While it may seem difficult to find scholarships for autistic children, they do exist if you know the right places to look.
Places to Look for Scholarships for Autistic Children
You need to be creative in looking for scholarships for autistic children. It's not a quick process, but it's definitely worthwhile. Start with the websites provided but then reach out into your community because there are many local resources willing to help children with autism and other disabilities.
The Autism Society receives donations for research and funds to help families with autistic children. Sign up for the newsletter to stay updated on opportunities and contact the organization to learn more about financial aid programs. The deadline for scholarships is usually March 31st.
Department of Education
The Ohio State Department of Education has a program that will help students with autism with private postsecondary school funding if eligible. Many states are providing this assistance so check with your local department of education.
Organization for Autism Research
If a student with autism is interested in attending post-secondary education, he or she might be interested in applying for the scholarship from the Organization for Autism Research or OAR. They award 50 scholarships yearly of $3,000 each from across its three scholarships: the Schwallie Family Scholarship, the Lisa Higgins Hussman Scholarship, and the Synchrony Scholarship for Autistic Students of Color. Applications are accepted from early December - early May annually.
CVS Pharmacy Charitable Trust
The CVS Pharmacy Charitable Trust program awards five scholarships each year for $1000 each. Students can use the award for any college or trade school they choose.
The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation
Parents interested in sending their child with autism to camp to help improve social skills may be eligible for financial assistance from The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation.
KindTree Productions sometimes offers scholarships and partial scholarships to families with children with autism to help with services, supports and even a summer camp.
College or Trade School
If you know the college or trade school you would like to attend, consider asking if they have any scholarships for people with autism. If they don't, you may want to ask if they know of any organizations that may offer them.
Many organizations will advertise their scholarships in local libraries. If you don't find any information on a bulletin board or by asking the librarian, check out some of the books they have on scholarships. While some of these books may be out of date, they sometimes have leads that will help you find other sources of financial aid.
Centers for People With Disabilities
Day programs or places where people with disabilities access services and supports are another resource to check for scholarships. Ask if they have a list of them and look on bulletin boards.
Businesses and Agencies
Check out local businesses and agencies because some donate to organizations to help with funding for scholarships. If they are not offering them, you can ask where they donate to find some leads.
Finding a Needle in a Haystack Is Possible
Sometimes it can feel like finding scholarships for autistic chilren is like finding a needle in a haystack but don't give up. The more places you apply to, the better your chances of success in a scholarship award.