This university is helping children of fallen soldiers by offering free tuition


The University of Memphis will make history this coming fall when it becomes the first school in the country to accept the Folds of Honor scholarship as payment-in-full for students who are spouses or children of fallen armed service members. Currently, the scholarship awards up to $5,000 to such students. Average annual tuition at the university is $9,700.

Although the Folds of Honor scholarship is accepted — up to $5,000 — at colleges and universities across the nation, the University of Memphis is the first school to give students a free ride via the scholarship. Nationwide, 173 students took advantage of the scholarship last year.

“We would not exist as a country without the service and sacrifice of so many who defend our freedom,” M. David Rudd, the university’s president, who is also a veteran, said in a statement.

“The families are serving as well, and the loss of a parent or spouse presents a huge hardship, emotionally and financially. The University of Memphis is committed to cover any gap that exists and to relieve these families of that burden.”

Rudd added that it is the university’s hope that other schools will follow suit and also offer free tuition to children and spouses of fallen soldiers. In 2015, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission named the University of Memphis a VETS campus, one of 12 schools in the state to be recognized for its service to student veterans.


Alyssa Hill was just 10 years old when her father, Army National Guard Captain Raymond D. Hill, was killed in Iraq in 2005. The younger Hill was a recipient of the Folds of Honor scholarship and recently graduated from the University of Memphis.

“For other people going forward, I think it will be a huge help and a huge relief,” Hill told Commercial Appeal. “It will try to take some of that burden off and try to pay back some of that sacrifice.”

The new policy will become official in the coming weeks. Donations can be made to the scholarship fund at the University of Memphis website.

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Kate Streit
Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kate's work.

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