Apply for a Scholarship

During PAF's daily interactions with patients, PAF staff often interact with patients and families who have experienced the impact of cancer or a chronic illness on post-secondary education. In 2000, PAF established the Scholarship for Survivors program to honor these individuals by offering educational scholarships to students who have suffered (or are suffering) from cancer or a chronic illness. These students have, despite their diagnosis, excelled academically, served the community, and desire to pursue a secondary education.

Scholarship Impact

For over 20 years, PAF (along with other gracious donors) has provided scholarships to more than 135 students totaling over
$823,000. Thirty-one (31) of these incredibly unique and memorable students are still pursuing their course of study.

The purpose of our scholarship program is to provide support to individuals that are legal residents of the United States of America
pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies who have been diagnosed with or treated for a cancer or chronic disease (please see
scholarship guidelines for eligibility details). 

Applications for 2022-2023 Academic Term

Application Portals Open October 14, 2021. Deadline for Submissions is March 9, 2022.

National Undergraduate Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible, an applicant must satisfy the below requirements in full:

  • Applicant must be under the age of 25.
  • Must have been diagnosed with and/or been actively treated for a cancer or chronic disease within the past five years.
  • Must be pursuing an Associate’s degree or higher.
  • Complete Scholarship for Survivors application in full
  • Applicant must write an essay on how their diagnosis has impacted their lives and future goals. (500 word minimum and 1500-word maximum)
  • Applicant must submit a copy of an acceptance letter from the college or university the applicant is planning to attend. If applicant is unsure or has not received acceptance letters yet, please list
         colleges for which student has applied to. If selected as an award recipient, acceptance will be verified.
  • Applicant must upload two letters from for two non-related persons (examples: teachers, coaches, community leaders) to provide a letter recommendation. The recommender should be able to       
         speak to your personal character, academic achievements, and work and volunteer experience. Recommender must include their name, address and phone number within the letter. Your
         reference is an important part of your application. Think hard about who to ask! 
  • Applicant must provide a copy of an official transcript needed. If you are selected as a scholarship recipient, an official transcript will be required before funds will be distributed to your university.
  • Applicant must submit completed financial section that will demonstrate financial need and include a copy of the first two pages of tax return for the individual claiming the student as a dependent.        If the student or parent claims $0 income on taxes or did not file their taxes, please complete the official letter of non-filing from the IRS and complete the Declaration of Income Form.
  • Applicants treating physician must  verify patients diagnosis by completing the Diagnosis Verification Form or on medical letterhead by patients' oncologists, primary care physicians, or nurses. The        letter must only include:


Patient's name
Patient’s diagnosis
Date of diagnosis
When the patient began or will begin active treatment 
When patient ended or will end active treatment (chronic illnesses do not require end date)

 

The student is eligible to apply if they have been treated for cancer/chronic illness within the the past five (5) years.

Scenarios demonstrating cancer/ chronic illness include:

  • Chemotherapy, radiation, or anti-neoplasm drug therapy
  • Drug therapy is administered as treatment for chronic illness
  • Pathology revealing cancer/ chronic illness
  • A newly diagnosed patient awaiting treatment
  • Affirmation of current disease management
  • The cancerous organ has been removed or partially removed and the patient is still receiving ongoing treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation or did within the past five (5) years.
  • The patient is currently on adjuvant therapy for prophylactic purposes.

 

The student is not eligible to apply if:

  • Cancer/chronic illness was successfully treated and has not received active treatment for five (5) or more years.
  • Cancer/chronic illness was excised or eradicated and there’s no evidence of recurrence and no further treatment was done for five (5) or more years.
  • The patient had cancer/chronic illness and is coming back for surveillance of recurrence (Annual check-ups)
  •  

 

Scholarship Amount and Distribution:

  • PAF's Scholarship for Survivor Undergraduate scholars are eligible to receive a scholarship of $3,000 per school year ($1,500 per semester: Fall/Spring) for four consecutive years until the student receives a maximum of $12,000 or graduates with a bachelor's degree, whichever comes first.
  • The award is paid directly to the college or university for defraying tuition, books, and other fee costs.

 

If selected as a recipient, the below are requirements to maintain the scholarship:

    • Complete Scholarship Acceptance Form
    • Agree to media release terms and conditions
    • Provide a personal bio (250 words or less) and self-portrait/headshots (at least 300 dpi) for publication
    • Must maintain a cumulative 2.75 G.P.A.
    • Must be a full-time student
    • Must sign an agreement to complete 20 hours of community service for the year the scholarship will be dispensed and provide PAF with a confirmation when that service has been completed to include a signature of supervisor

 

Failure to meet any/all of these requirements is a violation of the award, and the recipient will be responsible for repayment of the award monies.  Prior to beginning the application process, please make sure you have all pertinent documents and information for uploading and completing the application.  The system will not allow for advancing if a field is skipped.  

Virginia Undergraduate Eligibility Requirements: 

To be eligible, an applicant must satisfy the below requirements in full:

  • Must be a resident of Virginia.
  • Applicant must be under the age of 25.
  • Must have been diagnosed with and/or been actively treated for a cancer or chronic disease within the past five years.
  • Must be pursuing an Associate’s degree or higher.
  • Complete Scholarship for Survivors application in full
  • Applicant must write an essay on how their diagnosis has impacted their lives and future goals. (500 word minimum and 1500-word maximum)
  • Applicant must submit a copy of an acceptance letter from the college or university the applicant is planning to attend. If applicant is unsure or has not received acceptance letters yet, please list
         colleges for which student has applied to. If selected as an award recipient, acceptance will be verified.
  • Applicant must upload two letters from for two non-related persons (examples: teachers, coaches, community leaders) to provide a letter recommendation. The recommender should be able to       
         speak to your personal character, academic achievements, and work and volunteer experience. Recommender must include their name, address and phone number within the letter. Your
         reference is an important part of your application. Think hard about who to ask! 
  • Applicant must provide a copy of an official transcript needed. If you are selected as a scholarship recipient, an official transcript will be required before funds will be distributed to your university.
  • Applicant must submit completed financial section that will demonstrate financial need and include a copy of the first two pages of tax return for the individual claiming the student as a dependent.        If the student or parent claims $0 income on taxes or did not file their taxes, please complete the official letter of non-filing from the IRS and complete the Declaration of Income Form.
  • Applicants treating physician must  verify patients diagnosis by completing the Diagnosis Verification Form or on medical letterhead by patients' oncologists, primary care physicians, or nurses. The        letter must only include:

    Patient’s name
    Patient’s diagnosis
    Date of diagnosis
    When the patient began or will begin active treatment 
    When patient ended or will end active treatment (chronic illnesses do not require end date)

 

The student is eligible to apply if they have been treated for cancer/chronic illness within the the past five (5) years.

Scenarios demonstrating cancer/ chronic illness include:

  • Chemotherapy, radiation, or anti-neoplasm drug therapy
  • Drug therapy is administered as treatment for chronic illness
  • Pathology revealing cancer/ chronic illness
  • A newly diagnosed patient awaiting treatment
  • Affirmation of current disease management
  • The cancerous organ has been removed or partially removed and the patient is still receiving ongoing treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation or did within the past five (5) years.
  • The patient is currently on adjuvant therapy for prophylactic purposes.

 

The student is not eligible to apply if:

  • Cancer/chronic illness was successfully treated and has not received active treatment for five (5) or more years.
  • Cancer/chronic illness was excised or eradicated and there’s no evidence of recurrence and no further treatment was done for five (5) or more years.
  • The patient had cancer/chronic illness and is coming back for surveillance of recurrence (Annual check-ups)

 

Scholarship Amount and Distribution:

  • PAF’s Scholarship for Survivor Undergraduate scholars are eligible to receive a scholarship of $3,000 per school year ($1500 per semester: Fall/Spring) for four consecutive years until the student receives a maximum of $12,000 or graduates with a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first.
  • The award is paid directly to the college or university for defraying tuition, books, and other fee costs.

 

If selected as a recipient, the below are requirements to maintain the scholarship:

    • Complete Scholarship Acceptance Form
    • Agree to media release terms and conditions
    • Provide a personal bio (250 words or less) and self-portrait/headshots (at least 300 dpi) for publication
    • Record at least (1) 30 second- 1 minute “Thank You” video for our donors.
    • Must maintain a cumulative 2.75 G.P.A.
    • Must be a full-time student
    • Must sign an agreement to complete 20 hours of community service for the year the scholarship will be dispensed and provide PAF with a confirmation when that service has been completed to include a signature of supervisor

 

Failure to meet any/all of these requirements is a violation of the award, and the recipient will be responsible for repayment of the award monies. Prior to beginning the application process, please make sure you have all pertinent documents and information for uploading and completing the application.  The system will not allow for advancing if a field is skipped. 

Graduate Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible, an applicant must satisfy the below requirements in full:

  • Applicant must be under the age of 35.
  • Must have been diagnosed with and/or been actively treated for a cancer or chronic disease within the past ten years.
  • Must be pursuing a Master's degree or higher.
  • Complete Scholarship for Survivors application in full
  • Applicant must write an essay on how their diagnosis has impacted their lives and future goals. (500 word minimum and 1500-word maximum)
  • Applicant must submit a copy of an acceptance letter from the college or university the applicant is planning to attend. If applicant is unsure or has not received acceptance letters yet, please list
         colleges for which student has applied to. If selected as an award recipient, acceptance will be verified.
  • Applicant must upload two letters from for two non-related persons (examples: teachers, coaches, community leaders) to provide a letter recommendation. The recommender should be able to       
         speak to your personal character, academic achievements, and work and volunteer experience. Recommender must include their name, address and phone number within the letter. Your
         reference is an important part of your application. Think hard about who to ask! 
  • Applicant must provide a copy of an official transcript needed. If you are selected as a scholarship recipient, an official transcript will be required before funds will be distributed to your university.
  • Applicant must submit completed financial section that will demonstrate financial need and include a copy of the first two pages of tax return for the individual claiming the student as a dependent.        If the student or parent claims $0 income on taxes or did not file their taxes, please complete the official letter of non-filing from the IRS and complete the Declaration of Income Form.
  • Applicants treating physician must  verify patients diagnosis by completing the Diagnosis Verification Form or on medical letterhead by patients' oncologists, primary care physicians, or nurses. The        letter must only include:

Patient’s name
Patient’s diagnosis
Date of diagnosis
When the patient began or will begin active treatment 
When patient ended or will end active treatment (chronic illnesses do not require end date)

 

The student is eligible to apply if they have been treated for cancer/chronic illness within the past ten (10) years.

Scenarios demonstrating treatment for cancer/chronic illness include:

  • Chemotherapy, radiation, or anti-neoplasm drug therapy
  • Drug therapy is administered as treatment for chronic illness
  • Pathology revealing cancer/ chronic illness
  • A newly diagnosed patient awaiting treatment
  • Affirmation of current disease management
  • The cancerous organ has been removed or partially removed and the patient is still receiving ongoing treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation or did within the past ten (10) years.
  • The patient is currently on adjuvant therapy for prophylactic purposes.

 

The student is not eligible to apply if:

  • Cancer/chronic illness was successfully treated and has not received active treatment for ten (10) or more years.
  • Cancer/chronic illness was excised or eradicated and there’s no evidence of recurrence and further treatment was done for ten (10) or more years.
  • The patient had cancer/chronic illness and is coming back for surveillance of recurrence (Annual check-ups)
  •  

Scholarship Amount and Distribution:

PAF's Scholarship for Survivor Graduate scholars is eligible to receive a scholarship of $3,000 per school year ($1,500 per semester: Fall/Spring) for up to two consecutive years until the student receives a maximum of $6,000 or graduates with a Graduate or Ph.D. degree, whichever comes first. The award is paid directly to the college or university for defraying tuition, books, and other fee costs. 

 

If selected as a recipient, the below are requirements to maintain the scholarship:

  • Complete Scholarship Acceptance Form
  • Agree to media release terms and conditions
  • Provide a personal bio (250 words or less) and self portrait/headshots (at least 300dpi) for publication
  • Record at least (1) 30 second- 1 minute "Thank You" video for our donors
  • Must maintain a cumulative 2.75 G.P.A.
  • Must be a full-time student
  • Must sign an agreement to complete 20 hours of community service for the year the scholarship will be dispensed and provide PAF with a confirmation when the service has been completed to include a signature of the supervisor

Failure to meet any/all these requirements is a violation of the award, and the recipient will be responsible for the repayment of the award monies. Prior to beginning the application process, please make sure you have all pertinent documents and information for uploading and completing the application.  The system will not allow for advancing if a field is skipped. 

 

On behalf of Patient Advocate Foundation's Board of Directors and Scholarship Review Committee, we thank you for your interest in our 2022-2023 Scholarship for Survivors program.

After you have applied, your application will be reviewed and you will receive an email from us with an expected date of decision, usually 3-4 months after the application deadline. Applicants that were selected to receive funding will be personally contacted and a contract that outlines the funding guidelines will be forwarded.

For questions please email: scholarship@patientadvocate.org 

2021-2022 Scholarship Award Recipients

Returning Scholarship Recipients

Scholarship Alumni - Where Are They Now?