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.