Home Rules Employment Working Armed Forces › Scholarships for Bereaved Children
Scholarships for Military Bereaved Children

The Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme (AFBSS) provides financial help for children if their parent dies in military service.

This guide explains how to apply for financial help to cover some of the costs for further education and university scholarship for bereaved service children.

UK Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship

To apply for financial help towards the costs of further and higher education (through the AFBSS scheme), you must (all):

  • Have been bereaved by a parent while they were serving in the armed forces (and the death occurred since the 1st of January 1990).
  • Be at least sixteen (16) years old and in full-time education.
  • Get bereavement benefits from either the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme, or War Pension Scheme (or a surviving parent does).

Note: Scholarships for children whose parent died in service are not available for a foster child of the deceased person. See the Armed Forces benefits, concessions and pensions help guide for further information.

What a Military Bereaved Child Scholarship Covers

The money that you get from the Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme (AFBSS) can be used to pay for tuition fees and maintenance, for a:

  • Further education (FE) course for a period of up to three (3) years.
  • First undergraduate course at a United Kingdom university or other institution conducting higher education courses (e.g. art school, college). It may include studying overseas providing it is part of the course.
  • Higher level technical education course (it would need to be qualification levels 4, 5, or 6).

Your chosen further education college or university can provide you with further information about the different types of courses available through the scheme.

Scholarship Rates 2018/19 Academic Year

During the academic year 2018 to 2019 (from 1st September to the following 31st August) you would be able to apply for an amount up to a maximum of:

  • £1,500 (for a further education course).
  • £9,250 for tuition fees.
  • £4,950 for a Maintenance Grant for a higher education (HE) or higher level technical education course.

Note: The maximum amount you can apply for is £9,000 for tuition fees and £4,950 for a Maintenance Grant if you will be studying in Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.

Scholarship Payment Dates

Payments from scholarships are not means-tested and will not be liable for Income Tax. There would be three (3) installments made in each academic year, either on or before the:

  • 31st of October
  • 31st of January
  • 30th of April

They will not grant the payments until your college or university confirms your registration and attendance for a course. Following that, the money goes to the parent, guardian, or directly to the military bereaved child.

It is possible to backdate scholarship payments for children whose parent died in service. The most likely reason would be if a child becomes eligible and makes an application while they are studying.

Note: Another section has more information on how to get extra money to pay for university while you study in the United Kingdom.

How to Apply for AFBSS Scholarships

The first step is to download the Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme AFBSS application form. Fill in your details and then mail it to the address written on the form.

If you are going to apply for a higher education scholarship, you will also need to include:

  • A letter from the college or university that confirms you accepted their offer of a place.
  • Some evidence of the charges (e.g. a photocopy of the invoice for the tuition fees).

Veterans UK Deadlines

The deadline for Veterans UK to receive an application is the 31st of January for the academic year of the further education (FE) or university course.

Even so, you will be able to make your application from the 1st April in the academic year that you begin studying.

For Example:

Suppose your course begins in September. You would be able to apply any time from the 1st of April in the same year.

But, you must make sure Veterans UK received your application no later than the 31st of January deadline in the following year.

The next step is for a Veterans UK Scheme Administrator to make contact with you. They will confirm whether you qualify for your chosen scholarship (or not).

As a rule, the evidence you provided with your application will determine how long it takes to find out whether you meet the eligibility criteria for an education scholarship for bereaved service children.

You must register with the Student Loans Company if you are going to apply for a university or higher education scholarship. This procedure ensures you get charged UK student fees for the course.

How to Appeal a Decision

You would need to make an appeal in writing to Veterans UK if you dispute or disagree with the decision given to you about your application.

Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme Adjudicator
Veterans UK

Getting Help with an AFBSS Application

The Veterans UK helpline can provide extra assistance with any questions about scholarships for children whose parent died in service or filling out the application form.

Veterans UK Helpline
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0808 1914 218
Overseas: +44 1253 866 043
Monday to Thursday: 7:30am to 6.30pm
Friday: 7.30am to 5pm
UK telephone call charges.

Scholarships Available for Children whose Parent Died in Military Service