Financial Aid

Maintained by the Clerc Center, this is a list of sources of financial assistance for deaf and hard of hearing students and for hearing students whose career goals include service to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. All scholarship items listed are annotated. For current information on scholarships and deadlines, contact the sources directly.

Scholarships and Financial Awards

The following scholarships have been created specifically for deaf or hard of hearing students. Most scholarships are based on financial need and academic achievement.

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell): College Scholarships

AG Bell offers several college scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study to full-time students with pre-lingual bilateral hearing loss in the severe to profound range who are attending a mainstream accredited college or university. In addition, the George H. Nofer Scholarship for Law and Public Policy is for full-time graduate students with a moderate to profound bilateral hearing loss who are attending an accredited law school or a masters or doctoral program in public policy or public administration. Both scholarship programs are merit-based and extremely competitive. Each program has specific eligibility criteria and deadlines which are subject to change and may vary from year to year.

Gallaudet University
Financial Aid Office

The Admissions Office awards merit-based scholarships to incoming deaf and hard of hearing freshmen and new transfer students based on their exemplary academic achievement. Other university-wide scholarships are awarded through the Financial Aid Office by matching students with scholarship criteria established by donors.

GUAA Graduate Fellowship Fund
Gallaudet University Alumni Association

By agreement between the GUAA and the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University, the income from the investment of the GFF is used to provide financial assistance to deaf graduates of Gallaudet University and other accredited colleges and universities in pursuit of graduate study at colleges and universities for people who hear normally.

International Alumnae of Delta Epsilon Sorority (IADES) Betty G. Miller Fellowship Award
IADES Scholarship Committee
2453 Bear Den Road
Frederick, MD 21701
TTY: 301-663-9235
Fax: 301-663-3231

The Betty G. Miller Fellowship Award is to provide financial assistance to deaf women pursuing a doctoral degree. This award is in honor of Sister Betty, who was the first Gallaudet woman graduate to receive a doctorate degree.

International Alumnae of Delta Epsilon Sorority (IADES) Fellowship Award
IADES Scholarship Committee
2453 Bear Den Road
Frederick, MD 21701
TTY: 301-663-9235
Fax: 301-663-3231

The International Alumnae of Delta Epsilon Sorority offers a $1,000 fellowship award for deaf women in need of financial support for doctoral studies. This award is intended for tuition costs only. The student must be deaf, have completed 12 or more credits in a doctoral program at an accredited institution of higher education, and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship
National Association of the Deaf

The Nancy J. Bloch Leadership and Advocacy Scholarship is designed to grant stipends to qualifying deaf and hard of hearing students who seek to uphold the mission and values of the NAD during their internship at the NAD headquarters. Preference will be given to students pursuing law, government policy, non-profit management, or related degrees. The number of stipends provided each year are given on a funds available basis.

National Fraternal Society of the Deaf Scholarships
National Fraternal Society of the Deaf

This organization awards 10 $1,000 scholarships each year. Deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing persons who are enrolled in or accepted to a post-secondary education institution are eligible to apply, if they have been members of this organization for at least one year prior to application.

Scholarship Trust for the Deaf and Near-Deaf
Travelers Protective Association of America
Scholarship Trust Board of Trustees

The intent and purposes of the trust are the giving of financial aid or assistance to residents of the United States or its possessions who are deaf or hard of hearing and who will benefit from medical, mechanical, or specialized treatment, or special education and who are unable to provide funds for themselves. Financial aid is usually a one-time disbursement.

Sertoma International                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Sertoma International Scholarships

Ten $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually to students with a documented hearing loss, who are full-time entering or continuing students in a four-year bachelor's degree program at colleges in the USA.

Other Resources for Students Who Are Deaf

Several colleges and universities have college-based scholarships for students with disabilities. You should contact the school you are interested in to see whether they have a scholarship for deaf or hard of hearing students. For instance, the Mary Gammal Scholarship is for deaf or hard of hearing students who wish to attend the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Preference is given to local applicants, but students from other areas are also encouraged to apply. Students must be accepted at the College of the Holy Cross before they can apply for the scholarship. For more information, write to: Dr. Francis H. Delaney, Jr., College of the Holy Cross, Fenwick 125, Worcester, MA 01610. Another example is the Dorothy Begun Memorial Endowment Fund for disabled students at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI.

State vocational rehabilitation agencies provide financial assistance to eligible individuals. Students should check their phone book for their local agency or call the National Rehabilitation Information Center at 800-346-2742.

Scholarships For Hearing Students In Deaf-Related Fields

CODA International Scholarship
CODA Scholarship Committee
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Wellesley College

The Children of Deaf Adults (CODA International) organization offers two annual scholarships to two hearing children of deaf parents.

Sertoma Communicative Disorders Scholarships

Sertoma International and the Sertoma Foundation offer scholarships totaling $75,000. Each of Sertoma's 15 regions will award two $2,500 scholarships to students who live within each region pursuing master's degrees in audiology or speech-language pathology, and have at least a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Other Sources Of Financial Aid For Students With Disabilities

The Council for Exceptional Children

This organization offers scholarships for first-time students beginning college. Applicants must have some type of disability. Multiple scholarships are awarded annually.

Financial Aid for Disabled Students

The financial aid and scholarship guide for students with disabilities is one of the few comprehensive and simple-to-use directories of its kind. The directory offers a listing of numerous scholarship options for students with disabilities that range from national financial aid opportunities to local opportunities within the United States and Canada. Each scholarship profile indicates whether online programs at accredited colleges or universities are eligible for the award.

Reference Service Press (RSP)

This is a directory of financial aid material with information about all characters of people and their needs. This includes gender, ethnic background, need requirements, and disabilities. RSP is committed to collecting, organizing, and disseminating-in print and electronic from-the most current and accurate information available on scholarships, fellowships, loans, grant and other funding.

Selected Resources

The Big Book of Minority Opportunities: The Directory of Special Programs for Minority Group Members
(7th Edition), edited by Elizabeth Oakes, lists more than 4,000 organizations that have established special programs to help African, Hispanic, Asian, and Native Americans meet their educational and career goals. Programs listed include scholarships, career guidance, fellowships, loans and grants, and prizes or honors. Limited availability*
*This edition can be found through

College Financial Aid and Counseling Services
Not disability-specific, this website contains information about financial aid scholarship information for higher education.

College Funding Strategies for Students with Disabilities
This website contains a six-page document about financial aid for students with disabilities. It is published by the University of Washington. Like the HEATH document, it provides a good list of scholarships and resources for students with disabilities. The website also offers a PDF version of this document.

This website is a comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice, and tools. It is free for all users.

Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities
The HEATH Resource Center operates a national clearinghouse on post-secondary education for individuals with disabilities. Their Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities publication is updated annually and provides information on US federal student aid programs and other financial aid programs for students with disabilities. It also includes a list of 29 sponsors of scholarships specifically designated for students with disabilities.

Don't Miss Out: The Ambitious Student's Guide to Financial Aid
(32nd Edition) is one of many special focus guides produced regularly by Octameron Associates. This 208-page book is full of useful strategies, helpful hints, and good solid planning information, as well as information on the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and includes a brief section about students with disabilities. Others in the series cover academic scholarships, college grants, loans, cooperative education opportunities, admissions, campus visits, and transition from high school to college. This edition can be found at or Barnes and Noble

Financial Aid for Persons with Disabilities and Their Families
(2012-2014) by Gail Ann Schlachter and R. David Weber. This book promises to inform readers about the 1,400 programs that have been established just for individuals with disabilities or members of their families. The book is a useful and comprehensive resource for librarians and counselors. It has chapters about financial aid for people with specific disabilities, and there are sections of each chapter for both undergraduate and graduate education.

Funding Your Education (PDF)
from the U.S. Department of Education, is a booklet that describes the federal student aid programs. The booklet is widely available in schools and public libraries, or can be ordered for free.

Loan Calculator: College Loans 101
These resources will help high school students, current college students, and college graduates better understand the funding options and student loan repayment plans available.  

Last reviewed October 2014

This site was supported by federal funding. Publication of this material shall not imply approval or acceptance by the U.S. Department of Education of the findings, conclusions, or recommendations herein. Gallaudet University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, hearing status, disability, covered veteran status, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, place of business or residence, pregnancy, childbirth, or any other unlawful basis.