CTP: Other components to Student Financial Aid Eligibility

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Becoming an approved CTP allows colleges and universities to provide access to federal financial aid to eligible students with intellectual disability (ID). There are other important components to financial aid eligibility as well.    

When students with ID are attending a CTP program, it does waive some typical eligibility requirements – students with ID are not required to have a standard high school diploma, and they do not have to be working towards a degree. But other requirements remain in place. It is useful for programs to have a basic understanding of these requirements so that they can effectively advise the students in their programs.

The video included here shares very useful information about financial aid for students with intellectual disabilties attending CTP programs.  David Bergeron, while working at the US Department of Education in 2011, answered several questions related to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form, how things differ for students with ID as compared to other students, and much more.

Components of Student Eligibility for Financial Aid

1. Attending an approved program: The student must be attending an approved Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP). A list of currently approved programs can be found here.

Did You Know? While program approval is a one time process, students must apply every year to determine their eligibility for financial aid.

2. Meet eligibility requirements: A student attending an approved CTP program must also meet requirements.

  • The student must have exited high school or a secondary institution.  The student is not required to have a standard high school diploma.  Students who are dually enrolled (attending college while still in high school, or still receiving special education services from their high school), cannot receive federal financial aid.  

  • The student must have an intellectual disability as defined by the HEOA. 

  • The student must demonstrate financial need. Financial need requirements that are in place for other college students also apply to students with ID attending a CTP program. Need is determined by the student and their family completing the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Think College Insight Brief #45 discusses how students with intellectual disabilities can utilize federal financial aid to help pay for college. This publication was originally released in 2012 as Insight Brief #16; it was updated to reflect current legislation and policy...Read more

In July 2011, David Bergeron of the US Department of Education explained how students with intellectual disability could access federal financial aid if they were attending an approved Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program.  


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