Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

Did you know there are specific financial aid programs for students with disabilities? You may qualify for federal aid, scholarships, state assistance, or additional school aid. See what options could be available to you below.

Federal Aid

There are several options for financial aid for those with disabilities from the government. One you can apply for directly through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a Pell Grant. Unlike loans, you do not need to repay a Pell Grant. The amount you receive is determined by financial need, expected family contribution, and how much a particular college costs.

Students with disabilities can also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. It’s designed for students who were disabled before they were 22 and have income below a certain amount. The program can help students afford education costs. An individual can continue to receive SSDI if they meet the criteria.

College Aid

Colleges also have a number of resources to students with disabilities. They can offer funding opportunities through the government and other programs. These can include: documentation assistance, tutors, workshops, accommodations, assistive technology, and more.

Colleges tend to have grants set aside for students, including those with disabilities. Completing your FAFSA will automatically enroll you in the majority of these. However, you will still want to talk to your college’s financial aid department to make sure you’re applying for everything available. Schools can offer very different grant and aid programs compared to the next.

State Aid

Grants and financial aid programs vary from state to state. However, many offer options to help students with disabilities afford college. There are also vocational rehabilitation programs with various criteria for qualification. These programs can assist with customized job training, financial assistance, health benefits, education, and more.

And like the federal government, states also can offer Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to those that qualify. This provides students with money for food, medication, healthcare, and other expenses.


Scholarships are out there and available for just about everything. You probably qualify for more than you realize! For example, did you know that if you have natural red hair, there’s an award dedicated to that?

Students with disabilities have scholarships dedicated for them. These can be offered through organizations, non-profits, schools, and companies. Qualifications for each and the amount that is offered will vary greatly. However, you can find a number through scholarship databases that help you uncover the awards you qualify for.

College is no doubt expensive, but there are resources available to you if you’re struggling to pay for tuition. It’s absolutely important that you complete your FAFSA as soon as possible. This creates a gateway to a number of resources including the Pell Grant, school grants, and more. Students with disabilities should sign up for scholarship databases to see what awards are available specifically for them.

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