There are no words we can say to express our gratitude to those who have lost a loved one during service to our country. They have gone through something so unimaginable. Those same family members may wish to further their educational goals whether it is a young widow wanting to go back to school or a child of a fallen soldier, getting ready to start her freshman year of college.  Here are some scholarships for Gold Star Families to assist those surviving family members.

Scholarships For Gold Star Families

The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

The Details: This program is for children and spouses of those who:

  • Have died or who have been permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service connected disability during active service in the military.
  • Have died from any cause while having a permanent and total service connected disability.
  • Are a service member who has been MIA or captured in the line of duty by a hostile force.
  • Are a service member who was forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power.
  • Are a service member who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service connected permanent and total disability and will likely be discharged because of it.

Please keep in mind that any children who qualify for this should be between 18 and 26 years old, however exceptions can be made.

For spouses of those killed during active duty, the benefits will be good until 20 years after the date of death.

The benefits can be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships, as well as on the job training. If you are a spouse you can also use the benefits for correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may also be approved. You should be able to receive up to 45 months of educational benefits. You might be able to use up to 81 months of benefits if you use this program with an entitlement from other VA education programs.

The Website:

RELATED: How to Apply for Scholarships for College

Folded Flag Foundation

The Details: This scholarship is for a spouse or a child under 26 years old of a member of the military who died as a result of hostile action or in an accident related to US combat operations. Family members of employees of the US government who died as a result of the same thing also quality.

Through The Children’s Education Scholarship, children of the fallen, from K-12, can receive a scholarship and educational grants to cover private school tuition and fees, tutoring, after school programs, summer camps, and other expenses.

College bound spouses and children can receive the College or Technical/Trade school scholarship. This will cover tuition and fees, books, computers, living expenses including child care, tutoring, test preparation services, and career preparation expenses.

The Deadline: May 15th of every year.

The Website:

America’s Gold Star Families Scholarship

The Details: $1,000 in scholarships to IL family members who have lost a loved one in service to our country. They can be used at a college or university, junior college, or a trade or vocational school.

The Deadline: Application is due September 15th of each year.

The Website:

Captain Matthew C. Freeman USMC Memorial Sibling Scholarship

The Details: This scholarship is open to siblings of a fallen military member who was killed while deployed to a combat zone. They also must be entering or attending an accredited university or college. There is also a scholarship for a sibling of a service member who was lost in a combat related suicide.

The Website:

Folds of Honor

The Details: The Higher Education Scholarship is for spouses and dependents of service members who have been KIA, lost a limb, died while on active duty, or who have been classified as having a service connected evaluation, rated by the VA.

You will need to be enrolled or planning to be enrolled in an undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor’s degree. You will have to go to an accredited college or university. You can also be enrolled in an accredited technical or trade school program which results in a certificate or diploma, as long as you don’t already have a Bachelor’s degree.

The award will be used to subsidize the costs of tuition, schools books, fees, on campus room and board, and approved education and tutoring as well as other expenses.

There is also a Children’s Fund Scholarship to help provide support for dependents ages K-12 for approved and accredited private school tuition, educational tutoring, homeschooling curriculum, required books, and school uniforms.

The Deadline: The deadline for the Spring 2018 award was January 31st, 2018.


Fisher House – Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship

The Details: This scholarship is for unmarried dependent children under the age of 23 of those who has a parent who has fallen in battle or who have died or become disabled through active military service after September 11, 2001. The amount of the award depends on the year.

This fund was established by President Barack Obama after publishing his book, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to my Daughters.” He donates his after-tax proceeds to the Fisher House Foundation to establish a fund for children of the fallen or disabled.

This scholarship will pay for qualified expenses which include tuition, fees, lab fees, books, and other degree related costs.

The Deadline: The applications are due in March.

The Website:

Special Operations Warrior Foundation

The Details: This scholarship offers full financial assistance for post-secondary scholarships for every child who loses a parent serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps special operations. The award is for the full cost of a public college education which includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, tutoring, computers, printers, and supplies.

The award can be used at private universities, state colleges, community colleges, vocational and technical training as well as career institutions.

The Website:

The Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund

The Details: This scholarship is available for children of military members who have been killed or permanently disabled in an operational mission or training accident. They must be a Soldier, sailor, Airman, Guardsman, or Marine. Children of POWs and those who have gone MIA are also eligible.

You must be a senior in high school, a high school graduate or currently enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program. You also must be under the age of 26.

This award is good for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, meal plans, transportation expenses, off-campus rent, and other expenses that come with the cost of education.

The amount given depends on students needs.

The Website:

Military Order of the Purple Heart

The Details: In order to apply for this scholarship you will need to be the spouse or a direct lineal descendant of a Purple Heart Recipient or a service member who was Killed in Action or died of their wounds. Children, step-children, adopted children, grandchildren, and step-grandchild all qualify for a direct lineal descendant.

You will also need to be a graduate or an upcoming graduate of a high school or GED program. You need to be full-time enrolled or accepted to an accredited US college, university, or trade school. Graduate students as well as those seeking an additional undergraduate degree do not qualify.

The award can be used for tuition, books, incidental fees, room and board, and other direct costs.

The Deadline: Applications are due in January.

The Website:

When looking to apply for any of these scholarship, please double check that you do qualify for them as well as their application dates.

Scholarships for the Military Community