Attending college can be a rich and rewarding experience. But it can also place considerable strain on your resources and even more so if the student has some kind of physical or mental disability. To help such disabled students, several thousand sponsors from both, government and private sectors contribute generous sums of money every year to help them pay for their education. While a majority of the schemes are given as a grant which is not required to be repaid, a few of them may be offered as part-loans. Some scholarships are available specifically to students with a specific disability, while others might include a wider class including many different kinds of disabilities. Usually, the dispensation of financial aid to a student results in a long-standing partnership between the parents, the post-secondary educational institutions as well as government and/or private organizations. Listed below are some of the important aid agencies for disabled students.
Federal Student Aid
Provided by the office of the U.S. Department of Education, the FSA is the largest source of student aid and plays a key role in promoting post-secondary education in the country. Its goal is to provide federal financial assistance ? as grants, work study and loans to enable all eligible individuals to benefit from education beyond high school. Every year, the FSA provides more than $83 billion in aid to millions of post=secondary students. The financial aid office at the school you wish to attend is a good place to begin your search for more information in this regard. Remember that not all schools participate in FSA programs.
Financial assistance to students in the form of state grants and loans are offered by nearly all states, information of which can be obtained from a college or a high school financial aid office.
Parents can check with their employers to see if there is any provision for financial aid, or scholarships for children of employees. Many professional, social or religious organizations also offer grants and scholarships. For instance, some labor unions (like AFLCIO, Teamsters) provide scholarships to members and their children. Religious organizations also offer educational grants for the disabled. It would help to check with the head office of your religious affiliation. Students wishing to pursue a career in business can approach their local Chamber of Commerce to find if they have any provision for financial aid for students in their community.
The College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) jointly sponsor the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, the writing of which offers you a chance to qualify for scholarship and grants.
Established to offer services in the fields of education, public safety, health, and the environment, the AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs. Members who serve the organization full- or part-time are entitled to an educational grant that helps them pay for college or graduate school, or to pay back student loans.
Corporate sponsors, companies and other private sector organizations offer generous funding for disabled children to pursue higher education or vocational training programs that can assist them in taking up jobs related to their field of study. There are various funding programs that target different kinds of disability ranging from physical impairments to learning disabilities. Listed below are a few of the important ones:
Lime Scholarships – From Google And Lime.
AG Bell Financial Aid and Scholarship Program – Alexander Graham Bell
Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Pfizer Epilepsy Scholarship Award – Intra Med Educational Group
Ann Ford Scholarship – National Center for Learning Disabilities
Listed above are just a few of the multitude of agencies engaged in providing funding for the disabled. For information on scholarships offered for specific disabilities, the net is a good resource and can provide you details on student aid offered by your state as well as other sources.