In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Wells Fargo & Company (No. 12 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) has committed $1 million over the next four years to Scholarship America to develop and implement a special scholarship program to help people with disabilities obtain the education or training necessary to succeed in the career path of their choice.
"Wells Fargo's generous $1 million commitment for scholarships will help people with disabilities obtain the education they need to compete for jobs on a more even playing field," said Robert Ballard, president and CEO, Scholarship America.
Scholarship America, the nation's largest provider of postsecondary educational assistance programs, and Wells Fargo worked together on the application and selection process for the scholarships using the best practices from the highest quality postsecondary educational aid programs.
"Wells Fargo is committed to financially empowering and employing people with disabilities," said Kathy Martinez, head of disability and accessibility strategy at Wells Fargo. "Working with Scholarship America is just one of the many ways we help make career aspirations a reality for people with disabilities."
Applications for the scholarship program are currently being accepted online at https://scholarsapply.org/pwdscholarship through Jan. 17, 2017 or until 700 applications are submitted, whichever comes first. 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 who are already 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 United States for the entire 2017-2018 academic year
Applicants will be 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 will also be required to submit an essay on the question: What life experiences have shaped who you are today?
The selection criteria will include the consideration of academic performance, demonstrated leadership, work experience, a brief statement of career and educational goals, and an outside appraisal. Financial need will also be considered.
Awards for full-time students are up to $2,500 per year and are renewable up to three years. Awards for part-time students are 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.