Bridges Blog Educational Resources Financial Resources Series: Find Financial Freedom February 2024

Free Tuition? Yes!

Find Financial Freedom February with Our Bridges Resource Library

This month, we highlight after-high school opportunities from free tuition to work incentives that help blind/low vision students Find Financial Freedom!

  • February 6: Free Tuition? Yes!
  • February 13: Exploration and Support from DORS/OBVS
  • February 20: College and Lifelong Resources and Services from Maryland Library for the Blind
  • February 27: Work Incentives from Social Security

This week, we explore ways to pursue post-educational opportunities with free tuition.

Tuition Waiver at Maryland Community Colleges for SSI and SSDI Recipients

Available to individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

  • Individuals who are legally blind and who meet income and resource requirements are eligible to receive SSI (and, in some cases, SSDI).
  • Income and resources
    • For children younger than 18, the income and resources of a parent or guardian are considered for eligibility purposes
    • For individuals over 18 years of age, only their income and resources (and those of a spouse, if any) are included.  

At all community colleges in Maryland:

  • Up to 12 credits per semester if the individual is enrolled in classes as part of a degree or a certificate program designed to lead to employment.

If the individual is not enrolled in a program designed to lead to employment, tuition for up to six (6) credits per semester may be waived.

MUST file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

More information at the Community College Tuition Waiver for Students with Disabilities Receiving SSI or SSDI web page.


Vocational Rehabilitation services are provided to disabled Maryland residents through the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) and its Office for Blindness & Vision Services (OBVS). In addition to accessible assistive technology and rehabilitative instruction and services. These services can include college/university tuition, fees, and room and board.

We’ll dive into this great resource more in next week’s Transition tip, and please feel free to reach out to the Bridges Helpdesk for more information.

Merit-based Scholarships for Blind/Low Vision Students in the Bridges Resource Library

Comprehensive entry


Individual entries

For Maryland students: National Federation of the Blind of Maryland’s Scholarship Program (Deadline: March 31, 2024)

American Council of the Blind’s (ACB) Scholarship Program (Deadline: February 14, 2024)

Microsoft Disability Scholarship (Deadline: March 13, 2024, at 3 p.m. Central time)

Fred Scheigert Scholarship Program (Deadline: March 15, 2024)

National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Annual Scholarship Program (Deadline: March 31, 2024)

Lighthouse Guild Scholarships (Deadline: March 31, 2024)

Anne Lowe Scholarship (Deadline: April 15, 2024)

Lavelle – Brother Kearney Scholarship Program (Deadline: Not stated)

American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Competition

Scholarships for Maryland Residents with Financial Need

Maryland Promise Scholarship

Provides financial assistance for Maryland/D.C. residents with financial need for up to four (4) years at the University of Maryland.

Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant

Provides financial assistance for Maryland/D.C. residents with financial need for up to four (4) years at a two- or four-year post-secondary institution in Maryland.

Community College Promise Scholarship

Provides financially eligible students pursuing a certificate, degree, or apprenticeship (full-time or part-time) at a Maryland community college up to $5,000 to cover any remaining tuition and mandatory fee expenses after Federal or State financial aid has been applied.

Please check out the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Resource Library today!

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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