Lavelle – Brother Kearney Scholarship Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


How do I know if I’m eligible?

Please see our Eligibility guidelines.


How to I apply?

Please see How to Apply.


 What does it mean to be a Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholar?

Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholars are undergraduate and graduate students who have both the skills (academic, social, technological, independent living, and adaptive) to succeed in their programs, as well as the personal motivation to achieve their professional goals. Lavelle Scholars receive financial support, guidance, and extensive career development and networking opportunities throughout their programs. They take advantage of opportunities, on-campus and off, and engage in career-building internships and trainings. Lavelle Scholars develop excellent relationships with their support team and are responsible, proactive, resourceful, and eager to be challenged.


What will be expected of me as a Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholar?

Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholars work closely with the Lavelle Fund’s Scholarship Program Coordinator and VISIONS Services for the Blind’s Student Career Coordinator.  Scholars are expected to maintain above a 2.5 G.P.A. (or as required to progress through graduate programs) and engage in progressively responsible, career-related internships and trainings. The Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholarship is primarily a means to achieve professional employment, and as such, Scholars must adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct, in and out of school (including on social media).

Scholars must submit the FAFSA Form annually to determine financial eligibility and inform the Scholarship Program Coordinator of any changes in financial status.

Scholar-Alumni are expected to actively pursue professional employment and update the Lavelle Fund about employment outcomes, graduate school, or other pursuits for a minimum of 5 years post-graduation.


What resources (people and services) are available to support me during my program?

            Lavelle Scholars are expected to make use of the following free resources:

    • The Lavelle Fund’s Scholarship Program Coordinator
    • VISIONS Services for the Blind’s Student Career Coordinator (and/or local rehabilitation service agency of choice)
    • Envision’s College Success Program’s Peer Mentoring (strongly recommended for college Freshman)
    • Campus Accommodations/Disability Services Office
    • State-based Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Counselor
    • Student Support Services (Tutoring, Advisement, Counseling, Writing Center)
    • Campus Career Services Center, Campus Internship Programs


How frequently should I communicate with the Scholarship Program Coordinator and VISIONS Career Coordinator?

Frequently! Contact is expected at a minimum of 3 times per semester (once per month) or more as needed. The Scholarship Program Coordinator must be kept informed of any issues that impact the student’s ability to progress through their program (e.g., problems with professors, academic accommodations, struggling in a class, drop in grades, dropped classes, medical or family issues, billing issues).

Meetings with VISIONS Student Career Coordinator will be frequent during periods of internship/job development. Team meetings with Commission Counselors, Accommodations Directors, Field Placement Specialists, and other professionals are scheduled as needed.


What do I do if I’m feeling stressed or think I might need some counseling?

Colleges and graduate schools are stressful environments. Social adjustments, time management, academic demands, and family and medical issues can impact one’s success. Students are encouraged to connect with the school’s Counseling Center and/or Academic Support Center (offering accommodations and tutoring) for personalized support.

The Scholarship Program Coordinator and/or VISIONS Services for the Blind’s Student Career Coordinator may also assist with issues related to accessibility, reasonable accommodations, and disability disclosure.

If a student is interested in off-campus services, the state vocational rehabilitation agency (e.g., Commission for the Blind) may provide a referral for social work or psychological services through a local agency or private consultant.


How about financial counseling?

Be careful about accepting student credit-cards! Many schools offer budgeting and personal finance workshops. Your Student Support Services or Accommodations Offices are good places to start seeking information.

Inform the Scholarship Program Coordinator of any changes to your financial status or of areas of financial need (i.e., your meal plan is not sufficient, you are unable to buy necessary personal items).

For school billing questions, contact the Student Accounts to identify the problem, then notify the Scholarship Program Coordinator.


 How and when will I receive the Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholarship funding?

Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholarship funding is paid directly to the school after all other funding (school scholarship, private scholarship, financial aid, and Commission/State funding) is received. Each semester, when all funding has been obtained, the school’s Financial Aid Office completes a voucher which automatically calculates the balance due and the amount you are eligible to receive. The calculation considers the school amount on a sliding scale based on your Expected Family Contribution (from your FAFSA Financial Aid form).

This total of all funding sources (school, state, scholarship) may or may not result in a $0.00 balance. Students are responsible for any remaining balance.

Contact the Scholarship Program Coordinator if you have any questions.


How much funding will I receive?

Individual amounts vary from semester to semester, based on the calculation described above.


Will I need to take out any student loans?

Do not accept any offer of student loans (often included in your Financial Award Package) without first speaking with the Scholarship Program Coordinator. You may be eligible for funding through student financial aid, Commission funding, school merit aid, outside scholarships, and the Lavelle – Brother Kearney Scholarship. The Lavelle Scholarship Program Coordinator will assist you in understanding your funding amounts and balance, if any.


Does the Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholarship Program cover off-campus living expenses?

Off-campus housing is not covered. All Scholarship funding is paid through the school’s Financial Aid/Student Accounts departments. As such, only school charges are included in the financial calculation.

Please see Paying for the Scholarship.


Does the Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholarship Program cover summer or part-time study?

Scholars are expected to undertake full-time study during spring and fall semesters only. Extenuating circumstances should be brought to the attention of the Scholarship Program Coordinator.


Does the Lavelle – Brother Kearney Scholarship Program cover student travel or study abroad?

The Lavelle – Brother Kearney Scholarship provides funding for the typical costs of tuition, room, and board. Additional costs for special programs or study abroad opportunities above the standard fees are not covered. These costs must be paid by the student. Please see Paying for the Scholarship.


I have been charged with late fees, what should I do?

Unfortunately, delayed payments and subsequent late fees are common due to the multiple payors and processes involved. These fees may (possibly) be waived by the school with a promise of payment from all sources. Contact the Scholarship Program Coordinator for guidance.

There is a hold on my account, what should I do?

  1. Check your student portal or call Student Accounts to see that all non-Lavelle payments, including state Commission for the Blind funds have been applied. If not, contact your State Counselor to inquire about that payment. Ask the Commission to inform the school of the amount of the payment, even if the actual check may be delayed.
  2. If all funding is in, contact the Lavelle Fund Scholarship Program Coordinator. It is possible that: the school has not yet submitted a Scholarship Voucher on your behalf, the Voucher has not yet been paid, or the Voucher has been paid, but not yet credited to your account. The Scholarship Coordinator will assist you in resolving the issue.


I have been denied the Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholarship this semester. What can I do?

If you attend one of our partnering schools and did not meet our financial eligibility criteria, we are unable to offer you the Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholarship. You may apply for the Lavelle Leaders Award, which is merit-based and does not have financial restrictions. Note that only two Lavelle Leaders Awards are offered annually.

If your application was not accepted for reasons other than financial, you may re-apply at a later point if you’ve completed additional trainings that would positively affect your eligibility.