College Scholarships for Students with Autism

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Updated: April 20, 2024, Reading time: 11 minutes

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Earning a college degree, whether an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, opens doors of opportunities in terms of personal and professional growth. But for students on the autism spectrum, the journey presents unique personal challenges, including financing their college education.

Fortunately, there are college scholarships that students with autism can apply for and, if approved, will benefit from the charitable organization’s financial assistance. 

Additional Resources:

Note that these college scholarships for students with autism are awarded on an annual basis. Be sure to check the official website – links are provided – for more information about the scholarship amount, application deadlines, and eligibility requirements, among others.

If you have difficulty complying with the requirements, you should work with your parents or guardians, teachers, and mentors to overcome these challenges. 

In addition, if you are interested in Autism apps that will help your student or need additional reading resources, we’ve got you covered!

Synchrony Tech Scholarship

Yet another Organization for Autism Research program, the Synchrony Tech Scholarship program, is specifically designed for students with autism pursuing professional certifications in the field of technology.

Cybersecurity, web design and development, data analytics, machine learning, game and app development, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing are popular areas covered by the scholarship funding. 

Students must be pursuing their technology-related certifications in programs offered by accredited colleges or universities or programs. Note that enrollment in two-year and four-year degree programs, as well as third-vendor certificate programs and MOOCs (e.g., Coursera), aren’t eligible for scholarship coverage. 

Applicants should be at least 18 years of age with eligibility to work in the United States, a documented diagnosis of autism, and one-year program completion.

Note that applicants with active registration on the Hire Autism website will be given preference. They must complete a scholarship application form with answers to several essay questions and a letter of recommendation.

ScholarshipOwl No Essay Scholarship

Every year, ScholarshipOwn chooses 50 winners to receive $1,000 each. Applicants should be currently enrolled or are planning to enroll within three months of registration. The likelihood of winning depends on the total number of eligible applications, and every application has the same probability regardless of the submission method. Students in Rhode Island and Michigan are not qualified for the program.

Autism Delaware Adults with Autism Scholarship

The Adults with Autism Scholarship offers financial support to eligible adults with autism spectrum disorder pursuing post-secondary education, typically $1,000. Awards are acknowledged annually at the Autism Delaware Volunteer Recognition Ceremony. This is only available to Delaware residents who have completed high school or GED, are accepted into a post-secondary program, and possess the capacity to complete a post-secondary program.

KFM Making A Difference For Autism Scholarship

KFM Making a Difference for Autism Scholarship was founded by Kerry Magro. Diagnosed with autism at age four and holding advanced degrees, she is a motivational speaker and an advocate for the autism spectrum.

KFM offers financial aid to students diagnosed with autism to encourage them to pursue higher education. This scholarship is open to high school and current college students with autism attending post-secondary programs in the 2024-2025 academic year, with no geographic restrictions.

Sallie Mae Scholarship

The $2,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 US, the District of Columbia, and any US Territory aged 17 or older. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited US academic institution, whether in high school, university, or college.  

“Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship

The “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship offers students with mental challenges the opportunity to apply for a scholarship without added stress. The applicant with the boldest profile will be given the award. As a current or prospective college student with diagnosed autism, your unique perspective and experiences can be a source of strength in your application for the scholarship.

John Lepping Memorial Scholarship

The John Lepping Memorial Scholarship program provides financial assistance to students with disabilities in defraying the cost of attendance in their college education. Recipients will be required to provide proof of disability, including a letter of confirmation issued by a licensed physician. 

Each applicant should be a resident of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or New York to be considered. Their academic achievement is a major factor in the selection of scholars. The scholarship amount is paid directly to the school for cost of attendance payments.

Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship

The Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship program assists students with intellectual disabilities to complete up to four years of college studies in post-secondary accredited institutions.

The award amount varies depending on the qualified students’ year level and type of institution, as follows:

The eligibility requirements include Tennessee residence, completion of secondary education in a Tennessee high school, and admission and enrollment in an eligible college or university or program within 16 months after completion of high school education, among others. Both the applicant and their parents must complete and submit the scholarship application.  

Students must also apply for the scholarship every academic year (i.e., renewable), as well as comply with the eligibility requirements to maintain their scholarships; otherwise, the scholarship cannot be regained once a student loses it for any reason.

Eligible institutions are Dyersburg State Community College, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Lipscomb University, Union University, and Vanderbilt University.

NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship

The NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship awards up to eight scholarships to eligible students with disabilities who have demonstrated their passion for disability awareness, advocacy, and presentation in the entertainment, media, and communications industry.

High school seniors, college students pursuing undergraduate degrees, and graduate students with disabilities are welcome to apply but must either have plans of pursuing or are pursuing careers in the entertainment, media, and communications industry. Note that even non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply.

Application requirements include a resume, unofficial transcript of records, three 300-word essays based on essay prompts, and a letter of recommendation. Candidates may also send their portfolio of creative works if they believe it will help in their application success.

Niche $25,000 “No Essay” Scholarship

Niche offers a $25,000 scholarship annually, awarded to one student via a random draw. As a student with autism, you don’t need to write an essay to apply for this scholarship. Just sign up for a free account on their website, and you’ll be automatically entered into the pool.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to receive financial aid without the stress of essay writing potentially. And since it’s a random draw, every applicant has an equal chance of winning.

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Jack Scura Fund Scholarship

Named in honor of Jack Scura to honor his commitment to education, the Jack Scura Fund Scholarship program welcomes students with disabilities who are either incoming freshmen or enrolled undergraduates in a New Jersey post-secondary accredited institution.

Only one student will receive the scholarship fund, which will be awarded in two tranches of $5,000 each for the fall and spring semesters. The scholarship fund should be applied toward tuition. 

Applicants will be considered if they have a demonstrated intellectual disability, a severe physical disability, or a psychiatric disability, as well as at least a 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). The selection committee considers the achievements and qualities demonstrated in an applicant’s resume or curriculum vitae.

Proof of disability, a transcript of records, and two letters of recommendation, as well as an essay, are required for consideration.

Build Your College List

BigFuture Scholarships are inclusive awards given to students of all types, genders, races, and levels. Students diagnosed with autism can apply for the program and not be discriminated against. BigFuture allows students to build a college list with six or more colleges, earning monthly entries for $500 and $40,000 scholarship drawings.

Students with less than $60,000 annually qualify for extra monthly drawings and double scholarship chances, with half of all awards reserved for these students.

Mays Mission Scholarships

Mays Mission for the Handicapped offers one of the most competitive scholarship programs for students with disabilities, including those diagnosed with autism. The program requires applicants to submit disability documentation and have at least 20 on the ACT or 970 on the SAT. They must also be already enrolled in a four-year degree program. 

Accepted program participants must provide proof of full-time enrollment, submit grades, maintain a 3.0 GPA, and write an update letter detailing their progress to the Mission.

No Essay CollegeVine Scholarship

CollegeVine’s No Essay scholarship program is open to all high school college students, including those with mental disabilities like autism. All applicants have equal chances of winning since winners will be chosen based on a lottery system.

Women in STEM Scholarship

ABC Wildlife offers an inclusive scholarship for women in the STEM field. This provides an excellent opportunity for students with autism to showcase their passion and talents in the field. Applicants are only required to submit 1,000 words or less about what they can do to contribute to human suffering alleviation, biodiversity preservation, or better environmental health.

Make Me Laugh Scholarship

Make Me Laugh is a fun scholarship for legal US residents aged 14 or older enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution. Applicants must write 250 words or less describing a funny or embarrassing incident in their life. 

Sponsoring True Advocacy for Challenged Youth Scholarship

Sponsoring True Advocacy for Challenged Youth is an organization that supports kids with special needs and their families in Sacramento. They offer various programs, scholarships, education, volunteering, and partnerships with nonprofits and businesses. Scholarship applicants must be good-standing students at their current school and have a demonstrated interest in supporting individuals with disabilities and their families.

Buckfire & Buckfire, PC Disability Scholarship Program

Buckfire & Buckfire, PC is a leading injury law firm that offers a Disability Scholarship that started in 2014 to provide financial assistance to one selected student. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited US college or university, have completed at least one semester, and be US citizens. 

AIM Center for Independent Living Scholarship

The AIM Center for Independent Living awards scholarships to adults living with a documented disability who are enrolled in either an associate’s degree program, a bachelor’s degree program, or a vocational/trade diploma program.

The schools that offer these degree or diploma programs must be accredited institutions. Up to four scholarships will be awarded every year – two scholarships each for the fall and spring semesters.

Applicants will only be considered if they are residents in the Kane, DuPage, and Kendall counties (i.e., service areas of AIM-CIL) in the State of Illinois. Potential candidates must submit a completed application form and a one-page essay about what independent living means to them and their academic goals.

Disqualified persons include individuals related to any AIM-CIL employees and members of the board of directors. Only one scholarship will be awarded to a single household. 

The scholarship money can be used for the payment of school registration, application or laboratory fees, class tuition, and books. Note, however, that the funds are made directly to the awardees’ respective schools; reimbursements aren’t allowed.

Unigo $10K Scholarship

Unigo offers a $10,000 scholarship program to any US resident at least 14 years of age. Instead of deciding on winners based on academic performance, this program chooses the best answer to this question: Would you rather be smart, funny or rich? Why?

College Scholarships for Students with Autism - fact

Are you interested in working with Autistic students through an ABA-related career? If so, see our valuable information regarding a Master’s in ABA, Master’s in Occupational Therapy, as well as a career in Special Education, or Counseling.

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