Who is eligible for scholarships?
Eligible participants are financially needy dependents of those killed or permanently disabled as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and during the rescue activities relating to those attacks. Specifically, Families of Freedom benefits children and spouses of the victims, including airplane crew and passengers, World Trade Center and Pentagon workers and visitors, and relief workers, including firefighters and emergency medical personnel and law enforcement personnel. Participants, whether students, spouses or partners, must enroll in a course of study at any accredited two-or-four-year college, university or vocational-technical school. Participants may receive aid for four years of full-time eligibility, or the part-time equivalent.
Will the fund provide scholarships to everyone who is eligible?
For eligible students who meet the fund’s financial need criteria, the fund, as managed today, expects to meet 95 percent of financial need through 2030.
While the fund was created specifically to help only financially needy dependents, the fund has made $1,000 yearly scholarships available to all eligible participants.
How does Scholarship America define financial need?
The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund basis its need calculation on well established, commonly accepted financial need criteria to calculate the level of scholarship support granted to eligible students. Unlike most scholarship funds that are based on financial need, however, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund uses a very liberal formula, to ensure that the Fund covers as much of the need for as many of the eligible students as possible.
For example, the fund does not include nontaxable income, 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund assets, retirement funds, the value of family residence or student earnings. Moreover, the Families of Freedom Fund does not include the first $500,000 of a family’s assets in its financial need calculation. For more detailed information, see the Overview section of this site.
What about the interest income from the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund assets?
Scholarship America includes interest income from the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund in its financial needs calculation. These assets are not specifically targeted; unfortunately, it’s just not always possible to separate Victim’s Compensation Fund interest income from the rest of the interest income that people report in their tax returns. Other needs-based charities that support the families of 9/11 victims take the same approach.
Moreover, the purpose of the fund is to provide for an entire generation of financially needy students who, absent this fund, may not have the financial resources needed to attend a post-secondary institution – a population that numbers in the thousands. If all investment income were excluded from the needs assessment, future generations of financially needy students would receive substantially less help from this scholarship fund.
How can victims’ families apply for scholarships?
To inquire about eligibility or apply for education assistance, victims’ families may call 1-800-537-4180, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on eligibility, guidelines and fund management, please contact Scholarship America's Scholarship Management Services division at 877-862-0136 or email@example.com. Media members, please visit the Press Room or contact Janine Fugate at firstname.lastname@example.org."
To register (a one-time process), visit the Register Now page of this site. Your registration information must be completed by the end of your first term of study.
To apply (an annual requirement), visit the Apply Now page of this site. If you are a full-time student and want to be notified of your award amount prior to the start of fall term, applications must be postmarked by June 15. If you are attending school part-time, taking individual or certification courses, or if you miss the June 15 deadline, your application must be submitted before the end of the term.