NEXT for AUTISM FELLOWS is a national scholarship program for students and professionals interested in working with autistic and neurodivergent adults.
Help pave the way for a positive future. There are more than 5.4 million autistic adults in the U.S. Right now, there are more autistic adults who need services than there are qualified DSPs to support them. In fact, more than 482,000 adults with autism and intellectual disabilities are waitlisted for services that they need and deserve. As the need for DSPs and neurodivergent professionals continues to increase, it’s anticipated that there will be seven million vacant DSP job openings by 2029. Now is the time to help pave the way for a positive future—for work as a DSP and to ensure meaningful support and mentorship for an autistic adult.
WHO SHOULD APPLY
- Rising freshman or sophomore undergraduate students in a 2- or 4-year public college program, looking for financial support
- Current health and human service professionals going back to earn a degree at a 2- or 4-year public college program, looking for financial support
FIVE KEY REASONS TO APPLY
- Opportunity to receive up to $10,000 in tuition assistance, annually
- Gain paid, hands-on experience working with autistic adults
- Embark on a personally rewarding career path
- Receive mentorship from the NEXT for AUTISM team
- Directly impact the lives of autistic adults
NEXT for AUTISM will be providing 10-20 FELLOWS scholarships annually (subject to change). It is a short application window, so act fast.
- MAY 15: Application opens
- JUNE 12: Application closes at 3PM CST
- AUGUST: Awards announced
WHY NEXT FOR AUTISM?
NEXT for AUTISM’s work to support the DSP community is unmatched. Our innovative and results-driven professional training program, NEXT for DSP, is a model grounded in best practices and developed especially for the most crucial members of the services delivery system--DSPs. Most importantly, in addition to the professional guidance it offers DSP, it simultaneously creates improved outcomes for the people they work with.
"As an education specialist, I assist teams and families in planning for adult life. My prior experience as a DSP helps me see what skills are most essential for adult life: Communication, Self-Advocacy, and Leisure Skills. Hands-on experience will not only make you more adaptable but may also help you find a new passion!"
John Barrowman, NEXT for AUTISM Advisory Board Member
ELIGIBILITY & FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I know if I qualify for a NEXT for AUTISM FELLOWS Scholarship?
You may qualify if you answer 'yes' to any of the questions below.
- Are you an incoming freshman or rising sophomore at a 2- or 4-year accredited public institution?
- Are you pursuing a degree in a Health or Human Services field, and committed to serving the autism population post-graduation?
- Are you currently working as a DSP and looking to go back to school?
- Are you interested in earning paid, hands-on experience working with autistic adults while in school?
FULL ELIGIBILITY AGREEMENT
Candidates must be high school seniors/students who recently graduated high school current college freshman/students who recently finished their first year of undergraduate study. There is no age requirement.