VIL & O&M Financial Supports
Federal Grant Funding through VIsion Professionals for Under Served Areas (VIPs USA) Award #H325K150206
The VIL Program was awarded a federal grant to train 35 pre-service teachers of students with visual impairments with funding available through 2020. Funds cover most of the tuition costs for eligible students. Students are awarded funds based on financial need, academic performance, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and interview. Students considering this award must commit to working in the field of special education for two years for each year of academic support. For more information about the pre-scholarships agreement, visit the U.S. Department of Education Personnel Development Program website.
Federal Grant Funding through Certified Orientation and Mobility Educators in Training (Project COMET) Award #H325K160149
The VIL Program has funds to support 38 pre-service orientation and mobility (O&M) instructors through 2020. Project COMET offers options for: add-on endorsement, single O&M certification, and dual teacher of the visually impaired (TVI)/O&M programs. Depending on study plan, scholars complete training within one and a half to three years. Project COMET funds cover most of the tuition costs for eligible students. Students are awarded funds based on financial need, academic performance, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and interview. Students considering this award must commit to working in the field of special education for two years for each year of academic support. For more information about the pre-scholarships agreement, visit the U.S. Department of Education Personnel Development Program website.
The Graduate School of Education (GSE) awards over 50 scholarships to incoming and current students in master's, doctoral, and/or licensure programs. Just complete one online application and you will automatically be considered for all applicable GSE scholarships, including the Grace Hobbs Memorial Scholarship for Visually Impaired Learner program students.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program (TEACH) is funded through the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid office. TEACH Grants provide up to $4,000 a year in grants to students who are willing to commit to teach fours year of full time work as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need field and within a school or educational agency serving low income students. TEACH Grant applicants must apply for this fund using their Federal Student Aid account and complete the required initial and subsequent counseling, which provides an overview of the service agreement.
Candidates seeking an endorsement in vision impairment and who teach in Washington may be eligible for this program, which targets teacher shortages in geographic and subject areas. Candidates who meet the program's eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply for these funds, which total up to $3,000 per endorsement add-on.
In-State Tuition through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
Students living in the 16 western states of the Western Regional Graduate Program are eligible for Oregon resident tuition. Complete the WICHE/WRGP application form and submit it to the Office of Graduate Studies after being admitted to the PSU VIL program and prior to starting classes.
Funding Through Local School Districts
School districts may also be willing to fund part of your education with a commitment to return to the school district. This is particularly true in high-need areas. Check with your special education director in your region to inquire about this possibility.
For other scholarship opportunities, see the GSE Resources and Other Support page.
Visit the GSE Estimated Program Cost page for VIL estimated program costs.