9+ Scholarships for Students with Deceased Parent from Cancer

Managing college expenses after losing a parent can be challenging. However, you can apply for available scholarships for students with deceased parent from cancer to provide support during this difficult time.

With each passing year, the cost of higher education continues to rise, making it difficult for young students to afford college or university. For people who have experienced the loss of a parent to cancer, securing a scholarship is a step in obtaining further education.

Many organizations recognize that the financial impact of losing a parent can hinder a student’s ability to afford college, and as a result, there are scholarships specifically designed to provide assistance. Locating these specialized scholarships before the application deadlines can be a daunting task. To simplify this process, we have conducted extensive research across the internet to identify these scholarships on your behalf.

Scholarships for students with deceased parent from cancer

When seeking eligibility for a scholarship, in the case of having a deceased parent, there are various scholarships that may be accessible to you. Exploring organizations related to your parent’s cause of death can lead to scholarship opportunities. You might qualify for need-based financial aid. Below, we have compiled a list of prominent scholarships for students with deceased parent from cancer that you can apply for.

1. Aretta J. Graham Scholarship

Aretta J. Graham Scholarship is open to students enrolled in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of ACES. Preference is given to students who have experienced the loss of one or both parents, although it is also available to students from single-parent households or single parents who are pursuing their education.

2. David J. Ewing Scholarship

David J. Ewing Scholarship is offered to full-time students at the University of North Texas who have lost a parent to cancer. The scholarship amount varies depending on the funds available. Along with the application, applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation, their high school or college transcripts, a two-page essay explaining their financial need, and a copy of their Student Aid Report (part of the FAFSA application).

3. Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund

You can apply for a scholarship at the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund established to support the dependents of individuals who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This scholarship provides financial assistance for education at technical schools, trade schools, or two-or-four-year colleges. Eligible applicants must be registered with the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund and be under the age of 24. In some cases, graduate students may also qualify.

After completing the online application, you will be required to submit additional documents by mail or fax. There are different application deadlines: May 5 for full-time students and a rolling deadline for part-time students or full-time students who were unable to meet the May 15th deadline.

4. MaryEllen Locher Foundation(R) Scholarship

Speaking of a less competitive scholarship opportunity, you want to go for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation(R) scholarship. It is intended for full-time students enrolled in two- or four-year schools whose mothers have passed away due to breast cancer or complications from breast cancer, or have survived breast cancer. Eligible applicants must reside within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

It is one of the scholarships for students with deceased parent from cancer with selection process that takes into consideration factors such as academic grades, essays, and financial need. Successful recipients have the opportunity to renew the scholarship annually, provided they submit the required paperwork and continue to make progress towards their degree. Currently, the foundation does not offer an online application form.

5. W.H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship Fund

How about  W.H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship Fund? This scholarship opportunity was established by the International Association of Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation, and aims to provide financial assistance for secondary education to children of IAFF members who lost their lives in the line of duty. The fund grants an annual amount of $2,500 to eligible students for a maximum of four years.

The application requirements include:

If you are a biological or adopted child of a deceased IAFF member, you must submit the following documents and information by February 1st:

  • Official transcript
  • A brief statement outlining your motivation to pursue a university education
  • Two letters of recommendation.

6. LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program

Apply for  LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program, a scholarship initiative that grants monetary awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to individuals aged 17-24. The program seeks essays or videos from students detailing the impact of losing a parent on their lives. Applications are accepted annually from February 1st to March 1st, with notification of winners taking place in August.

To qualify for the scholarship, you must complete an application either online or via mail. You are also required to create an essay or video. While addressing the topic, only focus on the immediate consequences of parental loss (cancer or any other unfortunate cause) or the challenges of financing college without them. It is advisable to explore the broader effects of the parent’s death on the entire family, the implications of lacking life insurance, and any actions taken to alleviate stress for other family members over the years.

7. Diane Dawson Memorial Scholarship

Diane Dawson Memorial Scholarship is open to students residing in the Denver and Sacramento areas, who are facing the challenges of having a parent afflicted with a terminal illness or who has unfortunately passed away due to a terminal disease during their high school years. This scholarship offers a monetary award ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per recipient.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must provide a death certificate or a letter from the attending physician verifying their parent’s illness. Additionally, two letters of recommendation and a one-page essay are required. The deadline for submitting applications is March 10th.

8. James F. Byrnes Scholarship

Residents of South Carolina who have excelled academically, experienced the loss of a parent, and demonstrate financial need are eligible for the James F. Byrnes Scholarship. This scholarship provides a monetary award of $3,250 to deserving recipients, taking into consideration their financial circumstances and academic achievements. One notable advantage of this scholarship is that it does not require annual reapplication; it can be renewed for a maximum of three years.

To be considered for this scholarship, applicants must complete an application before the deadline on February 1st. Successful candidates will be notified of their scholarship awards in May.

9. MedEvac Children’s Scholarship

The MedEvac foundation  awards one student whose parent was killed or seriously injured during an air medical/ground transport accident a $5,000 scholarship to a university or vocational-technical school.

In order to apply, you’ll need to be enrolled in a university or vocational-technical school and be a dependent of a transport crewmember who lost their life in an on-the-job transport accident. Applications are usually due in the fall.

Additional Scholarships for Cancer Deceased Parent Students can Apply

When you need financial assistance to go to college, you can never apply to too many scholarship funds. Here are some other scholarship resources you can investigate where you may be able to find more scholarships to apply for:

Scholarships Offered by Kids’ Chance

Kids’ Chance, an organization dedicated to assisting families affected by workplace injuries or fatalities, offers scholarships for students with deceased parent from cancer to eligible individuals. If your parent has passed away as a result of a work-related accident, you have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship through Kids’ Chance. The application process requires essential details regarding your family’s financial status, a concise account of the accident, and submission of your academic transcripts.

Scholarships Available for Families of September 11 Victims

If you lost a parent in the September 11 attacks, there are numerous scholarships that you may be eligible for. The website of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators provides detailed information about various scholarship programs. While some scholarships may be limited to students enrolled in specific institutions, there is likely to be a scholarship available to assist individuals who have lost a parent in the September 11 attacks.

Scholarships for Children of Deceased Service Members

If you are searching for scholarships for dependents of service members, you can access a comprehensive list of such scholarships on the Financial Aid for Veterans and their Dependents page on FinAid.gov. The page provides extensive information on various scholarships that could be relevant to your circumstances.

Other Ways to Get Scholarships as a Student with Deceased Parent from Cancer

Apart from the aforementioned avenues, there are several other places where you can seek information regarding scholarships specific to your state. Use the online resources provided by your state’s Department of Education by visiting their official website. This will enable you to explore potential scholarships available in your state.

Consider reaching out to the financial aid department at the educational institution you plan to attend. Many schools offer scholarships specifically designed for students in your situation, so it is always worthwhile to inquire. If you have recently experienced the loss of a parent, you may be required to provide a copy of the death certificate to the financial aid office. Such circumstances can have an impact on your financial aid eligibility and may open doors for additional scholarship opportunities.

How About Grants?

Grants are a type of financial assistance that does not require repayment and can be obtained from various sources such as government entities, private or non-profit organizations, and educational institutions themselves. While scholarships are typically awarded based on merit, grants are primarily need-based. Government grants like the Pell Grant are specifically designated for students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Therefore, if you are facing financial hardships and have lost a parent, you may qualify for such grants.

There exists a specific grant known as the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. This grant is available to students whose military parent passed away as a result of their service after the events of 9/11. If you meet the specified eligibility criteria, you could potentially receive this grant.

To be considered for government grants, it is important to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You should inquire with the colleges or universities you are interested in attending to determine if they offer any additional grants specifically tailored to students in similar circumstances.


Regardless of your circumstances, the process of searching for and applying to scholarships requires thorough research. It can be highly nerve-wracking to wait and see if you will receive enough financial assistance to afford the upcoming year’s tuition. However, it is crucial not to let fear hinder you from applying for all available scholarships. While it may seem improbable to secure highly lucrative scholarships, you will never discover your chances unless you make an attempt.

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