Children of Fallen Patriots is Helping Gold Star Children

For military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation ensures they have the necessary funding to graduate from college debt-free.

Published January 19, 2024 | 2 min read

Key Points

  • Since 2002, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation has provided college scholarships and assistance to over 3,100 children who lost a parent serving in the armed forces.
  • In addition to financial assistance, Fallen Patriots offers educational counseling and career-readiness resources to support student success during college and beyond graduation.
  • A proud partner since 2017, the RBC Foundation USA is deeply committed to supporting Fallen Patriots’ Scholarships for Gold Star Children program.

The mission

Over the last 35 years, an estimated 25,000 U.S. military children lost a parent in the line of duty.

The families of fallen soldiers, recognized as Gold Star families, often struggle financially. Over half qualify as low-income and 60% report having difficulty making ends meet. Despite government aid, Gold Star children face an average funding shortfall of $25,000 to complete their college education.

Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation is helping improve social and economic mobility for these families by ensuring Gold Star children have all the necessary funding to attend college and graduate debt-free.

According to the Fallen Patriots’ mission statement, it’s a matter of honoring those who died defending our country but also making an important investment in the future of America.

Fallen Patriots was established in 2002 and has grown its mission to provide scholarships to Gold Star families in all 51 states and territories across all military branches.

Working with the Veteran’s Benefit Administration and various Armed Services branches, Fallen Patriots has identified over 13,000 dependents of fallen service members, out of an estimated 25,000.

With the assistance of individuals and partners, including the RBC Foundation USA, they have provided more than 3,100 students with over $75 million in scholarships and assistance. Fallen Patriots scholars attend and graduate from schools all over the country.

The program

Support from the RBC Foundation USA directly contributes to Fallen Patriots' Scholarship for Gold Star Children program. To date, RBC’s contributions have funded more than 284-years of college for Fallen Patriots scholars.

Fallen Patriots' scholarships cover all aspects of a student's education. Before entering college, recipients receive assistance to help pay for entrance testing preparation and fees, application and registration fees and college deposits. While in school, the scholarships help cover the costs of tuition, room and board, living expenses, summer courses, study abroad, as well as books, computers and tutoring.

On top of financial assistance, Fallen Patriots helps ensure their scholars succeed through educational counseling and personal support from scholarship administration staff. The organization also helps connect Gold Star families with partner organizations that provide supportive services and resources for surviving families.

To encourage positive outcomes beyond graduation, Fallen Patriots offers scholars career readiness and exploration resources and connects them to internships and job opportunities.

The overarching success of the program and the community of support means that scholarship recipients graduate without student debt and maintain an exemplary graduation rate. Fallen Patriot scholars have a 91% graduation rate compared to the national average of 46%. This number is even more impressive considering that students from single-parent households are 37% less likely to graduate from college than the average student.

It's estimated that one Fallen Patriots scholarship can lift a student's lifetime earnings by 74% or $400,000 on average, compared to young adults holding only a high school degree.

In addition to direct support from the RBC Foundation USA, RBC Capital Markets provides critical funding to the Scholarships for Gold Star Children program through events like the annual RBC Charity Day for the Kids. RBC Capital Markets employees also volunteer with the organization including serving on the Fallen Patriot’s Board of Advisors members.

“Thanks to the support of the RBC Foundation USA, Fallen Patriots can fund college scholarships and educational counseling for many students across the U.S. There is also meaningful engagement through mentorship and board membership, both of which unlock life-changing impact for our fallen military’s children.”

Lily Long, Development Officer, Children of Fallen Patriots

Founded: 2002
Based: Reston, Virginia
Cause: Providing college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.
RBC Foundation USA partner since: 2017

*All information presented in this article was exclusively sourced from The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation.

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