Students participating in American sign language (ASL) interpreter and deaf education programs at colleges in the United States are eligible for both private and public grants. Grants specific to interpreter and ASL degrees and training are offered at community colleges, universities and through public interest foundations and organizations. Title IV scholarships can also be used for this training.
Community College ASL Programs and the Pell Grant
Many community colleges offer courses and degrees in American sign language, and the Federal Pell Grant can be used to pay for tuition and educational costs at these schools. Cappex provides a list of colleges with ASL programs, and students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid to apply for the Pell Grant.
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Scholarships and Grants
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) offers 11 different scholarships and awards for students involved with interpretation for the deaf and ASL training. Application deadlines for these awards are in spring and summer, and application forms are in pdf format that must be printed and mailed to RID with accompanying materials.
ASL Honor Society Scholarships
The ASL Honor Society offers several scholarships for students majoring or minoring in ASL, deaf studies, deaf education and interpreter preparation. Application deadlines are in May. One or more scholarships are awarded to a high school senior entering college, and one or more awards are given to a college student as well. The ASL Honor Society also offers grants to teachers in these subject areas.
In-House College Scholarships and Awards
Many colleges have in-house scholarships available to students in ASL and interpreter training programs. Speak with the department head and financial aid director at your college to locate these awards. San Antonio College in Texas offers the Rea and Barbara Hinrichs Scholarship to its students in ASL and interpreter programs. The Elisa Mlynar Scholarship for Sign Language Interpretation is available to students at Monroe Community College. Bakersfield College offers six different grants for students taking ASL and deaf education courses.