Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Epilepsy Scholarships

This is the time of year when students find out which colleges they’ve been accepted into (with the arrival of the coveted large envelope) or when developing those helpful Plan B life skills becomes necessary. 

It’s also the time of year when parents are either thrilled they have squirrelled away money in a still intact college fund in order to pay rising tuition costs or are terrified at the prospect of figuring out how to pay those heart-stopping tuition bills (and, believe me, they are heart-stopping!).

Scholarships can help and many go unused so it’s helpful to do some research to figure out what scholarship might be a good match.  Scholarships help students with a variety of specific requirements: plans to follow a certain degree program or living in a particular area of the country or, many times, having a particular health condition.  Having epilepsy or living with a family member with epilepsy is a requirement for some of these scholarships. 

So why am I writing about Epilepsy Scholarships when Robert isn’t going to college?  

Maybe it’s because my girls are graduating from college this year and I’m already nostalgic about completing FAFSA forms in hopes of finding some tuition relief;

Maybe it’s because Robert struggled so much throughout his schooling but insisted on taking classes at the local Community College once he (just barely) graduated from high school (yes – amazingly, Robert did go to college!);

Maybe it’s because a friend asked for help in finding scholarship information for a student at her son’s high school who has epilepsy.

Or maybe it’s my favorite college exam answer of all:   All of the above. 

A few scholarships I found are listed below which, hopefully, will find their way to someone who needs it, making their college dreams a reality. 

1.       The College Scholarships Organization lists several scholarships available to students with epilepsy.   Visit their website to learn more about the specific scholarships available (all are for those living with epilepsy and some are also specific to a geographic region). 

2.       The UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship program deadline is coming up April 20, 2012.  This scholarship is available to both those with epilepsy or for those who have a family member with epilepsy.  Visit the website for information on the application requirements and how to apply online.

3.       The Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California provides information about the Paul E. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund.   Applications are accepted through April 30, 2012.  Paul’s parents write, “The main goal of the Paul E. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund is to provide financial assistance to qualified applicants with epilepsy so they can pursue their life’s dreams.”  

4.       The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles states, “A few modest college scholarships are available for teens and adults with epilepsy seeking higher education in university, college, technical or trade school. The scholarship recognizes students who have demonstrated academic proficiency, actively pursue seizure freedom and successful management of their epilepsy, and are actively involved or committed to become actively involved in the epilepsy community.”  For more information on their specific scholarships, please visit their website.   

5.       The Heath Resource Center located in Washington D.C. describes itself as an “online clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities.”   The Heath Resource Center “gathers and disseminates information to help people with disabilities reach their full potential through postsecondary education and training.”  Visit their website to see if any of their programs can help.

Please let me know if you were able to share this information with anyone and also if anyone gets one of these scholarships!  I would love to share a success story or two. 

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