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Students with disabilities or chronic illness can face many difficulties in accessing higher education. From getting materials in the right format to getting to class, there are barriers that can sometimes prevent these students from succeeding. Sometimes, though, it simply comes down to money.

Luckily, there are a lot of scholarships out there specifically for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses. maintains a list of scholarships, and it’s a really great place to look—scholarships are categorised by type of disability or illness, and the list is pretty long. Disabled-World has a long list as well. also lists several, along with ideas about local resources to look into. Career One Stop has a huge database of scholarships that you can search by keyword.

Below are six scholarships with upcoming deadlines, but there are many more out there. It’s possible to find a scholarship to suit your needs. Don’t let money be the thing that keeps you from pursuing a degree!

Incight Scholarship

Incight awards up to 100 scholarships per year to students with disabilities who have overcome obstacles to higher education, and are committed to serving their communities.
Award amount: $500 to $2,500
Location-restricted? Yes: Oregon, Washington, and California students only.
Restricted by disability/illness type? No.
When does it close? For the 2015-2016 year, applications close April 1, 2015.
Is it merit-based? Nope! The scholarship is for students with disabilities who are engaged in serving their communities; grades and GPA are not factors.
How do I apply? There is an online application form, which will require you to create a log-in. The application can be saved and continued as needed.
Where do I apply? Go here to read the FAQ and apply.

HOPE College Scholarship

Students with disabilities and students looking to work in a field that benefits people with disabilities can apply for this scholarship from Gabriel’s Foundation of Hope, a family foundation that provides assistance to individuals with disabilities and their families who need a little bit of help, from groceries to assistive learning technology.
Award amount: $500
Location-restricted? No.
Restricted by disability type/illness? No.
When does it close? July 1 each year for fall terms, November 1 for spring terms.
Is it merit-based? Unclear.
How do I apply? There is an application form and an essay. These must be printed and mailed to the address listed on the form.
Where do I apply? Download the form here.

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Disability Scholarship

This is a Michigan-based law firm which has created a scholarship to demonstrate commitment to supporting people with disabilities.
Award amount: $1000
Location-restricted? No.
Restricted by disability/illness type? No.
When does it close? April 1, 2015.
Is it merit-based? Yes: applicants should have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
How do I apply? Mail application form, essay, college transcript, and disability documentation by snail mail.
Where do I apply? Find the application and information here.

Cancer Survivors’ Fund Scholarship

This is a scholarship for survivors of cancer, from Cancer Survivors’ Fund, an organisation that gives scholarships and prosthetic limbs. Recipients volunteer in their community to bring hope and support to other young people with cancer or life-threatening illness.
Award amount: Varies.
Location-restricted? No.
Restricted by disability/illness type? Yes: applicant must be a cancer survivor, or have a current cancer diagnosis.
When does it close? Opens February 5, 2015; closes March 20, 2015.
Is it merit-based? No: recipients chosen for financial need.
How do I apply? Complete the online application: includes an essay, letters of recommendation from two teachers, and a letter of verification from a doctor. Viatical settlement is also a really good alternative option to get cash for scholarship or even business investments in exchange of your life insurance policies if you ever suffered from most of the Cancer types.

Elaine Chapin Memorial Scholarship Fund

This is a fund by the family of Elaine Chapin, awarding scholarships in her memory to students impacted by multiple sclerosis, whether their own or a family member’s.
Award amount: $1000
Location-restricted? No.
Restricted by disability/illness type? Yes: multiple sclerosis.
When does it close? Opens November 1st every year and closes April 30th of the following year.
Is it merit-based? No: chosen by weighing financial need, academic standing, and the impact of MS on the applicant’s life.
How do I apply? Send application, essay, official transcript, and two letters of reference must be sent by snail mail.
Where do I apply? Details and submission information are here.

Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship

This scholarship provides funds and ADHD coaching to 50 students each year, to help them get organised and create systems for success.
Award amount: $2000 + 1 year of ADHD coaching
Location-restricted? US-based (separate scholarship for Canadian students)
Restricted by disability/illness type? Yes: for students with ADD/ADHD
When does it close? February 18, 2015
Is it merit-based? No.
How do I apply? There is an online application form which will require you to create a login.
Where do I apply? The application is here.

Good luck—and remember: you deserve an education, but you don’t necessarily have to pay for it alone. Money shouldn’t be a barrier to learning; with these and many other scholarships out there, someone wants to help you figure it out.

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