Your questions on autism grant/scholarships answered
Scholarships and grants offer a vital resource for students, especially those living with disabilities in Australia. They help to level the playing field and provide otherwise inaccessible opportunities for academic and personal growth. Coupled with the support from schemes like the NDIS, students with disabilities, including those with ASD, can access a wider range of resources to enhance their educational journey.
In Australia, we’re lucky to have access to a range of scholarships specifically designed to support students with disabilities, including autism, in their educational pursuits. These autism scholarships aim to provide financial assistance, promote inclusivity, and ensure equal opportunities for all students.
Alongside these educational autism grants, we want to emphasise the crucial role that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can play in providing broader support, including assisted living options for participants who are eligible for Supported Independent Living (SIL) programs.
What scholarships are available for students with disabilities in Australia?
Disability scholarships are offered to people with a range of different disabilities. You may find that some scholarships are targeted to students with a specific disability, so be sure to check the eligibility criteria carefully before applying.
Maple Scholarship program
Maple Community Services offers seven scholarships a year to people within the community services sphere. We see this as an opportunity to provide you with financial support into higher education whether you identify as having a disability such as autism or are working towards a better future for those who do.
Scholarships available from Maple Services include:
- Maple Emerging Talent Scholarship worth $5000 a year, designed to assist one Maple staff member or client in the Maple family to grow and expand their education.
- Maple Equality & Inclusion Scholarship worth $5000 a year, established to help provide one recipient living with a disability in Australia to gain greater access to affordable educational opportunities.
- Maple Youth Empowerment Scholarship offers 5 young recipients aged between 12 and 21 years a total of $1000 a year to help them to achieve greater access to affordable educational opportunities.
Your scholarship funds can be used to assist with tertiary study costs such as library and internet charges, purchase of textbooks, on campus accommodation, transport costs, computer hardware, personal support and more. To apply, download the associated application form and submit it along with your supporting documentation through the Maple website.
University specific scholarships
Many universities in Australia offer scholarships specifically for students with disabilities. These can include tuition fee waivers, financial aid for study materials, and support services. Each university will be different so be sure to reach out to the universities that you’re interested in applying with to find out if they offer any scholarships, what the criteria is and how to apply.
Government funded scholarships
The Australian government has programs that offer funding and support for students with disabilities. These can range from financial assistance to support specific learning needs to funding for assistive technology and accessing appropriate accommodation.
The NDIS is a government initiative that can help with many aspects of daily life for people living with disabilities including those who wish to pursue further education.
Private and community scholarships
Various private organisations, foundations and community groups offer scholarships for students with disabilities. These scholarships might focus on specific fields of study, regions, or types of disabilities.
One such scholarship is the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust Opportunity Scholarship, which provides financial assistance to five students each year who have a permanent physical disability and will be primarily studying on campus.
Another option is the Australian Disability and Indigenous Peoples’ Education Fund which provides grants on a six monthly basis for people living with disabilities to continue their education. Applicants are encouraged to write a letter alongside the application form to emphasise their longing to learn.
How can the NDIS help students living with autism?
The National Disability Insurance scheme (NDIS) in Australia offers significant support to students living with autism aiming to enhance you or your loved ones educational experiences and overall quality of life. The funding and services provided by the NDIS can be specifically tailored to meet the needs of students with autism through the following supports:
- Educational support and assistance – While the NDIS doesn’t cover the cost of school fees, it can fund supports that are directly related to a student’s disability and are not part of the school’s responsibility. This could include funding for a support worker to assist you in the classroom or during school activities.
- Assistive technology – The NDIS can provide funding for assistive technology that supports learning. This could include software or hardware for communication, educational apps, or tools that help with sensory regulation.
- Supported Independent Living (SIL) – Although they don’t provide housing grants for families with autism, the NDIS can provide funding for accessible and independent living options for students, especially if you need to move closer to school. You can find detailed information on these options on our Supported Independent Living pages, which offer guidance and insights into the services and support available.
- Capacity building – These supports aim to build your skills and independence. They can include programs for developing social skills, training for life skills such as using public transport, and support for transitioning from school to higher education and employment.
- Transportation – If your disability as a student prevents you from using public transport, the NDIS may cover the costs of alternative transportation to and from school.
- Collaboration with schools – while the NDIS does not directly intervene in education curriculums, it works alongside educational institutions to ensure that the supports align with the student’s educational goals and are effectively integrated into their schooling experience.
If you’re living with autism and thinking about going back to school or transitioning to higher education and want to find out more about financial assistance that might be available to you, feel free to reach out to our experts at Maple.
The Maple Commitment
Whether its a query about the services we provide, or just a general enquiry, we would love to hear from you!