Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has put a focus on making sure disabled students have an equal opportunity to attend a college or university in the United States. To support this effort, many private and public organizations offer disability grants for college.
The aim of these funding programs is to help disabled students achieve their education and career goals. Here’s everything you need to know about disability grants for college.
Availability of Disability Grants
Students who have a cognitive, behavioral, or emotional impediment may find it difficult to pursue post-secondary education. Disability grants can help ease the financial burden, but they often come with strict requirements.
Some traditional grant programs require students to maintain a full-time status in school, which is difficult for people with certain disabilities. Others grants don’t cover the costs of special resources or support services disabled students may require to help them get around campus, pay for medical care, or adapt to classroom settings.
The good news is that there are financial awards available for students with general, physical, intellectual, and learning disabilities as well as chronic health issues, mental illness, and hearing or visual impairments.
Government agencies, disability advocacy groups, private entities, corporations, memorial foundations, and colleges and universities offer a variety of funding options for students with disabilities.
Depending on the student’s specific needs, you can likely apply for several financial aid programs. Many programs aim to support people facing specific challenges, while others are open to disabled students in general. Eligibility requirements vary from one grant to the next. In some cases, you may need to provide proof of disability or a signed form from your doctor.
The federal government offers a number of financial aid programs for college students. The Pell Grant is the largest federal grant program. It provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students from all backgrounds, and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Students receive up to $4,000 per year based on their expected family contribution (EFC), costs to attend school, and enrollment status.
Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) include a number of financial aid programs designed to assist individuals from disadvantaged or at-risk backgrounds, including students with disabilities. TRIO runs in cooperation with a number of colleges and universities across the United States. To apply, students need to fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
FAFSA® is now open for 2020, file in less than 5 minutes!