The number of people in the United States that suffer from allergies or asthma is nothing to sneeze at. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, nearly 34 million people suffer from asthma and 40 to 50 million Americans have one or more types of allergies. High school and college students who have either or both of these conditions can use it to their advantage by earning college money in the form of asthma and allergy scholarships.

Merck Respiratory Will to Win Scholarship

Merck Respiratory sponsors the Will to Win Scholarship, which is open to high school seniors with asthma. Students must be planning on attending college in the fall, have a minimum 3.5 grade point average and excel in one of five specialty areas that include performing arts, visual arts, community service, athletics and science. Merck Respiratory awards two $5,000 scholarships in each category every year. Applications are available online at the Will to Win Scholarship website along with submission instructions.

Berri Holbert Mitchell College Scholarship

Sponsored by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Greater Kansas City Chapter, the Berri Holbert Mitchell College Scholarship gives away scholarship money to high school seniors. Applicants are asked to compose a personal letter describing how they have dealt with asthma or allergies and how those conditions have affected their lives. To be eligible for the $2,000 scholarships, students must be graduating seniors attending college full-time in the fall and submit two letters of reference along with the application. All application materials are due by March 1 and winners are recognized at an awards ceremony held in their honor. Scholarship applications can be found online at the AAFA Greater Kansas City Chapter website.

The AAFA-Texas Kareem Bacchus Memorial Scholarships

Named in honor of Kareem Bacchus, a college student who lived with asthma and passed away while in college, the AAFA-Texas Kareem Bacchus Memorial Scholarships offer scholarships to students who demonstrate financial need and excel academically. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America Texas Chapter sponsors the three $1,500 scholarships open to high school seniors in Texas. Interested students can find the scholarship application online and along with the application, they must submit a 500-word essay describing how the money will help achieve their goals, a resume, two letters of recommendation and a statement from the student’s physician.

AAFA New England Chapter Scholarship

The New England Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America also awards college scholarships to high school seniors. The $250 scholarship is open to students in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont who demonstrate academic achievement and involvement in extracurricular and community activities. Applicants can find the application online at the AAFA New England Chapter website; they must also submit an essay answering that year’s question. Applications are due in late winter each year and winners are notified by mail and also featured in AAFA New England publications.

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