ADHD Student Resources


As a massive relief for adult students with ADHD, recent developments in education policies in United States would make it much easier for such individuals to enrol admissions into colleges and build a successful career. Scholarships, grants and other options are now available for those diagnosed with ADHD.


Though ADD and ADHD are often deemed as learning disabilities, these two attention disorders, doesn’t imply a low intelligence or IQ. It’s just that ADD and ADHD affected individuals work differently and find it more challenging to achieve success.

A recent study by JAMA Psychiatry states that,

The most proactive approach for such individuals would be to adapt to their impairments and embracing alternative methods to learn and retain information.

Current ADHD Prevalence

ADHD Prevalence in US. Image Courtesy DW Autism Gallery

ADHD is more prevalent in today’s classrooms than it used to be before. Recent estimates hold three to five percent of students to be affected with ADD or ADHD, though some studies have reported greater percentages in community samples. That means, one out of every 24 to 30 students, in a typical classroom, will have ADHD.

RELATED NEWS: ADHD Classroom Therapy Concerns

Recent Relief for University Students with ADHD

Currently, there are an increasing number of resources available for students with ADHD that may help in removing barriers towards receiving worthwhile college education and finding a gainful employment. However, these resources are only available for students with ADHD, who are willing to pursue post-secondary education. This comprehensive guide shall provide a thoroughly compiled list of such resources and opportunities, including the lowdown on the impact of ADHD on learning. We will also point you to organizations that are serving such students and adults with scholarships, grants and other assistance.

ADHD: Its Effects on Learning

Here’s some helpful information on the ways attention-related disorders impact learning for both children and adults. Successfully understanding the ways ADHD impacts a student’s functional ability within a learning environment is a great help towards developing strategies and techniques to cope with and work around obstacles to foster a successful learning. It applies to all students, whether in a grade school, or high school or college.

A Few ADHD Resources to Get Started with:

ADHD in Schools

ADHD is not a problem with a person’s ability, but it relates to performance consistency and continued attention span, thus making it difficult for students to acquire new skills and keep up with their peers. Thus, school becomes a challenge for ADHD students; more so, for they are not diagnosed until they start demonstrating consistent failures to understand and/or follow rules and complete given tasks.

The U.S. Department of Education discusses the various diagnostic criteria, which are to be discussed here; alongwith common reasons for referrals and information on the ways to address the specific learning needs.

ADHD gets noticed mostly during grade school. This is when increasing workloads start appearing difficult to keep up with for ADHD-students. You’ll find the common signs and symptoms parents and/or teachers notice during this phase.

Common ADHD Symptoms in Students
Common ADHD Symptoms in Students. Download Infographic

The most common symptom of ADHD is a student will have difficulty concentrating, maintaining focus and sustaining attention. This is a great deal of challenge for the ADHD students, especially for longer spans. They are thus unable to absorb and retain information for later use.

Students with ADHD may also face difficulty with anything that requires ordered steps or anything that’s long-term and doesn’t occur under direct supervision. Students with ADHD, therefore; struggle in classroom settings, learning and homework. However, this resource outlines several ways for parents and educators to deal with such ADHD symptoms.

ONLINE TESTSADHD Test for Children and Adults

Though ADHD may be a cause for learning disabilities in students, it is important to note that ADHD is not the same as Dyslexia. Dyslexia primarily applies to an inability to recognize alphabets or following sentence structures.

adhd and learning difficulties like dyslexia
Download this Dyslexia Infographic

Students with ADHD are more often than not of the same IQ as other typically developing peers; it’s just those symptoms of ADHD that turn things all the more challenging. However, it’s a fact that students with ADHD are more prone to exhibit learning disabilities, including a tendency to struggle more with math and reading.

9 Organizations Supporting Students with ADHD

Opportunities and programs/guides are ample when looking for help, specifically students with ADD, ADHD or other learning disabilities. The families with ADHD have organizations, websites, and online resources existing to alleviate their difficulties and empower children, students and adults to succeed on personal, educational and professional grounds. Here are a few:

Attention Deficit Disorder Association

Provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with ADHD lead a better life. You’ll find adults working together to serve, connect and empower people to bring positive results.

Visit Attention Deficit Disorder Association

National Resource Center on ADHD

A program floated by CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder) and termed as the national clearinghouse for the latest evidence-based research on ADHD.

Visit National Resource Center on ADHD

National Center for Learning Disabilities

The organisation’s aim is to improve the lives children – one in every five – and adults nationwide, who are struggling to overcome learning and attention issues. They are set to empower parents and young adults; to transform schools and advocate equal rights and opportunities for ADHD-ers.

Visit National Center for Learning Disabilities

The Council for Exceptional Children

Both a policy and an advocacy organization, they work on behalf of children who are different from the rest. They examine policy issues and develop responses appropriate to those issues. They are also influential in the local, state, provincial and federal legislation and monitors performances to make recommendations for program regulations and funding.

Visit The Council for Exceptional Children

Edge Foundation

For students with Executive Functioning challenges (including ADHD), the organisation provides one-on-one executive coaches to stop students at-risk of dropping out of school and realize their full potential to pursue their passion.

Visit Edge Foundation

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities

A centre for education, guidance and inspirations for parents, whose children got learning disabilities and ADHD. Their effort is to help parents realize their children are gifted (and talented) in different ways. To understand that, right support and knowledge are paramount requirements. The children can live happy, productive lives if taken care of the right way.

Visit Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities

Friends of Quinn

An online, safe and supportive community for young adults with learning differences. It especially takes care of creating an environment that connects the LD world.

Visit Friends of Quinn

The Learning Disabilities Association of America

It’s an array of resources and services that are designed to support and promote the success of LD-individuals across all aspects of life.

Visit  The Learning Disabilities Association of America

The LD Resources Foundation

For any LD-individual, who wants to attend college, visit the library or a museum and seeks employment. It has been successful focusing its mission on removing barriers to provide adults with knowledge about learning disabilities.

Visit The LD Resources Foundation

ADDITIONAL REFERENCE: Top Autism Non Profit Organizations

Scholarships for ADHD Students:

Post secondary education scholarships are less easily accessible then standard forms of financial aid. They are not as abundant as the Federal Pell Grant but they can be availed by serious candidates. This guide give you a single point of reference for most well know scholarships for students with learning challenges. Some of these scholarship programs are exclusively for ADHD students.

The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships

The National Center for Learning Disabilities looks after the administration while the programs offer financial assistance for two graduating seniors pursuing post-secondary education. Their LD must come documented.

Visit official website

Incight scholarships

700, till date, have been handed out to students with learning disabilities. Running since 2004, you must reside in Oregon, Washington or California to qualify.

Visit official website

The Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship

Legal residents of the United States with clinical ADHD qualify to enrol for this 2- or 4-year undergraduate program. You will study at an accredited college or university or trade or technical school. Vocational schools are also allowed but they must be in the US. The Shire website includes detailed info about 6 Steps to College and guides you for college tests.

Visit official website

The Judith Cary Leadership Memorial Scholarship

A Buckley Moss Society undertaking since 1999 and awarded to one student going for a special needs certification (full/part time) toward or an undergraduate or graduate degree in some field of Special Education.

Visit official website

The RiSE Scholarship Foundation, Inc.

More than 70 scholarship and awards went to deserving high school LD students throughout the United States since 2010.

Visit official website

Grunts on Grants may be worth the Sweat

Financial aid options like scholarships are available in different forms (with different size of envelopes), but an ADHD-student will benefit more from ADHD-specific grants. Scholarships are typically awarded based on merits, achievement, success…and requires meeting certain eligibility criteria.

With grants, they exist to cover your need. For more info, refer to the central resource on funding opportunities information on the various types of federal grants available. It’s by the U.S. Department of Education whose Federal Student Aid office is an excellent resource for finding information on National level student aid programs.

Students with ADHD are able to take advantage of traditional college financing in addition to any scholarship and grant opportunities awarded exclusively to students with ADHD. It’s a good point to start.

The next step is, a federal resource providing a central platform for applicants and the U.S. Federal Agencies to interact. They got categories, agencies, and eligibilities well matched to find out the most suitable grant program.

You may also take help from the Student Disability Support Office at the college you plan to attend. But check out SallieMae before that. It is one of the leading college funding providers with various types of college financing available, including grants. This resource outlines the process for applying for state and federal grants.

The Federal Pell Grant program is by large the most popular and widely available. Used at more than 5,400 higher-education institutes, qualifying is as simple as filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. It’s for undergraduates coming from low-income groups. The other one is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program for students with exceptional financial needs.

Other Opportunities to Fund your way into College/University

There are some other quick links to help you hunt for higher opportunity funding resources for ADHD:

  •’s guide to ADHD: Keith Low compiled this helpful list of ADHD scholarships. There’s some extra information on state-specific awards and scholarships. Also on those that were available before. A helpful guide that outlines key questions to ask a potential college or university regarding the on-campus and educational support services available to students with ADHD.
  • US. News: An article 7 Things You Should Know About Athletic Scholarships is for students with ADHD looking for athletic grants.
  • Cappex College Insider: A helpful guide with links to a variety of ADHD and other LD scholarships and grant programs. Detailed information on scholarships; links to college-specific resources, online resources – there’s a lot to look for!
  • DO-IT: A program from the Washington University that outlines a variety of scholarship- offering organizations. Also includes information about other financing options for students with disabilities.
  • ADDitude: Lists a number of resources for scholarship information including general awards for those seeking higher education and state-specific awards. Also, lists scholarships and awards available for students with ADHD, both in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Simple Tuition: Offers information on scholarships and grants for students with ADHD including Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Also, information on connecting with the National Research Center on ADHD for any kind of assistance.
  • CHADD: For students with ADHD and/or other disabilities who want to qualify for educational supports and accommodations. A great help towards choosing a college, for it also lists the various organizations that exist to provide support and resources for such students.
  • A helpful guide that outlines key questions to ask a potential college or university regarding the on-campus and educational support services available to students with ADHD

More Alternative ADD Resources for Students:

These are not standard grants and scholarships but a variety of specialized financial aid options and personal loans available to ADHD students. The best part is, even a normal student without ADHD or learning disabilities can apply for them.

  • If you want an outline of the various financial aid options available. Scholarships, grants and student loan information for those with learning and attention issues. Also lists scholarships and grant funding for students pursuing education in specific areas or students with specific talents or accomplishments.
  • Apart from a comprehensive list of scholarships and awards, this resource outlines the eligibility criteria and application process for specific scholarships and awards (e.g. Karen Aberson Memorial Scholarship, Lily Reintegration Scholarship etc.) for ADHD students with another psychological disorder.
  • Allows disabilities from a variety of categories besides ADHD. LD, hearing impairment and visual impairment are a few of them.

A successful college career is within reach for students with ADHD for the variety of scholarships, awards, financial assistance and on-campus support. The college-dream just turned into a reality!

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