Cancer Can’t Stop College: Five Scholarships for Those Struggling with Cancer

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While it is true that all students headed for college face difficulties and struggles along the way, students who are trying to overcome a serious or even life threatening disease face even more challenges than the ordinary college age person. Receiving a diagnosis of a terminal illness will often and understandably have a devastating effect on students and the members of their family. There will not only be the stress their body undergoes as it fights the disease, there will also be the emotional stress of knowing that a once bright academic future is now tainted and questionable.

Those who are struggling to overcome terminal diseases can often believe that there is not real gain in trying to continue their academic progress. Because the costs of treatment are often very high and time consuming, many people who suffer from a cancerous disease will frequently feel that college is no longer possible for them, let alone a priority. But the truth is that this thought process and pattern is a complete lie.

The benefits that can be reaped both psychologically and emotionally can have a strong positive impact on a person’s recovery. If funding is necessary for college to happen, there are plenty of advocacy groups and other organizations that are committed to helping terminal disease survivors and patients to get the college education that they have been craving. Organizations such as these will sponsor scholarships on a regular basis so that those who have terminal diseases and their family members can obtain the money that they require so that they can get or finish their college education.

There are no scholarships that are funded by the Federal Government specifically for patients or survivors of terminal diseases such as mesothelioma, but that doesn’t mean that it will be hard to get help. There are plenty of scholarships that any student can apply to that are need based. Because cancer patients and their families are often under considerable financial duress, these individuals will most likely be the first in the running for scholarships. The Federal Pell Grant, open to undergraduate students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, offers $5,550 per year. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is available for those who qualify for the Pell Grant, but still have considerable monetary needs. This award goes up to $4,000.

These are just two Federal opportunities for college funding. Most individuals will receive an award from the private sector, such as one of the five listed below.

The Survivors Fund

This non-profit charitable entity that is committed to helping the survivors of diseases such as mesothelioma get the funds that they need so that they can get a full college education. There is a total of four annual scholarships awarded each year. To qualify, the individual must be diagnosed with a terminal disease or have previously had the terminal disease and be enrolled in an accredited university or college. The applicant will submit an essay which will include their life experience, as well as a full listing of their medical history. The amount of the award will vary depending on financial need and personal hardships.

The Miles of Hope Foundation

This foundation is a leading support group and charitable organization located in New York. This foundation provides outreach programs, peer to peer counseling and assistance for those struggling with breast disease. There are also eight scholarships that are awarded each year to students who have had their lives impacted by breast disease.

The American Cancer Society

One of the most successful and largest advocacy groups in the US, the American Cancer Society administers the Youth Survivor College Award for those who have received a diagnosis of a terminal disease before turning 21.

The Patient Advocate Foundation

They sponsor their own self-titled scholarship for survivors. The program is open to students under the age of 25 who are suffering from or have suffered a life threatening disease. Currently, the award amount is $3,000

The Danziger & De Llano Scholarship

This scholarship is available to those who have either lived with a terminal disease or watched a loved one struggle through a terminal illness. Application requirements include an essay between 500 and 800 words, two letters of recommendation, a list of awards, honors or volunteer work, an academic transcript proving your GPA is 3.0 or higher and an official letter proving enrollment in high school or college.

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