Attending college and pursing higher degrees can be the dream of many students but financial constrains and physical or mental disabilities can put hurdles in the way. Higher education offers a well secured life and financial security with prosperous job. However, fulfilling this dream becomes difficult for the disabled students with low income.
The federal government, recognizing the challenges, has made provisions for all students to attend college, irrespective of their gender, backgrounds, race or disabilities. So, even if you are physically challenged it does not limit your dreams of higher education. Several educational assistance programs have been commenced that boost children to pursue their education, giving financial assistance to those going for post-secondary education for a financially stable living.
Federal Government Programs for the Disabled
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): initiated in 1975, this law ensures special education, early intervention by states and public agencies and services to all disabled students. The program, revised in 20014, awards free college and university admission programs and public education to the physically impaired students of the nation.
Federal Trio Programs of U.S. Department of Education: the U.S. government offers the Federal Trio Programs in collaboration with several universities and colleges. The program seeks to facilitate physically impaired students from deprived families for higher education for a financially secured future. Interested students must apply for the program by filling the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.
Federal Pell Grants: The United States of Department of Education funds the Pell Grant for exceptionally economically deprived undergraduate students for higher education. For the year 2014-15 a maximum amount of $5,730 was awarded while for 2015-16 the maximum amount is $5,775. Even students receiving Social Security Disability Insurance are eligible for Pell Grants. Fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for Pell grants.
The money allocated will depend on:
· The financial status of the applicant
· The cost of attending the college
· Whether full time or part time student
· Whether the student will attend full or less academic year i.e. the enrollment status
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): it’s a need based grant for below poverty undergraduate students to provide financial assistance for postsecondary education. There are about approximately 3,800 postsecondary institutions that offer the grants to exceptional needy students and to the Pell Grant recipients. Based on the financial condition any amount between $100.00 and $4,000.00 is awarded every year to the deserving students.
Recognized institutions apply for the U.S. Department of Education’s Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) every year for the grants. Along with the federal funding, institutes also need to contribute 25% of the grant amount. Students interested for the FSEOG must fill a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal Work Study-Program (FWS): financially challenged students can avail the FWS program to finance their postsecondary education costs. The FWS offers part-time employment to the eligible needy undergraduates through almost 3,400 postsecondary institutions. The rule states that the hourly wage rate should not be below the minimum federal wage. Students are given jobs by:
· Federal, state, or local public group
· Private non-profit organization
· Private for-profit organization
Each year acknowledged institutes submit the U.S. Department of Education’s Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) to apply for the FWS funding. Here, the institutes pay 50% of the share for student’s wages. Fill up the FAFSA form to apply for the FWS program.
Students with intellectual disability are eligible for Pell Grants, FWS and FSEOG if they are enrolled in a comprehensive transition and postsecondary (CTP) program and maintain satisfactory academic results. Almost 15 states offer the CTP program and several other private and public organizations, national associations, college and universities offer numerous disability programs and grants that fulfill your dream of higher education. Apply today and don’t remain restricted with your limitations.