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Calling on applicants for the fall 2023 semester!

Interested in exploring the possibilities of getting a WDL scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year?

August 15, 2022, is the deadline to submit a completed Expression of Interest to Apply Form.


The WDL Scholarship makes it possible for deaf and hard of hearing leaders from developing nations to attend Gallaudet University. WDL aims to empower selected individuals through the knowledge, skills, and aspirations that a higher education brings so that they can make significant contributions to their deaf community and nation. WDL is funded by the Nippon Foundation of Tokyo, Japan. Since making its first award in 2003, 20 WDL Scholarships have been awarded. See some of them here.

The scholarship covers tuition, room, board, and medical insurance, and provides an annual stipend for expenses such as books, supplies, laundry service, personal products, and local transportation.

Additional support for a WDL Scholar includes mentorship from a member of the Gallaudet University faculty and an internship in the scholar's home country.

When WDL Scholars graduate from Gallaudet, they must return home and work towards improving the lives of deaf people through education, advocacy, and partnering with different people and organizations.


Prospective Applicants:

  1. Do you want to earn a degree from Gallaudet University?
  2. Are you deaf or hard of hearing?
  3. Are you working with deaf and civic communities to improve accessibility, education, and/or quality of life for deaf people in your home country?
  4. Do you have good English writing and reading skills?
    • You are required to submit evidence of your English writing and reading skills -- American College Test, International English Language Testing System, Test of English as a Foreign Language, or Cambridge English score -- along with your application if you are considered eligible for the WDL Scholarship.
  5. Are you a citizen of a developing country?

If you answered YES to these questions, the WDL Scholarship is perfect for you!

If you are interested in being considered for the WDL Scholarship, complete the Expression of Interest Form (click the link below) and return it no later than August 15, 2022. This form helps determine eligibility for the WDL scholarship.

Online Expression of Interest to Apply Form

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After you send us the completed form, we will determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate. Please be aware that the WDL Scholarship is highly competitive and has very specific requirements.

If we determine that you are eligible to apply, we will send you an email notification. You will be required to provide the following supporting documents:

  • Demonstration of financial need.
  • Demonstration of proficiency in the English language.
  • Demonstration of high academic achievement.
  • Student records and transcripts.
  • Letters of recommendation.

Completed applications will be reviewed by Gallaudet's Office of Admissions and the WDL Committee. You may also be interviewed through Zoom. The WDL Committee will then narrow the list of applicants down to final candidates. A small delegation from Gallaudet may interview the finalists and members of their community, government, and employer in their country to verify their suitability for the scholarship. The choice of the next WDL Scholar will be made by spring 2023, with studies to begin at Gallaudet in August 2023. Please go to for information on Gallaudet's academic programs.

Questions? If so, please email them to

*Please note that the Gallaudet-Nippon World Deaf Leadership Scholarship is solely for individuals from developing countries who are interested in enrolling at the University. It is NOT for those who are currently enrolled and NOT for those who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

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