CSDSA Scholarship Program
The Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association has established a scholarship fund to assist members in providing needed services for family members with Down syndrome. Although the scholarship budget is limited and does not allow CSDSA to provide full funding in any one category, the goal is to provide funding for as many families as possible in the following areas:
Up to $500 per family per individual with Down syndrome per year is available for assistance with educational items that benefit individuals with Down syndrome, such as seminars, conferences, and educational software and one-time educational equipment grants including iPads and selected computer hardware.
Special guidelines regarding education scholarships: Scholarship applications for educational items must include detailed information on the item(s) to be purchased or the conference or seminar to be attended. Payment for a conference or seminar will be made in the name of the sponsor and forwarded to the applicant, at which point the applicant will be responsible for sending in the money and registration. If the conference/seminar is canceled or the proceeds are otherwise refunded, the proceeds must be returned to CSDSA. Note that school tuition (including pre-school tuition) is not normally eligible for scholarship funding, except in the case of special circumstances, and will be considered by the Scholarship Committee on a case-by-case basis. Funding for computer/iPad software is limited to $250 per year per family.
Guidelines for Technology Hardware Grants: CSDSA provides funding for the purchase of computer hardware (including iPads) for individuals with Down syndrome. These items are always considered and included under the education category, and funding is limited by the education scholarship budget. Technology hardware grants are limited to one per lifetime per individual with Down syndrome. Applicants for CSDSA Technology Hardware Grants must have been CSDSA members for at least one year.
Up to $700 per family per individual with Down syndrome per year is available for assistance with medical services and equipment for individuals with Down syndrome, such as medical treatment (i.e. MD, DO, DDS), therapy, private/home care (not respite), specialty foods, and medical equipment.
Special guidelines regarding medical scholarships: Funding is not available for the payment of insurance premiums. Upon request, documentation must be submitted to the Scholarship Committee explaining the type of treatment, care, or equipment being requested, and how it will benefit the individual with Down syndrome. Applicants may be requested to provide information to ascertain the type of insurance carried, type of payment required by the applicant, and whether the applicant is receiving funding from other sources. Music therapy is funded under the medical category, as are specialty foods such as gluten-free dietary items.
Up to $500 per family per individual with Down syndrome per year is available for assistance with recreational services and equipment for individuals with Down syndrome, such as camps, athletic activities, swimming lessons, and recreational equipment.
Up to $300 per family is available for assistance in the establishment of an estate planning private trust for the specific benefit of a family member with Down syndrome. Applicant may only submit one application and this scholarship may not be used as a funding mechanism for the trust. (Annual funding for trust assistance scholarships shall be limited by the CSDSA budget.)
Limited scholarship funding is available for local community members enrolled in an accredited teaching, therapy, or special education program. Applicants must submit a transcript verifying the completion of 24 credit hours of education beyond high school and must be enrolled and in good standing in an accredited program. Applicant must be recommended in writing by a current member of CSDSA. All applications must be accompanied by a letter explaining how the applicant’s education will make a positive impact for individuals with Down syndrome. Each approved applicant will be eligible to apply once per school year (August to August) for a maximum of $500 per school year. (Annual funding for higher education scholarships shall be limited by the CSDSA budget.)
Items not traditionally covered by CSDSA scholarship funds – The following items are not traditionally eligible for CSDSA scholarship funding: 1) general school supplies, 2) school tuition (unless justified by special circumstances), 3) trampolines, 4) home repairs or improvements, 5) fencing, 6) payment for insurance premiums, and 7) items that are considered for use by the entire family. Questions regarding eligibility should be forwarded to the CSDSA Scholarship Committee.
Scholarship Application Process – To qualify for scholarship funding, an applicant must be a current member of CSDSA and reside in southern Colorado. In order to make sure there is enough scholarship funds for all families that wish to use them during the year and to minimize the administrative burden, only one application may be submitted per quarter per family per individual with Down syndrome, and only one application per year may be submitted in each major scholarship category (medical, recreation, education). For this reason, families should request up to the category limit if they expect to spend the full amount during the year. Trust assistance and higher education scholarship requests are not counted as a quarterly request and may be submitted at any time during the year, but are limited to $300 per family for trust scholarships and $500 per school year (August to August) for higher education scholarships. For all scholarship types, upon request documentation would need to be submitted to the scholarship committee providing information on the item to be purchased or the activity to be funded. Additionally, an explanation should be provided as to how the proposed funding would assist or benefit the applicant with Down syndrome.
All scholarship applications are reviewed by the CSDSA Scholarship Committee at the beginning of each month, and applicants will be notified later during the month. Funding will be available on a first come first served basis, and is limited by the CSDSA budget. Once the scholarship budget has been exhausted, no additional funding will be available until the following year, contingent on available funding. Priority will be given to those applicants who have not applied and received funding earlier in the year. Consideration will also be given to whether an applicant is receiving funding from other sources for the particular request. No prepayment of funds will be allowed. Payment will be in the form of either reimbursement with proof of payment being submitted to the Scholarship Committee, or proceeds being forwarded directly to the provider of the item or service being purchased. All receipts for scholarships approved in the first three quarters must be submitted by October 1 for payment.
In situations where funding is requested in the same category for more than one individual with Down syndrome in the same family, receipts must clearly identify which individual the expenses are for, the purpose, and the payee.
CSDSA is excited to provide scholarships for its members, however, scholarship funding is not guaranteed from year to year. Scholarship funding is limited by the CSDSA budget and may be restricted by the CSDSA Board of Directors at any time. Scholarship funding is intended to assist families in meeting the needs of individual family members with Down syndrome. We realize we cannot meet all of the funding the needs of our members, but we hope we can at least make a difference.
CSDSA appreciates member input on the scholarship program and any recommendations concerning how it could better serve its members. If you have any questions, please call the phone line at 633-1133 and a committee member will get back to you as soon as possible.
Applications can be completed using this online form Scholarship Fund Application.
Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call CSDSA (719-633-1133) if you need a hard copy of the form mailed to you.
The CSDSA annual budget may have a line item for “Other/Emergency Scholarships”, based on the organization’s financial status. This line item is intended to provide one-time scholarships for member families with emergency situations where other sources of assistance are not available. This line item is NOT intended to provide general financial support for members who are unable to pay their monthly bills due to job loss or other financial condition not caused by a true emergency. Emergency situations are true emergencies such as fire, flood, or other natural disaster; unexpected loss of a parent; or other non-recurring emergency situation. In such cases, the CSDSA Board of Directors will determine the amount and timing of such scholarship (not to exceed $1,000). Scholarship funding is not guaranteed from year to year. Scholarship funding is limited by the CSDSA budget and may be restricted by the CSDSA Board of Directors at any time.