Scholarships for the Chronically Ill
Scholarships for the Chronically Ill – When dealing with multiple or even a single chronic illness school can prove to be a major challenge. We miss class for appointments, surgeries, procedures, and illness. Along with illness come high medical expenses, often depleting a family’s savings and leaving no extra money for a college education. Do not let money be a factor in if you are going to go to college, there is a way, you just need to seek out the opportunities! Hopefully the following tips will guide you as you are looking for monetary aid for your education!
- FAFSA– Although this doesn’t apply specifically to the chronically ill, applying for financial aid through the government is essential. Even if you do not believe you will qualify because of your family’s income I urge you to still apply. The government gives out loans, scholarships, and grants. Fill this out early. Generally schools have a deadline, despite the awards being given out on a first-come-first-serve basis. Don’t wait until the deadline! Get your application in early in order to be considered for the most amount of aid.
- Fighing4us.com– Once a year the Fighting 4 Us foundation gives out a Fighter of the Year Award and scholarship in honor of their daughter who passed away from CRPS. You must have CRPS to apply. I am honored and very thankful to the Gianopoulos family for awarding me the Fighter of the Year award last year.
- Contact your school’s financial aid office: Often there are many scholarships offered in the local community that you may be qualified for. The financial office at your institution should have the information and be able to direct you to any scholarship opportunities.
- Use your resources! A quick and easy Google search will reveal many opportunities for scholarships and grants. Looking through all the options can be quite daunting, but if you narrow yourself down to 5-10 scholarships that you qualify for, it will be more manageable. Here is a great link where you can look up scholarships by your illness.
Now once you have found scholarships that you are qualified for what do you do next? Each scholarship has it own set of requirements usually consisting of an essay, recommendations, a transcript, and often for disability scholarships documentation of your disability. Write down all the due dates chronologically and work on the applications in that order. When writing an essay for an application you must be raw. Don’t fabricate your experience with an illness. It is important that your essay reveals hope and accomplishment. An essay that dwells on the negatives of illness, while realistic, is not going to influence the reader in a positive way . Think of the positive aspect of illness. What obstacles have you overcome? What have you gained from having a chronic illness? If you want an example look back on my article entitled “A Story of Perseverance and Triumph: From Field to Rehab.” I have successfully used this essay for scholarship applications and my college admissions.
I hope these tips will help you as you start to look for financial resources for college. If you have any additional questions or topics you want me to cover let me know!
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