Top 15 Chronic Illness Scholarships for Students

This post provides up-to-date information on chronic illness scholarships for students who want to further their education in higher institutions. The monetary awards will help these students in settling tuition and other fees.

There are various categories for scholarships there are some specific ones such as scholarships for cancer students, scholarships for autism, and other specific-illness/disability scholarships.

This article is about chronic illness scholarships for students, that is, only students living with an illness recognized as a chronic one can apply for this kind of scholarship.

How do you know chronic illnesses?

A disease or illness is tagged as “chronic” when it is persistent or long-lasting in its effect or that comes with time. “Chronic” is usually applied to an illness that lasts for more than three months. The common chronic illnesses are:

  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Lyme disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Autoimmune disease 
  • Hepatitis C
  • Genetic disorders and
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome

These are the common chronic illnesses and if you have one of the above-mentioned health issues, then you can go to apply for the scholarship that is listed below. And if you don’t have or a perfectly healthy person, then show this article to a relative, friend, or neighbour you think is suffering from any of these health issues.

The purpose of this article is to show these individuals suffering from chronic diseases that there are a lot of people out there supporting their educational dreams through scholarship provision. Charity foundations, organizations, and generous individuals are willing to encourage them by supporting their educational and career goals.

We at Study Abroad Nations have researched these scholarships as well and simplifying them on our website to make them easily accessible and understandable to those who are in need of it. That way, we get to contribute to, support and encourage these individuals living with one chronic illness or the other.

So, if you have a chronic health issue and still want to pursue your educational goals you can still do that, the scholarships here are specifically designed to support people like you. All of the scholarships here are offered in monetary value which will be used to offset your tuition and other fees.

Without further ado, let’s learn about these chronic illness scholarships and how you can win them.


Chronic Illness Scholarships for Students

The following are the scholarships specifically designed for individuals with chronic health conditions:

  • Anderson & Stowell Scholarship
  • AbbVie Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Scholarship
  • Cancer for College Scholarship
  • Cancer Survivor’s Fund
  • Candice’s Sickle Cell Fund
  • Diabetes Scholars Foundation Scholarship
  • Jack and Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship
  • Students with a Heart Foundation Scholarships
  • This Is Me Foundation Scholarship
  • National Collegiate Cancer Foundation (NCCF) Survivor Scholarships

Anderson & Stowell Scholarship

This is one of the chronic illness scholarships for students who are in college and living with a physical ailment, physical disease, and/or physical disability. Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time or part-time program at an accredited college and must not be on academic probation.

Email proof of enrollment to Bella Soul, transcript is not required neither is GPA but it will be taken into account. Fill out your name, year, GPA, university, and disease/disorder and email to

Applicants should also write a two-page double-spaced story about the ups and downs of living with a chronic illness. In your essay, include answers to the following questions: “What advice would you tell someone who is struggling with the same illness or disorder? “What are some techniques that help you to move forward and lead a healthy life mentally and physically?

The scholarship is provided by Bella Soul, a public charity organization established to empower students faced with chronic illness, physical disabilities, and disease through scholarships and emotional support.

The scholarship amount is $400 and is due August 30, 2021.

AbbVie Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Scholarship

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a chronic illness that affects the body’s mucus glands, sweat glands, reproductive system, respiratory, and digestive systems in children and young adults. Since we are discussing the chronic illness scholarships for students, this ought to be mentioned as well to assist people living with it in their educational pursuit.

AbbVie Inc., a charity foundation, established the AbbVie CF Scholarship program to assist individuals struggling with the illness offering the chance to win up to $25,000 to pursue higher education. The $25,000 scholarship is awarded to 40 scholars, that is, $3,000 each also two thriving scholars are awarded scholarships of an additional $22,000.

Applicant must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at an accredited post-secondary institution in the United States and must also be a citizen or permanent resident. Application is done online or by mail by completing the application and submitting an essay, list of accomplishments, and a creative presentation.

The scholarship deadline is April 30, 2021. Apply now

Cancer for College Scholarship

Cancer is another dreadful, chronic disease that makes this part of our list of chronic illness scholarships for students. Cancer for College assists cancer survivors to thrive through college and beyond by providing them scholarships and other financial aid.

Students currently living with cancer can also apply for the scholarship and may request a one-time extension of their scholarship if they experience a health-related issue that forces them to leave school. The award is $5,000 and applicants must be enrolled into an accredited university or college to receive it.

Other application documents are the last two years of academic transcripts, confirmation of diagnosis letter, recommendation letter from one person outside your family, and the first two pages of the appropriate 2019 tax returns (this may change the next year).

The Cancer for College Scholarship is offered annually, if you miss the current year’s you can wait to apply for the next year.

Apply here.

Cancer Survivor’s Fund

This is another scholarship for cancer survivors and for current cancer patients who are not currently receiving treatment. Applicant must be enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in an undergraduate program at an accredited school.

The scholarship recipient must submit a copy of an acceptance letter from the college/university of their choice or a letter of good standing from the registrar. Two recommendation letters, medical diagnosis, and an essay on the topic: “How has my experience with cancer impacted my life values and career goals” are to be submitted.

The essay should have a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1200 words.

Apply here.

Candice’s Sickle Cell Fund

Sickle cell is a genetic disorder and in general, a chronic health issue, which is why it’s listed among our list of chronic illness scholarships. This scholarship is provided three or more times annually to students who suffer from sickle cell ailment and want to pursue higher education.

Applicants must have been accepted or about to be accepted into an accredited post-secondary institution. The scholarship recipients are selected based on high academic standing and involvement in extracurricular activities and community service.

Two reference letters are also required for application and a 250-word essay typed in double-spaced format explaining how sickle cell has affected their life and education, their educational goals, how you expect to achieve them, and what person has been instrumental in their lives to help them persevere.

Download the application form here.

Diabetes Scholars Foundation Scholarship

Diabetes is a chronic illness and the Diabetes Scholars Foundation has deemed it fit to offer scholarships to people living with this ailment and still want to further their studies into a higher institution.

To be considered for this scholarship you must be living with Type 1 diabetes, be a high school senior who wants to further their education into an accredited two or four-year post-secondary institution this includes university, college, technical, or trade school.

Only United States citizens and permanent residents are allowed to apply, and the application is done online here. Application closes April 6, 2021.

Jack and Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship

Narcolepsy and Idiopathic Hypersomnia are chronic disorders related to sleep and it is also a very rare disorder. The Jack and Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship has been going on every year for the past seven years and this is yet another year for you to apply and win the scholarship.

The scholarship awards $1,000 to 25 students diagnosed with Narcolepsy or Idiopathic Hypersomnia planning to attend a four-year college or university. So, at the time of application, you will be a high school senior in the United States.

Other documents required for application are:

  • An essay of 500 to 1000 words on the topic: “If you could go back in time and speak to yourself on the day you were diagnosed, what would you say? What advice or perspective would you share with your younger self?
  • A list of all your extracurricular activities
  • Official transcripts of grades for the recently completed semester
  • ACT or SAT exam results
  • A signed diagnosis confirmation report from an accredited neurologist
  • A portrait photo of you.

Apply here

Students with a Heart Foundation Scholarships

This is one of the chronic illness scholarships for students who are suffering from heart disease. This scholarship is provided annually and if the recipient maintains the necessary requirements it can be renewed annually as well.

Applicants must be currently enrolled or in the process of being enrolled into an accredited university or college to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree program. If you are the latter, you must provide an acceptance letter, an official schedule for their first semester, and high school transcripts.

Applicants must have a CGPA of 3.0, present diagnosis of heart issues from a licensed physician, a letter of recommendation, a personal statement of no more than 2,000 words, and no less than 500 words describing the obstacles you had to overcome as a result of having heart issues.

Application is only open to United States citizens, nationals, and permanent residents.

Apply here.

This Is Me Foundation Scholarship

This is one of the chronic illness scholarships for students currently suffering from or who had recovered from Alopecia. Applicants must also be high school seniors in their final years and want to pursue higher education at an accredited institution in the United States.

Additionally, applicants must submit the following as part of the scholarship application:

  • A personal statement describing your experience with having alopecia, no maximum or minimum words required.
  • A resume of your life/school and work experience
  • A letter of recommendation from school, work, or community sponsor
  • Letter of acceptance into a higher institution

Apply here

National Collegiate Cancer Foundation (NCCF) Survivor Scholarships

The NCCF was created to support and provide services to youngsters whose lives have been affected by cancer and who have continued their education through treatment or after their treatment. The scholarship is a $1,000 reward that is used to offset the recipient’s tuition and other fees.

To win the award, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicant must be a cancer survivor or current patient.
  • Required age is 18-35 years old but exceptions will be made if you are 17 years old and entering college in the fall following the application
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Enrolled or planning to enroll into an accredited college, university, or vocational institution to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree program or certificate.

The applicant will be evaluated based on the quality of the essay, financial need, the overall story of cancer survivorship, commitment to education, quality of recommendations, and displaying a “Will Win” attitude with respect to your cancer experience.

Apply here


This brings an end to this article on chronic illness scholarships for students, go through the scholarship requirements and eligibility criteria carefully to avoid errors. You can go on to apply for more than two of the scholarships listed here to increase your chances of winning at least one of the scholarships.

Apply early so that your application can also be reviewed early and in case it doesn’t work out you may apply for another one.

Additionally, you can apply for the normal scholarships as well to further increase your chances of winning a scholarship. You can find some of these scholarships in the recommendation section below: