9 College Scholarships for Students With Learning Disabilities

    Nov. 2017

    Money Magazine,

    More than 6 million young Americans—about 13% of students—have been diagnosed with some sort of learning challenge that makes school more of a struggle for them.

    Yet many of these students can succeed in college. And luckily, there are a growing number of scholarships to encourage them.






    Here are some, and a resource for finding more:

    Ranked by size of the awards:

    Learning disabilities: National Center for Learning Disabilities. Up to $10,000 ($2,500 a year). Deadline Nov. 13, 2016.

    Learning disabilities: Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Awards. Up to $6,000. Expected deadline: March, 2017.

    Dyslexia or language learning disability: P. Buckley Moss Endowed Scholarship. Up to $4,000 ($1,000 a year for four years) for a student who has financial need and is pursuing visual arts. Expected deadline March, 2017

    Learning disability other than ADD or ADHD: Rise Scholarship.Must have a GPA of at least 2.5. $2,500. Deadline Jan. 31, 2017.

    ADHD: Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship. $2,000. Expected deadline March 2017.

    Learning disabilities: Morelli Scholarship. Up to $1,000. Expected deadline March 2017.

    Learning disabilities: Smart Kids With Learning Disabilities. $1,000. Deadline Dec. 31, 2016.

    Autism: Feldman Royle Law Firm. $1,000. Deadline Nov. 7, 2016.

    Dyslexia: Judd S. Nemiro law firm scholarship. $1,000. Deadline Nov. 4, 2016.

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    Find College Scholarships That Support Students With Autism

    For students with autism, the transition from high school to college is fraught with unique difficulties. In addition to the challenges that every college student faces, young adults with autism spectrum disorders must develop new living skills, navigate a brand-new social landscape, and work hard to ensure that their own learning styles are accommodated, not lost in the shuffle.

    It’s a tough enough transition that advocacy organization Autism Speaks provides a 13-page guide for students and families. And these challenges come even before you start thinking about paying for it all.

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    RiSE in Kokoa Magazine

    Co-Founders of RiSE with their children.

    Co-Founders of RiSE with their children.

    1. Can you give us a back-story about your organization? How you started it and how you came up with the name.

    My husband and I started RiSE Scholarship Inc. in 2010 after struggling to help our children who have learning differences.  With over 2 million students today in schools that have learning differences, we wondered how it could continue to be so difficult to navigate the schools, doctors, reading programs, alternative medicine, diets and so forth. The process left us with a desire to hear from everyday students and their families of what worked for them.

    We felt compelled to promote awareness through rewarding and highlighting inspirational and insightful stories of students that were heading to college in spite of having a LD. What we have learned is these kids know themselves, what they need to do well and they are truly amazingly prepared, resilient, and talented in so many areas. It has been an amazing opportunity for us to share in their journey.

    We chose the name RiSE because it stands for Rewarding Individual Success through Education.

    2. Can you give us a story of a student that your organization has
    helped so far

    is a student who comes to mind. He is from Los Angeles, California and was a 2013 RiSE Scholarship Inc. Award recipient. He is now in college and has a very specific goal, to become a USMC Aviator. We all at RiSE are so impressed with his persistence and professionalism.

    For this article I asked him an update, he writes “ College has been amazing. My endeavors and goals are meaningless without my hallmark of giving back to youth so I have been working with local youth through the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps.”   He continues, “My quest and desire to become a United States Marine Corps Aviator is still present.  My dream has been truly been helped by the RiSE Scholarship and I greatly thank you.”

    RiSE has helped over 35 students attend college by the RiSE Scholarships Awards. The students have come from Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Texas, Georgia,  Florida and throughout the US. All the applicants are high school seniors and have a different diagnosis, however, they are all connected by the fact that they have overcome their adversity and are all headed to college


    3. When I was applying for college it was so overwhelming to put into so
    many scholarships that I wanted to give up. I didn't know what was what.
    What advice would you give kids in today's world about applying for

    If possible, I would start in the junior year making a calendar of what is available for you and the dates that they are due. The first place I would start is at school by asking your college counselor for suitable recommendations based on your state and the schools you are applying and then take a look in the school library for the Kaplan’s Book of Scholarships, which is a great resource.

    The second place is to look online for sites that walk you through what may be the best options for you. They will give you a lot of questions that will narrow the options for you.

    Be careful never to pay for information and do not give your social security number to sites to find scholarships.

    Here are a few that are helpful:


    4. What's are your future goals with the organization?

    We are enjoying RiSE growing organically, meaning letting grow where we are led as long as it stays within our mission. An example of our growth was last year when we were able to add a branch to RiSE for students with Autism due to the overwhelming amounts of requests from students with ASD.

    We also are active in raising awareness for learning disabilities through participating in various projects in the LD community. Last year, RiSE was an Executive Producer for an educational film on dyslexia, Embracing Dyslexia, which was made by filmmaker and father of a dyslexic child, Louis Mucias.  The best part of being a part of it for RiSE was that the film is free online, so anyone can watch and become more informed.
    5.What lessons took you the longest to learn in life?

    Personally and in regards to RiSE, a lesson that resonates with me is that Everything does not have to be bigger to be better! Sometimes we can get so wrapped up with the growth of a job, a company, and life that it takes the joy out of it because you are constantly busy. Being more selective and aware of the things I give my time and energy is helpful, but I am still a work in progress!

    See article by clicking here: Kokoa Magazine 

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    RiSE- Thank you for supporting RiSE!

    RiSE Scholarship Foundation, Inc. would like to thank it's donors and friends for their generous support!


    Thank you for helping RiSE grow as a resource and a scholarship for students who learn differently!



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    5 Scholarships for Students With Learning Disabilities by Scholarship America

    us-news-and-world-report-80x67Featured on U.S. News and World Report

    5 Scholarships for Students With Learning Disabilities

    By Scholarship America

    October 25, 2012

    Students with dyslexia and other learning problems can get funding for college.

    Getting into, paying for, and navigating through college is rarely easy. For students who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities (LD), that struggle can take on even more dimensions.

    Learning-related issues such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often lead to difficulties in traditional classrooms and on standardized tests; if scholarship applications look foremost at test scores and GPAs, it can mean that LD students lose out. Fortunately, there are resources and scholarships out there that can help.

    Note: Many scholarship providers, like the first two below, do not include ADHD as a specific disability on its own. And most schools and scholarship organizations consider Asperger's and other autism-spectrum disorders separately from LD, so we'll cover those scholarships in a separate post.

    If you're unaware of the Rise Scholarship Foundation, it's a great place to start. Their website features a ton of articles and resources specifically for LD students, covering everything from navigating the Common Application for Undergraduate College Admission to keeping yourself engaged in classes.

    And, true to its name, the foundation also gives out Rise Award Scholarships each year; in 2012, five students received $2,500 scholarship awards. If you're currently a high school senior, head over and apply before February 15 for your chance to win a 2013 scholarship.

    Like the Rise Awards, the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships are available to students across the nation who have a diagnosed learning disability. Presented by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, these are highly competitive awards, and well worth the time it will take to apply.

    The Anne Ford Scholarship is a four-year renewable award, worth $2,500 each year; the Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship is a newer program and provides a one-time $2,500 award to a student attending a two-year community college, technical or vocational school, or specialized program for LD students. (The NCLD website also lists a number of smaller and more specific programs on its site.)

    [Read how learning disabilities can offer an edge in admissions.]

    If you're a student under 19 with LD or ADHD, your accomplishments in or outside of school could qualify you for the Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award, given annually by Smart Kids With LD. The $1,000 award (which also comes with a trip to the organization's benefit gala in Connecticut) is presented in honor of "initiative, talent and determination resulting in a notable accomplishment in any field—including art, music, science, math, athletics or community service." Applications are open through January 31, with the winner and honorable mentions announced in April.

    Artists can also benefit from one of the scholarships provided by the P. Buckley Moss Society. Moss, a painter and dyslexia sufferer, created the Moss Endowed Scholarship to help students with learning disabilities who are planning educations and careers in the visual arts. You'll have to send some portfolio items and secure a nomination from a Moss Society member, and the scholarship award of $1,500 is potentially renewable for up to three more years.

    If you're not looking at an art career, the Moss Society also funds the Anne and Matt Harbison Scholarship for LD Students and the Judith Cary Scholarship for college students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in special education. All of the Society's applications are open now and due March 31.

    Finally, if you've been diagnosed with ADHD, the Shire ADHD Scholarship could be a valuable resource. Applications from high school seniors and college undergrads are being accepted online or by mail through March 27; the scholarship not only means a $2,000 award, but also a full year of free access to an "ADHD Coach" who can help with your transition to college or with navigating campus life.

    In addition, like the Rise Scholarship site, Shire's application site also features a number of useful tips and resources.

    Matt Konrad has been with Scholarship America since 2005. He is an alumnus of the University of Minnesota and a former scholarship recipient.

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