First Responders Funding Opportunities
Listed below are two funding opportunities for students whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty. The Fallen Heroes Scholarship is administered by Columbus State Community College and the Ohio Safety Officers Memorial Fund is administered through the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Specific documentation is required to be considered for these awards.
Fallen Heroes Scholarship
This award is available to students whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer AND are Pell-eligible, meaning the student has demonstrated through completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to have received a Pell-eligible Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the award year. The student may be eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant for the award year and have all federal financial aid awarded based on an EFC of zero, regardless of the calculated EFC.
For purposes of this scholarship, a public safety officer is defined as:
• A fire police officer, defined as an individual who is serving in accordance with state or local law as an officially recognized or designated member of a legally organized public safety agency and provides scene security or directs traffic in response to any fire drill, fire call, or other fire, rescue, or police emergency, or at a planned special event.
- As defined in section 1204 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b):
- -an individual serving a public agency in an official capacity, with or without compensation, as a law enforcement officer, as a firefighter, as a chaplain, or as a member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew;
- -an employee of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who is performing official duties of the agency in an area, if those official duties are related to a major disaster or emergency that has been, or is later, declared to exist with respect to the area under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) and are determined by the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be hazardous duties;
- -an employee of a state, local, or tribal emergency management or civil defense agency who is performing official duties in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in an area if those official duties are related to a major disaster or emergency that has been, or is later, declared to exist with respect to the area under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) and are determined by the head of the agency to be hazardous duties. The IASG is available to eligible students whose parents or guardians died as a result of U.S. military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 and who are not eligible for the Pell Grant. If your parent(s) or guardian(s) died as a result of U.S. military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 and you are eligible for the Pell Grant, you may qualify for an increase.
- Complete the FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov and have a Pell-eligible Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
- Must have been younger than 24 years of age or enrolled at a higher education institution at the time the parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer
- In subsequent award years, the student will continue to be eligible as long as the student is Pell-eligible and has a Pell-eligible EFC.
- Student must meet all Title IV student eligibility requirements, including Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
- Must provide proof of eligibility:
- -A determination letter acknowledging eligibility for certain federal benefits under the Public Safety Officers Benefit (PSOB) program administered by the Department of Justice;
- -A written letter of attestations or determination made by a state or local government official with supervisory or other relevant oversight authority of an individual who died in the line of duty while serving as a public safety officer as defined above;
- -Documentation of the student qualifying for a state tuition or other state benefit accorded to the children or other family members of a public safety officer consistent with the definition in 42 U.S.C. 3796b, or as a fire police officer as noted above; or
- -Other documentation from a credible source that describes or reports the circumstances of the death and the occupation of the parent or guardian.
Eligible students' Pell Grant award will be increased to the maximum annual Pell Grant amount, and other awards will be calculated as if the student had an EFC of zero. Pell-eligible students with an EFC of zero will not receive an increase as they are already awarded the maximum amount of Pell Grant.
Grants and Scholarships from the State of Ohio
Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund
This program provides tuition assistance to the children and spouses of peace officers, fire fighters and certain other safety officers who are killed in the line-of-duty, anywhere in the United States.
It also provides assistance to the children and spouses of a member of the armed services of the US, who has been killed in the line of duty during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom or a combat zone designated by the President of the United States. The child is only eligible for this program if he/she is not eligible for the Ohio War Orphan & Severely Disabled Veterans' Children Scholarship.
For complete application information see https://www.ohiohighered.org/safety-officers-college-fund