Students in Crisis: You’re a student struggling to afford your education. Maybe you’ve lost a job or family income due to the pandemic. Or faced personal hardships making it difficult to keep up. Whatever the crisis, continuing your studies often feels impossible. But before you give up, know there are scholarship programs designed for students in your situation. In this article, we’ll explore three such opportunities you likely qualify for. And provide actionable steps to apply. With a little effort, you may find the financial assistance to continue your academic journey after all.
Understanding the Hardships Facing Students in Crisis
You may have faced or currently face difficult personal circumstances that make focusing on your education incredibly challenging. Financial struggles, family issues, medical problems, or mental health challenges can all severely impact a student’s ability to succeed academically.
- Financial hardships like poverty, homelessness or food insecurity affect a student’s ability to afford textbooks, technology, transportation and other necessities for school. Juggling jobs to make ends meet also reduces time for studying.
- Family crises like a parent’s job loss, illness or incarceration can create instability and emotional distress that hinders concentration and achievement.
- Medical conditions and disabilities may require significant time for treatment and recovery which leads to extensive school absences.
- Mental illness such as anxiety, depression or PTSD can be debilitating and make tasks like test-taking or public speaking enormously difficult.
The good news is there are scholarship programs designed specifically to help students facing situations like these continue their education. Opportunities exist to help cover tuition, living expenses, medical bills and other costs that might otherwise force you to put your future on hold. Don’t struggle alone – help is available if you reach out.
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3 Important Scholarship Programs for Students in Crisis
There are several scholarship programs aimed at helping students who are going through difficult personal situations or crises. These programs provide crucial financial assistance so students can focus on their education despite challenges.
1. The SAFE Scholarship
The SAFE (Surviving And Moving Forward through Education) Scholarship provides $2,500 scholarships for students who have lost a parent or guardian. This helps cover tuition, room and board, books, and other expenses. To qualify, you must be 21 years old or younger and have lost one or both parents. This scholarship recognizes the obstacles faced when a family undergoes such a traumatic event.
2. The Foster Care to Success Scholarship
Former foster youth who spent time in U.S. foster care face many hurdles in attending college. The Foster Care to Success Scholarship gives out multiple awards up to $5,000 per year to help cover the cost of tuition, housing, books, and more. To qualify, you must have been in public or private foster care for the 12 consecutive months prior to your 18th birthday.
3. The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Scholarship
For students who have been impacted by lung cancer, this scholarship provides up to $2,500 in financial assistance. Applicants must be a family member or loved one of someone who has been diagnosed with or survived lung cancer. The goal is to support students throughout their educational journey despite the challenges of witnessing and dealing with a lung cancer diagnosis.
There are also many other condition-specific scholarship programs for students impacted by autism, down syndrome, childhood cancer, cystic fibrosis, and more. Do your research to find ones that fit your situation. Taking advantage of these targeted programs can make all the difference in being able to pursue your dreams.
Applying for Crisis Scholarships – Tips and Resources
If you’re experiencing a personal crisis that threatens your ability to continue your education, crisis scholarships can provide much-needed financial assistance. As you apply for these unique scholarships, keep the following tips in mind:
- Highlight your situation – Review the eligibility criteria closely and explain clearly how the crisis (medical issue, job loss, family emergency, etc) has impacted your finances and education. Help them understand your need.
- Apply ASAP – Many crisis grants prioritize students with the most immediate, pressing needs. Don’t let the application timeline pass you by.
- Provide documentation – Where allowed, include evidence like medical bills, layoff notices, death certificates, or police reports. This verifies your situation.
- Use school resources – Speak with financial aid office, academic advisors, counselors, and diversity offices about possible crisis aid through the school or external groups.
- Search broadly – Seek local and national crisis scholarship providers, crowd-funding sites, professional associations, community foundations and religious groups. Cast a wide net.
- Follow up – Don’t miss deadlines and make sure application materials or documents have been received. Politely check on status.
Here are some reputable crisis scholarship providers to consider:
Don’t lose hope. With determination and help from crisis aid programs, you can get through this challenging period. Take advantage of these support systems so you can continue pursuing your education.
So there you have it – three scholarship programs that are available specifically for students going through a crisis or emergency situation. While money can’t solve everything, having some extra financial support can lift some of the burden when you’re already dealing with a lot. Reach out to these organizations if you or someone you know could benefit. And remember, you never have to go through tough times alone. There are always people willing to help if you ask. Wishing you all the best in getting through whatever you’re facing. You’ve got this!