A Higher Education Starts Now: 2007 Scholarship Opportunities for the College-Bound

MobileNation

As the boom of "Pomp and Circumstance" fades in the ears of graduates nationwide, the next in line begin a yearlong pursuit toward higher education. With a hectic schedule of college applications, interviews, essays and campus tours — not to mention the worry of staggering tuition costs — rising stress levels overtake the wind-in-your-hair, sun-on-your-face, lazy vibe of summer.

For college-bound students with disabilities, the time to start worrying about scholarships that will ease the financial burden is now. As graduation nears, you'll have enough to worry about without trying to figure out how to foot the bill.

Through the Looking Glass (TLG), Minneapolis — which offers a scholarship to students with at least one parent who is disabled — suggests the following checklist when searching for scholarship funds:

  1. Obtain a copy of a scholarship directory from your local library and search under applicable categories, including ancestry, faith, economic status, sports played, etc.
  2. Organizations often offer scholarships to volunteers. Ask your volunteer organization if it has such a program.
  3. Search the Internet or contact organizations that are directly related to your disability.

For more information about TLG, visit www.lookingglass.org.

To help you with your search, check out the following list of resources:

Scholarship & Organization: ASCLA Century Scholarship
Eligibility: For a library school student or students with disabilities admitted to an ALA-accredited library school and working toward a master's or doctorate in library science
Amount: $2,500 annually
Deadline: n/a
Contact: (800) 545-2433, ehardy@ala.org

Scholarship & Organization: Bank of America Abilities Scholarship Program
Eligibility: For students with disabilities who have a permanent residence in Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington — and have a career interest in finance, business or computer systems
Amount: Up to $5,000 annually
Deadline: April 1
Contact: (864) 268-3363

Scholarship & Organization: ChairScholars Foundation
Eligibility: For deserving high school seniors and college freshmen who are physically challenged or chair-confined; must present financial need
Amount: $3,000-5,000 annually; up to $20,000 maximum
Deadline: Feb. 28
Contact: www.chairscholars.org

Scholarship & Organization: Courage Center's Scholarships for People with Disabilities
Eligibility: For individuals with physical and sensory disabilities
Amount: $1,000 annually
Deadline: May 31
Contact: (763) 520-0553, nrobinow@courage.org, www.courage.org/about/default.asp?id=55

Scholarship & Organization: disABLEDperson, Inc. College Scholarship Award
Eligibility: For U.S. college students with disabilities
Amount: $500 annually
Deadline: Mid-December
Contact: www.disABLEDperson.com

Scholarship & Organization: Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation Scholarship
Eligibility: For any woman with a physical disability who is pursuing graduate studies at a university in the United States, esp. women involved in their local disability communities
Amount: Between $500 and $2,000
Deadline: June 1
Contact: (626) 398-8840, executivedirector@ela.org, www.ela.org

Scholarship & Organization: Foundation for Exceptional Children
Eligibility: For a freshmen with a disability; Stanley E. Jackson Award for Gifted/Talented Students with Disability
Amount: $500; various
Deadline: Feb. 1; Nov. 1
Contact: http://yesican.cec.sped.org/scholarship/index.html; (703) 620-1054, www.cec.sped.org/scholarship/index.html

Scholarship & Organization: Horatio Alger Association Scholarship Program
Eligibility: For U.S. students who have exhibited integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity and who aspire to pursue higher education
Amount: More than $5 million annually to various students
Deadline: Feb. 1
Contact: association@horatioalger.com, www.horatioalger.com

Scholarship & Organization: Incight Go-Getter Scholarships
Eligibility: For an applicant with a physical disability, including sight, hearing and learning disabilities
Amount: 30 awarded; various amounts
Deadline: May 2
Contact: (971) 244-0305, scholarship@incight.org, www.incight.org

Scholarship & Organization: National Amputation Foundation Scholarships
Eligibility: For students who have a major limb amputation
Contact: (516) 887-3600

Scholarship & Organization: National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) and MuchMoreMusic AccessAbility Scholarship
Eligibility: For an applicant with a permanent disability who best demonstrates skill, talent, excellence and enthusiasm in pursuing a future in the broadcast industry
Amount: $3,000
Deadline: Nov. 1
Contact: www.muchmoremusic.com/scholarship

Scholarship & Organization: Panasonic Young Soloists Award
Eligibility: For vocalists or instrumentalists younger than age 25 who are permanently disabled and interested in studying music
Amount: $5,000
Deadline: TBA
Contact: (202) 628-2800, (202) 737-0645 TDD, (800) 933-8721, info@vsarts.org, www.vsaarts.org

Scholarship & Organization: Venture Student Aid Award for a Physically Disabled Student
Eligibility: For a student with a disability; must present financial need
Amount: Set by board each year ($2,500-$5,000)
Deadline: Dec. 31
Contact: (215) 557-9300

This article originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Mobility Management.

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