AG Bell School-Age Financial Aid Program

About the Program
The School-Age Financial Aid program is for students with hearing loss who use listening and spoken language and who are in first through twelfth grades and attending a parochial, private or independent (not public) mainstream school. Awards are intended to help with educational costs such as tuition, room and board, books, equipment, auditory and speech language support services, academic tutoring, transportation, and other school-related expenses. This program is not applicable for students who are being homeschooled, attend public school or are in college. Award amounts vary; over the past three years, awards have ranged from $500 to $1,500. These awards are made one time for the year generally in the month of August. Award recipients may apply for this program again in future years.  

The 2015 program will open in April; please check back at that time for more information about and an application for the 2015 program.

2015 School-Age 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 (AN) must have been diagnosed before the child’s fourth birthday. Children with unilateral (one-sided) hearing loss or unilateral AN 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, 2000 and 4000 Hz. Children with cochlear implants meet this eligibility requirement. Note: This may not apply for children who have been diagnosed with AN. For information on required documentation for AN, please see the "documentation" section on the Application Submission Instructions page in the application packet.
    Formula for calculating the PTA: On the unaided audiogram, look at the results for the better hearing ear at 500, 1000 2000 and 4000 Hz and add those four numbers together, then divide that total by four. 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 enrolled or registered as a full-time student for the school year beginning in the fall of 2015 between grades one and twelve in a mainstream parochial, independent or private elementary or secondary school. Please Note: Public school, oral school, OPTION school, home school & post-secondary students do not meet this criterion.
  • 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.

Administrative Process
Although we don’t confirm receipt of applications upon delivery, once an application has been reviewed for eligibility and completeness, we will send an email to let the applicant know the status of the application. Applications that are received 7 to 10 days or more before the deadline will receive these email notifications more quickly. Email notifications will be delayed for applications that are received in the 5 or 6 days just before the deadline when many other applications are received. For eligible applications, the notification email will include 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.

Shortly after the deadline, eligible applications will be forwarded to the award selection committee for review; ineligible applications are discarded.

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 would clarification, please send us an email. Responses may take up to three business days, so please plan accordingly when submitting your email.