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More universities are beginning to offer scholarships or free education to children or spouses of fallen and disabled soldiers. A university in Tennessee will open a new program this fall, and a New Jersey lawmaker submitted a statewide proposal for such students.
The University of Memphis Begins a New Program
The University of Memphis is offering up a free education for spouses and children of soldiers who suffered serious injuries or died while in service to the U.S.
The new program will start this fall when recipients will receive scholarships to help defray the cost of attendance. The Folds of Honor program is helping support the program. Folds of Honor is a nonprofit organization that gives $5,000 scholarships to military spouses and children to put towards secondary education, The Charlotte Observer reported.
The organization has been looking for colleges that would take the $5,000 payment and waive the rest of tuition. The first one to sign up was the University of Memphis. University personnel said it would use other scholarships to defray the remaining $10,000 in education costs per student.
There are stipulations to landing the scholarship. It’s only open to military spouses who haven’t remarried since the loss of their husband or wife. And the children of the soldier must be under 24 years old to qualify for the scholarship.
In addition, the university may limit the number of scholarship students it will accept in a single school year. Out-of-state students won’t qualify for this opportunity. However, there are other scholarships for military spouses to be found.
What’s Happening in Elsewhere
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a call has been made by Republican Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County Executive, for the state legislature to entertain the possibility of providing free secondary education to children and spouses of soldiers who have lost their lives on active duty. The state would pick up the tab for the education costs, under Levinson’s proposal.
“If colleges and universities can offer full paid tuition for athletes and video gamers, shouldn’t we be doing the same for the children of those who died to protect each of us and our family members,” Levinson told The Press of Atlantic City.
That plan isn’t as radical as what Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, proposed for the state. He would like to see free community college for every resident of the state – a plan Levinson has openly questioned and criticized. (Tennessee currently has a program that offers free tuition to community colleges.)
“It’s not going to occur, it’s just not feasible, and it’s too expensive,” Levinson said.
But what kind of support, if any, Levinson’s proposal has received from universities and their supporting organizations is unknown at this point.
Neither the New Jersey Council of County Colleges nor the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities has made a statement on Levinson’s proposal at this point.
Author: Shannon Serpette
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. When she’s not spending time with her children, she is often pursuing her favorite hobbies – running, metal detecting, kayaking, and reading about personal finance.