AG Bell Preschool-Age Financial Aid Program
About the Program
The Preschool-Age Financial Aid program is for families of preschool-age children who have been diagnosed with a moderate-severe to profound hearing loss and who are in pursuit of spoken language education for their child. Awards are intended to assist with expenses for things such as auditory support services, speech-language therapy, preschool tuition, etc. Families who apply should be committed to a listening and spoken language approach for the education of their child’s listening, speech and cognitive skills. Awards are made once a year, generally in the month of October. Award amounts vary; over the past three years, awards have ranged from $275 to $1,100.
This program is closed for the year. The 2014 program will open on May 29, 2014; program information and an application packet will be available on this web page at that time.
2013 Preschool-age Awards Distributed
The Preschool-age Financial Aid Committee is pleased to announce the distribution of this year’s awards. A total of $90,399.97 was awarded to 92 children who are who are deaf and hard of hearing and learning to listen and talk. Awards ranged from $450 to $1,600 and recipients reside in 24 states and Canada.
2013 Preschool-Age Financial Aid Program Eligibility Criteria
In order to be eligible for this program, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- The child’s bilateral hearing loss or Auditory Neuropathy must have been diagnosed before the child’s fourth birthday. Children with unilateral (one-sided) hearing loss or unilateral Auditory Neuropathy do not qualify.
- The child’s hearing loss must be in the moderate to profound range. This means that applicants must have an unaided Pure-Tone Average (PTA) of 55 dB or greater in the better hearing ear, in the speech frequencies of 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz.* Children with cochlear implants meet this eligibility requirement.
*This may not apply to children who have been diagnosed with AN. For information on required documentation for AN, please see the "documentation" section on the Application Submission Page of the application packet.
Formula for calculating the PTA: On the unaided audiogram, look at the results for the better hearing ear at 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz and add those three numbers together, then divide that total by three. The result is the Pure Tone Average. To be eligible for this award, the child’s PTA must be 55 dB or greater.
- Listening and Spoken Language must be the child’s primary mode of communication.
- The child must be at least four (4) years of age as of December 31, 2013 and must not yet be entering first grade for the 2013-2014 school year.
- The child must reside in the United States (including territories) or in Canada.
- Parents/guardians should be able to clearly outline their need for financial assistance and plans for usage of grant funds.
Note: While membership in AG Bell is not required, preference may be given to AG Bell members.
In the days after the application deadline, all applications are screened for eligibility. Eligible applications are then forwarded to the award selection committee for review; ineligible applications are discarded.
If an email address is provided on the application, once the screening process is complete (a minimum of 10 days after the deadline), you will be notified via email of the status of your application. In that email, you will also receive information about when you can expect to be notified of the award decisions. If an email address is not provided, you will not receive this notification.
Letters of notification will be mailed to all eligible applicants – those who were selected as well as those who were not selected to receive an award.
Do You Have Questions?
Click here to see the most commonly asked questions about AG Bell's Financial Aid Programs. If you still have a question or need clarification, please send us an email. Responses may take up to three business days, so please plan accordingly when submitting your email.