Updated on April 15th, 2021
Pursuing an education can be stressful and, if your student has a learning disability, it may seem even more daunting. But, if your student can eliminate some of the financial burdens by landing one (or a few) of the many scholarships for students with learning disabilities, that can make the entire venture seem more manageable.
There are plenty of learning disability scholarships worth exploring. However, who is eligible to apply can vary depending on several factors, including your student’s diagnosis.
If your student is interested in scholarships for students with learning disabilities, here is a guide to what may be available.
Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities
Some people may be surprised to discover that there are scholarships for learning disabilities. These learning disability scholarships aim to make college more affordable for individuals who may have struggled academically due to a diagnosed medical condition that impacted their performance or created additional challenges.
College scholarships for students with learning disabilities typically fall into one of two categories. The first kind allows anyone with any learning disability to apply. The second type of learning disability scholarships focus on specific conditions, limiting who is eligible to receive the award more so than the first type.
If your student wants to explore disability college scholarships, here are a few that are open to individuals with any form of learning disability:
- American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) Scholarship Program
- American Library Association (ALA) Century Scholarship
- Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships
- BMO Capital Market Lime Connect Equity Through Education Scholarship
- Bottar Law, PLLC Scholarship
- disABLEDperson, Inc. Scholarship Program
- Disability Care Center’s The Disabled Student Scholarship
- Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Scholarship
- Google Lime Scholarship
- Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Awards
- Mays Mission Scholarships
- Microsoft disAbility Scholarship
- Newcombe Foundation Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
- P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education Scholarship Program (language-based learning disabilities only)
- Pine Cone Foundation Scholarship (students in California only)
- RehabMart Scholarship
- RiSE Scholarship Foundation
- Terrill Hill Foundation (limited to neurological disease and brain injury diagnoses)
As with all scholarships, there can be other eligibility requirements for these scholarships for students with learning disabilities. For example, some of the awards above may be limited to students pursuing specific college majors or those who have already completed their freshman year in college.
Scholarships for Students with ADHD
In most cases, scholarships for students with learning disabilities are also ADHD scholarships. If your student is diagnosed with ADHD by a physician and it impacts their ability to learn, then they may qualify for some of the scholarships listed above.
Scholarships for Students with Dyslexia
Just as ADHD scholarships are set up to support students with a specific medical diagnosis, dyslexia scholarships are aimed at students who are known to have dyslexia or highly similar conditions, like dysgraphia and dyscalculia.
Here are a few scholarships for students with dyslexia:
- Gem, Learning Dyslexia/Auditory Processing Disorder Scholarship
- Joseph James Morelli Legacy Foundation Scholarship
- Karina Eide Memorial College Scholarship
Grants for Students with Learning Disabilities
While not as common as learning disability scholarships, it is possible to find grants for students with learning disabilities. Typically grants are focused on graduate students, while most undergraduates are better served by focusing on scholarships for students with learning disabilities.
For example, the FSD Science Graduate Student Grant Fund provides financial awards to qualifying graduate students. If your student may go beyond a bachelor’s degree and meet the requirements, it is an option worth tracking.
Financial Aid for Students with Learning Disabilities
While learning disability scholarships can make college more affordable, they are not the only option. First and foremost, any scholarship that your student is eligible for is worth exploring.
Along with college scholarships for students with learning disabilities, you can also find military scholarships (including options for spouses and dependents), Native American scholarships, scholarships for women and girls, STEM scholarships, and more.
If you and your student want to learn more about scholarships for students with learning disabilities and other scholarship opportunities, attend our free college scholarship webinar! Head to https://thescholarshipsystem.com/freewebinar to sign up.
Plus, after your student completes their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and their expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated, they may be eligible for government grants, like the Pell Grant. Government grants are great when you need help paying for college, as, just like scholarships, the money doesn’t have to be paid back in nearly all cases.
Is There More Help for Students with Learning Disabilities?
Yes, your student may be eligible for certain services when they are in college to make it easier for them to complete their education. Many schools offer academic accommodations to students with learning disabilities, such as more time to take tests or complete assignments, peer note-takers, assistive technology, the option to record lectures, tutoring, or proofreading assistance.
Usually, to find out if your student is eligible for an accommodation, you need to contact their school’s student disability support office, which also may be referred to as disability services, the office of disabled student services, or something similar. At times, these offices are simply a division within the Student Affairs department, so you can also contact that office if you can’t find information for disability services.
If your student is eligible for an accommodation, it will be provided at no additional cost. However, what is available varies from one school to the next, so it is wise to reach out as soon as possible to determine what your student can receive in the form of assistance.