Deceased Parent Scholarship

While many people know that there are an abundance of college scholarships for athletics, academics, music, ethnicity and women scholarships to name a few, there are also a vast number of college scholarships awarded because of other circumstances such as the loss of a parent or guardian. These deceased parent scholarship are available for you or your kids to use towards meeting your college tuition needs.


Paying for CollegeLosing a parent or guardian is a life changing ordeal and is even more devastating when it happens to any child or young person.  In addition to the emotional strain it places on the family it can also bring financial stress and strain for the family as well.  For many students faced with the horrific ordeal, they may assume that their chance of attending college is gone as their families can no longer afford the rising college tuition.


Scholarships: Specialized Deceased Parent Scholarship

We are here to let you know that there are many ways to get a scholarship for to those who been devastated by the loss of a parent or parents.  Additionally there are specialized deceased parent scholarship that are specific to how the parental loss occurred. Some of these specialized scholarships cover parental losses associated with:

  1. Work related accidents
  2. Cancers such as breast cancer
  3. Serving in the military
  4. September 11th 2001 Terrorist Attacks
  5. Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters & Emergency Personnel


Grants for Students who have Lost a Parent

1k scholarshipsCollege bound students that have lost a parent may be eligible for grants offered to students with financial needs from the federal government.  Additionally, each state offers scholarships and grants for college to students burdened with financial issues.  One of the best features of the federal and state grants (also known as “gift aid”) for education is that it does not have to be paid back.



The federal government offers the following grants:

  1. The Pell Grant – if you have a deceased parent, you may meet the qualifications associated with income for this program.  Pell Grants provide grants based on need to students from low income families.  There are several factors that determine the over grant amount such as cost of the school, whether the student is full or part time, how much the family can contribute to the tuition as well as attendance is for the full year or less.
  2. FSEOG – Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant – this grant is for those students with exceptional financial needs.  The grant offers students between $100 and $4000 per year depending on several factors.  Not all schools participate in this program so you will need to check with the school first to see if the offer the grant program in order to apply.
  3. TEACH – Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant that is given to those students with exceptional financial needs that are taking certain classes and then get a job in a certain area that meets the grant requirements.  If the student fails to get a job within the grants job requirements, the grant converts to a student loan and will need to be paid back.  A student can get a grant of up to $4000 for this program.
  4. Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant – this grant is a special eligibility grant and is offered to students if their parent or guardian died as a result of their military service while serving in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Available Scholarships Programs for Students with a Deceased Parent

  1. The Mary Ellen Locher Foundation – the foundation was started in 2002 by Mary Ellen Locher who was a new person in Tennessee who died in 2005 after losing her life to her third bout with cancer.  She started the foundation prior to her death as she was concerned about her son’s education future.  Student for this scholarship are selected based on their eligibility and essay.  Other considerations for the scholarship are community service, financial need and grades (with grades being the least important factor).
  2. American Legion American Legacy Scholarships – the American Legion is dedicated to ensuring that the children of parents that have been killed while serving their country have access to higher education.  The number of awards and the amount of the scholarship depends upon the income that comes from their trust.
  3. Armed Forces Family Scholarship & Assistance Fund – this program is run by The Marine-Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation and provides scholarships for the children of fallen service members who lost their life in Iraq and Afghanistan between January 2002 and July 2003.  The program provides a maturity value bond worth $40,000 to every child that is eligible and whose parent served in the US Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy and Coalition Partners.
  4. Life Lessons Scholarship Program – this program is offered by Life Happens.  This nonprofit organization formed by several large insurance organizations to help Americans take personal financial responsibility through owning lifer insurance.  They offer two $15k scholarships (either a video or essay) for students who have lost a parent or guardian.
  5.  Fallen Patriots Foundation Scholarships – this foundation offers college scholarships and education counseling to children of fallen patriots.  To date they have raised more than $6 million and provided scholarships to 403 children of fallen patriots totaling over $6.7 million.

The examples and information we provided is only a small list of the deceased parent scholarships and grants available.

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