Scholarship and Financial Aid

Scholarship and Financial Aid

Welcome to Chapel Haven’s Financial Aid Webpage

This page lists scholarship opportunities available to current Chapel Haven families, as well as grant and scholarship opportunities nationwide that may be worth exploring for you and your family.

Scholarships available to current Chapel Haven families

Chapel Haven’s Scholarship Committee, a subcommittee of our Board of Directors, is pleased to announce the following two scholarship opportunities earmarked to help  current Chapel Haven families. We are indebted to the generosity of current families, who make these two funds available.

Chapel Haven’s Scholarship Policy flows from its mission statement: “Chapel Haven provides lifelong individualized services for people with developmental and social disabilities, empowering them to live independent and self-determined lives.”  Chapel Haven is delighted to offer financial assistance to adults enrolled in our programs who have demonstrated financial need.  Our scholarship policy is an effort both to attract new students and to enable them to thrive in our greater community after completion of our residential programs.

Chapel Haven currently has two funds that make this possible:  The Poole Scholarship Fund and The Bershaw Temporary Scholarship Fund.

Additional financial aid resources may sometimes be available as a result of funding from other sources.

Chapel Haven families who believe that their resources are not sufficient to meet program costs are highly encouraged to contact Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo in the Admissions Office initially for a discussion at (203) 397-1714, ext. 148 or Chapel Haven will supply some of the necessary information to an applicant family to aid them in then going online and creating an account through TADS, an independent financial aid service.   The applicant will them complete an online application and TADS will offer weighted recommendations to Chapel Haven utilizing a uniform, fair and equitable process based on the applicant’s financial information and the availability of funds for scholarship awards. Those recommendations will be reviewed by the Scholarship Committee to determine the award.  The Scholarship Committee is comprised of members of the Chapel Haven Board, and is, therefore, a subcommittee of the Board.

The Poole Scholarship Fund

The Poole Scholarship Fund will make awards of at least $5,000 on a one-time-only basis, to be applied to the second year tuition of REACH and ASAT residential enrollees. Only families who have successfully completed the first year of residential programming and are moving into year two may apply. Please note that for the Poole Scholarship Fund, applicants are asked to apply between Jan. 1 and April 30 of the first year in residence. Award decisions will be announced by the Scholarship Committee in early May.

The Bershaw Temporary Scholarship Fund

The Bershaw Temporary Scholarship Fund will fund scholarships to Bridge, SAIL, ASAT Community Outreach and Supported Living clients who have completed Chapel Haven’s residential program and have chosen to remain in our Chapel Haven community.  For community members in our Supported Living program, and for members of our ASAT Community Outreach service, the award process will take into consideration the educational, day program, recreation, vocational services, benefit coordination and supported living costs, as well as other information required by TADS, our third party scholarship administrator.  Applicants must be sure to speak first with Chapel Haven, as we will supply some of the necessary information to applicants to aid them in completing the scholarship application.

Scholarships of up to $3,000 per individual per year may be awarded some of the annual costs.  Additionally, Chapel Haven will consider day program, vocational services, recreation and benefits costs in any financial aid application process and provide some of the necessary information to aid applicants in completing this process.

Bershaw Temporary Scholarship funds may only be drawn from the available earnings from the Bershaw Permanent Scholarship Fund.  The annual disbursement from the Bershaw Temporary Scholarship Fund may vary from year to year and the amount will be determined prior to the fiscal year by the Finance Committee.

Scholarships drawn from the Bershaw Temporary Scholarship Fund will not be renewed automatically although there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can apply for this scholarship while attending Chapel Haven.  Applications must be submitted each year. Families seeking to renew their assistance will need to reapply each year prior to July 1, by logging into their existing TADS account to reapply.

Financial Aid Application for Chapel Haven families

To apply for assistance, families must submit an online application to TADS along with the required financial documents and a $39 application fee. Only online applications will be reviewed and considered. Please speak first with Catherine DeCarlo at Chapel Haven as Chapel Haven will supply information to the applicant regarding the costs of tuition, vocational services, day services, support living services, recreation and benefits coordination, in order to aid the applicant in this process. Please note that only online applications will be reviewed and considered.

Examples of documents that TADS will require include household members’ most recent completed federal tax forms (personal as well as business), W-2’s, recent pay stubs, income related documents and corporate, partnership and trust forms if a family owns 20% or greater interest in a corporation, partnership or other business entity or a beneficial interest in a trust. Applications will only be considered once all required supporting documents have been submitted.

Nationwide Scholarships

This next section is a helpful guide of grant and scholarship opportunities available nationally to families. We encourage you to explore these links to discover whether these funding opportunities might pertain to your family.

A Guide on How to Get Scholarships and Grants for Students with Disabilities

Excerpted from the Money Geek Website

Guide to Paying for College for People with Disabilities:

Alina Health Scholarship for People With Disabilities

This $1,000 scholarship is open to students with a sensory impairment or physical disability. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and residents of Minnesota.

Hydrocephalus Association Scholarship

This award of $1,000 is available to 14 students living with the challenges and complexities of hydrocephalus.

The Rise Scholarship

The Rise Scholarship Foundation offers awards of $2,500 to students with ADHD. The award is paid directly to the school.

Kelley Law Team Autism Scholarship

Open to anyone ages 16 to 30 with autism, this scholarship awards $1,000 each to two students pursuing a secondary education. Applicants submit an inspirational essay explaining how the scholarship will help them. Stories are posted on the Kelly Law Team website.


Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law is an Arizona law firm that advocates for individuals and families who have been injured in all types of accidents. The firm has 60 years of combined experience in personal injury matters and strives to make the legal process for all clients as smooth as possible. We understand how difficult it can be to pay for college and the financial burden it can bring. Hirsch & Lyon offers this legal scholarship every year to provide financial assistance to students taking the leap into a legal career. High school seniors or current college students pursuing law within the U.S. are eligible to apply. We select a winner annually to receive $500 to go toward their education.


KFM Making a Difference

This $500 scholarship was developed by Kerry Magro, a motivational speaker who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4. The scholarship is given out twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD or Autism)

Feldman & Royle, Attorneys at Law is pleased to announce two annual scholarships for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD or Autism). The scholarships are designed to assist applicants in furthering their education. Each of the $1,000 scholarships will be for tuition at an educational institution chosen by the applicant.

O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund

The mission of the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund is to offer financial assistance to young adults with Down syndrome – 18 and older – who are continuing to enrich their lives by taking classes or enrolling in postsecondary educational programs.

Organization for Autism Research

Two scholarship opportunities of approximately $3,000 for students with ASD diagnosis attending post-secondary programs.

10 Things to Know About the ABLE Act

1. Briefly explain the ABLE Act and why it is so important?

The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities and their families to set up a special savings account for disability-related expenses.  Earnings on an ABLE account would not be taxed, and account funds would generally not be considered for the supplemental security income (SSI) program, Medicaid, and other federal means-tested benefits.

2. How does this differ from current law?

Current law makes savings for disability-related expenses difficult.  Individuals and families can face the loss of federal benefits if savings exceed certain limits.

3. Once signed into law by President Obama, how soon would people be able to set-up ABLE accounts?

Possibly in 2015.  Before accounts can be set up, regulations will have to be written and ABLE programs established in states.

4. Who is eligible for an ABLE account?

An eligible individual is someone who becomes disabled before age 26 and (1) receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI; or (2) files a disability certification under rules that the IRS will write.

5. What are the disability expenses covered under ABLE?

Expenses made for the benefit of a disabled individual for education; housing; transportation; employment training and support; assistive technology and personal support services; health, prevention, and wellness; financial management and administrative services; legal fees; expenses for oversight and monitoring; funeral and burial expenses; and any other expenses approved under regulations.

6. Does having an ABLE account affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits?

Only if the ABLE account exceeds $100,000. SSI benefits would be suspended but not terminated. In other words, the beneficiary of the account would not receive a check but would retain eligibility for the SSI program.

7. Does it impact Medicaid eligibility?


8. Would ABLE regulations differ in each state?

Maybe. Although federal law applies uniformly to all states, individual states may regulate ABLE accounts differently.  Under current law, states provide different tax benefits for college savings accounts, which are similar to ABLE accounts.

9. Are there age requirements for an individual to open an ABLE account?

No, except that an eligible individual is someone who becomes disabled before age 26.

10. Where can people go to learn more?   

Read more about the legislation:

*Excerpted from Autism Speaks website, for the full resource please visit:

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