Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

Cancer survivors have been through one of the most harrowing experiences imaginable. Beyond the direct impact of battling cancer, those who survive face a number of indirect challenges. The financial impact of a fight against cancer causes additional stress and forces families and individuals into life decisions they might not otherwise make. One of those decisions might be to end their pursuit of a better life through higher education. Cancer has cost its survivors so much, but losing the chance at the opportunities post-secondary school gives is too cruel. Cancer survivors need to know that many financial outlets and resources exist to help you to thrive in your post-cancer life.

Scholarship Programs for Cancer Survivors

Scholarship Programs for Cancer Survivors

A myriad of different programs, foundations, and associations offer scholarships for cancer survivors. Sometimes, the children of cancer survivors or the family members of those deceased are offered financial aid. So if you’re a university student whose life has been affected by cancer in some way, whether you survived cancer yourself or one of your parents battled cancer, look into these cancer foundations who offer student aid. These can help you pursuit your dream of a life beyond cancer. Beating the disease is only half of the battle. Now that you have a new lease on life, start building hope for a better future.

Cancer Survivors Band Together

One story you always hear when talking to cancer survivors and their families is how this experience has made them reassess their relationships to the people around them. Families grow closer than ever before. Friendships and loving relationships become more profound. But many people who survive cancer, or who watch their loved ones battle this disease, come to feel a deeper connection to the larger circle of people around them, to the community or society they live in. This is why so many scholarships for cancer survivors exist, including (but not restricted to) the scholarships funds and foundations below.

Cancer Survivors Fund

The Cancer Survivors Fund is a major source of scholarships for cancer survivors, giving these brave students a new purpose and meaning in life through furthering their education. Beyond scholarships, these young people are offered counselling, emotional support, and motivation. The Cancer Survivors Foundation’s slogan is “From Surviving to Thriving.”

The list of survivors who’ve been helped include those who survived leukemia, brain tumors, thyroid cancer, spinal blastoma, medulloblastoma, retinoblastoma, osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, Wilm’s tumor, and many other forms of this terrible disease. If you’ve survived only to have your family’s finances destroyed by the experience, contact the Cancer Survivors Fund and see if they can help fund your education.

CCC Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

One of the premier college education support and student aid organizations for cancer survivors is the Care Commit Change Scholarships. CCC Scholarships started offering survivor student aid in 2003, when Carolyn Rubenstein decided to help those harmed by cancer. CCCScholarships program has been scaled back due to the current economic climate, but it continues to support survivors who demonstrate a commitment to education and community leadership. The traditional CCC Scholarship Program was affected when the economic recession led to all-time lows in donations in 2009, but the Matt Ortiz Leadership Scholarship and the Kadeejah Moore Memorial Scholarship are still supported.

Patient Advocate Foundation Scholarships

The Patient Advocate Foundation has been solving insurance and healthcare access problems since 1996, but they also provides scholarship assistance to students whose lives have been affected by cancer. These $3,000 scholarship are offered to individuals under the age of 25 who have been diagnosed with cancer, treated for cancer, or had some other chronic life threatening disease in the past 5 years. Remember to send all required information along with your application.

The submission time period for 2012 PAF scholarships for survivors has passed, but this program has existed since 2007 and it will be available on into 2013 and 2014.

Stephen T. Marcello Scholarship Foundation

The Stephen T. Marcello Scholarship Foundation is designed by the survivors of cancer victim Steve Marcello, who died from caner on January 16, 1999. This non-profit organization is based out of Centennial, Connecticut. I list this site not only because it can help you with your ongoing education, but also because it offers links to other scholarships for childhood cancer survivors and College Confidential Scholarships.

The fact is, cancer kills more Americans every year than anything else but heart disease. A significant number of these people fought cancer while trying to get a postsecondary education or had children whose education suffered because of their fight with cancer. Even when cancer and education didn’t intersect, many of those lost cared passionately about education. This means many memorial scholarships exist that help survivors of cancer or those afflicted with cancer. Below is another such case.

George Bartol Memorial Scholarship Fund

The George Bartol Scholarship Fund is for a student of a 2-year or 4-year college who is between the ages of 18 and 23 who has a parent with a brain tumor. Those students who have lost a parent to a brain tumor also qualify. You must be a full time student to qualify.

We sometimes forget how cancer affects lives. Students with cancer aren’t the only ones whose dreams are put on hold. When a college student has a parent with a brain tumor, the money that might have paid for a post-secondary education might need to be spent on medical aid and saving the life of the parent. Even when insurance pays most of the costs, the financial burden from lost work and time spent traveling for treatments often destroys a family’s savings. If you’re a student whose education has been affected indirectly by a parent’s brain tumor, call or email the George Bartol Memorial Scholarship Fund. Call 407-382-5982 to learn more. Internet inquiries should be directed to

Other Scholarship Resources

This short list of scholarship resources for cancer survivors might help you in your online research for additional cancer-related scholarship help.

  • American Cancer Society – 1-800-7144
  • I’m Too Your For This! Cancer Foundation – 877-735-4673
  • Working Against Cancer – 1-619-269-6767
  • SuperSibs! Scholarship Program – 1-866-444-7427
  • Wipes Out Kids’ Cancer – 1-214-987-4668
  • The Ulman Cancer Fund – 1-888-393-FUND

Cancer Survivor Student Aid

Like so many other student aid programs, scholarships for cancer survivors have been affected in the last several years by the current economic downturn. Most scholarship programs have been scaled back instead of simply going way. This means fewer financial resources exist for the growing number of cancer patients. Still, if you’re a college student who’s survived cancer and has financial needs involving your university studies, track down all available cancer foundations who offer scholarships. If you had the fortitude to survive cancer, then you’ll have the energy and stamina to search long enough to find ways to fund your education.

by John Clifton

1 comment for “Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

  1. Shannon Johnson
    August 22, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Hello! I have begun searching for college scholarships for my daughter who is entering her senior year in high school. Are you aware of any scholarships for children of cancer survivors? My husband was diagnosed with melanoma cancer in 2011 which spread to his lymph nodes. He completed a year of chemo treatments last November and is currently clinically in remission. During the year of chemo treatments our financial stability was compromised and money intended for my daughter’s college savings was needed for bills. I would like her to attend college but she will need financial support. Any suggestions you can offer will be appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *