A graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara College of Law, Michael Hoffman nurtured his love for research and writing while a practicing attorney in Los Angeles. Now a freelance journalist and aspiring screenwriter, Michael researches and writes on a variety of topics including education, finance and the law.
More than a dozen industry experts contributed to the research and writing of this guidebook. Their collective areas of expertise include campus life and accommodations, academic support, distance learning, higher education financing, student services and career services. A huge thanks to the following professionals for special contribution:
Executive Director of Student Development
Director of Academic Support Services
aying for college is no picnic, with or without a disability. Tackling tuition and fees often means a stressful combination of loans and labor, the former involving years of repayment, the latter multiple part-time jobs and/or working on the weekend. According to the Census Bureau, 71 percent of the nation’s almost 20 million undergraduates worked at least 35 hours per week in 2011.
Yet for those who know where to look and how to apply, scholarships, grants, and assistance positions, can help reduce the out-of-pocket cost higher education, and they require zero repayment. Scholarships, for example, usually go to students who meet certain academic, athletic, or personal requirements. Grants also have merit-based considerations, but tend to be need-based, as well. And assistance positions, a viable option for graduate students, involve working for a department or a professor in exchange for perks such as discounted tuition.
In addition, students can also leverage different modes of learning to keep costs down and educational goals moving forward. For instance, accredited online programs combine academic rigor with time-and-place flexibility, thus maximizing convenience and affordability via lack of commuting, parking, and other auxiliary expenses. With scholarships, grants, loans, and alternative learning modes, students today have plenty of financial options to pursue.
While valuable to all college hopefuls, this guide focuses specifically on students with disabilities. Most notably, how undergraduate and graduate students living with physical or learning disabilities can leverage multiple college finance channels to make college affordable. With that in mind, the four primary goals of the guidebook include:
Providing detailed information and resources on all college finance avenues, including loans, grants, and scholarships specifically for students with disabilities.
Leveraging insight and advice from some of today’s leading experts in the field of disability education.
Helping students with disabilities find the right school and utilize disability services.
Introducing alternative modes of learning, e.g. online education, that can keep costs low and quality high
Everyone should have the opportunity to go to college and earn a degree. And while the cost of college should be top-of-mind for all prospective students, it should never be a barrier.