Application for William R. Rooney Award

The William R. Rooney Award provides awards and scholarships for high school seniors with disabilities. This award is named for William R. Rooney, a long-time educator and former Executive Secretary of The Horace Smith Fund, who advocated for financial assistance for students with special needs.

In general, disability scholarships exist to provide college funding for students who possess cognitive, behavioral or emotional impediments that may make it difficult to attain a degree. That’s why, each academic year, we provide one award to a graduating high school senior who is currently on and has been on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Accommodation Plan for a minimum of two years. To qualify, students must be a resident of Hampden County, Massachusetts, enrolled in an eligible high school and anticipate attending either a two- or four-year accredited college.

The applicant should demonstrate financial need, academic success and community service. Students who wish to apply for our grants for students with disabilities should complete the William R. Rooney Award application and submit a copy of their full current and signed IEP or 504 Plan, in addition to the other required documents.

Awards are granted in the amount of $3,000 per academic year, paid in two installments each semester, and carry a maximum value of $12,000. Awards are automatically renewed each year provided a minimum GPA of 3.0 is maintained.

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Instructions for William R. Rooney Award Applicants ENTERING COLLEGE

1. Complete and submit the scholarship application online or download blank forms. DO NOT staple or permanently bind any of your application materials in any way. If Mailing, PLEASE SEND ALL INFORMATION TO THE HORACE SMITH FUND AT THIS ADDRESS:

THE HORACE SMITH FUND 16 Union Avenue, Ste. 2-K Westfield, MA 01085

2. Completed applications and all supporting documents must be received in The Horace Smith Fund office no later than March 15th. A current and signed copy of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Accommodation Plan must be included as part of the application.

3. The applicant is responsible for having an official high school transcript mailed to The Horace Smith Fund.

4. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) of the College Entrance Examination Board or the ACT and submit the scores to enhance their application. The College Board measures general verbal and quantitative reasoning with the SAT and measures achievement related to high school curricula with the ACT. When registering for the examination or when completing a College Board transcript request form, please ask the College Board to send the scores to us by indicating 0017 as the code number and “The Horace Smith Fund, 16 Union Avenue, Ste. 2K, Westfield, MA 01085” as one of the institutions to which a score request should be sent.

5. Three persons, not relatives, should complete reference forms for you. At least two references should be from a high school counselor and teacher in charge of your IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan and who are familiar with your ability and potential. Seek appropriate references from those who are willing to write about your accomplishments. Reference forms should be completed online or mailed by the person writing the reference to The Horace Smith Fund.

6. All applicants must complete the CSS Profile report found at When applying, please indicate you would like your information made available to our organization code of 0017. CSS Profile fees will be reimbursed for students with completed scholarship applications. CSS Profile applications must be completed online by March 15th.

7. The “Personal Statement/Essay,” which is part of your application, is very important. The essay will help distinguish you from other outstanding applicants. Your essay should present who you are and who you hope to become as you pursue your education and career goals.

8. Awards made will be based on all available information, including school records, recommendations, and examination scores. Consideration will be given to both the merit and financial need of the applicant.