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5 Amazing Scholarships for Students With Learning Disabilities

Many generous organizations offer scholarships just for LD students. Learn about five great opportunities to win free money for college right here!

Let's face it—college is expensive. But finding money now can help you worry less about college expenses later on. Scholarships are the best way to earn money for college, and you can find opportunities for just about every part of your personality, interests, and life as a student. That includes documented learning disabilities; there are some amazing scholarships just for LD students with dyslexia, autism, visual and hearing impairments, intellectual disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and more. Every student should try to set aside some time to apply for scholarships, and the more you apply for, the more chances you have to win! Here are five great opportunities to get your LD scholarship search started.

1. Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships

Students pursuing all types of higher education should check out these two scholarships from the National Center for Learning Disabilities. If you're a high school senior with a learning disability who’s planning to enroll in a full-time bachelor's degree program this fall, you should apply for the Anne Ford Scholarship. This $10,000 award is distributed over four years to one student with a documented learning disability. Students who plan to enroll in two-year community college programs, vocational or technical training programs, or specialized programs for students with disabilities in the fall also have a chance to win money for school through the Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship. This one is worth $5,000 and has the same requirements and deadline as the Anne Ford Scholarship. Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who also have a learning disability are especially encouraged to apply. Just create an account and follow the requirements listed on the website, which include a recommendation letter and answers to three questions that can be answered in text, video, or audio format. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until April 13 for both awards, so don't miss out on this chance to fund your education!

2. INCIGHT Scholarship

Are you or someone you know a current resident of Washington, Oregon, or California with a disability and pursuing an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree? The INCIGHT Scholarship provides funding for students who meet these criteria. Applicants must be enrolled in a community college, undergraduate, vocational school, or graduate program for the upcoming school year and have any type of disability as defined by the ADA, DSM-V, IDEA, or other governing body (visit the scholarship link to view a list of examples). The amount is not disclosed, but half of the award will be disbursed in the fall and the other half in the winter. Applications are due by April 15, and recipients are required to complete either 30 hours of community service or volunteer at one INCIGHT event. Don't miss out on this great opportunity!

Related: Top Tips to Help Students With Disabilities Find Supportive Colleges

3. Mays Mission Scholarships

Did you know that the Mays Mission for the Handicapped offers scholarships for students with physical and/or mental disabilities? You'll need to document a significant disability, score 20 or higher on the ACT or 970 on the SAT, and be enrolled in a four-year undergraduate program. If accepted, you'll also need to maintain a GPA of 3.0, submit your grades, and write a monthly "update letter" about any struggles and triumphs you experience on campus. The application deadline is June 30, and applications must be sent through the mail.

4. Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Awards

Sponsored by Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, this scholarship works a little differently. Students ages 19 and younger with LD and ADHD who have demonstrated initiative, talent, determination, and notable accomplishments in fields such as art, music, science, math, athletics, or community service must be nominated to receive a Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award. Scholarships include the $1,000 grand prize, a $500 Special Recognition Award, and honorable mentions. The awards ceremony takes place at the annual Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities Gala on April 4 in Darien, Connecticut, with transportation and hotel accommodations provided for the winners and their parents. The annual nomination deadline falls in January, so be sure to share this opportunity with your network and prepare for the next cycle!

5. Google Lime Scholarship

The Google Lime Scholarship is designed for full-time undergraduate students with disabilities who are pursuing Computer Science or Computer Engineering degrees in the US or Canada, including first-year and international students. It's just for members of The Lime Network—a community of high-achieving students and professionals with disabilities—but the good news is it's free to join! Students with both visible and invisible disabilities are encouraged to apply. Three essays that show your passion for computer science and one letter of recommendation are also required. Undergrads at US colleges can win $10,000 prizes, while those studying at Canadian institutions can win $5,000. The deadline is April 21, so be sure to join and apply by then.

Related: College Search and Scholarship Resources for LD Students

There are so many other scholarship opportunities out there for LD students, but hopefully, these are helpful and encourage you in your search. Remember to never give up and keep applying! There are awards available for all kinds of things, so keep searching and don't limit yourself. Good luck!

Keep your search going by finding even more opportunities in our Scholarship Search database!

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About Maddy A-C

Maddy A-C is a high school student residing in California. She enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones at the beach. Additionally, she has undertaken a few college courses and consistently excels in writing assignments. Writing is one of her passions, which stems from her love of reading; you can always find her with a book in hand. Maddy has only worked with CollegeXpress so far, but she is eager to find out what the future holds.


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Maria Fernanda

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress is always telling you with time to spare when to apply for certain scholarships, what they require, and if you’re eligible or not. They also provide helpful tips for both incoming college students and current college students, such as what to absolutely have in your dorm.

Alexandra Adriano

Alexandra Adriano

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2016

I've used CollegeXpress quite a bit as a senior, particularly for colleges and scholarships, so it's been a very big asset in that respect! I would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a college education, especially seniors! This scholarship will help me achieve my goals in ways I couldn't have before, and I know that there are opportunities like that for everyone on the website and in the magazines!

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High School Class of 2020

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High School Class of 2023

I’m currently a college freshman attending Towson University. My major is Information Technology, and I plan to minor in Electronic Media & Film to achieve my goal of becoming a production engineer. Upon graduating high school earlier this year, I was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from CollegeXpress, which greatly assisted in paying my tuition. Truthfully, this financial reward was the difference in affording my room and board and tuition, along with other expenses for school. My family and I haven’t stopped celebrating my award since it was bestowed on me. I will never forget this opportunity for allowing me to get my foot into my university financially.



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