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Nursing Scholarships for Students Living with Disabilities

NurseJournal Staff
Updated March 8, 2023
Learn about the many nursing scholarships for students living with disabilities and how to apply.
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Student with disability using computerCredit: Jasmin Merdan / Moment / Getty Images

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

Undergraduate Nursing Scholarships

Students living 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 living with disabilities.

AbbVie Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship assists exceptional students 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: $1,500 per semester for eight semesters, totaling $12,000

Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This award provides college funding for sophomore and junior high school students who have overcome major physical or mental abuse or catastrophic illness. Recipients must demonstrate high financial need and academic promise. Applicants must be nominated by a school or community organization in addition to submitting an application.

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, and have a bleeding disorder or a family member with a bleeding disorder.

Amount: $1,000

CSU Dale M. Schoettler Scholarship for Visually Impaired Students

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

Amount: $10,000

ExceptionalNurse.com College Scholarship Awards

Who Can Apply: Nursing students with a documented disability who have applied to or received admission to full-time nursing programs may apply.

Amount: $250-500

Faith Hope and Love Jesus, Inc. College Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This organization awards an annual undergraduate scholarship to students who provide documentation of blood disorders or cancer diagnoses. 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 living 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 Jewish high school seniors living with learning disabilities. Recipients must attend accredited U.S. schools.

Amount: Varies

International Essential Tremor Foundation

Who Can Apply: Individuals with an essential tremor and hold at least a 2.5 GPA and attend accredited institutions may apply. Applicants must have a record of community service and leadership skills.

Amount: $1,000

Jennifer Leigh Soper Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship

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

Amount: Varies

Mays Mission Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students with a disability and a score of at least 20 on the ACT or 970 on the SAT may apply. Applicants must also pledge to follow the school’s state laws for alcohol and drug use and maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Amount: Varies

Michael A. Hunter Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship is for students with leukemia or lymphoma, or students who lost a parent to leukemia or lymphoma. Recipients must be full-time students and have at least a 3.0 GPA.

Amount: $2,000 – $5,000

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.

INCIGHT Scholarship

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

Amount: Varies

LD Resources Assistive Technology Award

Who Can Apply: Students in graduate or undergraduate programs who have a learning disability and recent documentation can apply for a laptop or tablet to support assistive technology. Applicants may not be in their final year of study and must demonstrate financial need.

Amount: Varies, comes in form of assistive equipment

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports students who have experienced 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

NCCS Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The National Children’s Cancer Society offers scholarships for graduate or undergraduate students who are under the age of 25 and were diagnosed with cancer before their 18th birthday.

Amount: $5,000

Soozie Courter Hemophilia Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: U.S. residents living 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 biopharma company UCB, this scholarship program offers several awards to individuals 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 each 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 list of disability scholarships shows the range of merit-based and need-based funding possibilities that organizations provide 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 referring to individuals with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit major life activities. Colleges and universities, along with other scholarship providers, may adhere to more narrow medical definitions or adopt the terminology used by the federal government or WHO.

Does disability affect financial aid?

Despite the availability of disability scholarships, disclosing 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.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.