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Nursing Scholarships for Students With Disabilities

| NurseJournal Staff

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Nursing school scholarships for students with disabilities provide funding for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Disability scholarships, sponsored by private foundations and public agencies, help individuals with specific physical, mental, or learning disabilities. Some disability scholarship opportunities limit awards to students who plan to attend particular schools or programs.

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Undergraduate Nursing Scholarships

Students with disabilities may be unaware of the many available scholarships for nursing school. While the following list of scholarships is not exhaustive, it covers several different funding opportunities for high school and undergraduate students with disabilities.

AbbVie Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship assists exceptional students living with cystic fibrosis. Candidates must provide evidence of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and creativity.

Amount: $3,000

Beth Carew Memorial Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: Undergraduate students with hemophilia, Von Willebrand disease, or a related inherited bleeding disorder may apply. Candidates must demonstrate a record of community service or volunteer work.

Amount: $500-$6,000

BRAF Cheryl D. Conkling Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Baton Rouge Area Foundation sponsors this award for students with hearing and other physical impairments. Applicants must live in or attend school in Baton Rouge or nearby communities.

Amount: $3,000

Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This award provides college funding for 10th and 11th grade students who have overcome major physical or mental abuse or catastrophic illness. Recipients must demonstrate high financial need and academic promise.

Amount: Varies

Christopher Mark Pitkin Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports postsecondary and college education for individuals living with hemophilia and HIV, along with their family members. Applicants must reside in Southern California counties, including Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, and Santa Barbara.

Amount: $1,000

CSU Dale M. Schoettler Scholarship for Visually Impaired Students

Who Can Apply: Students with a visual impairment who attend California State University may apply for this award. Each applicant must have a minimum 2.8 GPA and enroll in 6.1 units of credits.

Amount: $10,000

Faith Hope and Love Jesus, Inc. College Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This organization awards an annual undergraduate scholarship to students who provide documentation of a blood disorder or cancer diagnosis. Each candidate must provide a copy of their college acceptance letter or transcript and submit an essay on any topic of their choice.

Amount: $500

GLHF Education Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation provides tuition assistance to students with bleeding disorders or their family members. Applicants must reside in Wisconsin or receive care at the Wisconsin Hemophilia Treatment Centers.

Amount: $250-$3,000

JCS Community Services Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Jewish Federation of Baltimore offers this Jewish Community Services Scholarship to high school seniors diagnosed with learning disabilities. Recipients must attend an accredited U.S. college or university.

Amount: Varies

Jennifer Leigh Soper Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Blue Grass Community Foundation, this award supports graduating high school students with cystic fibrosis who plan to attend college. Past recipients may reapply annually.

Amount: Varies

Graduate Nursing Scholarships

Several nursing careers require advanced training beyond a bachelor's degree. This list provides a sample of scholarships for students with disabilities who want to pursue graduate-level education.

Alexander Graham Bell Association College Scholarships

Who Can Apply: This competitive scholarship supports undergraduate or graduate studies for individuals with bilateral hearing loss diagnosed before the age of four. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation and an essay.

Amount: Varies

American Council of the Blind Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship, established in 1982, applies to undergraduate or graduate tuition, fees, housing, and other expenses. Each applicant must be legally blind, possess a 3.0 GPA, maintain full-time enrollment, and demonstrate involvement in their school or community.

Amount: $2,000-$7,500

Biomatrix Memorial Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: In partnership with the Hemophilia Foundation of America, Biomatrix awards six scholarships annually for undergraduate or graduate students diagnosed with hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease, or members of their immediate families.

Amount: $1,000

Incight Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Current residents of Washington, Oregon, or California with any type of documented disability may apply for this award. Recipients must fulfill a community/volunteer service requirement.

Amount: Varies

NCJW NY Jackson-Stricks Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Jackson-Stricks Scholarship provides financial aid to students with physical challenges affecting mobility, vision, or hearing. Recipients must maintain current enrollment in undergraduate or graduate programs in the New York metropolitan area.

Amount: $5,000-$10,000

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports students who have battled any kind of cancer (not restricted to mesothelioma). Students with an immediate family member or close friend who has battled or is currently fighting cancer may also apply.

Amount: $4,000

NCCF Survivor Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: Administered by the National Collegiate Cancer Foundation, this award assists cancer survivors or current cancer patients aged 18-35. Each applicant must enroll in an undergraduate, master's, or doctoral program at an accredited college or university.

Amount: $1,000

Powering Education Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Alpha One Center for Independent Living established this scholarship for Maine residents with documented disabilities as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Amount: $2,000

Soozie Courter Hemophilia Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: U.S. residents with hemophilia A or B may apply for this award. Each candidate must demonstrate superior academic standing, submit a persuasive essay, and provide strong letters of recommendation.

Amount: $5,000

UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: Awarded by the UCB biopharma company, this scholarship program offers several awards to individuals living with epilepsy, their family members, and caregivers pursuing higher education, including graduate training.

Amount: $5,000-$10,000

Frequently Asked Questions: Scholarships for Students with Disabilities


When should I start applying for scholarships?

Although every scholarship program establishes its own deadlines, students should generally begin their search for funding at least a year before their intended start dates. High school students may begin applying between their junior and senior years. Prospective graduate students should begin applying for grants approximately two semesters before planning to start their programs.

Can you get a scholarship for being disabled?

The above lists of disability scholarships indicate the range of merit-based and need-based funding possibilities provided by organizations for undergraduate or graduate education. Students with documented physical and mental disabilities must meet their intended program's admission and academic requirements either with or without accommodation.

What counts as a disability for college?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, disability is a legal term that refers to an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities. Colleges and universities, along with other scholarship providers, may adhere to more narrow medical definitions or adopt terminology used by the federal government or WHO.

Does disability affect financial aid?

Despite the availability of disability scholarships, the disclosure of a disability may not result in increased financial aid and may restrict students from work-study opportunities or graduate assistantships. Students with disabilities often must pay out of pocket for accommodations. They also may experience higher educational costs not covered by scholarships due to reduced course loads and extended time needed to complete their degrees.

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