Background: In 2008, the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) introduced the Schwallie Family Scholarship Program to support the post-secondary, undergraduate education of qualified individuals with an autism spectrum diagnosis. As of December 1, 2014, OAR has awarded a total of $476,500 to 156 students from across the country through this program. Supported initially through gifts from the family of OAR Board member, Ed Schwallie, the scholarship fund has also received generous support from the Lisa Higgins Hussman Foundation in each of the last five years.
In 2013, OAR announced an expansion of the scholarship program to benefit students with more severe autism diagnoses by establishing the Lisa Higgins Hussman Scholarship Program. OAR Board member and Scholarship Committee chairwoman, Lisa Hussman, championed the initiative, which is supported through a generous gift from the Lisa Higgins Hussman Foundation. For these awards, eligible students may be attending any of the types of institutions that fall under the Schwallie Family Scholarship Program criteria, as well as one of the growing number of certificate and life skills / transition programs.
2015 Scholarship Program: OAR's scholarship program provides non-renewable $3,000 scholarships to students across the autism spectrum. OAR is pleased to invite applications from persons with an autism diagnosis (DSM-IV or later criteria) pursuing full-time, post-secondary, undergraduate education or vocational-technical training in any of the following:
1. Four-year undergraduate college or university
2. Two-year undergraduate college
3. Trade, technical or vocational school
4. Cooperative life skills programs
Applicants must choose between one of the following options:
1. The Schwallie Family Scholarship for higher-functioning students
2. The Lisa Higgins Hussman Scholarship to support students with more severe autism diagnoses
Eligibility: Any individual with an established autism diagnosis and who will be attending an accredited institution of higher education in the United States for the Fall 2014 / Spring 2015 semesters is eligible to apply. Eligible individuals need to be enrolled on a full-time basis or be working toward certification or accreditation in a particular field (e.g., studying to be a paralegal, chef, etc.). Past recipients of a Schwallie Family Scholarship or immediate family members of any person serving on OAR’s Board of Directors or Scientific Council are not eligible to apply.