For Families: Paying for College

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Paying for college is challenging for all students. Unlike K–12 education, college costs money and parents and students are expected to pay.

Students and families are accessing a variety of funding options to help pay for the costs of college.  How helpful each solution will be really depends on a student’s specific circumstances. Most programs (61%, according to a recent Think College survey) are reporting that families and students are paying for the costs of attendance. Thirty percent indicated that local education agencies (LEAs) paid for the program and another 30% indicated that vocational rehabilitation (VR) covered the cost of the program. There were also other funding options being utilized, such as scholarships, adult developmental disabilities agencies, financial aid, or Medicaid waivers.

Check out the resources in To Learn More for details on the variety of funding strategies that can be used to pay for college.  When planning for how to pay for college, explore all of these avenues to see which ones may work for you.

To Learn More: 

This Think College handout provides a list of several funding sources, examples, and links to further information when available. (This resource was created as a handout for a session at the Inclusive HIgher Education conference in November, 2013.)Read more

While this booklet describes several funding options for students with intellectual disabilities who are attending college in Vermont, many of the strategies would also be applicable in other states.  The booklet can  serve as a model for similar publications in...Read more

Think College Insight Brief #16 discusses how students with intellectual disabilities can utilize federal financial aid to help pay for college.Read more

The mission of Ruby's Rainbow is to grant scholarships to adults with Down syndrome who are seeking postsecondary education, enrichment, or vocational classes. It is their goal to create awareness of the capabilities of these amazing individuals and help them...Read more

This Think College Fast Fact explains how the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-295) encourages individuals with disabilities and their families to save personal funds for the future by altering the tax code to...Read more