Academic Scholarships for Cancer Survivors

Aware of the physical, emotional and economic hardships cancer survivors endure following diagnosis and treatment, a number of organizations offer scholarships to cancer patients and survivors to aid their recovery. Pursuing educational goals can be particularly difficult for cancer survivors because of the economic and emotional hardships that follow them even after treatment ends. Accordingly, many foundations provide academic scholarships for them.

If you're a cancer survivor interested in pursuing higher education, here you will find information about academic scholarships specifically for survivors like you. Each organization has criteria that must be met to apply. Some cater to patients or survivors of certain types of cancer, specific age groups or survivors who live in certain areas. 

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The Ulman Foundation

The Ulman Foundation scholarship is available for young adult cancer patients and survivors. It is also open to individuals whose parents or siblings had cancer. Certain criteria must be met to apply:

  • Applicants must have been 15-39 years old during active treatment.
  • Applicants must have been 15-39 years old when a parent or sibling was in active treatment.

For more information, please visit the Ulman Foundation website.

The Pink Rose Foundation

Children who have lost a parent or legal guardian to breast cancer may be eligible to receive a $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and under 25. They must also be accepted to a college or certificate program. For more information, please visit The Pink Rose Foundation website.

National Collegiate Cancer Foundation

The National Collegiate Cancer Foundation provides need-based scholarships to cancer patients and survivors. To be eligible, you must be between 18-35 years of age (17-year-old high school seniors may also apply), a U.S. citizen and a cancer patient or survivor. An essay is required as part of the application. For more information, please visit the National Collegiate Cancer Foundation website.

Cancer for College

Two-time cancer survivor Craig Pollard founded Cancer for College while attending business school at the University of Southern California. Cancer survivors or amputees (Pollard lost both legs to an aggressive bacterial infection) are eligible to apply for a scholarship ranging from $250 to $4,000. For more information, please visit the Cancer for College website.

Cancer Survivors' Fund

The Cancer Survivors' Fund awards scholarships to young cancer survivors or those who have been diagnosed with cancer. The organization has four levels of scholarships, and awards are based on personal and financial needs. Applicants must be accepted at an accredited undergraduate education program and submit an essay and letters of recommendation to apply. For more information, please visit the Cancer Survivors' Fund website.

The Nicki Leach Foundation

The Nicki Leach Foundation provides college scholarships to young adult cancer patients and survivors, ages 17-39. The scholarship is unique because it awards grants not only for tuition but everyday costs associated with attending colleges, such as living expenses, cell phones, and other expenses. The organization requires a letter from the applicant and the applicant's oncologists as well as an application for assistance to apply. For more information, please visit the Nicki Leach Foundation website.

Patient Advocate Foundation

The Patient Advocate Foundation awards $3,000 scholarships to students with cancer or other chronic illness so they can pursue their education goals. Applicants must be under the age of 25 and have been diagnosed with cancer (or another chronic illness) within 5 years of applying. An essay is required as part of the application, along with an acceptance letter from an accredited educational institution. For more information, please visit the Patient Advocate Foundation website.

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation provides $1,000 scholarships to survivors of pediatric brain tumors. Awards are given to cover the cost of tuition, books, supplies and other educational expenses. The number of scholarship recipients varies each year based on the availability of funding. For more information, please visit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation website.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ulman Foundation. Scholarships.

  2. The Pink Rose Foundation. Scholarships.

  3. National Collegiate College Foundation. Scholarships.

  4. Cancer for College. What we do.

  5. Cancer Survivors' Fund. Programs.

  6. Nicki Leach Foundation. Welcome to the Nicki Leach Foundation.

  7. Patient Advocate Foundation. Apply for a scholarship.

  8. Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Scholarships.

By Lisa Fayed
Lisa Fayed is a freelance medical writer, cancer educator and patient advocate.