Students with learning disabilities also have scholarship opportunities

October 26, 2012

In a recent report from USA News, a handful of scholarships for college offered specifically for students with learning disabilities (LDs) such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and attention deficit disorder (ADD) are outlined. The former two conditions cause a person to have difficulties with reading and writing. ADD results in reduced abilities to pay attention, as well as overactivity and impulsiveness. The news source noted that schoolwork and standardized testing can often prove especially difficult for students with these conditions.

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, LDs can be characterized by a neurological inability to understand and respond to certain information. They are quite different from intellectual disabilities, sensory impairments or autism. It's noted that one-third of people with LDs also have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The organization says more than 2 million students in the U.S. cope with some form of LD, and that doesn't include those enrolled in private or religious educational facilities, or those undergoing home schooling.

The Rise Scholarship Foundation, according to USA News, dispensed $2,500 in financial aid for college to five students across the nation in 2012. Qualifying high school seniors with LDs are encouraged to fill out a scholarship application with the organization before the deadline for next year's award on February 15. Next, the news source alerted the reader to Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships, which provide $2,500 a year to students in community college, technical or vocational schools or an academic regimen specifically tailored for students with LDs.

Students under 19 who, despite their LDs, have become accomplished in any specific field may qualify for the Fred J. Epstein Youth Achievement Award worth $1,000 in money for college. Artists, musicians, athletes, community leaders or students who have managed to excel in math or science may want to consider applying.

Although ADHD isn't technically an LD, that doesn't mean no programs exist to give ADHD kids help making their financial planning for college a little easier. The Shire ADHD Scholarship will dole out $2,000 to 50 students and a free year of coaching from an Edge Foundation ADHD specialist in 2013. The company's criteria includes community service, extracurricular activities and an essay explaining how their ADHD has impacted their lives.

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