When you’re thinking about going to college, there are so many decisions to make. In state or out of state? What kind of program will you follow? And the big question for many students: how will you fund your four years in higher education?
If you have epileptic seizures, you might be eligible for epilepsy scholarships. Charitable organizations, companies and philanthropists have set aside money for people with epilepsy to help with the costs of going to college. This money can be really helpful when you're a student.
Here’s everything you need to know about college scholarships for students with epilepsy.
What are epilepsy scholarships for?
Most epilepsy scholarships are designed for college students or people going to graduate school (although some may be available for other education levels too). They are usually designed to help pay for the general costs of going to college - including things like computers and software, books, pens and paper, food, travel and accommodation.
Who can apply for epilepsy scholarships?
Anyone with epilepsy who is going to college can apply for epilepsy scholarships. Depending on the organization behind the scholarship, it may be restricted by things like your household income or your location (you might need to live or study in a particular state or region, for instance).
What is the application process like?
Each scholarship is different, so they will have their own specific application process. However, you might be required to do some of the following:
- Provide information about your epilepsy, including details about how it is managed, what medications or other treatments you take, and information about your seizures.
- A note from your doctor confirming you are living with epilepsy.
- A personal statement where you explain how having epilepsy affects your ability to study. It might also include information about what you would use the scholarship money for.
- Some scholarships require you to write an essay on a certain subject.
- Information about your grades and academic record.
- Information about the college program you are applying to.
- You may have to go through an interview process.
It’s important to be aware that epilepsy scholarships can be competitive. There may be tens or even hundreds of other people applying for each scholarship, so it is not guaranteed you will receive financial support.
Read more: 7 tips to avoid stress
Finding and applying to scholarships can be time consuming. It is worthwhile setting aside a good amount of time to complete your application. To increase your chances, you might want to begin applying during your junior year at high school – that will give you at least 12 months to apply for and hopefully win a scholarship.
What kinds of college scholarships for students with epilepsy are available?
There are a few different kinds of epilepsy scholarships available:
- National scholarships: Anyone from across the United States can apply for these scholarships and use them to attend any school they wish to apply for.
- Regional scholarships: Many scholarships are only available for people living in certain states (or attending colleges in those states).
- Charitable foundations: Various charities have been set up to provide funding for people with epilepsy - these tend to be regional or city specific.
- Epilepsy Foundation scholarships: The state chapters of the Epilepsy Foundation may offer scholarships for people with epilepsy living in the state.
- Corporate epilepsy scholarships: Various companies provide scholarships to people with epilepsy.
Where to find epilepsy scholarships
Finding epilepsy scholarships can be time consuming. To make your search faster, begin with the following sources:
- Scholarship listings websites such as Scholarships.com or CollegeScholarships.org.
- Contact the school you're applying to directly for any information about scholarships available.
- Contact the Epilepsy Foundation in your state to find out about any relevant scholarships they may offer.
- Speak to your doctor or epilepsy treatment team.
- Talk to other people at local epilepsy support groups who might have heard about scholarships.
- Follow scholarship programs and epilepsy organizations on social media.
- Widen your search - many scholarship programs are open to people with any disability, including epilepsy.
Getting the funding you need
Epilepsy scholarships can be a really useful way of supporting you through college. They recognize that people with epilepsy often have real challenges when it comes to education and provide funding to make going to college easier.
While it can be time consuming to apply for epilepsy scholarships, the benefits can really make it worthwhile. Good luck with your application!