If you're going to college and know you have to manage an illness while you're there, make sure you look into scholarships for students with health conditions. Scholarships for students with health conditions are intended to lighten the financial burden for people dealing with a wide range of medical conditions during their time at college.
The following scholarships for students with health conditions include, but are not limited to:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Learning disabilities (like dyslexia)
Scholarships for Students with Health Conditions
The AbbVie Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate academic excellence, community involvement, creativity and the ability to serve as a role model for the cystic fibrosis community.
Eligibility Requirements: Students must have U.S. citizenship or residency, a cystic fibrosis diagnosis and are enrolled in or awaiting acceptance from an accredited institution. The application includes academic record and extracurricular activities, an essay and a creative presentation.
Award: $3,000 for up to 40 scholars, and $22,000 to one undergraduate student and one graduate student.
The Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Scholarships, offered by the law office of David D. White, PLLC, can benefit two people with traumatic brain injury per year. The scholarship comes in the form of tuition payments for attendance at a university, college, community college, secondary school or trade school.
Eligibility Requirements: Proof of traumatic brain injury diagnosis alongside documented learning disabilities and U.S. citizenship.
Award: $1,000 per scholar, for tuition only.
This scholarship is designed to help those with a financial need who are suffering with stage five kidney disease. Applicants must complete the application, send the relevant federal income tax return, a copy of the tuition bill, a statement of purpose and a reference letter from a nephrology professional.
Eligibility Requirements: A resident of Arkansas, Louisiana, or Oklahoma, a current dialysis patient or kidney transplant recipient, and must demonstrate financial need through the income vs. expense table.
Award: Up to $5,000 per academic year, paid directly to the academic institution.
Diabetes Scholars offer a wide range of general scholarships to high school seniors with Type 1 diabetes who are heading to an accredited four-year university, college or a technical or trade school. These scholarships are not based on financial need. Prospective students should apply online and can be matched to the most suitable scholarship.
Eligibility Requirements: U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, high school senior with Type 1 diabetes.
Award: Between $1,000 and $5,000; varies depending on scholarship.
The national Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship program is designed to support students with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia, while also raising awareness in colleges and high schools. Since its founding in 2014, the initiative has awarded 68 scholarships.
Eligibility Requirements: A narcolepsy or idiopathic hypersomnia diagnosis.
Award: $1,000 per student.
This scholarship is open to students who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizophreniform or schizoaffective disorder. It is available both for online schools and campus schools. Applicants must submit school documents, educational costs and a personal essay.
Eligibility Requirements: Currently receiving medical treatment for schizophrenia, and be actively involved in rehabilitative or reintegrative efforts
The mission of the Students With A Heart Foundation Scholarship is to ease the financial stress of undergraduate and graduate students who suffer from all types of heart disease and deformities.
Eligibility Requirements: U.S. citizenship/residency, a cumulative 3.0 grade point average at the time of application and a letter from a licensed physician.
The Elaine Chapin Memorial Scholarship is intended to provide financial aid to students impacted by multiple sclerosis — whether directly or as a family member. Recipients are chosen on the basis of financial need, academic standing and the level of impact multiple sclerosis has had on their lives.
Eligibility Requirements: Must be U.S. citizens who live within a 125 mile radius of the Elaine Chapin offices in Saint Louis, planning to enroll or enrolled in an undergraduate course at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational or technical school in the U.S.
The HIV League Scholarship is a national scholarship specifically for students living with HIV. It aims to build the leadership, skills and knowledge of its scholars.
Eligibility Requirements: Students living with HIV, with an unweighted grade point average of at least 2.5, and going to be or currently part-time or full-time students in a higher education institution for at least one year.
Award: Between $1,500 and $7,000 depending on length and nature of study.
Scholarships for Students with Cancer
Cancer for College offers both one-off and recurring scholarships to current and former cancer patients who qualify and are looking to attend further education. The organization also offers a number of specific scholarships tied to different institutions.
Eligibility Requirements: U.S. citizens who are either cancer patients or survivors and are planning to enroll in an accredited four-year course at a university, community college or graduate school.
The Cancer Survivors' Fund offers scholarships for young cancer survivors who qualify. Applicants must submit an essay answering the question: "How has my experience with cancer impacted my life values and career goals?"
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be cancer patients or survivors: they do not have to currently be receiving treatment to apply. They must be enrolled in or accepted at an accredited undergraduate school.
The Terry Zahn Memorial Scholarship is an undergraduate award designed to help people who suffered from cancer during their childhood and/or teenage years.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and domestic U.S. undergraduate student under the age of 25. They must have been diagnosed before the age of 19, and plan to attend an accredited two- or four-year institution at the time of application.
Award: $1,000 per scholar.
Over $10,000 are available in cash awards in memory of James "Rhio" O'Connor, who — faced with terminal cancer and given one year to live — outlived his prognosis by six years. In honor of Mr. O'Connor's spirit of intellectual curiosity, the scholarship is run as an essay contest. Students must consider: What would they do in Mr. O'Connor's position?
Eligibility Requirements: Must be an undergraduate student at a U.S. university.
Award: $1,000 per scholar.
Scholarships for Students with Physical or Learning Disabilities
The American Association of Heath and Disability Scholarship Program was created in 2009 to support students with disabilities, who are pursuing higher education. Preference is given to those who plan to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies in the field/s of:
- Public health
- Health promotion
- Disability studies
- Disability research
- Rehabilitation engineering
- Disability policy
- Special education
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be a full-time student, with a disability, who has already completed one or more years of study
Award: Varies; up to $1,000
The Karman Healthcare Mobility Disability Scholarship offers two scholarships for university students with mobility disabilities, have excelled academically and have a regard for U.S. disability awareness.
Eligibility Requirements: Students must currently be aged 16 or over, and enrolled at an accredited U.S. college or university. They must have a disability that involves the regular use of a mobility aid such as a wheelchair. They must maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average.
Award: $500 per scholar.
The Mouse Hole Scholarship is designed to assist students who are legally visually impaired, or have parents who are visually impaired.
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant or parent must have a visual impairment of 20/200 or worse in both eyes. Proof of this may be requested. They must also be a high school graduate who will be attending college or university in the U.S. Essay between four and 15 pages (double spaced) required.
Award: Between $1,500 and $2,000.
The Anne Ford Scholarship provides $2,500 per year over four years for a graduating high school senior with a learning disability and/or ADHD who will be enrolled in a full-time bachelor's degree program in the fall.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be graduating high school seniors and U.S. citizens with a grade point average of 3.0 or above. They must be able to provide evidence of a learning disability and/or ADHD.
These annual awards are in place to assist students with autism who are pursuing a postsecondary education. The scholarship is run by the Autism Society of America, and applicants must be nominated by a member. They must also provide documentation of their status as an individual with autism and a statement outlining their qualifications and proposed study plan.
Elibility Requirements: Applicants must be high school seniors or graduates who have been accepted to or are already enrolled in an accredited postsecondary educational institution.
Award: Up to $1,000
Other Resources for Students with Health Conditions
Official organizations exist to support people — including students — with specific health conditions. They can provide resources and guidance to help you both during your time at university, and after you graduate.
The Autism Society of America focuses on improving the lives of people with autism through advocacy, education, information and referral, support, and community and national, state and local levels.
Dating back to 1924, the American Heart Foundation funds scientific research, advocates on policy and works on diversity and inclusion to support those with heart problems. It also provides support to help people live healthily.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society covers the whole U.S., but provides localized support that you can access by entering your zip code on its website. The organization funds research and offers a wealth of resources covering everything from MS diagnosis and treatment to living well with MS.
The American Cancer Society offers endless information to help people with different types of cancer. The organization funds research, offers treatment and support information, provides health guidance and fundraises.
More Financial Aid Information
Looking for further information? Click here for more information on scholarships that help students of different backgrounds pay for college. Alternatively, find out more about financial aid in specific states.
If you're seriously considering applying for a scholarship, don't miss our Ultimate Guide to Scholarships, which is all about finding the right scholarship for you and avoiding scams. Also, you can check out a scholarship database on our sister website. Find out about the most unusual scholarships in the U.S. here.