The loss of one or more parents can drastically affect a child’s ability to afford an education. For this reason, a number of sources provide what is known as deceased parent grants. No child should have to struggle in life after loosing their mother or father to unforeseen circumstances. Here are a few options for children who have experienced this loss to receive proper funding to earn their college education.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
Students who have formerly been turned down for a Pell Grant but who lost a parent or guardian in the line of duty while stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan can apply for a special exception through this government grant and receive similar funding of $5,645 per year. To be eligible for this service grant, you must meet all remaining eligibility requirements for a Pell Grant and have lost your parent or guardian to military service since 9/11. You must also have been enrolled at least part-time at the time of their death and have been under the age of 24 when the death occurred.
Veterans Affairs Survivors and Dependents Assistance
The Department of Veterans Affairs also provides assistance to children who have lost a parent during military service through the Survivors and Dependents Assistance or DEA benefit. An eligible son, daughter or spouse could receive 45 to 81 months of funding for education through the program. Children must be between the ages of 18 and 26 to apply for help. Applicants must fill out an application through the VA or if they have already started school must visit the financial aid office who are also required to provide documentation to the VA. Job training is also covered under the grant.
Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund
Families of Freedom offers a very special deceased parent program. Children who lost a parent during the terrorist attack of 9/11 can apply to receive a scholarship through the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. Initial funding was provided for the fund to the tune of $3 million by the private Lumima Foundation. With additional support over the years, the fund has now grown to over $108 million in total endowment and has already provided $91.7 million to pay for college for 2,374 children. The fund intends to send over 5,000 students on their way to earning degrees. Both former President Bill Clinton and Senator Bob Dole have served as co-chairs of the fund. To apply for this scholarship, simply visit the website link provided above. For additional information, contact the fund via email by writing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling toll-free 1-877-862-0136.
LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program
This scholarship program provides two $15,000 annual scholarships to send students with a deceased parent to college. Additional applicants receive prizes worth $2,000 to $7,500 to be used to attend college as well. Applicants enter by either writing a 500 word essay or submitting a 3 minute video. The program is available to both currently enrolled college students and to high school seniors planning to attend school. $125,000 is up for grabs yearly in this scholarship competition. The annual deadline for submissions occurs yearly during March with funding decisions and winners announced during August. For additional information or questions, email email@example.com or call 202-464-5000, ext. 4446.