College is a financially demanding experience for students, as evidenced by the college class of 2013 graduating with an average of over $35,000 in school-related debt. Students with mental health disorders may experience further difficulties since they may need to take fewer classes at a time, which can create eligibility issues with typical financial aid. Various schools, organizations and government programs offer grants and scholarships to students with such disabilities, neither of which require repayment.
Grants and Scholarships
Some organizations, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, offer grants to help students with mental illnesses attend school. The National Alliance on Mental Illness compiles a list of scholarships for disabled students to apply for, including the American Association on Health and Disability program. The Eli Lilly & Company's Moving Lives Forward Reintegration Scholarship awards students diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, major depression or bipolar disorder each year. Other grants and scholarships such as the American Association on Health and Disability Scholarship are open to students with any disability. Students should check with schools, state and local organizations for further possibilities.