As statistics show that the number of children living in single-parent households has doubled since 1960, there’s a growing number of scholarships for children of single parents available to reduce the financial burden of college.
Today, 15 million American children are being raised without a father and another five million are living without a mother. Whether children have lost the support of another parent due to divorce, addiction, incarceration, or death, it may seem impossible to save enough money for higher education. After all, single parent families tend to have significantly lower incomes and nearly 38 percent live below the poverty line.
In order to help you make a college degree more attainable, below we’ve lighted 25 of the best scholarships available for children being raised by a single parent.
1. American Legion Legacy Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
Each year, the American Legion offers the Legacy Scholarship to provide a $37,000 stipend that can cover tuition, textbooks, and other living expenses for college students whose parent was killed while serving our country. Candidates must be the biological or legally adopted children of United States Armed Services members who died in active duty on or after 9/11. Eligible high school seniors and graduates should be enrolling for undergraduate studies at an accredited higher learning institution in America.
American Legion Legacy Scholarship
P.O. Box 1055
Indianapolis, IN 46206
2. Aretta J. Graham Scholarship
Deadline: June 1st
At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Aretta J. Graham Scholarship is awarded for $1,000 annually for students who live in a single parent household or students orphaned by the death of both of their parents. To qualify, applicants must be enrolling full-time in an undergraduate program in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, exhibit significant financial need, possess a minimum high school GPA of 3.0, and write a short personal essay describing the adversity they’ve overcome to attend college.
Aretta J. Graham Scholarship
1301 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
3. Ava’s Grace Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: April 15th
Ranging in value from $3,000 to $5,000 apiece, the Ava’s Grace Scholarship Foundation (AGSF) distributes annual awards for up to four scholars across the state of Missouri who are being raised by a single parent while the other serves prison time. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens, exhibit financial need, achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, be enrolling in an accredited non-profit college, be seeking their first degree, and have a parent incarcerated in a U.S. state or federal penitentiary.
Ava’s Grace Foundation Scholarships
P.O. Box 432046
St. Louis, MO 63143
4. Ayo and Iken Children of Divorce Scholarship
Deadline: May 1st
Founded by a group of Florida divorce attorneys, the Ayo and Iken Children of Divorce Scholarship is presented annually for $1,000 to graduating high school seniors in Florida who live in a single parent family divided by divorce. Eligible applicants must plan to pursue post-secondary education after graduation, have parents permanently separated or divorced, and write a 2,000-word essay describing how their parents continue to show their love despite being part of a separated household.
Ayo and Iken Children of Divorce Scholarship
703 West Bay Street
Tampa, FL 33606
5. Brant Walton Memorial Scholarships
Deadline: May 31st
Established by the Dream Hope Believe Foundation in honor of a father who succumbed to rectal cancer at just 34 years old, the Brant Walton Memorial Scholarships are granted annually for up to $3,000 to young people raised by single mothers or fathers who lost a parent to cancer. For consideration, applicants must be accepted for enrollment at an accredited two or four-year college, have U.S. citizenship, demonstrate a need for financial assistance, and provide verification of a cancer diagnosis.
Brant Walton Memorial Scholarships
90 Park Avenue 90th Floor
New York, NY 10016
6. Carolina Covenant Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
For students from single parent households who are enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Carolina Covenant Scholarship is available to potentially cover 100 percent of tuition costs for a maximum of four years and provide a laptop computer. Qualified candidates must be considered dependents, maintain full-time enrollment status, be pursuing their first bachelor’s degree, make satisfactory academic progress, have U.S. citizenship, and come from a low-income family that does not exceed federal poverty guidelines.
Carolina Covenant Scholarship
111 Pettigrew Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
7. Crane Fund for Widows and Children Scholarships
Annually, the Crane Fund for Widows and Children distributes several scholarships for $500 to $1,000 apiece to financially needy traditional-aged undergraduate students whose husband or father cannot provide educational opportunity due to death or a severe disability. Applicants must come from families on a tight fixed income, exhibit significant need for financial support, be accepted at an accredited U.S. higher learning institution, maintain good academic standing, and write a two-page essay explaining how their situation has impacted educational pursuits.
Crane Fund for Widows and Children Scholarships
100 First Stamford Place
Stamford, CT 06902
8. David J. Ewing Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 1st
In honor of a beloved father of two who lost his battle with cancer in 1990 at the youthful age of 36, the David J. Ewing Scholarship Fund was created by the University of North Texas to award tuition assistance to currently enrolled full-time undergraduate students who have lost a parent during their working years. Along with the application, candidates must submit two letters of professional recommendation, official high school transcripts, financial aid reports, and a two-page essay on their educational goals.
David J. Ewing Scholarship Fund
1155 Union Circle
Denton, TX 76203
9. Families of Freedom Scholarship Program
Deadline: May 15th
Based on a financial need formula, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Program provides annual awards to dependent children of 9/11 victims, including World Trade Center workers, Pentagon employees, airplane crew or passengers, emergency medical personnel, firefighters, and law enforcement officers killed in the tragic terrorist attacks. Eligible applicants must be enrolling in an accredited post-secondary program at a vocational school, community college, or university in the United States before their 24th birthday.
Families of Freedom Scholarship Program
One Scholarship Way
Saint Peter, MN 56082
10. Family Matters Scholarship for Children of Divorce
Deadline: February 1st
Funded by the Law Offices of Scott David Stewart, the Family Matters Scholarship for Children of Divorce is presented annually for $500 to graduating high school seniors and undergraduate freshmen in Arizona who were raised by a single parent after divorce. Qualified applicants must be enrolled full-time with 12 credits per term, attend an accredited in-state university, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, and submit a well-written essay on how divorce impacted their family life.
Family Matters Scholarship for Children of Divorce
777 East Thomas Road Suite 210
Phoenix, AZ 85014
11. Heroes Tribute Scholarship
Deadline: March 2nd
Through the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (MCSF), the Heroes Tribute Scholarship is granted to provide $7,500 for up to four years to children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen who were killed in combat operations on or after September 11, 2001. Eligible applicants must be planning to attend an accredited undergraduate college in the upcoming fall, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, be pursuing their first bachelor’s degree, and have been raised by a single parent with an adjusted gross income under $94,000.
Heroes Tribute Scholarship
909 North Washington Street Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
12. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
Deadline: June 30th
Administered through the U.S. Department of Education, the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are given annually for over $5,300 to college students raised by a single parent or guardian after a parent was killed in military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11. Qualified candidates must be under 24 years old, plan to enroll in an accredited American college at least part-time, meet the Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements, and have grieved the death of a parent in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202
13. Jackie Spellman Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: April 15th
In loving memory of a 24-year-old who lost her battle with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after 14 months of painful treatments, the Jackie Spellman Foundation offers scholarships for $1,000 to $5,000 to graduating high school seniors or college students who have lost a parent from leukemia or lymphoma. Eligible candidates must plan to enroll full-time in college, have critical financial need, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and write an 800-word essay explaining how leukemia or lymphoma has forever changed their life.
Jackie Spellman Foundation Scholarships
935 Eldridge Road Box 200
Sugar Land, TX 77478
14. James F. Byrnes Scholarships
Deadline: February 6th
After his brilliant career in public service, the James F. Byrnes Foundation was created to provide annual scholarships of $3,250 for up to 25 young men and women in South Carolina who have lost one or both of their parents to death. Eligible recipients must be current high school seniors, reside in South Carolina, plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree at an accredited four-year university, have U.S. citizenship, exhibit financial need, possess a satisfactory scholastic record, and display the character needed to make positive societal contributions.
James F. Byrnes Scholarships
2711 Middleburg Drive
Columbia, SC 29204
15. JoAnn Heffernan Heisen Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
On the basis of academic merit and financial need, the JoAnn Heffernan Heisen Scholarship is granted annually at Syracuse University for $500 to $1,570 to currently enrolled undergraduate students raised within single parent households who need financial assistance to participate in a study abroad program. Along with a completed application, students must submit a one-page essay stating how studying overseas will help them reach their academic, personal, and career objectives in today’s global community.
JoAnn Heffernan Heisen Scholarship
106 Walnut Place
Syracuse, NY 13244
16. Kids’ Chance Scholarships
In states across the nation, the Kids’ Chance of America (KCOA) awards scholarships for around $2,800 to young people under the age of 25 years old who were raised in a single parent household after one custodial parent was killed in a work-related accident. Qualified candidates must have achieved a high school diploma, be pursuing post-secondary study to receive their first associate or bachelor’s degree, provide documentation of the accident from their parent’s employer, and demonstrate financial need.
Kids’ Chance Scholarships
P.O. Box 543
Pottstown, PA 19464
17. Kinsey Determination Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
Within the College of Business at the University of Toledo, the Kinsey Determination Scholarship is presented each year for $1,000 to full-time undergraduate male business students who’ve been raised by a single mother and lived the majority of their life without the presence of a father figure or male guardian. Although the scholarship is awarded based on financial need shown on the FAFSA form, each applicant’s academic performance, personal principles, and potential in business will also be considered.
Kinsey Determination Scholarship
2801 West Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43606
18. LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 3rd
Ranging in value from $5,000 to $15,000, the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program proudly gives several awards each year to U.S. college-bound high school seniors or current college students who have experienced the emotional strain and financial challenge of losing a parent. To apply, qualified candidates must submit a 500-word essay or a three-minute video that discusses how the death of a parent impacted their life and how a lack of adequate life insurance coverage created their single parent household’s financial troubles.
LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program
1655 North Fort Myer Drive Suite 610
Arlington, VA 22209
(202) 464-5000 ext. 4446
19. Mary Ellen Locher Foundation Scholarship
Deadline: January 16th
In honor of a truly inspiring mother who battled breast cancer for nearly 20 years before passing away in 2005 at just 45 years old, the Mary Ellen Locher Foundation offers annual scholarships for children who have lost a parent to breast cancer or complications related to the disease. All applicants must live within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga in Tennessee, be graduating high school seniors, be accepted for full-time enrollment in an accredited undergraduate program, and have attained a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
Mary Ellen Locher Foundation Scholarship
P.O. Box 4032
Chattanooga, TN 37405
20. Nobuko R. Kodama Fong Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Through the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the Nobuko R. Kodama Fong Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year for $1,000 to $5,000 to undergraduate student members of Japanese descent from the Pacific Northwest District who are being solely provided for financially by a single parent. Recipients will be chosen based on their letters of recommendation, academic record, previous work experience, involvement in extra-curricular or community activities, financial need, and future career aspirations.
Nobuko R. Kodama Fong Memorial Scholarship
1765 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
21. Orrin L. Dayton Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th
At Dowling College, the Orrin L. Dayton Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year for $1,000 to one deserving full-time undergraduate student who comes from a single parent household residing within Suffolk County on New York’s Long Island. Eligible candidates must exhibit significant financial need, have completed at least 30 semester credits at Dowling, showcase academic achievement with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and have active participation in college-sponsored campus activities.
Orrin L. Dayton Memorial Scholarship
150 Idle Hour Blvd.
Oakdale, NY 11769
22. SPAOA Child of a Single Parent Woman Scholarship
In collaboration with the Healthy Families Children’s Trust Fund, the Single Parents Alliance of America (SPAOA) has established the Child of a Single Parent Woman Scholarship to award up to $2,500 to reduce the burden of paying college tuition bills for young people who were raised by a single mother without support from a father. Qualified recipients must be claimed as dependents on their mother’s taxes, be under 24 years of age, be currently enrolled in a post-secondary course of study in the United States, and demonstrate financial need.
SPAOA Child of a Single Parent Woman Scholarship
P.O. Box 8058
Albuquerque, NM 87198
23. Vera Yip Memorial Scholarship Award
Deadline: March 1st
As part of the Ulman Cancer Fund, the Vera Yip Memorial Scholarship Award is presented annually for $2,500 to young adults between the age of 15 and 39 who are the biological or adopted children of a parent who has died as a result of cancer. Eligible applicants must be attending a four-year college in America, be pursuing their first bachelor’s degree, complete at least 50 hours of community service, have significant financial need, and write an essay displaying how their lives were affected by the hardship of cancer.
Vera Yip Memorial Scholarship Award
6770 Oak Hall Lane Unit 166
Columbia, MD 21045
24. W.H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
In the amount of $2,500 each year, the W.H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship is awarded by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) for sons, daughters, or legally adopted children of fire fighters who were killed in the line of duty. Qualified candidates must plan to attend an accredited higher learning institution that fall, demonstrate academic achievement, have financial need in a single parent household, provide two letters of recommendation, and write a brief 200-word statement about the reasons they’re furthering their education.
W.H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship
1750 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006
25. Willy the Plumber Scholarship
Deadline: February 28th
Within the Community Foundation of Utah, the Willy the Plumber Scholarship is granted annually for $1,000 to Utah children being raised in a single parent home because their other parent is serving time in prison or habitually getting locked up. Eligible applicants must be the sons or daughters of inmates in Utah State prisons, have a strong desire to succeed in post-secondary education, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, demonstrate financial need, and be under 18 years of age.
Willy the Plumber Scholarship
423 West 800 South Suite A101
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
College is an enormous financial undertaking for most families, but rising tuition costs can be too much burden for one parent to carry alone. Being raised in a single parent home is difficult enough, so children in this situation shouldn’t have to give up their dreams of earning a college degree too. Luckily, these are just 25 of the scholarships for children of single parents available to help overcome financial obstacles towards reaching their educational goals.
Related Resource: 25 Great Scholarships for Single Parents