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How to Find Scholarships for People with Special Needs

If your child with special needs is considering going to college, here’s a website you might want to visit. No, I’m going to rephrase that. Here’s a website you need to visit.


DisabilitiesScholarships.us is packed with links to governmental and private scholarships for people with all sorts of disabilities and special needs. The website says, “There are unknown scholarships for disabled students that cover just about any type of disability that you may have. Everything from Multiple Sclerosis scholarships to deaf scholarships for paralyzed veterans is covered. What this means is that you do not have to be a graduating high school senior in order to be eligible for all of these disabilities scholarships, but that will be a requirement for some. For most, however, you can be an adult student either starting college for the first time or returning to further your education, as long as you meet the disability requirement for the scholarship you are applying for.” That means this site can help adults with special needs as well as high school students. So pass the information on.

Categories of Disabilities

To help you sift through the scholarships, they have been divided into the following categories:

  • Blind scholarships
  • Cancer scholarships
  • Diabetes scholarships
  • Education
  • Essay scholarships
  • Hearing scholarships
  • Learning scholarships
  • MS scholarships
  • Unknown scholarships
  • Unusual scholarships
  • Writing scholarships

I clicked the “unknown scholarships” link (Philosophers and cynics, please set aside your “if they’re unknown scholarships how can we know about them” objections and be nice. We’re talking about real money here.) and learned people with disabilities can not only receive Fulbright Scholarships, but also receive assistance so disabilities won’t keep them from using them.

Keep Searching the Site

If your disability isn’t listed in the categories above, don’t give up. Beneath the categories, there is a running list of recent scholarships posted – everything from Lyme’s Disease to Learning Disabilities and everything in between. The site also offers an RSS feed to alert you of new postings.

So check it out, and if you find something useful, come back and leave a comment. Your success could spur someone else on, too.

Happy hunting,

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11 Responses to “How to Find Scholarships for People with Special Needs”

  1. Sallyann Koontz says:

    Are you aware of any scholarships for Lyme disease and Stroke victims? One child has chronic lyme disease (lost one year of her life to it) and has a 4.75 GPA and is trying to find funding for the college to which she’s been accepted and the other child had a stroke in uetero but somehow is gifted and talented in the math and sciences. He’s just come off his second major surgery at Hopkins and is about to start his Junior year in high-school. There ought to be something out there for both of them, no?

    Thank you!

  2. Jolene says:

    Hi Sallyann,

    I’m not aware of any specific scholarships in either of those two areas. Have you gone to the Lyme Disease national websites and checked there? You might want to find their phone numbers and call, too. You could do the same with sites about in uetero, infant, and childhood strokes, too. Then broaden your search and see if the hospitals where they’ve been treated offer scholarships for former patients, check pediatric surgery/surgeon/pediatric surgical nurse websites and anything else related to your kids’ conditions. If you find something, would you let me know?


  3. Andrea Fox says:

    Hi Jolene–great site! Did you see any scholarships for TEF on this site or in your research? Any pointers you have would so be appreciated! I’m helping my life partner, a TEF survivor, apply for college a decade late. He really deserves the opportunity. Thanks!

  4. james allen says:

    do you know of any sites for adult stroke patients? I had a stroke 18 months ago and cannot work anymore and would like to attend school

  5. Jolene says:

    Hi James,

    Sorry to hear about your health issues. My area of expertise doesn’t reach into the adult special needs market. Have you checked with your states’ Easter Seals organization? They might have some information.

    Best wishes,
    Jolene Philo

  6. Karen Fridsma says:

    Our son had a stroke when he was 7, I am looking for any college assistant for him, can you point me in the right direction.

  7. Jolene says:

    Hi Karen,

    Good to hear from you! Your best bet would be to visit the website mentioned in the post, DisabilitiesScholarships.us, and scour it to see what’s there. Also, sign up for their RSS feed so you get updates whenever new scholarships are added. Other than that, you will want to check with the state ARC chapter and also with the state disability office or vocational rehabilitation where you live. (Just google the name of your state followed by “disability” or “vocational rehabilitation” to get started. Also, check with your state’s Easter Seals chapter. Finally, call your state universities or go to their websites and see what you can find there. More and more offer assistance to people with special needs.

    Best wishes as you search!

  8. Mary Dycus says:

    My name is Mary, and I am seventeen years old, and am a junior in high school. Five years ago, I became very sick, but was not diagnosed with Lyme Disease until two years later. Because of the delay in my diagnoses, I am still suffering from it. I have maintained a 3.9 GPA and I am planning to attend college. I was wondering if maybe there is a scholarship for having lyme disease

  9. Jolene says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks so much for your comment. I’m so sorry to hear about your struggle with Lyme Disease and am impressed with your determination!

    Unfortunately, I don’t have time to research scholarship offerings for specific diseases. However, you might try an internet search for national organizations that do research about Lyme Disease or provide support for those living with it. They might offer scholarships or be able to point you to assistance.

    Sorry I couldn’t help more. Best wishes for the future!

  10. Donna Wilburn says:

    I have an unusual request to find a scholarship for heat stroke victims. Three years ago, one of my children had a massive heat stroke while at an athletic event and has not been the same since. It has been a day by day struggle since then, with many reoccurrences. Does anyone know of a scholarship for this?

  11. Jolene says:

    Hi Donna,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s heat stroke and it’s effects. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to research scholarships related to individual medical conditions. Is there a national organization for heat stroke victims? That would be a good place to start. You could also check with your state’s vocational rehabilitation office. They may be able to point you to other agencies.

    Best wishes,

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