According to the American Dyslexia Association, nearly one in ten Americans are afflicted with dyslexia, a common learning disability that affects one’s ability to read, write and spell. Contrary to the belief of some, dyslexia does not correlate with IQ or intelligence. Successful dyslexics are abundant, including scientists such as Galileo Galilei and Albert Einstein, businessmen like Steve Jobs, and artists like Pablo Picasso. The condition doesn’t even necessarily prevent one from becoming a successful writer—just look at Noel Gallagher, the lead guitarist of Oasis, and the songwriter behind “Wonderwall,” “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” and many more hit songs. If you’re dyslexic, it’s true that you’ll face a more difficult path while learning than your peers, but if you have a support system, you can add your name to the list of luminaries above. Here’s a partial list of scholarship options for dyslexic students to ease the pressures:
This pair of awards is sponsored by the National Center for Learning Disabilities, one of the nation’s leading foundations for dyslexic children. The NCLD pride themselves on their reputation, with a 100% “Accountability and Transparency” rating from the philanthropic watchdog group CharityNavigator. The Anne Ford Scholarship was founded in 2002 for students heading to four-year institutions, and the Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship followed seven years later.
The latter, made possible by a donation from Anne’s daughter Allegra, applies to students who seek to attend “a two-year community college, a vocational or technical training program, or a specialized program.” Both scholarships are open to high school seniors with documented learning disabilities that participate in community service and demonstrate financial need. The Anne Ford scholarship is renewable over four years, while the Allegra Ford Thomas scholarship is a one-time award of $2,500.
Deadline: March 2, 2018
Although nearly everyone knows of dyslexia’s existence, there are many misconceptions about the condition and its negative side effects. To combat this issue, organizations such as Dyslexic Advantage seek to educate the community at large about the condition and the realities faced by those who have it. One of their efforts at this goal is the Karina Eide Memorial Scholarship, offered annually to dyslexic college freshmen that aspire to continue their education. The award is open to students who attend both two and four year schools, as long as they’ve completed at least one semester (or term) of education. In 2016, fifteen students received the award from schools that included California State University, Troy, and Cornell.
Deadline: January 1, 2018
Described on their website as “a non-profit resource and scholarship opportunity for high school students who learn differently,” the RiSE foundation offers assistance to students with learning disabilities nationwide. Their scholarship program is open to students with a documented learning disability, including ADHD and dyslexia. To be eligible for the RiSE award, high school seniors must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and include a letter of reference from a teacher. Each year, five seniors receive awards of $2,500 each, money that goes directly to the college of the recipient’s choice. If you don’t get one of the five top slots, you’re still eligible for an Honorable Mention award, which nets you a neat $500 consolation prize.
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