Post-secondary education is very expensive, and for parents who have children with special needs such as autism spectrum disorder, the financial burden is even greater, as they also have medical and special care bills to deal with. Many grants and scholarships are available to families of children with ASD to allow them to have the opportunity to continue their education.
KMF Making a Difference Scholarship
The KMF Making a Difference Scholarship is awarded by the advocacy organization of the same name founded by motivational speaker Kerry Magro, a young man who was diagnostic with ASD at the age of 4 and went on to receive a master's degree. At the time of publication, this scholarship is worth $500 and is awarded to one student a year with ASD pursuing a post-secondary education the upcoming school year. Applications for this scholarship are accepted from July to December.
OAR Scholarship Program
The OAR Scholarship Program is operated by the Organization for Autism Research, which grants over 30 scholarships every year. The scholarship is open to any student diagnosed with ASD who is pursuing full-time studies at a post-secondary institution such as a four-year undergraduate university or trade school in the United States the upcoming year. The program is divided into two different categories that students can apply to depending on their diagnosed form of ASD: the Schwallie Family Scholarship for higher-functioning students and the Lisa Higgins Hussman Scholarship to for students with more severe autism diagnoses. Applications for this program are accepted starting in December of every year.
MyGOAL Family and Enrichment Grants
MyGOAL, an ASD advocacy organization, offers two types of grants. The first is the MyGOAL Family Grant, worth $1,000 at time of publication, which is awarded to four families a year who are in need of financial assistance for medical and nutritional care. Applications are accepted from December to July. The second grant is the MyGOAL Enrichment Grant, which is awarded to families in need of financial assistance to provide socialization and educational opportunities to the individual with ASD. This grant is specifically for those pursuing education in programs specially designed for those with special needs. Applications for this grant are accepted in January, and the grant is awarded in the spring.
Ohio Autism Scholarship Program
The Autism Scholarship Program is provided by the Ohio Department of Education. This scholarship is available to parents of children with ASD who want to enroll their child in out-of-district special education programs. The scholarship will cover the cost of the program, up to a maximum of $20,000 per academic year at the time of publication. The scholarship is open to parents of children aged 3 to 21 who are enrolled in a Ohio school district and have been officially recognized by the district as having ASD. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
Based in Gatineau, Canada, Kat Walcott has been writing entertainment and informative articles since 2008. Her work has appeared in major publications including Her Campus, Equals6 and Uppercase. She holds an honors diploma in social science from Heritage College and is currently majoring in communication studies and minoring in sexuality studies.