Q. I am just getting back on my feet after treatment. I want to go back to work, but would like to go to school for an advanced certificate or degree. Is there any financial aid specifically for new survivors?
Congratulations on finishing your treatment and please let me be part of celebrating this huge accomplishment! Life after treatment can be a time of renewed focus, greater creativity and new commitment to educational opportunities. Priorities shift and the way you decide where and with whom you devote your time is different than before you were diagnosed. This can be both exciting and scary, as the realization that you are in fact a different person than before treatment and that returning to the “way things were” is not entirely possible or realistic. The financial strain from cancer treatment can leave your bank account unable to accommodate this dedication to personal advancement and renewal. I wish you continued success and excitement as you learn more about yourself and discover how to advocate for what you need now. Thankfully, there are several resources out there and many organizations that have compiled a list of the different types of scholarships and financial assistance.
One good place to start is The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid.
The same organization that may have brought you discounted prescriptions, NeedyMeds, also offers a list of scholarship resources.
The Jackie Spellman Scholarship Foundation and the Michael A. Hunter Memorial Scholarship offer assistance for people pursuing graduate studies who have been affected by leukemia or lymphoma. They offer scholarships ranging between $1000 and $3000.
Additional resources include:
For those still undergoing treatment but would like to continue their higher education, the National Collegiate Cancer Foundation offers annual nonrenewable $1000 scholarships for college students whose lives have been impacted by cancer.
The Patient Advocate Foundation has a Scholarships for Survivors Program.
The SAMFund has a Surviving and Moving Forward scholarship program for cancer survivors between the ages of 17 and 35 living in the United States.
The Ulman Cancer Fund has a National College Scholarship Program for young adult cancer survivors and young adults impacted by cancer.