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Scholarships and Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), approximately 11% of undergraduate students have a disability. Considering that around 20.2 million students are enrolled at U.S. colleges, an estimated 2 million of them are likely living with some type of a disability. This may include a visual impairment, a specific learning disability, an orthopedic impairment, hard of hearing/deafness, or a speech disability, among others. Many of these students receive federal financial aid in the form of grants and loans, while some work part-time and/or receive financial assistance from their families to help pay for college. As medical and tuition costs continue to rise, however, more and more scholarships for students with disabilities are being made available to fill critical financial gaps.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it illegal for colleges and universities to discriminate against students with disabilities in any way. While colleges and universities are not required to provide financial accommodations in the form of disability scholarships to students, most do. There are a large number of scholarships for students with disabilities from outside sources, but these can often be difficult to find, even using popular online scholarship locator tools.

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