Scholarships for Children of Active-duty Police and Firefighters

Below you will find scholarships for children of police and firefighters, but there other scholarships too, read the scholarships for your location carefully.


National Scholarships

The Electronic Security Association maintains the Youth Scholarship Program, which will award scholarships to two children of active-duty police officers and firefighters. The first place winner will receive $7,500 to put toward their college education and the second place winner will receive $2,500. Awards are based on a combination of academic achievement, national test scores, extracurricular participation and an essay titled, “What it means to me to have my parent or guardian involved in securing our community.”

Students who reside in one of the following states must enter their state-level scholarship program to be considered for the national awards:California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada (Clark County Residents Only), New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin (check  with the state chapter for their deadlines). There is a national deadline in March for other states.

Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. (C.O.P.S.) offers scholarships to surviving children and to surviving spouses of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. However, scholarships are not awarded to survivors who are entitled to a tuition-free education as a state death benefit.

Application deadlines are three times a year: Summer Semester - due February 28th, Fall Semester - March 31st ,   Winter/Spring Semester - due September 30th.

The 2016 Wives Behind the Badge Law Enforcement Children’s Scholarship Program provides college scholarships to the children of law enforcement officers. To be eligible you must be a dependent child of a law enforcement officer (full-time active service, retired, or killed in the line of duty), must be a current high school senior or currently attending a community college or 4-year university, must have a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.3 or higher (based on a 4.0 system), and must be active in the community through volunteer work.

There are two scholarships of $1000 and $500. The deadline is April 15

STRIVE (This scholarship is no longer being offered) (Scholarships To Recognize Intelligence Vision And Excellence) is for children of a Law Enforcement Officer (In Active Service, Retired or Killed-In-The-Line-of-Duty). To be eligible you must be must be a graduating high school senior at the time of application submission or be currently enrolled as a full time student attending an accredited University. Applications must be postmarked by February 27th. This is for children of law enforcement personnel in the following states: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin.

W. H. "Howie" McClennan Scholarship - For the child of a fire fighter killed in the line of duty The deadline is February 1st.

Police Family Survivors Fund Scholarship - The American Federation of Police & Concerned Citizens through the Police Family Survivors Fund, awards hundreds of scholarships in the amount of $1,500 per year to surviving sons and daughters of police officers killed in the line of duty. Only the children of Law Enforcement Personnel from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa and Illinois will be considered for this scholarship.

Irlet Anderson Scholarship Award - This one-time ($3,500) award is offered to a graduating high school senior interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or criminal justice. The deadline is April 15th. They also offer the Charles L. Gittens Scholarship Award for a graduating high school senior interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or criminal justice.

Charles L. Gittens Scholarship Award - This one-time ($1,000) award is offered to a graduating high school senior interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or criminal justice (The information is on the same page as the Irlet Anderson Scholarship) . The application must be postmarked no later than April 15th.



Local Scholarships


Police Officer's And Firefighter's Survivor's Educational Assistance Program (pdf - see page 2) -
A grant covering tuition, fees, books and supplies for dependents and eligible spouses of Alabama police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. There is no limit on the amount awarded to recipients. Awards are available for undergraduate study in public institutions in Alabama.



Law Enforcement Officers' Dependents Scholarship Program Waiver of tuition, fees, and room at any public college, university, or technical institute in Arkansas for dependents and spouses of Arkansas law enforcement officers, some Highway and Transportation Department employees, and other public employees, who were killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty.



If you live in California, check out the Children's Scholarship Program. There are four scholarships (3 for High School Seniors and 1 available for either a Sophmore or Junior in college).  Students are eligible if their parent participates in the California Law Enforcement Association (CLEA) disability plan.  The deadline is April 1st.


Another scholarship for Californians is the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation, John F. Duffy Scholarship/Grant Program.  It’s for dependents of California officers who have died in the line of duty. The deadline is June 1st. They offer four different types of scholarships: 

  • $2000 for trade schools 
  • $3000 for two year colleges 
  • $4000 for four year colleges 
  • $2500 for graduate school   



The County Sheriffs of Colorado Scholarship Program offers 29 $500 scholarships and one $1500 scholarships to residents of Colorado.  Every year they alternate the eligible counties, so check if your county is eligible. The deadline is February 28th.



The Delaware Volunteer Firefighter's Association Scholarship program is for members of a fire department, ladies auxiliary or EMS affiliated with the Deleware Volunteer Firefighters Association. The deadline is March 31st.




The Illinois Sheriff's Association Scholarship is awarded to students demonstrating outstanding scholastic, extra-curricular and character qualifications. The deadline is March 15th. Each participating county receives at least one $500 scholarship so there are many winners.


Illinois Fire Chiefs Association sponsors the IFC Foundation Scholarship Program for any person who is an active member of a recognized Fire Department in the State of Illinois. the deadline is March 15th.


The Chicago Police and Fire Scholarship provides free tuition to children of active Chicago firefighters and police officers who are accepted at the University of Chicago (pdf). Recipients are guaranteed full tuition for four years of undergraduate studies. You must apply to the University of Chicago by their January deadline to be eligible. The  Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) also offers a $20,000 annual scholarships to the children and grandchildren of members of the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department.



The Andrew P. Winzenread Scholarship Fund is available to all high school seniors who are children of Indiana State Police Officers and who intend to pursue post-secondary education. To participate, you must write an essay. The deadline for submission is in late February.


The Ocean City Volunteer Fire Department has two scholarships that they offer, both for $1000. The scholarships are the Cadet John Paul Adkins, II Memorial Scholarship and F Michael Sacca Scholarship.


If you live in Western Massachusetts, check out the John DiNapoli Memorial Charitable Scholarship.  It was established in memory of John DiNapoli who served as a police officer in the city of Holyoke. You must be a Hampden County high school senior (preference will be given to residents of Holyoke). The deadline for submission is March 31st.



If you live in Missouri, check out the John Dennis Scholarship. It was established in honor of former Scott County Sheriff John Dennis. The $1,000 grant is given to 16 college-bound Missouri high school seniors interest in a a criminal justice career and will be attending a Missouri college or university. The deadline is January 31st.



The Dearborn Ranch Scholarship for Children of Montana Highway Patrol Officers is for children of an active uniformed officer of the Montana Highway Patrol. The deadline is September 2nd.

New Jersey

If you live in New Jersey, you may qualify for the Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Scholarship, the deadline for that is in early March and October (the Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Scholarship can cover up to the cost of attendance, less other scholarships, grants, benefits and other assistance).  Also see the Survivor Tuition Benefits, which assists dependent children and surviving spouses of New Jersey firefighters, emergency workers and law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty.


New York

The O'Grady-Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund, created in memory of two fallen Nyack police officers to support young people interested in a career in law enforcement. High schools students who reside in Rockland County are eligible for the scholarship. The deadline is April 15th.


South Carolina

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers' Foundation awards three scholarships to seniors who will be continuing their education in South Carolina.  The deadline is in mid-February. The awards are:

  • One $5,000 Scholarship
  • One $2,000 Scholarship
  • One $2,000 Scholarship for the student of an SCLEOA member

South Carolina State Firefighters' Association offers the SAFER Scholarship. This $1,000 scholarship grant is for high school seniors graduating from a CATE fire training program who plan to continue their fire training or education.



If you live in Texas, the Sheriffs' Association of Texas offers several scholarships.  The scholarships are awarded in the Spring and Fall of each year.  The spring deadline is March 1st and the Fall deadline is October 15th.


Wisconsin (and parts of Michigan)       

The Officer Craig Birkholz Memorial Scholarship is an annual scholarship to graduates of a high school in Fond du Lac or Kenosha County high schools who are enrolled in a Wisconsin based college and pursing either a two-year or four-year degree in Police Science or Criminal Justice. The deadline is June 15th.


The Wisconsin State Firefighter’s Association (WSFA) offers a Fire Science Scholarship. It is students interested in continuing their education in the fire service. Priority will be given first to those applications that are members of the WSFA in good standing. The deadline is January 15th.


Wisconsin Professional Police Association offers the WPPA scholarship for a Wisconsin or Upper Peninsula of Michigan resident enrolling in a college or vocational/technical school in a course of study leading to a two- or four-year degree in police science, criminal justice, or a law enforcement-related field – which does not include law school. Deadline is in early February.


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