Children of military members face various challenges throughout their lives, but organizations are pulling together to ensure that obtaining a post-secondary education is not one of them.
Scholarships and bursaries are available to children of currently serving members, of fallen soldiers and of parents with OSIs so they all can have the same opportunities in life as their civilian counterparts. In some cases, children of parents who committed suicide as a result of their service can apply for scholarships set aside for children of fallen soldiers.
Over the years, several new scholarships have been established in an effort to help military children get through university. The Support Our Troops Scholarship, sponsored by Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services and launched in 2015, is set to more than double currently available scholarships this year.
“We offered seven scholarships [in 2015], and we had over 400 applications. We said ‘wow I think we’re on to something,’ there is obviously a clear need. So, we made it our mission to grow our scholarship program. In one year alone we’ve gone from seven scholarships to 23 scholarships,” said Nancy Branco from CFMWS.
Other organizations are also starting their own scholarship programs. Wounded Warriors Canada launched a scholarship this year for children whose parents are diagnosed with an OSI.
“They’re [scholarships] meant to encourage children who are in those houses to get started in their post-secondary education as part of their transition and moving on with their lives and their development,” said Phil Ralph, National Program Director for WWC, on the recent launch of the Veterans Child Scholarship.
Below are some of the scholarships and bursaries available to military children.
Canada Company Scholarship Fund
To honour the sacrifices of those CAF members killed in action, Canada Company annually offers the Canada Company Scholarship Fund. Launched in 2007, this scholarship awards $4,000 annually for up to four years for any eligible child seeking a post-secondary education. For more information about this scholarship visit here.
2. Support Our Troops Scholarship- Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS)
This scholarship is sponsored by CFMWS. It is available to families of currently serving members and veterans. The Support Our Troops Scholarship has expanded this year to include 23 various scholarships. CFMWS is set to announce their changes for this fiscal year in late spring. To learn more about this scholarship visit their website.
3. Wounded Warriors Canada Veterans Child Scholarship
Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) recently announced the launch of this scholarship to be awarded annually, beginning this September. The scholarship will fund the first year of full-time post-secondary students for eight children whose parents are CAF members or veterans and are affected by OSIs. Each child will be awarded $5,000. To apply visit here.
4. Educational Assistance- Veterans Affairs Canada
Veterans Affairs Canada offers educational assistance to children of fallen soldiers, by providing fees and monthly allowances. Students must apply and enter a full-time educational program prior to their 25th birthday. For more information or to apply visit the VAC website.
5. Canadian Heroes Fund
Founded by students and grads from the University of Toronto in 2009, this scholarship is open to military spouses and children of fallen soldiers. Scholarships can be used towards attendance at an accredited university, college or trade school in Canada. Visit their website to apply.
6. The Royal Canadian Legion Grant and Bursaries
Through the Poppy Trust Fund, Royal Canadian Legion branches award a variety of bursaries to students who are either children, grandchildren or great-children of Canadian ex-service personnel. The bursaries can be awarded at any stage of a college or university program. For more information visit your nearest Legion branch.
7. The Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund (RCNBF)
This scholarship is awarded annually to dependants and grandchildren of serving or retired naval members. The RCNBF awards 20 Navy Centennial Bursary Scholarships of $3,500 each, 30 Sea Cadet Scholarships, and one CPO Hooser $5,000 scholarships. In addition, the CPO Andrew McQueen Jack Trust, which provides 10 bursaries, of $1,000 to former and serving members of the naval forces of Canada, their dependants, and descendants. To learn more visit the RCNBF website.
8. Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Scholarship
The Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Education Foundation awards scholarships annually to Royal Canadian Sea Cadets entering the first year of University or Community College course leading to a degree or diploma. The scholarships are $1,000 per cadet. To apply for this scholarship click here.
9. The Government of Saskatchewan’s Scholarship of Honour
The Government of Saskatchewan’s Scholarship of Honour is awarded both to military members and the spouse or child of a permanently disabled or deceased soldier. The military members needs to be or have been a resident of Saskatchewan. The scholarship amount is $5,000. Apply here.
10. Project Hero- Canada Company
Launched in 2009 by General Retired Rick Hillier and Honorary Lt. Col. Kevin Reed, this scholarship is awarded to children of fallen soldiers who wish to begin undergraduate studies. In some cases, the scholarship also covers room and board. To learn more visit this website.
Universities Awarding Scholarships to Fallen Soldiers
Afghanistan Mission Memorial- Brandon University
This Manitoba University offers a full-tuition undergraduate scholarship to students whose parents were killed during their deployment to Afghanistan or while training for this mission. They are open to full-time and part-time students. Visit Brandon University’s website for more information.
2. Fallen Heroes Scholarship- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
NAIT awards this scholarship to any full-time student who is an immediate family member of a fallen soldier. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of financial need and or academic achievement. One scholarship of $2,000 is awarded annually. For more information visit here.