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Chronic Illness Scholarships

March 20, 2012 12:54 pm
posted by Carlo Evanson

College is hard enough without having to deal with a chronic illness at the same time.  Fortunately there is help out there; support in many different forms.  There are support groups that can help you to deal with the psychological aspects of chronic illnesses, but there are also scholarships that are available for those with disabilities and having a chronic illness can definitely count as a disability as it interferes with the way that you live your everyday life.

What is a Chronic Illness?

A chronic illness is, by definition, an illness that lasts longer than three months.  Chronic (or long lasting) illnesses are not to be confused with acute (abrupt, brief, emergency-type) illnesses.  Of course there is also subacute, which bridges the gap between the two.  So a bout with appendicitis would be an acute illness whereas a battle with cancer would be a chronic illness.

Now chronic illnesses do not necessarily mean terminal illnesses, though they can include terminal illnesses.  They are, however, usually quite serious and can take a long time to recover from.

What Kinds of Scholarships are Available?

First of all, you will need to find out if there are scholarships available for your particular illness.  Some illnesses like cancer, cerebral palsy, MS and other diseases have their own scholarships, but if not you may have to apply for scholarships that are geared for those with disabilities, and chronic illnesses are considered to be a type of disability since they disrupt your everyday existence.

Individual schools and universities are one of the best sources for disability scholarships.  Some schools may have scholarships available for specific illnesses.  At other schools you may have to apply for general disability scholarships.  An example of scholarships offered by individual colleges and universities can be found by looking at the San Francisco State University Timothy Wiese Memorial Scholarship.  You can find more information about this scholarship at: SFSU Wiese Scholarship

Then of course there are private organizations, corporations and other institutions that offer scholarships for disabilities and chronic illnesses.  Take Incight Education for example.  Every year Incight awards a minimum of 100 disability scholarships.  These can be quite valuable awards that can range from $500 to $2,500 dollars each.  For more information regarding Incight Education, please visit: Incight Education Scholarship Page

Non Scholarship Sources

Then of course there are the other sources of funding.  While these may not give you money specifically for education, by giving you a break on things like housing expenses, food costs and medical expenses you can save your money for the important things.  You can find this kind of help through Federal and State programs for disability benefits.  For more information, go to: Disabilities Benefits

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