To improve scholarship options for students with autism, Kerry Magro, a writer and advocate for people on the spectrum, has created the Making a Difference for Autism Scholarship, which has awarded almost 70 scholarships since its creation eight years ago.
“When I was trying to get into college, there were really no scholarships for students with autism,” Magro was quoted as saying in a report this month by U.S. News.com. “Since creating the scholarship, we’ve received hundreds of applications over the years, and to hear about the stories of individuals who remind me so much of myself growing up with autism, it makes me realize I’m not alone and that there are many, many bright and talented individuals out there who are not letting their autism define who they are.”
Margaret Gorman, programs and outreach associate at the Organization for Autism Research, said students should keep in mind that some autism scholarships limit applications to students planning to attend either a four-year or two-year college, while others allow applications from students interested in a wider range of post-secondary education. Magro stressed the importance of the essay portion of the application in painting an authentic portrait for the organization.
“For students with autism who are pursuing scholarship aid, give yourself to those scholarships,” Magro was quoted as saying. “Be as genuine as humanly possible. Most scholarships have an essay portion, and I know that it’s a challenge for young adults to be open and share their heart. But I think the best thing that anyone can do, regardless of if they have autism or not, is just show the scholarship committee who they truly are.”
As noted by U.S. News’s report, experts recommend reaching out to the organization to learn more, and ensuring the application materials fit the organization’s mission, so that students can successfully win autism scholarships.