Asthmatic students face plenty of personal hurdles on the path to college. Students with asthma face the same problems and pressure of everyday adolescence, on top of which they have to deal with a condition that can severely limit their physical activities and cause serious harm and even death. Luckily for students living with asthma, scholarships for asthmatic students exist aimed at students who deal with asthma and want to attend college.
Asthma affects millions of people in America, and advocacy groups for asthmatics focus on fundraising for research and for scholarships for students who face the challenges of college while living with asthma. Asthmatic students are often lumped in with students suffering from severe allergies, due to the close affiliation the two conditions have with one another, so asthmatic students can also search for scholarships for students suffering from allergies as a source of college funding.
Is It Hard to Find Scholarships for Kids with Asthma?
Because of the limited number of scholarships specifically targeted at asthmatic students, it can be a little difficult to locate scholarship opportunities for asthmatic students. That said, all academic scholarships are available to students with asthma: academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, and merits awards of all kinds are open to asthmatic students as well.
If you’re looking for scholarship offers targeted at the asthmatic population, you should start by consulting your doctor’s office. Doctors who specialize in asthma often know about scholarship opportunities for students suffering from asthma, or can provide literature or contact information for organizations that specialize in these types of awards.
The Internet is your best friend when researching asthmatic student scholarships, since national asthmatic and allergy advocacy groups maintain a big Internet presence to get the word out about their programs.
How Should Kids with Asthma Prepare to Apply for Scholarships?
If you are an asthmatic student trying to get scholarship offers for college, the most important aspects of your scholarship application will be academics, extra-curricular activities, and any volunteer or advocacy work with the asthmatic and allergy-suffering population. Scholarship granting committees are looking for scholarship applications that stand out either due to excellent academics, a history of volunteer work, and a dedication to the asthmatic community.
Scholarships Offers for Asthmatic Students
These five scholarship offers are targeted at asthmatic and allergy-suffering students, though they by no means represent all scholarship offers that asthmatics are eligible for. These awards represent the sorts of scholarships that students with asthma have access to.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
If you contact your local chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, you can ask about special scholarship funds they may have for students with asthma and allergy problems in your specific part of the country. As an example, the New England Chapter of the AAFA awards one scholarship each year to award teens with severe allergies or asthma problems who excel academically. This particular contest requires an essay describing what it means to be a role model.
At the national level, two AAFAA scholarships are available, each worth $500.00 for one year of school. This award is non-renewable, and is awarded to high school seniors with severe allergy and asthma problems. Information verifying the asthma or allergy condition and an essay (topic varies from year to year) along with a high school transcript are required to apply for this scholarship.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology Allergy Development (ROAD) Scholarship Program
The ROAD Scholarship Program provided by the American Academy of Otolaryngology Allergy Development provides special funding to medical students and medical researchers who plan to study Otolaryngology issues related to allergy and asthma. Otolaryngology is the study of conditions of the ears, nose, and throat.
To apply for this scholarship, a student doesn’t have to be a sufferer or allergies or severe asthma, just planning to submit a proposal outlining a study or a research idea related to allergies and asthma. Each year, 12 of these scholarships worth $5,000 apiece are awarded to expand research into the study of asthma.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) Award of Excellence Scholarships
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology hands out these awards to high school seniors in both America and Canada who suffer from asthma. Students with documented proof of asthma who plan on attending a four-year college are eligible to apply for funding from the AAAAI. Criteria for selection for these awards is high academic achievements, participation in extracurricular activities, and volunteer work with community organizations. This organization hands out two $1,000 scholarships that are renewable for up to four years as well as dozens of $100 Merit Awards for applicants who deserve special attention but did not earn a full scholarship.
Schering-Plough Corporation “Will to Win” Asthma Scholarships
The Schering-Plough Corporation is only offering its “Will to Win” Asthma Scholarship for another four or five years, so students with asthma planning to attend college should apply and pursue their college dreams while the award is still available. The ten Will to Win scholarships are designed to provide high school seniors living with asthma funding for college. The scholarships are worth $5,000 each, renewable for up to four years. Scholarships are available for asthmatic students in five different categories: athletics, student government, visual arts, performing arts, and community service. The main criteria for the scholarship are academic excellence (students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5), participation in one of the five categories of scholarships, and financial need.
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) College Scholarship Essay Contest
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network sponsors an essay contest each year rewarding dozens of asthmatic and severely allergic students with scholarships worth $1,500 toward one year of college education. Graduating seniors in high school with food allergies or asthma apply for the scholarship by sending in an essay discussing how asthma or food allergies have affected their lives. Winners are selected based on the content of their essay, not financial need or general academic excellence.
by Will Roby