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OARacle Newsletter

OAR has awarded 55 students with scholarships for 2023, bringing the scholarship total to $1,717,500 provided to 558 autistic students since 2007. This year, 1,112 students applied for one of three OAR scholarships: the Lisa Higgins Hussman Scholarship, the Schwallie Family Scholarship, and the Synchrony Scholarship for Autistic Students of Color. All three scholarships provide one-time $3,000 awards to autistic students pursuing post-secondary education at a variety of institutions. 

The Schwallie Family Scholarships are awarded to students attending two- and four-year colleges. “Another stellar year of applicants,” noted Cathy Schwallie Farmer, chair of the Schwallie Family Scholarships. “Happy to see a decent percentage of female scholarship winners this year, more than ever before! These students have had tough journeys and are true ‘go-getters’ planning around their personal passions and getting accepted into top schools and programs. The Schwallie Family is honored to continue to support these worthy neuro-distinct scholarship student winners.” 

The Hussman Scholarships are awarded to students attending two-year colleges, life skills or postsecondary programs, or vocational, technical, or trade schools. “The Hussman scholarship winners are all hard-working students and very deserving of their scholarships,” said Lisa Hussman, president of the Lisa Higgins Hussman Foundation. “I look forward to hearing about their accomplishments in the coming year.” 

The Synchrony Scholarship for Autistic Students of Color are awarded to students from under-represented racial and ethnic minority groups attending any type of post-secondary education, from life skills programs to four-year undergraduate universities. “Autistic students of color continue to be under-diagnosed and under-resourced,” commented Denise Yap, president of the Synchrony Foundation. “Synchrony and its employee resource group, EnAbled+, are proud to support the Organization for Autism Research, helping these exceptional students pursue their academic goals and shining a light on this well-deserving community.”  

Congratulations to this year’s 55 scholarship recipients! OAR extends its gratitude to the Schwallie Family Foundation, the Lisa Higgins Hussman Foundation, and the Synchrony Foundation. These scholarships would not be possible without their generous support.  

2024 Scholarships Open in December

The 2024 scholarship applications will open in December. To be eligible for a scholarship, an applicant must have a confirmed autism diagnosis, be accepted for enrollment in the fall 2024 semester, and submit three short personal essays along with an application form and recommendation letter. Learn more about OAR’s scholarship program and how to apply.