2017 College Scholarships If You’ve Been Affected by Cancer

2017 College Scholarships If You’ve Been Affected by Cancer

college scholarships for cancer survivors

There are a wide range of organizations and advocacy groups dedicated to helping anyone “affected by cancer” afford a college education.  “Affected by cancer” applies not only to cancer patients and survivors; but it can also include children or siblings of cancer patients and survivors as well as students who have lost a parent to cancer.

Visit these sites to see if there is a scholarship opportunity that applies to you…

Beyond the Cure (Ambassador Scholarship Program) awards college scholarships to childhood cancer survivors who have demonstrated the ability to overcome the difficult challenges of cancer with determination and motivation. Forty (40) $3,500 scholarships will be awarded each academic year.  Applications are available from January 1-March 31 each calendar year.

Cancer for College offers a number of annual scholarships, ranging from $1000 – $5000, for cancer patients and cancer survivors.  The application period opens November 1 and closes January 31 of each year.  California applicants and applicants attending Southern California colleges will receive first consideration for perpetual scholarships. Community college applicants are eligible for the minimum scholarship level.  All remaining applicants will be eligible for other one-time awards.  Scholarship recipients must maintain full-time enrollment at his/her stated university.

Cancer Survivors Fund provides college scholarships for young adult cancer survivors.  A selection committee chooses scholarship recipients based on the applicants’ personal hardships, assessing their financial and emotional needs as well as their academic qualifications.  Applications for Fall 2017 semester open on February 6, 2016.

FinAid is a comprehensive source of student financial aid information. Click here for a huge listing of scholarship aid available for students affected by cancer.  (BTW, the site’s creator, Mark Kantrowitz, is a testicular cancer survivor.) 

Friends of Scott Foundation (Friends to Children With Cancer) offers scholarships each year.   Applicants must be a resident of California; a cancer survivor or currently receiving treatment; and must be enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in an accredited undergraduate or graduate school.

Gail P. Ramos Lung Cancer Foundation  Are you trying to manage a college education while caring for yourself or a close relative with lung cancer? This scholarship program provides current or future college students with community college or university scholarships. The number of awards varies, depending on current funding levels. However, the minimum award for a community college student is $500, and the minimum amount for a university student is $1000.  Applications are due July, 2017.

Inheritance of Hope Legacy Scholarship awards a college-bound high school senior who is living with a terminally ill parent and who demonstrates a compelling personal and financial need, a strong sense of family, and collegiate promise.  The award amount is a one-time payment of $1,000.  All three parts of the application must be received by May 31, 2017.

Making Headway Foundation (The Scott J. Reisser Memorial Scholarship Fund) awards $5,000 scholarships to four brain or spinal cord tumor survivors who have been admitted to, or are currently attending, a two- or four-year college or vocational program. The annual scholarship application deadline is May 1. For more information or to request an application, please call Making Headway’s office at (914) 238-8384

Patient Advocate Foundation provides college scholarships to students who have been diagnosed with or treated for cancer and/or a chronic or life threatening disease within the past five years.  Applicants must be under the age of 25 and must be enrolled full time at an accredited college or university.  To download the 2017-2018 Scholarship for Survivors application, click here.  All applications must be postmarked no later than February 25, 2017.

Ped-Onc Resource Center on ACOR (Association of Cancer Online Resources) maintains a huge listing of college scholarships for survivors of childhood cancer.  Click here to see available scholarships.

Scholarships.com is yet another site designed help conduct free college scholarship searches.  Click here to see their listing of “cancer scholarships” (as they are often times called).

The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults offers more than 20 different scholarships- each requires that specific criteria be met.  Applicants must have been between the ages of 15 and 39 during their own diagnosis/treatment or during the diagnosis/treatment of their parent or sibling.  Applicants need only submit one application, which will be considered for any and all scholarships for which the student applies and is eligible.  Scholarship winners will be awarded a total of $2500 over two academic semesters.  Applications will be available in October, 2016.

The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation provides scholarships to support young people who have been diagnosed with bone marrow failure diseases including aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).  Scholarship applicants must be high school seniors or graduates who plan to enroll, or are enrolled, in a full or part-time (minimum six credits) undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited two or four-year college, university, vocational-technical school or graduate school. Applicants must be age 35 and under.  Awards range from $1,000 -$2,000 per student.

The Jackie Spellman Scholarship Foundation is open to U.S. citizens who have been impacted in some way by leukemia or lymphoma- either as survivors, individuals diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma, or individuals who have a member of his or her immediate family who have or had leukemia or lymphoma while living in the same household. Eligible students include high school seniors or those attending community college, a four-year university or graduate school. The 2017 Application will be available in December, 2016.

MaryEllen Locher Foundation scholarships are given to the children of breast cancer patients, either survivors or deceased. Please note that scholarships are limited to students residing within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation assists graduating high school students whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. Students must reside within one of the eight New York State counties covered by the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation: Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Greene.

The Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett Scholarship awards annual scholarships to graduating high school seniors from any public or private high school in Dallas County who have been affected by cancer.  For more information, click here.

Deana’s Wish Memorial Scholarship has been established to help students whose lives have been affected by Gastro-Esophageal Cancer attend college.  The program annually grants scholarships up to $2,000.  Application deadline is March 1, 2017.  For more information, click here.

Children’s Cancer Center sponsors advanced education scholarships for Florida students who (1) have had a diagnosis of cancer or chronic blood disorder in the Tampa Bay area before the age of 21, or (2) have lost a sibling due to a diagnosis of cancer or a chronic blood disorder. Scholarships are for undergraduate degrees from an accredited university, college, community college, vocational technical school, or other approved program.

Expect Miracles Foundation awards a $7,500 scholarship to help an individual who has been impacted by cancer – either in treatment or remission –  attend a 4-year college or university in pursuit of a degree. Eligible candidates must be enrolled to attend an accredited college or university in the Fall of 2017 or Spring of 2018, in addition to the other eligibility and application criteria listed here.

Even MORE college scholarships for people affected by cancer

Check out The CancerHawk Navigator to see even more scholarship opportunities for those of us who have been affected by cancer. If you know of other scholarship opportunities, please post them below or email me at Robyn@cancerhawk.com.  Knowledge is everything!  Let’s share what we know.   

5 thoughts on “2017 College Scholarships If You’ve Been Affected by Cancer

  1. Rose Bartos

    We are looking for scholarships for our son, we call him or chemo baby due to we were not suppose to have any children due my husbands chemo. Cancer has affected our lives not once but twice, we lost our son at the age of three with Neuroblastoma Stage 4, and then my husband was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma Stage 4 two years later. We have never financially been able to put money on the side due to my husband still goes to MD Anderson 2-3 times a year, he was on my insurance until he was finally able to get on Medicare this past year, are there scholarships out there for students who have lost a sibling or who have parents that have cancer out there, we need all the help we can get our first son did not get to finish college due to we could not financially pay for it.

  2. LRP

    I’m desperately looking for scholarships to help my youngest child with college tuition. She is a gifted musician playing the cello (piano/violin) and she would like to pursue a music performance and education degree. She is currently a senior in high school. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 the same time my father was diagnosed with end-stage pancreatic cancer. I was not even healed from my surgeries when I cared for him in his last days. Since my cancer diagnosis, I have had multiple surgeries. I am currently out of work and cannot work full time in my field because of pain & weakness issues. My husband is a middle school teacher who is ready to retire. He is in his 60’s and I am almost 54. Due to me not working full time since my cancer, we will not be able to help my daughter much with school. We have had to pay off so many medical bills and still paying on some from this last year. I don’t know how we can help her with tuition anymore. She is an excellent student in school and well liked by everyone. She has done a lot of community service in high school and she has a 4.0 GPA. She loves playing her cello and she is good at it. She deserves to attend a great music school. I have been looking to see if there are scholarships for children of cancer survivors. I have come across some but the deadlines have either already passed or you have to live within a certain area. We live in Texas. Does anyone know of scholarships that may benefit my daughter? I really want to see her succeed in the field that she loves. She has played a musical instrument since age 4. It is her passion. Can anyone help me find scholarships that would benefit her? She will be attending college in the Fall of 2018. I feel so guilty for having cancer and other medical issues that have eaten up most of our money. She deserves the same opportunities as the next student. Any assistance would be much appreciated and needed. Thank you in advance for any help that you can provide.

  3. Daniel Hood

    Thank you so much for this list. I found out I had brain cancer at 32 – It’s easy for people to feel so defeated hearing that news. And with huge hospital bills of $50k out of nowhere and unable to work for a while until I recover from 2 brain surgeries – my credit went downnn and nothing I can do about it, and worried if I can even get a student loan now. Anyway… even just seeing a list like this makes a world of difference and gives me and a lot of people hope. Thank you!!!

  4. Edna Francis

    Want to Submit a Scholarship Program
    Homekitchenary provides annual scholarships for those students who lost a parent to breast cancer and to children of breast cancer survivors. This scholarship is merit based, requires an essay submission, and the winning applicant will receive $1000.
    All of the application details are available on our website at
    Deadline: 30th June 2017
    I will appreciate if you feature our scholarship program to your website. Please let me know if you have any questions about the scholarship. Waiting for your positive feedback.

    Best Regards:
    Edna Francis


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