For High School Seniors with Special Needs

The William R. Rooney Award

The William R. Rooney Award provides awards and scholarships for high school seniors with disabilities. This award is named for William R. Rooney, a long-time educator and former Executive Secretary of The Horace Smith Fund, who advocated for financial assistance for students with special needs.

In general, disability scholarships exist to provide college funding for students who possess cognitive, behavioral or emotional impediments that may make it difficult to attain a degree. That’s why, each academic year, we provide one award to a graduating high school senior who is currently on and has been on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Accommodation Plan for a minimum of two years. To qualify, students must be a resident of Hampden County, Massachusetts, enrolled in an eligible high school and anticipate attending either a two- or four-year accredited college.

The applicant should demonstrate financial need, academic success and community service. Students who wish to apply for our grants for students with disabilities should complete the William R. Rooney Award application and submit a copy of their full current and signed IEP or 504 Plan, in addition to the other required documents.

Awards are granted in the amount of $3,000 per academic year, paid in two installments each semester, and carry a maximum value of $12,000. Awards are automatically renewed each year provided a minimum GPA of 3.0 is maintained.

Instructions

Listed below are instructions to apply for William R. Rooney Awards for high school seniors with disabilities. Completed application and associated documents must be received in the Horace Smith Fund office no later than March 15.

Step 1: Official High School Transcript

You are responsible for having your official high school transcript mailed to:

The Horace Smith Fund
Bismarck Place
16 Union Avenue, Ste. 2K
Westfield, MA 01085

Alternatively, you may request to have your school’s guidance department email your transcript directly to info@www.horacesmithfund.org.

Step 2: IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan

You are required to submit a current and signed copy of your IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan for your application to be considered complete. Please request your school counselor email this document to info@www.horacesmithfund.org or mail to:

The Horace Smith Fund
Bismarck Place
16 Union Avenue, Ste. 2K
Westfield, MA 01085

Step 3: College Entrance Exams

College entrance exams are not required to apply for a William R. Rooney Award. However, if you have taken the SAT or ACT, please have your score report mailed to:

The Horace Smith Fund
Bismarck Place
16 Union Avenue, Ste. 2K
Westfield, MA 01085

When requesting your SAT scores through the College Board, indicate you would like them to be sent to us by using our organization code 0017.

Step 4: Reference Forms

Three people, not relatives, should complete reference forms. At least two references should be from a high school counselor or the teacher in charge of your IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan and who is familiar with your ability and potential. Complete and submit the form online or download blank forms. If Mailing, PLEASE SEND ALL INFORMATION TO:

The Horace Smith Fund
Bismarck Place
16 Union Avenue, Ste. 2K
Westfield, MA 01085

Step 5: CSS Profile

As of 2018, we no longer accept FAFSA applications as proof of financial need. You must complete the CSS Profile. When applying, please indicate you would like your financial information made available to our organization using code 0017. Any fee incurred to submit a CSS Profile will be reimbursed with proper proof of payment. Please email a copy of your payment receipt to info@www.horacesmithfund.org

Step 6: Application Form

Complete and submit the scholarship application online or download blank forms. DO NOT staple or permanently bind any of your application materials in any way. Completed application forms can be mailed to:

The Horace Smith Fund
Bismarck Place
16 Union Avenue, Ste. 2K
Westfield, MA 01085

Applications are closed.