Scholarships for Diabetics

Win Special Funding Awards

Diabetics face unique challenges, but paying for college is a common hurdle they encounter alongside other post-secondary students.  Tuition, books, room and board and associated fees add up quickly, so most university students rely on some form of financial aid to meet expenses.  In fact, modern college students often draw from multiple streams of student assistance to get the job done.

Federal programs play pivotal roles for cash-strapped college students, who use Pell Grants and Federal Direct Loans to meet financial obligations related to higher education.  For all college students, but especially those from unique student populations, filing the standardized request for federal assistance is the first step toward educational funding.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) gathers data about you and your family, including how many of your siblings are attending college and how much income is earned within your household.  If you submit your FAFSA as a dependant filer, it means you are claimed on your parents’ income tax return; so their financial data must be included as well.  Your FAFSA profile is used to make important determinations about your ability to pay for college, including your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).diabetic scholarships

By determining the amount you can contribute to your higher education bills (EFC), the Department of Education helps individual campuses arrive at precise need calculations for your educational financing.  Once they know how much your education will cost, and how much you can afford to pay, financial aid administrators set about assembling assistance packages that draw from available programs for which you are eligible.

If you are one of the thousands of students afflicted with diabetes, your financial aid portfolio includes access to scholarships reserved for diabetics.  Once your federal and state-specific college aid is exhausted, use these student-specific awards to cover remaining college costs.  Depending on the severity of your disease, you may also qualify for general scholarship funding for students with disabilities.

Community groups, advocacy organizations, corporations and memorial foundations fund educational scholarships for disabled students and Diabetics. The following examples illustrate the types of college assistance available to students with type1 and type 2 Diabetes.

Non-Profit Groups Fund Scholarships for Diabetics

Private foundations and nonprofit organizations are advocates for individuals suffering with diabetes.  Promoting research, increasing patient access to health care and spreading diabetes education are priority efforts made by groups that help diabetics.  For some, this mission also includes philanthropic educational support for student with diabetes.

The Novo Nordisk Donnelly Awards were established by Billie Jean King in 1998. This scholarship is available to anyone between the ages of 12 and 21 who has diabetes and plays tennis on a team or in a league. The awards are valued at $5,000 each, and are intended to be applied to a recipients education, tennis advancement or medical care.  In addition to the two grand awards, six annual $2500 awards are distributed regionally.

The Austin Community Foundation administrators the Aimee Melissa Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund. This award is disbursed annually to a graduating high school senior who has Type I diabetes.  The award honors Ms. Davis, who lost her battle with juvenile diabetes before reaching adulthood.  Applicants must be accepted to four-year colleges to be considered for the scholarship, which is currently worth $2000 to each winner.  The number, and amount of the annual scholarships offered varies based on available funding in Aimee’s endowment. The Aimee Melissa Davis Memorial Scholarship¬† was established by family and friends to remember Aimee. Scholarships are given to graduating seniors from a high school within Travis, Williamson or Hays County Texas, living with a diagnosis of Type I Diabetes (insulin-dependent) with financial need and academic potential.

The Women’s Board of the Central Ohio Diabetes Association awards scholarships annually, to students who show the ability to successfully manage their disease while maintaining exemplary academic standards.  Central Ohio residents are invited to apply, and will be judged on scholastic merit and financial need.

Thomas Seefred Trust distributes scholarships to Ohio students diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Qualified applicant’s are pursuing bachelor’s degrees.  Awards worth $3000 each are given to students exhibiting academic promise and financial need.  Tuition, fees, room and board are approved expenses, and winner preference is given to applicants from three particular Ohio counties.

The Diabetes Scholars Foundation (DSF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, provides college scholarships for students in the United States with Type 1 diabetes.  Scholarships are not issued strictly based on financial need; nor are they designed to stand solely as academic achievements.  Administrators look at the whole student, and consider factors like community involvement, extracurricular activities, diabetes advocacy, and leadership abilities. To qualify, each student must submit an essay and two letters of recommendation; one each from a physicians and a high school counselor or teacher.

Submitting a single DSF scholarship application places students in consideration for all of the scholarships included in the DSF lineup.  Financial aid is distributed to diabetic students based on location, academic major, participation in athletics and a host of other individual characteristics.  Application materials must be submitted by May 15th.

Diabetes Hope Foundation has been helping to educate diabetics since 1999, with a variety of scholarships for students with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. The educational awards recognize exceptional students who have illustrated success managing their illnesses, all the while engaging in extracurricular and community activities.  Over 400 students have received help from the Hope Scholarship Fund to date, thanks to generous support from public and private sponsors.

With help from corporate sponsors like Nordisk and Bayer, The American Association of Diabetes Educators distributes several scholarships for stand-out educators.  The scholarships target several groups, including pharmacy students and others showing promise within diabetes related education professions.

College/University Scholarships for Diabetics

Many institutions of higher learning distribute campus-specific scholarships specifically to the diabetic students who are enrolled at their schools.  At Arizona State University (ASU) for example, students with juvenile diabetes are eligible to apply for the  Julie Sargent Memorial Scholarship.  Full-time candidates benefit from this ASU program if they are Arizona residents pursuing undergraduate degrees.

University of Florida Diabetes Center of Excellence administers the Diabetes Scholars Program on campus annually.  Activities related to diabetes management and participation within the diabetes community are strong qualifiers for students pursuing this award.  Academic achievement and level of extracurricular engagement are also selection criteria.

To access a larger pool of scholarship possibilities, students with diabetes pursue disabilities scholarships designed to help a cross section of physically and intellectually impaired groups.  Scholarships for disabled students are put forth by a wide variety of public and private sources, so they are each unique in their conditions and requirements.  Some grants and scholarships are specifically inclusive of those with diabetes, while others prohibit their participation.  Financial aid offices and program administrators provide up-to-date information about disabilities scholarship terms and qualifications.

State-specific aid for diabetics is also disbursed on individual campuses.  The John E. Kostic Scholarship benefits incoming freshmen within the State of New Jersey.  Resident students with Type 1 Diabetes qualify for college resources by exhibit high academic standards, strong extracurricular records and proficient diabetes management.  Successful applicants are pursuing bachelor’s degrees at accredited 4-year schools.


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