As the mission and vision of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation becomes more well-known across the nation, we’re frequently asked about preexisting Veterans Affairs and other survivors’ benefits when it comes to financing a college education. 

We are grateful to know that so many families and individual honor and value the sacrifices of our fallen heroes. We know this to be true, because we often receive the question, “Aren’t families already taken care of when it comes to educational assistance?”

This can be a somewhat complicated question that varies from case to case, but the short answer is that while the VA provides significant and needed assistance through programs like the GI Bill and Fry Scholarships, the majority of families still find themselves confronted with a sizeable gap in the cost of college education.

Here’s a short breakdown of the magnitude of the financial assistance that our children are facing based on our research with The Lucas Group:

  • There are approximately 20,000 children who have lost an active duty parent in the last 35 years.
  • The fully-burdened tuition cost for a four-year degree averages about $32,000.
  • Nationwide, that means the cost of educating our deserving gold star children is about $500 million (that’s a half-billion!).

Additionally, the cost of a college education often falls on families who typically make less than $50,000 annually based on the surviving parent’s income.

The government strives to make provisions for these families, but as demonstrated by the research, the cost burden is enormous and often unpredictable depending on the school, program and other variables.  While VA benefits may be sufficient for some students, there is often unmet need.

This gap in the cost of education can be overwhelming to families who have lost so much already in the death of a spouse and parent, which is why Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation is dedicated to helping supplement educational assistance as an investment in the future of America and as a way of honoring those who gave their lives for us.