In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) and Scholarship America seek applicants for the 2020-21 People with Disabilities Scholarship Program.
The program will provide awards of up to $2,500 to qualifying full-time students, renewable up to three years. Awards of up to $1,250 are available to qualifying part-time students and are renewable up to seven years, or until a bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first. Students with disabilities can apply for the scholarship program online through Dec. 6, 2019, or until 700 applications are submitted.
In 2016, Wells Fargo committed $1 million over four years to Scholarship America to develop and implement the program, which aims to help people with disabilities obtain the education or training they need to reach their career aspirations. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is twice the rate of those without, and people who have completed higher levels of education are more likely to be employed. To date, Wells Fargo has donated $750,000 to Scholarship America to help 111 scholarship recipients with disabilities achieve their educational goals.
“I am deeply grateful for the support I received from Wells Fargo throughout college,” said Gloria Li, a two-year scholarship recipient and University of Florida graduate. “The scholarship funds helped me purchase textbooks and pay for living expenses, allowing me to focus on my academics and extracurricular commitments. I recently graduated with my bachelor’s degrees in environmental science and philosophy. Now that I am working in energy policy, I have the exciting opportunity to put what I learned into practice. Without scholarships like Wells Fargo’s, I may not have had the ability to graduate debt-free and do what I love after college.”
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 affects 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 part-time (at least six credits per term) undergraduate study at an accredited two‑year or four‑year college or university in the U.S. for the entire 2020-21 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 are available to applicants who need additional assistance. Each applicant also is required to submit an essay on the question, “What life experiences have shaped who you are today?”
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.
For more information about the scholarships, please visit https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/pwdscholarship.
“People with disabilities strive for meaningful careers and economic independence,” said Kathy Martinez, head of Disability and Accessibility Strategy at Wells Fargo. “Education is key to reaching those goals. We’re proud to collaborate with Scholarship America to offer a program that empowers students to attain the education or training needed for their desired career field.”
“We are proud to work with Wells Fargo on its People with Disabilities Scholarship Program,” said Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO of Scholarship America. “We believe in the power of scholarships. They bridge gaps and give students the opportunity to achieve their dreams for a higher education. Wells Fargo is helping students with disabilities obtain the education needed to reach their career goals and contribute their skills and talents to our country’s economic success.”