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Submission Guidelines for the Student with Visual Disability Scholarship

Application Period for the 2024-2025 Academic Year

September 15, 2023 – December 22, 2023


Through generous contributions made by local service membership organizations dedicated to improving communities and encouraging leadership, a scholarship program was established for students with visual disabilities at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Although the scholarship gives preference to students with visual disabilities, students with other documented disabilities are encouraged to apply and will be considered for awards. The Student Disability Services (SDS) Scholarships Committee is comprised of various Student Life offices and may include staff and students, as well as faculty members. Through a competitive process, the SDS Scholarships Committee will select recipients based on the specific criteria indicated below. Funds are distributed to recipients at the beginning of the fall 2024 and spring 2025 semesters during Financial Aid disbursement.


  1. Must be enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student at UTK at the time of application and award.
  2. Must have a documented disability.
  3. Must have completed 12 hours of undergraduate coursework by January 1, 2024
  4. Must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA at the time of application and award.
  5. Transfer students must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA from their previous institution(s).

Application Procedure

  1. Complete and submit the Online Application Form between September 15, 2023 – December 22, 2023.
  2. If you are not currently registered with SDS, email a copy of your disability documentation to Please review the documentation guidelines for more information.
  3. Attach a resume to your online application.
  4. Attach a letter of recommendation to your online application.
  5. Attach a 500-word original typed essay explaining how this scholarship will benefit you as a student. Please include your goals, accomplishments, and any activities or relevant experience (employment, caretaking, etc.) that you are currently involved in, both on and off-campus.
  6. SDS will obtain a copy of your academic history.

Late or incomplete applications and applications without documentation of a disability, resume, and letter of recommendation will not be considered. To ensure your application is complete, please utilize the Submission Checklist for the Visual Disability Scholarship.


Five (5) scholarships of $1,500 will be awarded for the 2024-2025 academic year. The funds will be dispersed in increments of $750, to be awarded at the beginning of the following fall 2024 and spring 2025 semesters.

Selection Process

The selection of the recipients of the Scholarship for Students with Visual Disability will be made by a Scholarships Selection Committee, with representation from a few Student Life offices and campus partners. If the award is accepted, the recipient agrees to:

  1. write two thank you letters,
    1. one addressed to the Scholarships Selection Committee and
    2. the second addressed to the Bearden Lion’s Club Endowment;
  2. attend the SDS Awards Banquet;
  3. assist SDS with two educational programs during the academic year.

Note: Students who have received this scholarship once are not eligible to apply. Preference is given to students who have not previously been awarded this scholarship.


Student Disability Services will announce the scholarship selection results by Wednesday, February 7, 2024. Distribution of funds will occur at the beginning of fall 2024 and spring 2025 semesters during Financial Aid disbursement.

Cancellation of Scholarship

Recipients will forfeit their scholarship if they do not remain eligible to study at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus. Suspension, academic probation, dismissal, or failure to maintain a 2.0 GPA during the award period will result in the scholarship being automatically revoked. The Scholarships Selection Committee may re-award the remaining funds or return them to the scholarship fund for the following academic year.

Updated: 09/07/2023

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