Stanford University announced Wednesday that it will provide $10 million to support scholarships for the next five years, beginning with high school students with disabilities.
The scholarship will go to students who have a disability as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.
“We will do what is right for them,” said Stanford president John Hennessy in a statement.
“The future of Stanford and the world depends on it.”
Students who qualify will be awarded $5,000 and will have to pay $50 to get a scholarship.
Hennessys announcement follows recent announcements by other U.K. schools, including Bristol, Nottingham, Leeds, and Reading.
A total of 15.5 million people have a learning disability.
Students with disabilities are defined as those who are unable to learn or perform a basic function of daily living.
They range from learning disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, and Down syndrome to language, motor, or communication difficulties.
Hennessy has made a career of advocating for students with learning disabilities, especially since his time as president of Dartmouth College, a private liberal arts college in New Hampshire.
His efforts to improve access to high-quality education for students and families with disabilities have led to a wide range of investments across the U of T, including a new student-faculty ratio, the creation of the first all-gender college faculty, and more recently the hiring of a new dean.
According to the U., 1 in 8 students with a learning or disability impairment is living with the disability and more than 7 million people with disabilities use some form of a college-based services.
In addition to its scholarship, Hennessies announcement also includes $1 million for a new college-administered scholarship to students with speech-language pathology, a new $1.1 million scholarship to assist with the transition to college and a new scholarship of $5 million to assist students with Down syndrome.
Last year, Stanford and Cornell University also announced they would match $5.5 billion in state and federal funds, totaling about $10 billion in support for students, families, and the economy.