The Folds For Honor organization currently provides scholarships up to $5,000 for children and spouses of enrolled soldiers, but the University of Memphis will now take the financial aid one step further and hopes that other universities and colleges will follow.
The Memphis university has decided that it will no longer charge any tuition fee at all for spouses or children of a fallen or severely injured service member.
The current military scholarship of $5,000 is not sufficient to cover for all educational costs. A year of tuition at the university currently costs $9,700 and that’s not including books, transport or a dorm room.
The school board wants to take care of these students and will nullify the full tuition costs, as an expansion to the current Folds For Honor scholarship. The Memphis university hopes that their decision will inspire other schools. According to Folds For Honor, a number of other colleges and universities have shown interest to expand the current amount to a full scholarship, but the University of Memphis is the first to actually do it.
“This sacrifice is remarkable and we need to recognize that,” University President David Rudd told the school board when he presented them with the full scholarship suggestion.
Five students under the age of 24 years old were able to receive a Folds For Honor scholarship in the previous academic year, and Alyssa Hill was one of them.
Thirteen years ago, two men in uniform showed up at her door.
She immediately knew that something terrible must’ve happened to her father, who was serving in Iraq.
“We knew exactly what it meant,” she said to Commercial Appeal. “They knock a certain way.”
Her father, Captain Raymond D. Hill II, was tragically killed in 2005 when his team’s Humvee was hit by an explosive.
Alyssa graduated from the Memphis university last year and the $5,000 scholarship was a big help to pay for her education.
Starting this year, students like Alyssa won’t have to worry about paying tuition at all anymore.
“For other people going forward, I think it will be a huge help and a huge relief,” Alyssa told. “It will try to take some of that burden off and try to pay back some of that sacrifice.”
“Our commitment is to cover any gap that exists as a result and to relieve them of that burden,” the university president added.
Alyssa received a Bachelor’s degree in hospitality in resort management after three years at the university. She’s currently working as a travel agent.
“I know he would have been proud,” she said about her dad on her graduation day.
The president says that the agreement for the full scholarship is a ‘done deal’, although there is still some formal paperwork that has to be filled in. The man is a former military member himself and has been looking for additional ways to help students in military families.
The university board says that they’ll also assist students who qualify for other scholarships too so that they’d have enough money to cover for books or a dorm.
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