Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a program that exists in each state to help individuals who have a hearing loss or other disabilities. VR may be able to provide financial assistance to help with the cost of college and may also provide assistance for hearing aids, glasses, and other disability-related devices. To be eligible for VR, students must have a disability that limits their ability to obtain or advance in a job, and there must be some indication that VR services will be able to help better prepare them for future employment. Students who think that they may be eligible for VR services should apply to the VR agency in their home state.
Many VR agencies have changed their policies and will not authorize support until they have received the results of all financial aid applications. This means that many students may start the semester without any VR authorization. It is absolutely necessary that students apply for all financial aid programs early and inform their VR counselor of the results as soon as they are known. Students should check with their VR counselor to see if any authorizations will be sent to Gallaudet before financial aid results are known.
If a student’s VR authorizations are not received by Gallaudet before registration, the student will be expected to pay his or her expenses or sign a promissory note before he or she can register. When the student's financial aid and VR assistance come through, the student will be reimbursed for any payments made. It is extremely important that each student talk with his or her VR counselor prior to each semester to find out what assistance he or she may or may not be receiving. Students should not assume that the VR assistance will automatically be sent to the University.
If any agency is supplying funds or assistance directly to a student, rather than to Gallaudet, Gallaudet considers that the student is paying for his or her expenses.
Students expecting any VR support for books and supplies should come prepared to buy these materials with their own money. Many times the VR authorizations are not received in time for students to have credit at the bookstore. Students should keep all receipts received; they will be reimbursed by the Student Financial Services. The University Financial Aid Office will not make loans for books and supplies. Students or vocational rehabilitation counselors who have any questions should contact the Financial Aid Office.