I am a high school student. Am I eligible?
Yes. The contest is open to graduating students with a letter of acceptance or who are currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at a college or university located in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.

I am a foreign student. Am I eligible?
Students enrolled in foreign universities/colleges are not eligible.

I am an international student. Am I eligible?
If you are an international student enrolled in a U.S. college or university located in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, you are eligible.

I am a U.S. college student attending an international campus. Am I eligible?
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student who is currently enrolled at a college or university located in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, and you are attending or plan to attend an international campus of that college or university, you are eligible.

I am a part-time student. Am I eligible?
If you are a part-time student who is currently enrolled in a college or university located in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, and you intend to continue your enrollment on either a part-time or full-time basis after October 1, 2013, you are eligible. Otherwise, you are not eligible.

I am only 17-years-old but I have been accepted to a university. Am I eligible to apply?
No. At the time you apply for the scholarship by signing the application form, you must be at least 18-years-old or older.

I am a high school student, but I am also taking college courses. Can I apply?
If you are at least 18-years-old or older and are currently enrolled on a full- or part-time basis at a U.S. college or university, you are eligible.

If I am enrolled in a nursing program or technical school, can I apply?
Yes, you can apply.

I am a college senior or graduate student and I am graduating this semester. Am I eligible?
If you will be enrolled in a graduate program after October 2013, you are eligible. However, if you are graduating and not pursuing any additional education, you are not eligible. Winners will be awarded a check to be used toward tuition and/or expenses related to their college or university education.

Can the money received from the scholarship be used to pay tuition for a summer study abroad program or overseas study?
If the summer-abroad program or overseas study program is related to your college or university education, you can apply the prize money to the program.

What about legal status? I am an immigrant and/or I don’t have a Social Security number. Am I eligible?
Essay winners must provide a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to Mesothelioma Help for issuance of a 1099 Form where appropriate.

How do I submit my essay?
Please email us your essay and application to [email protected].

Essay Voting Process

Where will the top four finalist’s essays be posted for the voting portion of the contest?
A page will be created on MesotheliomaHelp.org for the essays. A link to the essays will be provided to the finalists when they are notified of their placement.

What is the #hashtag that will be used to promote the essays?
A unique #hashtag will be established when the public voting portion of the contest opens. When the top four finalists are notified they will be given the #hashtag. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all use #hashtags now so all of these can be used to promote the essays.

Will MesotheliomaHelp.org publicize the #hashtag and essays?
Yes. In order to help raise awareness of mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos we will also be using social media and our blog to publicize the contest and the top four essays.

What websites (pages) count toward a citation for my essay?
Good academic writing is often cited (referenced via a link) on other websites and in online publications that are relevant to the topic of the writing. We consider it a major factor for your essay to be cited by another trustworthy website or online publication. Consider asking your college or university to publicize your essay or ask peers to reference it in their academic work. We reserve the right to exclude any websites from the final tally that we classify as irrelevant or inappropriate. Shares and mentions in social media sites are encouraged to get your essay visibility, however these mentions are not counted as citations.

Examples of Appropriate Citations:

  • Academic article on cancer, caregivers, asbestos, harmful products, mesothelioma, etc.
  • Page on trustworthy site dealing with resources for cancer, asbestos, caregivers, etc.
  • Article in educational newsletter, school newspaper raising awareness for the scholarship and highlighting your post.
  • A business website with high-quality content that is relevant to the essay (i.e. asbestos abatement, cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, etc.)
  • Article on website with high-editorial standards. Website and article must be relevant to essay.

Examples of Inappropriate Citations:

  • A website set up for the sole purpose of linking to your essay.
  • A friend’s blog on website design.
  • A business website (non-relevant), ie. flower shop, restaurant, etc.
  • A website site with low-editorial standards.
  • A website with excessive ads.
  • A scholarship listing site.

If you are unsure about the appropriateness of a citation, feel free to email us at [email protected] prior to establishing the citation.

May I write the essay as a short story?
Yes, non-fiction short stories can be submitted.

Must I have any personal cancer experience to apply?
No. If you are writing a personal mesothelioma survivor story, the subject can be someone you know.

May I include accounts of people I know who have gone through cancer treatments?
Yes. However, you must first obtain written permission from the person if you use the name of a real person or any of their personal identifying information.

What type of permission?
We cannot provide legal advice. You are solely responsible for the appropriateness or legality of your essay. However, as a courtesy, we remind you that if you are writing about other people, especially concerning their personal health challenges, and you place that information on the Internet, privacy laws may apply. Please speak to a lawyer if you are unsure what you must do.