2014 Scholarship Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

With January already half gone, the season for college and scholarship applications is well underway. If you’re a senior and looking into scholarship opportunities, it can be quite hard to sort through all the noise and find local scholarship opportunities that fit your background and needs. There are just so many opportunities out there!

To help sort through the noise, we’ve taken some time to find a handful of scholarship opportunities that are directly applicable for youth in our programs: Boston-area students with a disability. Each of these scholarships targets a slightly different demographic, but we hope this list will have something for everyone.

Marian L. Heard Scholarship

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley is pleased to offer the 2014 Marian L. Heard Scholarship to eligible high school seniors who are involved in a United Way partner agency or Youth Venture. United Way will choose 12-15 finalists who intend on attending the first year of a two- or four-year college or post-secondary certification/degree program full time, to receive up to $10,000 in scholarship funds over the next four years. Finalists will have the opportunity to reapply each year for up to 4 years. Students planning to enroll part-time are not eligible to apply.

Who is Eligible?

– Youth with low income households
– Youth applying for full-time 2- or 4- year colleges starting in Fall 2014
– Youth active in United Way partner agencies or Youth Venture (PYD is a partner agency)

United Way MLH Scholars program provides students with:

– Up to $10,000 in scholarship over 4 years of college/post-secondary education
– Coaching support by a career professional
– Program staff support that offers ongoing guidance to Scholars

Applications are due by February 24, 2014. You can find the application on the United Way’s website.

Yawkey Scholars Program

The Award:

– Four-year, renewable scholarship to cover tuition and fees.
– Maximum annual scholarship is $25,000. Average scholarship awarded in 2013-14 was $8,617.
– Yawkey Advisor for each student to provide support throughout their four years of college.
– Opportunities Fund – flexible financial supports to allow Scholars to participate in enriching activities and meet other academic needs in order to achieve their full potential in college.
– Resources and network to help Scholars achieve their full potential.


– Permanent resident of Massachusetts
– From a low-income family with unmet financial need
– Engaged in a meaningful, sustained mentoring program or ongoing relationship with an adult role model.
– Current senior at an accredited high school in Massachusetts.
– Accepted to and plan to attend a competitive private four-year college or university in Massachusetts beginning in Fall 2014.

Applications are due by February 15, 2014. You can find the Yawkey application here.

Rise Scholarship Foundation

The RiSE Scholarship Foundation, Inc. was established in 2010 to reward students with learning disabilities, who have shown determination, self advocacy and success in overcoming their difficulties and are pursuing post secondary education. RiSE Scholarship Foundation Inc. aims to offer meaningful scholarships to award the success of students, to bring awareness, and education to the subject of learning disabilities.

This scholarship is open to anyone with a learning disability or ASD diagnosis. The value of the award is $2,500.

Applications are due by February 15, 2014. You can find the Rise application on their website.

Shire ADHD Scholarship Program

The Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship by Shire recognizes and supports individuals diagnosed with ADHD in the US who are pursuing higher education. The Scholarship includes a $2,000 monetary award and a prepaid year of ADHD coaching from the Edge Foundation to assist meeting the challenges of higher education. Fifty recipients will be selected in 2014.

Applications are due by March 19, 2014. You can find the Shire application on their website.

Lighthouse International Award

Lighthouse International’s Scholarship and Career Awards program recognizes outstanding students for overcoming the challenges of vision loss, helps them to pursue higher education and nurtures their career aspirations. This time-honored tradition is celebrating its 33rd anniversary — offering seven $10,000 awards.

If you would like to be notified when the 2014 application becomes available, please contact Melissa Shorey at mshorey@lighthouse.org.

You can also find more information on scholarships and financial aid at OnlineSchools.org. They have a list of opportunities specifically for students with a disability, which is more comprehensive than anything we could reproduce!

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