Eli Lilly Reintegration Scholarships Now AvailableIf you have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizophreniform or a schizoaffective disorder, you may have some free money coming to you if you want to go, or go back, to school.

Eli Lilly — you know, that big pharmaceutical company — announced earlier this week that applications for the 2013-2014 school year are now available for the 15th annual Lilly Reintegration Scholarship.

The program provides funding for tuition, books and lab fees to people living with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and related schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, so they may pursue and achieve their educational and vocational goals.

I think it’s a good thing when a company gives back to the community they serve. So I’m happy to pass this information along to interested readers.

“Reintegration” refers to restoring oneselve’s life in society — getting back to the way things were in your life before your disorder took over. It’s all the things a person might do from the time they start treatment until they meet their recovery goals.

An independent judging panel comprised of psychiatric care professionals review applications annually and select scholarship winners.

Lilly Reintegration Scholarship recipients have studied at Harvard, Yale and MIT, as well as hundreds of state and private universities, community colleges and trade schools. Recent areas of study include engineering, law, psychiatry, culinary arts, graphic design, social work, physics, education and computer sciences.

“Fifteen years ago, the prospects for higher education and a career for a person battling mental illness were small, as were opportunities to earn an academic scholarship,” said Ralph Aquila, M.D., executive director of the Center for Reintegration and chairman of the Lilly Reintegration Scholarship judging panel.

“However, data collected from this program over the years show that we have helped many people achieve their goals. On average, our Lilly Reintegration scholars have a 71 percent graduation rate, whereas the nation’s average for an incoming freshman class is 55.5 percent.

The goal of the Lilly Reintegration Scholarship is to help people with schizophrenia, related schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, or bipolar disorder acquire the educational and vocational skills necessary to reintegrate into society, secure jobs and to improve their lives. Through the scholarship program, Eli Lilly and Company furthers its ongoing commitment to providing tools that enhance the reintegration continuum, allowing people to move their lives forward and achieve their individual potential.

“Since its inception in 1997, the Lilly Reintegration Scholarship has helped hundreds of students to pursue educational opportunities, leading to meaningful jobs and achievement of important life goals,” said Bart Peterson, senior vice president, corporate affairs and communications, Lilly.

“Despite living with the challenges associated with severe mental illness, these dedicated students are an inspiration.”

Additional information about the scholarship and how to apply is available at www.reintegration.com (here’s the information).