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Microsoft disAbility Scholarship

The disAbility Scholarship at Microsoft delivers on the mission of Microsoft’s cross disability employee resource group to empower and enable people with disabilities. This scholarship enables high school students with disabilities to go to college and target a career in the technology industry. In addition, we hope to contribute to increasing the pool of persons living with a disability enrolling in higher education and, in the long term, decrease the unemployment bias for this demographic.

This scholarship will be awarded to promising high school seniors who plan to attend a vocational or academic college and have a financial need. The amount of this renewable scholarship to be awarded is $5,000 per year, up to $20,000. The scholarship is paid through the Seattle Foundation on behalf of the disAbility Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Microsoft to the recipient’s school’s Financial Aid Office.

Requirements


To be considered for the Microsoft disAbility Scholarship, you must:
  1. Be a current high school senior with living with a disAbility (as defined by WHO), whether that be visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive, speech or other disAbility.
  2. Plan to attend an undergraduate program in a 2 or 4-year University/College or Technical College in the fall of the academic year following high-school graduation. Schools must be in the USA or have a USA-Affiliate for financial transactions (contact Seattle Foundation to verify non-USA school’s eligibility).
  3. Declare a major in engineering, computer science, computer information systems, law, business, or a related field (e.g. paralegal, pre-law, finance, business administration, or marketing).
  4. Demonstrate a passion for technology.
  5. Demonstrate leadership at school and/or in the community.
  6. Have a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  7. Require financial assistance to attend college.
  8. Enrollment status must be full-time or half time.

How to Apply


To apply for a Microsoft disAbility Scholarship, print and fill out the application. Enclose it in an envelope with the following items:

Résumé. Your résumé should include the following information:
  1. Extracurricular activities (school and community related)
  2. Honors and awards that you have received (if possible, include awards that are technology related)
  3. Work experience
Picture of yourself (Optional).

Transcript. Include an official "sealed" copy of your current academic transcript. (If selected, unofficial copies will not be accepted.)

Three essays.
  1. In no more than 500 words, describe how you plan to be engaged in the technology industry or technology law or policy in your career.
  2. In no more than 500 words, please share your vision of how Microsoft can innovate its future devices and services solutions to creatively & successfully support those living with disabilities in the workplace and in daily life to reach their potential.
  3. In no more than 250 words, demonstrate your financial need for this scholarship.
Two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a faculty or staff member at your school. Letters of recommendation should be original and should not be duplicates of college recommendation letters. (Letters must be on letterhead.)

Complete Application Form
Fill out the entire Application Form at the end of this page. You can type the information or print clearly. When you are done, print Sections I and II of the Application Form and make sure that you sign and date the verification on the 4th page.

Mail completed applications to the following address by March 15. Selection will be complete, and those selected to receive the Microsoft disAbility Scholarship will be notified by April 30.

Seattle Foundation
Attn: Scholarships
1601 Fifth Ave. Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98101
scholarships@seattlefoundation.org

Download the Microsoft disAbility Scholarship application (Microsoft Word document, 144 KB)

How to donate to the Microsoft disAbility Scholarship Fund


Thank you for supporting the Microsoft disAbility Scholarships.
All donations are accepted at: The Seattle Foundation, Microsoft disAbility scholarship
Microsoft employees may donate via http://aka.ms/give.

Frequently Asked Questions


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No, all high school students living with a disability with a financial need are encouraged to apply.

A. Not necessarily. You must attend a school either in the USA or the school you attend must have a US-affiliate for financial transactions (contact scholarships@seattlefoundation.org to verify non-USA schools’ eligibility.)

A. Yes, as long as your undergraduate program meets the eligibility requirements.

A. Yes, you can. However, your Official transcript and original-copies of letters of recommendation will still require being mailed in. An unofficial versions may be sent initially, but applicants will need to provide the Seattle Foundation with official versions if selected as a finalists. If these are not to the Seattle Foundation by March 15, 2017, applicant may be disqualified.

A. Yes, award recipients will receive $5,000 per school year, up to $20,000 total award.

A. Not at this time. As the Fund grows, Microsoft reserves the right to make to develop such programs.

Still have questions? Send an e-mail message to scholarships@seattlefoundation.org