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Scholarships

There are students who have lost a parent or maybe even lost both parents. There are scholarships for you. The loss of a parent can be emotionally devastating no matter how old you are when it happens. If one of your parents dies while you are still living at home, your family may experience significant financial hardship in addition to emotional distress. Your family may have few resources to help you pay for your college education. Numerous institutions and organizations offer scholarships that can help relieve that burden and ensure that you have the means to continue your schooling.

The LIFE Foundation is a great place to start when seeking out these scholarships. The Life Lessons Scholarship is geared toward college-bound high school seniors who have lost a parent. To apply, submit an essay or video about how the death of your parent impacted your life financially and personally. More than $100,000 in scholarship money is handed out to multiple deserving students, with the grand prize scholarship winner receiving $10,000. The foundation’s goal is to recognize perseverance in the face of adversity. You can begin applying in February.

If you lost a parent in the devastating terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund is an option for you. Provided by Scholarship America, this long-term scholarship fund has already distributed $74 million in scholarships and projects to provide more than $11 million dollars to 9/11 family members since it started. It’s also easier than ever to apply with the online application tool at Scholarship America’s website.

Kids’ Chance is a national organization dedicated solely to educating children of injured American workers. Each Kids’ Chance location is driven to provide scholarships to students who have lost a parent due to work-related injuries or incidents in their workplace. Applicants are required to submit their family financial documents, transcripts, and a description of the death or accident that took place. Scholarship amounts and deadlines vary by location.

Forgotten Dependents is a scholarship is for students between the ages of 16 and 25 who have experienced the death of a biological parent. Students who are children of deceased active duty veterans or those missing in action and believed to be deceased are also eligible. To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must be US citizens and be unmarried.

If your parent has been battling with or has passed away from cancer, you may be eligible for The Vera Yip Memorial Scholarship. This national scholarship provides $2,500 for students under the age of 35 who are seeking a degree at a four-year college or university. Scholarships are awarded based on a student’s commitment to educational and professional objectives, medical hardship, dedication to community service, and leadership. The hope is that applicants use their experience with cancer to positively impact the lives of other young adults affected by the disease. This scholarship is presented by the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, and the application deadline is May 1.

The American Legion awards the Legacy Scholarship for students whose parents died while performing military service. High-school seniors or graduates who will enroll in an accredited undergraduate program are eligible. Award amounts vary according to the funding available. The International Association of Firefighters provides the W. H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship for the children of firefighters who were killed in the line of duty. At the time of publication, awards were $2,500 per year and renewable for up to four years. Financial need and academic achievement are considered in the selection process.

Foster Care to Success sponsors the Casey Family Scholars Program for students who have been orphaned for at least a year before turning 18, have been in foster care for 12 consecutive months or have been adopted out of the foster care system. Awards are available for up to $6,000, and the program also provides mentoring, internship opportunities and academic coaching.

The MaryEllen Locher Foundation offers scholarships to those who have lost their mothers to breast cancer. Eligible students must write an essay about their experience and attend a school within 50 miles of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Community service, grades and financial need will also be considered. The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults sponsors the Vera Yip Memorial Scholarship for students who have either suffered from cancer themselves or have lost a parent to the disease. Applicants must be younger than 35, have financial need and have a strong record of community service or leadership. Applicants must also live in or attend school in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. At the time of publication, the awards were $2,500 per year.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers the Aretta J. Graham Scholarship for students who have one or two deceased parents, who live in a single-parent household or who are single parents themselves. The award varies each year according to the funding available from the estate of Aretta Graham.

The University of North Texas offers the David J. Ewing Scholarship for students who have lost a parent. The award is sponsored by PepsiCo in honor of a deceased director of human resources. The award varies each year. To qualify, students must be enrolled full time and maintain minimum academic standards.

The Walter and Shirley Sperber Scholarship is offered to a deserving and accomplished student at Michigan State University. To qualify, you must have at least one dead parent, have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and be an incoming freshman. All applicants must write an essay on the issues they have faced because of the death of a parent or parents. The award amount is $1,000 per academic semester.

The Barbara S. Iannacone Memorial Award is offered to a special student at Pennsylvania State University in Brandywine, PA. To qualify, you must demonstrate a high level of academic mastery, have at least one deceased parent and you must have strong leadership skills. The award amount is generally between $500 and $2,500 per academic year.

The Huntley Wealth Care Scholarship offers $1500 in prize money twice per year, in the fall and in the spring, to high school seniors and college students. Scholarships are awarded to students who have lost one or both parents, who either has no life insurance or were under-insured. You may submit an article or a video to be considered for the scholarship.

In loving memory of Jada Julissia Reynolds