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 to ensure they all can have the same opportunities in life as their civilian counterparts.
Over the years, several new scholarships have been established in an effort to help military children get through university. Thanks to the efforts of these organizations, military children attending university or college in 2021 have a wider variety of scholarship options to apply to.
For the second year in a row, the Support Our Troops Scholarship, sponsored by Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services and launched in 2015, is expanding its scholarship offering from 23 scholarships to 27 for the 2017/2018 school year.
Below are some of the scholarships and bursaries available to military children.
1. 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. In 2016, Canada Company announced an expansion to their scholarship in the amount of $500,000. Because of the expansion, the scholarship is now available to children of serving military members who have taken their own lives, as deemed attributable to their military service.For more information about this scholarship visit here.
2. Support Our Troops Scholarship – National Scholarship (CFMWS)
In 2020 the National Scholarship Program distributed $148,000 in scholarships to military family members.This scholarship is sponsored by CFMWS and is available to families of currently serving members and veterans. For the 2017/2018 year, Support Our Troops is offering 27 scholarship grants for full-time and part-time post-secondary education at an accredited academic institution. To learn more about this scholarship visit their website.
3. Wounded Warriors Canada Veterans Child Scholarship
This scholarship funds 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, maximum, per full course year with payments divided on a semester basis. 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 Canadian Military Engineers Association (CMEA) Bursary Program
This program awards six individual educational bursaries of $1,000 annually. Applicants must be a dependent of a current or deceased CMEA member. To apply visit here.
7. 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.
8. The Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund (RCNBF)
This scholarship is awarded annually to dependents and grandchildren of serving or retired naval members. The RCNBF awards two $2,000 bursaries and twenty $1,000 bursaries. To learn more visit the RCNBF website.
9. The Royal Canadian Regiment Association Bursary Programme
The RCR Association awards a number of bursaries each year to children and grandchildren of a member of the RCR family. The applicant must be in his or her final year of secondary schooling and preparing to attend an institute of higher learning. For more information visit here.
10. 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 range from $1,000 to $5,000. To apply for this scholarship visit here
11. 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 need to be or have been a resident of Saskatchewan. The scholarship amount is $5,000. Apply here.
12. 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.
13. Women in Defence and Security (WiDS) Memorial Scholarship
Established in 2006, the WiDS Scholarship fund is available to women pursuing careers related to security and defence in Canada. The scholarship amount ranges from $1,000 to $10,000. Women applying for this scholarship must be enrolled at an accredited university and college and demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career related to security and defence. For more information visit here
14 . A Soldier’s Hero Scholarship – Willis College
The scholarship, which is part of the College’s 150th anniversary celebrations, recognizes the contributions of military spouses in supporting Canadian soldiers at home and abroad, and seeks to further empower them through education as they integrate back into the labour market. Six Scholarships are awarded to qualified recipients over a period of six years. The scholarship will be valued at a total of $150,000 (up-to $25,000 each). For more information or to apply visit here.
15 George & Helen Vari Foundation Education Bursary Program
The George and Helen Vari Foundation’s Endowment gift of $1 million to Support Our Troops established the George and Helen Vari Canadian Armed Forces Education Fund to support education for Regular and Reserve force Canadian Armed Forces members. The education bursary program complements the Canadian Armed Forces Education Reimbursement Program and eases the financial burden for members pursuing their academic goals. Visit here for more information.
16. Education Assistance Loan Program
The Education Assistance Loan Program (EALP) is an opportunity for military members and their families to pursue further education at ease with the support of a low-interest study loan.
Whether you’re a serving member, former member, military spouse or dependent in need of recertification courses, supplementary courses and/or training to increase opportunities for employment, the EALP is there to help. Learn more here.
Universities Awarding Scholarships to Fallen Soldiers
1. Afghanistan Mission Memorial – Brandon University
This Manitoba University offers a one-year 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.
3. Military Families Fund – Sens Foundation Bursary – Algonquin College
Created in 2007 by the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, the Military Families Fund supports students in full-time diploma programs at all three Algonquin College campuses. Special consideration will be given to military or family members who are attending Algonquin College and demonstrate financial need. Electronic applications are available at military bases across Canada. Visit here to apply.