Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant Program

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This state-funded program provides financial aid to blind or deaf students attending a postsecondary institution.

Am I Eligible?

To be considered for a Blind or Deaf grant, you must:

  • Be a Pennsylvania resident
  • Supply written documentation to PHEAA showing that you have been evaluated and are eligible to receive benefits from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)

    OR

    Supply documentation from your physician regarding your visual and/or hearing impairment (Page 4 of the application)

  • Be enrolled at least half-time in a postsecondary institution and maintain satisfactory academic progress (as determined by the postsecondary institution)
  • File the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the academic year for which the Blind or Deaf funds are being requested.

How Much Can I Expect to Receive?

The maximum Blind or Deaf grant cannot exceed $500 within an academic year. The grant can replace your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) but cannot exceed your cost of attendance.

This program awards funds on a first-come, first-served basis.

How Do I Apply?

  1. Download and complete the Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant Application Form. (PDF)
  2. Contact OVR at 1-866-375-8264 for documentation stating that you qualify for OVR benefits.

    OR

    Contact your physician to complete page 4 of the application.

  3. File the FAFSA for the academic year for which the Blind or Deaf funds are being requested.
  4. Submit your completed 2018-2019 application and additional documentation by March 31, 2019

    By Mail

    PHEAA
    State Grant and Special Programs
    P.O. Box 8157
    Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157

    OR

    By Fax

    (717) 720-3786

  5. Please note that the 2019-2020 application will be available in April, 2019

Can I Renew?

Yes. To renew:

  1. Download and complete the Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant Application Form. (PDF)
  2. File the FAFSA for the academic year for which the Blind or Deaf funds are being requested.
  3. Submit your completed 2018-2019 application by March 31, 2019

    By Mail

    PHEAA
    State Grant and Special Programs
    P.O. Box 8157
    Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157

    OR

    By Fax

    (717) 720-3786

  4. Please note that the 2019-2020 application will be available in April, 2019

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NOTE: Effective March 1, 2018, information about a State Grant or Special Programs applicant/recipient will only be released to the student and authorized third parties. PHEAA will also no longer honor any prior third party authorization forms. We apologize for any inconvenience and encourage the applicant/recipient to contact us directly to learn more about his/her account status.