Wells Fargo Invites Students to Apply for Disability Scholarships

Company also celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.


In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Wells Fargo & Company (No. 9 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) and Scholarship America announced the second annual People with Disabilities Scholarship Program. The program’s goal is to help people with disabilities obtain the education or training they need to succeed in the careers they choose.

Applications for the scholarship program are being accepted online through Nov. 28, 2017, or until 700 applications are submitted.

“Scholarship America is pleased to work with Wells Fargo in offering this scholarship,” said Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO, Scholarship America. “We are committed to making postsecondary success possible for all students. Students with disabilities have overcome many challenges, and this scholarship can help make the dream of postsecondary education attainable.”

In 2016, Wells Fargo committed $1 million over four years to Scholarship America to develop and implement the program. In the first year of the program, 38 students from throughout the

U.S. received scholarships.

“We were thrilled with the overwhelming response and outpouring of gratitude from recipients in the first year,” said Kathy Martinez, head of disability and accessibility strategy at Wells Fargo. “It was a clear indicator that there is a need for programs that help make career aspirations a reality for people with disabilities. We look forward to offering the program for a second year.”

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria include academic performance, demonstrated leadership, work experience, a brief statement of career and educational goals, and an outside appraisal. Financial need will be considered.

Application Process

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have an identified disability (defined as someone who has, or considers themselves to have, a long-term or recurring issue that impacts one or more major life activities).
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent.
  • Be a high school senior or graduate who plans to enroll (or already is enrolled) in full‑time or half-time (at least 6 credits per term) undergraduate study at an accredited two‑year or four‑year college or university in the U.S. for the entire 2018–2019 academic year

Applicants are required to complete the online application and provide a current academic transcript. The online application is accessible for users of all abilities. A dedicated toll-free phone number and email address will be provided to applicants who may need additional assistance.

Each applicant also is required to submit an essay on the question: What life experiences have shaped who you are today?


Awards are available for qualifying full-time students up to $2,500 per year and are renewable up to three years.  Awards are available for qualifying half-time students up to $1,250 and are renewable up to seven years or until a bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first.

For more information about the scholarships, please visit https://scholarsapply.org/pwdscholarship.

Wells Fargo’s Overall Commitment to People with Disabilities and National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In addition to the Scholarship America and other philanthropic initiatives, the company has an array of disability awareness programs for Wells Fargo team members to help foster inclusion, including:

  • Fireside Chat: Disability Inclusion Starts with Me

The internal “chat” on Oct. 4 will feature five senior leaders discussing Wells Fargo’s commitment to people with disabilities, including the company’s companywide strategy, benefits, resources, tools, community outreach, and upcoming innovation for team members and customers.

  • Juggling it all Caregiving – Special Guest Speaker and Panel Discussion

On Oct. 18, Wells Fargo will host special guest speaker Sherri Snelling, CEO and founder of Caregiving Club and author of Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help Prepare to Care. She and a panel of Wells Fargo leaders will discuss how team member caregivers can balance self-care while caring for a loved one.

In 2016, Wells Fargo implemented its first ever Accessibility Hackathon, in which 30 internal teams in the U.S. and abroad worked for two days in a virtual environment to develop technology that would improve the accessibility of a product, service, or platform used by team members at Wells Fargo. The hackathon winners produced insightful recommendations and solutions to improve accessibility for tracking time in the workplace for team members who have low-vision or are blind. Wells Fargo hosts its second Accessibility Hackathon in November.

  • Awareness Month Signature Event for Team Members in Des Moines, Iowa

For the third consecutive year, Wells Fargo’s Diverse Abilities Team Member Network in Iowa will host a Signature Event Oct. 17 and Oct. 24. The event is designed to educate people about various disabilities through interactive tables at two locations.

To learn more about Wells Fargo’s commitment to accessibility, please visit www.wellsfargo.com/about/diversity/accessibility/

 About Scholarship America

For nearly 60 years, Scholarship America has worked directly with students, parents, donors, colleges, businesses and communities to empower people to achieve their educational goals. As the nation’s largest private education support organization, having distributed over $3.7 billion to more than 2.3 million students, Scholarship America is now working to further engage the private sector to support programs and policies that advance equity in postsecondary education and help students overcome barriers to access, persistence and attainment. More information is available at scholarshipamerica.org.


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