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Scholarships for students with disabilities: success stories

Scholarships hold the power to transform dreams into reality. They not only provide financial support, but also recognise the unique strengths and potential within each individual. In this guide, we’ll explore various types of scholarships tailored for students with disabilities and share some real life success stories.

Types of scholarships available

There are lots of different types of scholarships out there, so there’s almost certainly one to fit your unique circumstances and needs.

Disability-specific scholarships

Some scholarships are designed with specific disabilities in mind. For example, Vision Australia offers scholarships dedicated to students who are blind or have low vision, providing them with resources to support their studies.

General disability scholarships

Other scholarships are open to students with any type of disability. Organisations like the Australian Disability and Indigenous Peoples’ Education Fund offer opportunities for a wide range of disabilities.

Other scholarships

Even if disability isn’t mentioned specifically in the eligibility criteria, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still apply. If you’ve excelled academically, come from a rural area, or have overcome financial hardship (just to name a few examples), there’s bound to be a scholarship out there for you.

How to find and apply for scholarships

Finding and applying for a scholarship doesn’t have to be hard. There are lots of resources out there to help.

Online resources

Going straight to the website of the institution you want to study at is an excellent place to start your scholarship search. Here you can view a whole range of scholarship opportunities, including those tailored for students with disabilities.

Check out the websites of relevant organisations too, such as disability organisations and charities. Even if they don’t have any formal scholarship opportunities, you could contact them and discuss other potential support options.

You can also search scholarship databases, which feature scholarships from a wide variety of institutions and organisations (such as our very own).

Application tips

Crafting a compelling application is key to securing a scholarship. Be sure to highlight your strengths, experiences, and aspirations. Don’t forget to gather necessary documents such as medical records or recommendation letters to strengthen your case. Keep track of application deadlines to ensure you don’t miss out.

Real life success stories

If you’re still looking for reasons to apply for a scholarship, here are some real life examples of students who have gone on to thrive after receiving a scholarship.

Jarred

Jarred Austin has always known he would one day go to university, but was worried that his disability would affect him both physically and financially. Thanks to the Movement Disorder Foundation, he is now studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts and a Bachelor of Computer Science at the University of Wollongong.

“Both my degrees are dependent on technology and the scholarship helps me ensure that I have working technology,” he said. “But it also helps me in other areas, like my day-to-day living expenses.”

The scholarship has meant Jarred doesn’t have to compromise either his study or his health and is able to focus on his ambitions to one day write a novel.

“I’d like to write something about my own experience as a person with a physical disability to try and change people’s perception about what it’s like,” he said.

You can read Jarred’s story here.

Courtney

Not long after starting her first degree at Griffith University, Courtney McCreery was diagnosed with an uncommon neurological sleep disorder. Since receiving the Brighter Futures Scholarship, she can subsidise her rent and drop back her working hours, easing the financial pressure on her and giving her space to live up to her potential.

“Donors may not feel like they are giving a lot, but every dollar has an impact on students like me juggling a chronic health condition and following their dreams,” she said.

You can read Courtney’s story here.

Benefits beyond financial support

While money is undoubtedly a huge part of scholarships, they often have many other benefits too, including:

  • Networking opportunities
  • Skill building opportunities
  • Access to exclusive events
  • Travel and exchange opportunities
  • Access to study assistance and mentors
  • Opportunities to connect with peers
  • And much more

Empowering futures

Scholarships are more than just financial aid; they are a testament to your potential and success. By seeking out and applying for scholarships, you’re taking a huge step towards realising your study dreams.

You can read more about scholarships and search our database here.

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