Estrela Consulting Blog

Cancer and College: Resources and Scholarships for Impacted Families

Alyson Campbell February 15, 2024

Cancer and College

For nearly two decades, the team at Estrela Consulting has worked and developed relationships with hundreds of families from around the world. While getting to know these families, we have experienced beautiful highs and some extreme lows right alongside them. One thing that is not lost on us is when members of our extended Estrela family experience unforeseen and difficult circumstances. Our goal with this particular blog post - in honor of International Childhood Cancer Day (February 15) - is to shed some light on a few incredible resources for students and families that have been impacted by cancer. 

Scholarship Opportunities

Cancer for College: This organization has provided more than $6 million in funding through scholarships to high-achieving cancer survivors. 

American Cancer Childhood Cancer Association: This site lists numerous scholarship links and opportunities for cancer survivors to earn money for college. 

St. Jude Together Teens & 20’s: Excellent tips for successful applications and essays are offered on this site, as well as a robust list of scholarship opportunities.

OncoLink - Financial Aid Resources for Students and Families Impacted by Cancer: This resource has a number of scholarships and additional lists and links to guide families toward financial, social-emotional, and therapeutic resources.

In addition to these resources, some colleges offer scholarships specifically for cancer survivors including Boston University Metropolitan College, St. Joseph's University, and Drexel University. As you visit colleges or attend information sessions, don't hesitate to ask if their institution offers any type of scholarships or aid for families impacted by cancer. Last but not least, embrace the power of the Google and type in “cancer survivor scholarship” or “cancer survivor financial aid” - you will be amazed at all the resources that surface! 

Support Services as Resources

Another recommendation is to work closely with your case or social worker at your local medical facilities. They are likely a great resource for you and will keep you in mind if specific opportunities arise. We also recommend checking if your medical center has an Adolescent and Young Adult program (typically called AYA) for cancer survivors. This an excellent support resource and will supply a wealth of information. 

College Consultants Care

If you are a family who is affected by cancer and you are looking for college guidance, we are happy to share more with you about College Consultants Care - a group of Independent Educational Consultants (IECs) providing FREE college application assistance. Founded in 2019 by our fellow Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) colleague, Wendy Briley, College Consultants Care serves students and families from across the country both in-person and virtually. Estrela Consulting has been proud to support this fantastic non-profit since its inception!

From their website:

College Consultants Care was formed as the result of a conversation between two friends. Founder Wendy Briley was talking with a longtime friend that had been diagnosed with cancer. One of her friend’s fellow support group members’ wish was to have someone assist her son through the college application process in case she was no longer living. Wendy agreed to take on that client pro bono and an idea was hatched. As a member of a professional organization which consists of over 2000 Independent Educational Consultants, Wendy realized that there was an opportunity to match Independent Educational Consultants across the country with students affected by cancer with free college application assistance.

We are always ready to help you navigate this challenging time and provide guidance and resources. Please feel free to share this to someone in your network you feel may benefit as well. If you are affected by cancer, you are not alone!

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Tagged: college admission, financial aid, Scholarships, college search, Alyson Campbell

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