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College is an exciting time of life filled with new experiences, knowledge, and relationships. Although it is expensive, childhood cancer patients and survivors have several college scholarship and financial aid options.
Many organizations provide scholarships for cancer patients and survivors. In addition, there are financial aid opportunities available for people with certain disabilities.
Some scholarships are available for family members of cancer patients. Be sure to check the application criteria for all scholarships.
Many scholarship applications require an essay. Some will ask the same types of essay questions. You may be able to tweak an essay written for one scholarship to meet requirements for other applications.
Make sure to have someone knowledgeable about writing and grammar proofread your application and essay.
The organizations that offer these scholarships are often funded by donations and endowments given in honor or in memory of other pediatric and young adult cancer patients.
These scholarships are for childhood cancer survivors who have demonstrated the ability to overcome the difficult challenges of cancer with determination and motivation. Fifty-eight (58) $3,500 scholarships are awarded each academic year. The scholarship application period is from January – March of each calendar year.
Applicants must be:
Visit the website for an application:
The website provides a number of different scholarship offers to different regions of the United States. Scholarship application period is November 1-January 31 each year. Applicants must be planning to attend a degree-earning program in the United States. Certain scholarships listed are relevant only for particular states.
This fund provides scholarships for cancer survivors and those currently diagnosed with cancer. You do not have to be receiving treatment to qualify. Scholarships are awarded by a committee, based on applicants' personal hardship and financial need as well as their academic qualifications. Application for fall semester begins in February.
This organization provides services and support to young adults whose lives have been impacted by cancer and who have continued with their education throughout treatment or after their treatment. Each award is $1,000. Applications available in March. Deadline is May 15.
Applicants must be:
The foundation was created to honor cancer survivor Evan Ortleib, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at age 16. Scholarships are awarded twice each year (spring and fall) and are valued at $1,000 each. The submission deadline for the spring semester is December 15, and the deadline for the fall semester is June 15.
Eligibility requirements include:
The network of U.S. chapters, along with the global office of RMHC, offers scholarships to students in financial need who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, and community involvement. Since 1985, more than $56 million in scholarships have been awarded.
Scholarships are awarded by local RMHC chapters.
Scholarships available to young adults affected by cancer through their own diagnosis or through the diagnosis of a parent or sibling. Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 39 during the time of diagnosis/treatment. Recipients will be awarded a total of $2,500 over two academic semesters, paid directly to the recipient’s school. Deadline is March 1.
This scholarship listing includes duplicate listings of some scholarships but also includes scholarships for amputees, patients with immune deficiencies, and students with learning disabilities. General and regional cancer scholarships are noted as well as other scholarship search sites. This website also gives other lists of resources and information.
This page contains information about scholarships for cancer patients, cancer survivors, children of a cancer patient or survivor, students who lost a parent to cancer, and students pursuing careers in cancer treatment.
Grants and scholarships provided by the Samfund cover a wide range of post-treatment financial needs, such as (but not limited to): rent and mortgage assistance; health insurance premiums; car payments, insurance, and repairs; continuing education and loans; gym memberships; and mental health expenses. This group is no longer accepting applications for undergraduate tuition, as they have in the past, but rather is focusing on other school-related expenses. Applications open in the spring.
Applicants need to:
This foundation has access to more than 100 scholarships. They are sorted by state. Additional requirements are provided for each scholarship. A separate application must be completed for each scholarship. Search through available states and apply through provided links. There is a $5 fee per application.
The Disability Programs and Resource Center at San Francisco State University has compiled a list of scholarships for students of various disabilities. A chart lists the organization offering the scholarship as well as general information and a link to each scholarship page.
The University of Washington has put together a page with tips on searching for funding for students with disabilities. In addition to links to sites offering scholarships, it also discusses other ways students might find information on funding, such as vocational rehab and other state programs. Scholarships are listed by type of disability.
This organization offers scholarships to legally blind student going to technical, undergraduate, or graduate school. Scholarships range from $1,500-$7,500. Application deadline is February 15.
The AFB offers multiple scholarships to legally blind students. Application deadline is April 1.
Descriptions of the scholarships, as well as the online application can be found at the above website.
This program awards 3 students an individual prize of $3,000 to full-time college students with low vision. Applicants must meet visual acuity and academic guidelines. Scholarship guidelines, application, and vision certification are offered on the website from January 1 to March 15 of each year. The scholarship application must be completed online. Selected finalists will be required to complete a phone interview with committee members. Chosen winners are expected to attend an annual meeting in conjunction with the American Council of the Blind National Convention (usually in July).
The NFB offers 30 scholarships to legally blind students each year, worth from $3,000 to $12,000. The winner must participate in the NFB national convention in July and all its scheduled scholarship program activities. Assistance is available for convention needs. Application due in March 31.
Applicants must be:
The Anne Lowe Scholarship is awarded to blind students based on academic achievement and citizenship. Applications must be submitted or postmarked by April 15.
Scholarship is distributed in two parts during the school year
This group offers scholarships to individuals with hearing impairments and communicative disorders. Scholarships are available in $1,000 amounts. Application deadline is May 1.
AG Bell Scholarships are for high-achieving students who have bilateral hearing loss that was diagnosed before age 4.
Scholarships applicants must be 17 or older with hydrocephalus. The scholarship funds must be used for an educational purpose, including, but not limited to, a 2-year or 4-year college, a high school post-graduate year to prepare for college, technical or trade school, an accredited employment-training program, or a post–graduate program. Scholarships are $1,000 each.
Application opens in January and is due April 15.
Scholarships are available for 2 graduating high school seniors with documented learning disabilities and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who are pursuing postsecondary educatoin.
For general financial aid and scholarships not specifically for cancer survivors, high school guidance counselors are excellent resources.
Make use of the experience of others. Family members and friends who have received financial aid and scholarships can offer advice on where to find scholarships as well as advice on essay writing.
Good, free website for general scholarships:
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Reviewed: February 2020