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Promising Pathways - Hard of Hearing Scholarship

1 winner$2,000
Application Deadline
Sep 6, 2024
Winners Announced
Oct 6, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate student
Wears hearing aid or cochlear implants to assist with hearing

With costs constantly rising, college has become difficult for many students to afford.

Students who are hard of hearing are even more disadvantaged when it comes to paying for college due to the extremely high price of hearing aids. A single hearing aid costs an average of $2,000 and can be as much as $6,000 or more per aid. This prohibitive financial expense, often not covered by insurance companies, can make paying for college a lower or impossible priority.

This scholarship seeks to support students who are hard of hearing so they are able to pursue and complete college degrees, leading to jobs with higher wages, a better future, and the ability to afford future hearing devices.

Any student who wears a hearing aid or cochlear implant to assist with hearing and is pursuing higher education (including technical programs, two-year college degrees, and four-year college degrees) may apply, although low-income students are preferred.

To apply, tell us what you’re studying in school, the obstacles you’ve overcome while attending school as a student who is hard of hearing and the devices that have helped you, and what your plans and goals are after you finish your degree.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published June 7, 2024
Essay Topic

Please describe:

1. What you are studying in school. 

2. The obstacles you've overcome while attending school as a student who is hard of hearing. Also please describe any devices you use to help with hearing (e.g., hearing aids, cochlear implants, other school assistance).

3. Your plans and goals once you finish your degree.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Ashley Harvey
Worcester State UniversityDudley, MA
As a first-generation college student attending Worcester State University, I am an English major with minors in Theatre and Spanish, encompassing all of my skills and passions. Worcester State University is also meaningful to me as it is my best choice for college due to my hearing loss. Worcester State University has no large lecture halls, creating a classroom environment more suited for my hearing loss. Becoming hard-of-hearing during September of my sophomore year of high school was a difficult transition. It made it difficult to be a student; I could not hear the teacher during lessons or my classmates during group work. This also impacted me socially, as I could not hear my friends while at lunch to participate in the conversation. During this time, I grew more anxious, as I would miss a lot of information during spoken communication. The onset of the pandemic did not help, as it made it impossible to lipread, which I came to rely on heavily. Dealing with ableism has also provided its own challenge; the invasive questions from strangers, infantilization, and “corrections” regarding disability from non-disabled people got old quickly. While the transition was difficult, I am now stronger and proud of my hearing loss. I got some assistive technology and accommodations, being my hearing aid and FM system at school. I grew the courage to advocate for myself and tell my friends, teachers, and classmates how best to communicate with me. Admittedly, it is still difficult to be hard-of-hearing in a hearing world; I still can't hear the oven alarm from the next room over and mix up the first sounds of words. However, I would not change my hearing loss, as it is now a part of myself that I find pride in. With these valuable skills that my hearing loss has taught me, I feel that I can conquer any new challenge that I come across throughout the rest of my life. Moreover, I have loved English for as long as I can remember. I truly love all aspects of it: reading, writing, research, etc. The latter is a field in which I became interested while obtaining an Advanced Placement Capstone diploma from Collegeboard. I have found through their courses that I enjoy the research process and learning about unique inquiries to present to others and share that newfound knowledge, such as my AP Research discipline of disability representation in recent American film. Furthermore, I have a passion for creative writing, specifically plays. I have written four plays, two of which have been performed. Writing, directing, and starring in my play for the Shepherd Hill Regional High School Drama Club Spring 2022 production elicited great skills in me, preparing me for such endeavors with my minor in Theatre. I also volunteered for the Dudley Middle School Drama Club consistently throughout my high school years. It is a dream of mine to become a published playwright, and such opportunities pave the way for that dream to come true. After graduating, I want to become an editor or work in the publishing industry. Living in Massachusetts makes this goal more realistic, as the city is a hotspot for such work. A professor also recommended me as a candidate to work at the Writing Center, which I will be able to start next year. Having a Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy and seven years of learning Spanish will also be a useful skill for my endeavors. Therefore, I foresee success for myself in any of these aspects of my chosen major in English and minors in Theatre and Spanish at Worcester State University.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Sep 6, 2024. Winners will be announced on Oct 6, 2024.