Navigating Federal Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its webinar on Navigating Federal Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with a Bullseye advisor. Our presenter will share their insider perspectives on the financial aid process. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!

Date 11/20/2020
Duration 22:38

Webinar Transcription

2020-11-20 Navigating Federal Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities

So just to you and they come in, but I’ll be here the whole time. Thanks, Tess.

okay. Are we good? Yes. Okay. Hi everybody. Good evening. My name is Holly Wolfe. I’m here with bullseye and we’re going to be talking about. Federal student aid and financial support for students with disabilities. Hope you’re all well this evening. And I just want to talk at first, this first slide is just a picture of students in a classroom.

And and I just want to say that disability is often, we don’t see it from, at the start But but any number of the people in the picture are folks with disability a good 25% of every class 20 to 25%. Great numbers of folks need extra support, extra accommodations and would that also comes the possibility of some financial support as well.

So we’re going to move to next slide. I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself. I went to Smith college and and I have a master’s in higher ed from brute college, from the mark school of higher ed. And I have lots and lots of experience doing college advisement. I was also the transition coordinator and we’ll get a little into what a transition coordinator does at the high school that I previously worked and I’ve worked in the field well, the disability for quite some time and and have had great success with students being able to To do really well in college and like beyond high school.

Those are some of those schools listed. One of my favorite schools is Brandeis university’s transitional year program. And and of course, my knowledge of policy, which if you’re in I think about. A dozen different cities. Posse is there So maybe you’ve heard about it.

We can talk about that some more as well. And Northeastern’s Ujima program, Hampshire’s James Baldwin scholars program. And certainly in New York state, as well as all the other states in the country, there are GOP EOP, EOF they’re named different ways, but they all are about economic opportunity.

An educational opportunity. So that’s a little bit about me tonight and we’re going to move to the next slide which will tell you a little bit more about disability. So when I talk again about the picture that we just saw Folks, obviously disability can be physical. It can be psychological.

It can be academic and those disabilities impinge on activities of daily life or academic lives and And they are evaluated by a host of folks sometime during a young person’s CA high school and even college career and those evaluations allow folks to gain recommendations so that they.

I’m sorry. Th the evaluations are done on the recommendations of different members of of schools and the like administrators who determined that perhaps a young person needs an evaluation and might have a disability. And then. That determination, that evaluation comes to be an individualized education education program or an IEP.

And that’s a plan that enables a student to to be further assessed and to gain excuse me, accommodations that are necessary for their success. So an IEP again is a blueprint that just gives educators and understanding and a student and their family, an understanding of what what are some of the obstacles that person has and how best those obstacles can be addressed.

And some of those accommodations will be extra time on tests perhaps separate room testing. It might require someone to have a reader or a scribe, someone to write for them. It might require counseling or one-on-one support. And Once a year, at least this special education team in a school meets with the student and and teachers and other facilitators to just evaluate what’s going on with that student, see what’s working, what’s not working.

And the progress made that I P will then be adjusted and respond to new. New understanding.

So talk a little bit about the transition from high school to post-secondary plans. And what happens is a student is now getting ready to graduate their high school and The special education team is going to support that transition. And that transition role will be part meetings.

What do you want to do, whether it is college or it is in college in this case we’re talking about bulls-eye. So we’re really talking about college. And we’re going to discuss What family input there is what folks are thinking about for that student, what would do, what would help that young person to succeed best in life?

And it’s at this juncture that a student is introduced at least if not before, to the office of disability services in their city, their town Their state and each state takes a federal mandate and then makes it fit within their state structure. However, the federal mandate is the same for all.

Or cities or towns or states. And it’s that that federal mandate that we’re really talking about here in New York state, it’s called access VR used to be called decid different states have different names for it. But this office is a place where for the rest of a person’s life.

Should that person lose a job? Should that person lose their way in some way or just need a retooling. They can always go back to that office and that office will help with vocational placement and support. In this instance, And right coming out of high school the transition coordinator will help the student and family to fill out the initial forms and those forms will have on them, a request for college support and vocational support.

We’re really looking for college, supported this in this instance. But it’s an introduction. It’s a kind of hand. To the office of disability. I want to talk a little bit about disability for a minute too here. When we talk about disability and, I think that people get very nervous about it.

Does it mean that I’m not all right. In fact, I’m going to show you my disability. It’s called glasses. And if I don’t wear them and right now I’m not because it’s easier for me to see written texts without them. But if I don’t wear them, then I can see very far. And I go about the world in a bit of a date.

So this is my discipline. At least one of them. Everyone has a disability and everyone makes ways to to manage that disability, eye glasses congregations on tests and the like, and there is no shame in this game. Everyone has some way that they interact with the world and and that interaction can best be supported.

I like to tell this story of how I had a family member come to me once and They were very disturbed about the idea of disability. And I noticed as they wrote something that I was telling them so they could take it home with them that they touched every letter. And I knew that when they did that by touching every letter, as they wrote that was their accommodation, that was their way of managing their unique disability.

Everyone has one. Everyone makes those kinds of accommodations and that’s what we’re really talking about here. How best to succeed in the world. Transitioning from high school to college for students with disability. So here it is, you’re now in your, at least senior year, maybe before you’ve made your introduction to the office of discipline. They’re now going to evaluate you for post high school vocational academic services. There are vocational professionals there who take your information might give you a different set of battery of tests to to fill in some blanks for them.

And now what happens to your IEP? Your individualized education plan is that it becomes in the parlance in the words of. Of the federal government and going forward to college and beyond if you call it becomes what’s called a 5 0 4 designation. Now I want to just talk a little bit about 5 0 4 because it’s confusing.

Some people in high school will also have a 5 0 4. It an in-between IEP designation. I know it’s all Gibberish, but essentially the 5 0 4 is is another format for saying someone has a disability and need some kind of support accommodation. And the like, Now here’s the great part of having a 5 0 4 designation.

If your family earns under $80,000 it may be a bit different, maybe a little bit more now. And it may be different in different parts of the country. That part might change a bit, but that makes you eligible. For about a 5,000, a little bit less than $5,000 tuition support. So if you go to, you’re applying to a college you get in and the colleges tuition without any other support is 10,000, then the federal government will give you 5,000 towards that tuition.

And then there’s thousand dollars per year in transportation support. And then $2,000 per year in residential support. So toward that goes towards your living expenses at the college, and then there’s the, also the wonderful thing of free books and materials. So that’s the great part of the 5 0 4 IEP.

I want to talk a little bit about other financial support for students with disability. And I have a whole long list here, and I know that you’re going to be able to download the slides and utilize them. And certainly anyone from bullseye will be able to support you in your scholarship quest.

College that colleges themselves have unique scholarships for students with disability. And then there are any number of scholarships that are particular to to each unique disability. And they’re listed here. We can open them up at some point, if we need to, and I’m going to keep going.

Why is important? It is important to self-identify because here’s the crazy and wonderful thing. You leave high school and you don’t have to tell anyone you have a disability. Okay. You don’t tell anyone. However, and I have to tell you this College is not an easy go. And those accommodations that you just tossed off, you may really want in college.

You may want to have extra time. You may want to have those extra services. They’re yours. They belong to you. And it’s often again, people are reluctant to self-identify. However, again, that self identification is the key to opening the door for the scholarships and for the accommodations and services that can really help students to to really succeed academically They can offer specialized tutoring certainly support and certainly connection.

Again, those scholarships, as I mentioned, that colleges may have for unique disabilities. And also colleges have sometimes for some learning issues Unique programs where it’s a dual curriculum and that may be something you might want to access. And then after college those state offices that you first were connected to by your transition coordinator will then again, follow you and help you to gain work.

And we’re talking about a whole range of opportunities. So when we talk about vocational support, I think that people here I’m not acting non-academic non-professional, but that’s not the case. I know someone years ago who had a disability and two who were supported by access VR in those days, vested entity for disability to go to film school.

So it can be a whole wide range of things that that can help. I had a student who wanted to do animation and this office access VR again in other states known by other names was going to help her connect to an animation. So it can be, again, it’s very wide range and certainly something that you want to utilize.

It’s a resource and it belongs to you. And now we’re going to go to questions in the answers. I’m going to enable, oh, it is enabled test. We’re going to go to any questions that you may have and try to answer some of them. Okay. Hi, Holly, it looks like no questions have been submitted in the Q and a yet. So if you have any other information you’d like to share, feel free to do so now, but we could also end the presentation early with, because we haven’t gotten any right.

Do we have folks attending? It looks like right now we have zero attendees.

Oh my. Okay. It is being recorded and we were published this on the website. So I still think that it’s very useful information and people will still be able to see that your whole presentation. Okay. I We should talk about bullseye and how those can be effective in supporting your student. Or if you are the students supporting you in your quest for college whether without disability, but particularly tonight, we’re speaking about students with disability.

All of our advisors are our dept at supporting students with, or without disability and certainly are aware of scholarship opportunities. And we’ll take the time to to meet students where they are and to support their College essay writing and their applications and their, so their college selection so that the college is just the right college for them.

We had a large college be it, a small unique college view to college with a dual curriculum being a college that has extra support services. Bullseye can certainly offer the advisement necessary to really access the college that will really support student success.

We want to thank you very much for joining us. And hope that if there are any questions that you certainly reach out to us all at bullseye and and we will be here to to answer those questions and support you in any way we can. Thank you so much.

Thanks test.

Okay, I’ll go ahead and add the webinar now. Thank you so much for being here tonight. Okay. Thanks test. All right. Have a good night. Yes, you too. Bye. Bye.