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Scholarships For Kids With Deceased Parents

Written by: John Crawford
Last updated: January 30, 2024

Scholarships can be an important part of affording an education for a person with a deceased parent. You may be able to qualify for scholarships since many organizations realize the impact your loss may have on your ability to afford college.

A scholarship applicant's eligibility depends on the specifics. By searching for organizations related to the cause of death of your parents, you may be able to locate the If you’re looking for a deceased parent scholarship, 2022 is the year that gives you multiple need-based scholarships to kickstart your education.

Aretta J. Graham Scholarship

Students attending the College of ACES at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can apply for the Aretta J. Graham deceased parent scholarship in 2022. First in line for the scholarship will be people who have lost one or both parents, but it can also go to students living in single-parent households.

Applicants must demonstrate financial need and meet one of the following criteria:

  • The student must be an orphan
  • The student must have one parent left
  • The student is a single parent

David J. Ewing Scholarship

Scholarships for students who have lost a parent are available through the David J. Ewing Scholarship. Scholarship amounts vary according to available funds. Additionally to the application, you'll need the following:

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Highschool or college transcripts 
  • An essay explaining why you need the scholarship

Families of Freedom

Family members of individuals killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks are eligible for the Families of Freedom scholarship. Applicants must register with the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund for the deceased parent scholarship in 2022. 

Graduate students may even be eligible. You'll need to submit additional documents after submitting your online application. Full-time students have a May 15 deadline, while part-time and full-time students who missed the deadline have a rolling deadline.

MaryEllen Locher Foundation(R)

Students with mothers who died of or had breast cancer or complications of breast cancer may apply for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation Scholarship(R) at two-year or four-year colleges. Scholarship award decisions are determined by a student's grade average, essays, and financial needs. 

Students can renew their scholarships each year with the appropriate paperwork to advance towards a degree. The best time to apply is by mid-January. They announce awards in May, and applicants must accept them in writing within ten days of receiving notification.

LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program

The LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program provides students who submit essays or videos on how the loss of a parent has impacted their lives ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Applications are accepted in February, and award recipients are notified in August. 

You must submit an online or paper application, in addition to submitting an essay or video if you are eligible. Create your essay or video to highlight the immediate effects of losing a parent or the difficulty of paying for college. If you've done anything to relieve stress for other family members over the years, it’s good to mention how a lack of life insurance impacted the family.

Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation

For children of deceased military members, the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation provides financial aid to help bridge the gap between financial aid and college tuition costs A student is entitled to a maximum of $6,250 in funding per year. 

Applicants must submit copies of the following:

  • Casualty Report
  • Birth certificate
  • Death certificate
  • Transcripts

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance

The Veterans Affairs Department's Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance program offers financial assistance to children of military members who meet specific criteria, including those who died while serving. The students must be between 18 and 26 years of age and enrolled in a program approved for VA benefits to qualify for this funding.

AFP&CC Scholarships

The American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens (AFP&CC) sponsors this scholarship. A law enforcement officer's surviving son or daughter who died in the line of duty may apply for this deceased parent scholarship in 2022. There is an annual award worth up to $1,000 for students under 25.

American Police Hall of Fame Educational Scholarships

Applicants must be surviving sons or daughters of a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty and graduating high school seniors or current college students. Scholarships are valued at up to $1500 a year for four years.

MedEvac Foundation International Children’s Scholarship

MedEvac Foundation International sponsors the scholarship program. It is open to former dependents of air or ground medical transport crewmembers or patients who died in air medical accidents or were seriously injured in air medical accidents. The scholarship is worth $5,000 and applications are being accepted until August 2, 2022.

Dependent Children Scholarship Program

The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation offers financial aid to Tennessee residents whose parents were law enforcement officers, firefighters, or emergency medical technicians. Their parents must have lost their lives or been totally and permanently disabled while performing duties within the scope of their employment.

In order to be eligible for this scholarship, the applicant must be a Tennessee resident whose parent was on duty when the incident occurred. Tennessee undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the scholarship. Scholarships range in value and are due by July 15, 2022.

Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers & Firemen Scholarship

The Mississippi State Office of Financial Aid sponsors this scholarship. All state-sponsored (public) colleges and universities in Mississippi that offer undergraduate programs can apply.

Suppose the applicant suffered fatal injuries or wounds or became permanently disabled due to their official and appointed duties as a Mississippi police officer, full-time firefighter, or volunteer firefighter. In that case, the application must be from the individual's child or spouse (under 23 years of age).

The site contains information on various state aid programs, including HELP, MESG, and MTAG. Scholarship amounts vary depending on various factors but are generally around $40 million annually. The application deadline is on September 15, 2022.

Rezvan Foundation Scholarship

Rezvan Foundation supports the educational pursuits of exceptionally talented students who have been in foster care, moved away from their parents, or lost both parents prematurely. A deceased parent scholarship in 2022 up to $100,000 covers the full tuition and offers an ongoing mentoring for each awardee throughout the four-year academic program. The application deadline is January 1, 2022.

The Rezvan Foundation sponsors this scholarship program for high school seniors in California who meet the following criteria:

  • An adopted minor
  • A foster child 
  • Someone who lost at least one parent  
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.5

Beat the Odds Scholarship Program

The Children's Defense Fund of New York (CDF-NY) Beat the Odds(R) scholarship program honors young adults who have overcome adversity, have shown academic excellence, and have made a significant contribution to their communities.

Each year, the sponsors choose high school sophomores from the New York City metropolitan area to participate in the CDF-NY Beat the Odds program based on a competitive review process. An applicant must have a GPA of at least 3.0 to qualify for the program.

The deadline for applications is September 16, 2022, and each successful applicant will receive up to $4,000.

Regis L. Mullen Accident Injury Scholarship

A student's ability to afford or attend college is impacted by the emotional upheaval caused by losing a parent. This program awards $2,500 annually to college-bound high school seniors and college students (undergraduates or graduates) who have lost a family member or whose family member they depended on has been seriously injured or disabled by another person's negligence. There is a deadline of March 1, 2022, to apply for this scholarship worth $2,500.

SFM Foundation Scholarships 

Work-related accidents can cause injured workers to become permanently disabled or even killed. Applicants dependent on such workers in Minnesota and Iowa may apply for the scholarship sponsored by the SFM Foundation. The application deadline is March 31, 2022, with a scholarship value of up to $10,000.

American Legion Legacy Scholarship 

The American Legion offers a $37,000 stipend to college students whose parents died in service to our country. A candidate must be the biological or legally adopted child of a United States Armed Services member.

The high school senior or graduate should be enrolled in a higher learning institution accredited in the United States as an undergraduate student. The deadline to apply for this scholarship program is April 15th, and military children can apply for up to $1.1 million.

James F. Byrnes Scholarships

James F. Byrnes founded the James F. Byrnes Foundation following a brilliant career in public service. This scholarship provides $3,250 annually to 25 young people in South Carolina who have lost one or both of their parents. Scholarship applications must be submitted by February 6th, and the scholarship amount is $3,250.

W.H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship

In honor of firefighters who have died in the line of duty, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) offers the WH "Howie" McClennan Scholarship. For candidates who meet eligibility requirements, an accredited institution of higher learning must be available for enrollment in the fall. Applications are due on February 1st, and the scholarship is worth up to $2500.

Students are required to:

  • Demonstrate academic achievement 
  • Financially support a single-parent household
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Write a 200-word letter of intent

Kids' Chance

Students under the age of 25 who live in any state across the US are eligible for this scholarship. Children's Chance of America (KCOA) provides scholarships to students within a specified age range raised in a single-parent household after one custodial parent dies in an accident due to work-related reasons.

This scholarship aims to provide opportunities for all children whose parents have been killed or injured at work to pursue their educational dreams without the financial burden. Scholarships are worth around $2,800, and there is no deadline for applying.

Foster Care to Success Scholarships

For students or children whose parents have passed away, this is one of the best scholarship options for them. Children in foster care for 12 consecutive months before and including their 18th birthday are eligible to apply. The same goes for adopted children or those with legal guardians who are at least 16 years old and children whose parents have passed away at least a year before they turn 18 but haven't yet been adopted.

The Foster Care to Success Scholarship has a total value of $5,000. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • If they have not previously received Foster Care to Success Scholarship funding, they must be under 25 years of age on March 31 of the application year
  • Children who were either fostered or orphaned in the United States — no requirement for U.S. citizenship
  • Studying at a college or other postsecondary institution that accepts Pell-eligible students

ICMA-RC Public Employee Memorial Scholarship Fund

Scholarships are available to students whose parents or sponsors were killed in the line of duty. Graduates of high schools, colleges, and universities whose parents were public workers are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Additionally, scholarship amounts vary from year to year and student to student.

The eligibility criteria for this scholarship are as follows:

  • Applicants may be spouses and children of local and state government employees who have died while serving in the field of education, health care, not-for-profit, or public safety
  • The applicant must submit an official letter from the workplace of the deceased employee
  • A community college, university, or vocational school accredited for two years or more is required when submitting an application

Regis L. Mullen Accident Injury Scholarship

This scholarship offers financial aid to graduating high school and college students (graduate and undergraduate). These scholarships are open to students in the U.S. whose parents are dead or whose family members got injured due to other people’s negligence.

Furthermore, there’s coverage for students who got injured in an accident or as a result of the negligence of others. The scholarship is sponsored by Mullen and Mullen, worth $2,500. The following eligibility criteria are applicable:

  • Must be graduating from high school or attending college (undergraduate or graduate) in the United States
  • With a copy of the educational institution's letter of acceptance
  • With a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Have an essay describing your financial need, along with your EFC number/score from the FAFSA
  • Have a recommendation letter from their teacher or professor, past or present, and one letter referencing their character from someone who is not a relative or peer
  • A typed essay describing how their loss or disability has affected their lives — should not exceed 1,000 words

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are there scholarships specifically for students who have lost a parent?

Yes, there are scholarships specifically designed to support students who have lost one or both parents, helping them with tuition and other educational expenses.

How can I find scholarships for kids with deceased parents?

Search online scholarship databases, consult with high school guidance counselors, or contact colleges and universities to inquire about available scholarships for students who have lost a parent.

What are the eligibility requirements for these scholarships?

Eligibility requirements vary depending on the scholarship but may include factors such as financial need, academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, and the circumstances surrounding the parent's death.

Are there any national organizations that offer scholarships for students with deceased parents?

Yes, national organizations such as the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program provide scholarships for students who have lost a parent.

It is difficult to lose a parent. Students who lost a parent can receive a deceased parent scholarship in 2022 to help them cope with their loss. The scholarships mentioned above are good for young students who have lost parents and wish to pursue their education. Colleges also provide scholarships for students with disabled parents, so it's important to research and explore all available options to find the best fit for your individual circumstances.

Have you considered all avenues for scholarship opportunities? If you are a child of a veteran who has passed away, additional resources are available. Explore our latest blog post to learn about exclusive scholarship programs available for children of veterans.

If you are interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation, read our article about 17 organizations that provide free government laptops for students

John Crawford
John Crawford is a dedicated researcher who has devoted his career to studying the intricacies of government benefits programs and their impact on individuals and communities. Armed with a Ph.D. in Social Policy and a strong analytical mind, John has contributed valuable insights through his extensive research projects. His work informs policymakers, enabling them to make data-driven decisions to improve social care programs. John's commitment to evidence-based research has made him a respected figure in the field, advocating for more equitable and effective government benefit policies.
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