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Top Scholarships for Cancer Survivors in May 2023

Fighting and overcoming a serious, life-threatening disease like cancer is one of the hardest, yet most inspiring things someone can do. If you are already attending college or higher education is in your future, we compiled a list of vetted scholarships just for cancer survivors. 

Jump ahead to:

  • Scholarships for cancer survivors 
  • Upcoming scholarships
  • How to win scholarships for cancer survivors
  • Frequently asked questions about scholarships for cancer survivors

If you are a cancer survivor and are looking to get some help affording college, keep reading to find out about the top scholarships for cancer survivors!  

Top scholarships for cancer survivors

#RAREis Scholarship Fund

  • Eligibility: Open to U.S. residents who have been diagnosed with any form of rare disease, regardless of treatment status. 
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: May 7, 2023

Mesothelioma.com Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Those who have battled against cancer at any point in their life or those who have a loved one who has battled or is currently fighting cancer. Applicants must be enrolled full-time at a postsecondary institution and have a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Amount: $4,000
  • Deadline: March 31, 2024

See Also: Top Scholarships for Disabled Students or How to Get Scholarships for Hearing Impairment

Upcoming scholarships

Beyond the Cure Ambassador Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Childhood cancer survivors under the age of 25 and diagnosed with cancer before the age of 18. Applicants must have been accepted into a postsecondary institution for the fall semester of the upcoming academic year
  • Amount: Varies

Bristol-Myers Squibb Scholarship for Cancer Survivors

  • Eligibility: Cancer survivors under age 25 who are high school seniors/graduates or postsecondary undergraduates. Applicants must be planning to enroll in a postsecondary institution for the upcoming academic year
  • Amount: $10,000

Cancer for College Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Current and incoming postsecondary students in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with cancer
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Opens: November 1, 2023

Children’s Cancer Connection Empowering Scholarships

  • Eligibility: Individuals who have had (or have a sibling who had) cancer before age 18. Applicants must be also living or treated/diagnosed in the state of Iowa and be planning on a postsecondary institution
  • Amount: Varies

Jennifer Casey Alderman Legacy Scholarship Award

  • Eligibility: Young adults who have lost a parent to metastatic breast cancer or have financial hardship due to a parent currently living with metastatic breast cancer who wishes to seek higher education as a post-high school graduate. Applicants must be from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, or Tennessee.
  • Amount: $10,000

Michael A. Hunter Memorial Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Graduating high school seniors, community college students, or 4-year university students who are Leukemia/Lymphoma survivors or whose parents are survivors. Applicants must be full-time students, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and demonstrate financial need
  • Amount: Between $2,000 and $5,000

Northwestern Mutual Survivor Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Childhood cancer survivors under 25 years of age who are enrolled as full-time undergraduate students at an accredited university or vocational school (for the entire academic year). Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Amount: $5,000 

The Simon Cancer Foundation Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Students enrolled in a four-year university within the U.S. in Fall 2022 with a minimum GPA of 3.5. Graduate students are also eligible to apply. All applicants must have had cancer at some point in their lifetime
  • Amount: Varies
  • Opens: October 2023

How to win scholarships for cancer survivors

As with any type of scholarship, scholarships for cancer survivors are highly competitive. It’s important to craft applications that stand out from the pack if you want to earn money to put towards your education.

One of the best ways to do this is by doing some reflection before you begin writing. Think about how you grew as a result of your experience with cancer and any lessons you learned. Cancer is a terrible ordeal to go through, and it leads to a lot of loss and tragedy. However, it’s a good idea to use your application to emphasize how you grew as a result of this struggle, and how you hope to use the strength you exhibited throughout the process as you go on with life.

Remember, scholarship providers are looking for applicants who are going to make a positive change in the world. Don’t spend too much of your application talking about the struggle you went through. Talk about your plans and hopes for the future.

Writing effective essays

Once you’ve done your reflection, it’s time to sit down and start writing. We’ve got a host of guides to help you through the writing process. These include guides on starting and ending scholarship essays, writing essays about yourself, and writing a winning scholarship essay. We can also help you tailor your writing to 250 or 500 word limits. Good luck!

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