Life is full of obstacles that people have to overcome in order to succeed, though some people face more adversity than others. When adversity arises, it can cause hardships for high school and college students. Some forms of adversity are financial struggles, personal tragedies or just unfortunate circumstances that interfere with educational goals. There are many scholarships available for students overcoming adversity to help them to earn college degrees.

Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

There are many college scholarships available for students with disabilities ranging from $500 to $20,000 per year, depending on the particular scholarship. Some of the identified disabilities associated with scholarships are hearing impairments, speech impairments, vision impairments, asthma, cancer, physical disabilities, autism, learning disorders and many more. Some disability scholarships available are as follows:

• ASCLA Century Scholarship is for individuals with any type of identified disability that plans to pursue a career as a media specialist or librarian. For more information on this scholarship visit the American Library Association website.

• The American Association on Health and Disability Scholarship is a scholarship intended for students with disabilities desiring to work in the field of health or disability studies to do research or aid other people with disabilities. To inquire about this scholarship visit the American Association on Health and Disability.

• INCIGHT: Resources for Self-Empowerment is an organization that offers scholarships of up to $750 a year for any students nationwide identified with disabilities. The scholarship requires applicants to write essays about their self-determination, strength and creativity. Visit for more information.

• Microsoft Scholarships for Students with Disabilities is a one year scholarship that helps pay tuition for students with disabilities desiring to pursue careers in computer science or computer engineering. This scholarship is awarded to multiple students each year. Further information can be found on the Microsoft website.

• AmeriGlide Achiever Scholarship is for disabled wheelchair students. It offers financial assistance for books and supplies and is awarded on a yearly basis. offers more information about this disability scholarship.

Adversity Scholarships

Hard times can happen to anyone at anytime. Many organizations work hard to find ways to keep students in school instead of education taking a backseat during these times of need. Some scholarships available for students facing adversities are as follows:

• Horatio Alger Association Scholarships is one of the largest scholarship programs in the country helping students with challenging situations attend college. Horatio Alger Association Scholarships are for students who show determination and perseverance in overcoming obstacles. The Horatio Alger Association website has detailed information about the scholarships offered through this organization.

• The Financial Service Centers of America Scholarship (FiSCA) is for students who have overcome a serious adversity and requires a 1,000 word essay that explains the adversity and how the applicant worked to overcome the negative situation. The amounts awarded from this scholarship will vary and is determined by the scholarship committee. More information can be found at the Financial Service Centers of America website under the scholarship tab.

• Patricia M. McNamara Memorial Scholarship is for any students who have faced challenging obstacles in their lives. Any situation that reflects adversity makes students eligible to apply for this scholarship. Patricia M. McNamara was a woman that faced many hardships in her life, but found the strength to overcome the challenges to succeed; now today, a scholarship is granted in her honor to help others. Visit the Patricia M. McNamara Memorial website to learn more about this scholarship opportunity.

• Discovery Financial Scholarship accepts applications from any students who have faced challenges and maintains at least a 2.75 GPA. Numerous scholarships are awarded each year to applicants. To apply for this scholarship visit

• Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education is another scholarship for students that have lost a parent or guardian. Life is challenging enough, but to lose a parent or guardian makes life even more challenging. This foundation wants to help grieving students achieve career goals by attending college. To learn more about this scholarship opportunity go to

Financial Adversity

Many students are faced with financial hardships that make college dreams seem impossible to achieve. A scholarship available specifically for financial adversity is the Simon Youth Foundation Scholarship. To apply for this scholarship, students must live near a Simon shopping center and be facing financial hardships. This scholarship might request documentation verifying the financial hardship. To learn more about the eligibility requirements to apply to this scholarship visit the Simon Youth Foundation website.

Related Articles