brain surgeries, and I am also a type 2 diabetic with severe neuropathy in my toes of both feet, which has already started to spread to the soles of my feet, plus I have had to have laser treatments in both eyes for diabetic/hypertensive retinopathy. I also have high blood pressure, and very likely suffer from PTSD and depression, which was not necessarily detected by a psychologist who had to evaluate me for SSDI in September 2015. My SSDI case was denied in May 2016, but I have an attorney representing me and they requested a reconsideration. I am hoping that it won’t take as long for me to get approved as it did for the initial denial. But I hate having to sit and wait all this time, and I can’t find work where I live in northern Ohio either. Public transportation here is almost non-existent and is very expensive. I am also being forced to apply for 15 jobs a week for 6 weeks to be able to keep receiving SNAP benefits, since I am not working. I can’t even pay my home phone/WiFi or cell phone bills. I am in a dire situation and even set up a GoFundMe account, which has never received any donations.

  8. admin says:


    read more at: no cosigner student loans. Maybe this will help. You may want to sit down with the financial aids manager at your school to see what the latest offerings he may have to help you. Apply to as many scholarships as you can whewre you fit the qualifications. Read more at: easy scholarships.

  9. Alma Gutierrez says:

    My daughter has a severe hearing impairment and looking for scholarships or grants in this area

  10. admin says:

    Alma, read more at hearing scholarships for college. Also don’t forget to apply to general disability scholarships too. You just have to have ANY disability to apply to general disability scholarships. More reading at best disability scholarships.

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