With the rising costs of college tuition, the very thought of saving or scrambling to pay for a higher education can be overwhelming for families. Now imagine your family has already suffered an immense sacrifice by losing a parent or spouse while they served in the armed forces defending our country's freedoms. It's an unthinkable hardship. One university is making strides to at least ease the tuition burden for those in this situation.
The University of Memphis announced that, beginning this Fall, it will become the first school in the United States to accept the Folds of Honor scholarship as complete payment for a year's tuition. This particular educational institution has an average annual tuition of $9,700. The Folds of Honor scholarship awards students up to $5,000, however the University of Memphis will accept this as "payment-in-full" for the year.
While no amount of money can ever replace a loved one, university president M. David Rudd hopes that putting this action in place will at least help ease the burden of paying for college.
"The families are serving as well," he said. "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 relieve these families of that burden."
It should be noted that Rudd himself is a military veteran, so clearly he understands the great sacrifices made by military families.
The scholarship is accepted at many other colleges and universities across the county, but this is the first time an educational institution will essentially accept it as a full ride, instead of paying for only a portion of annual tuition costs. Rudd says he hopes the University of Memphis's bold move will encourage other schools to follow in their footsteps.
In 2017, 173 students used the Folds of Honor scholarship to help pay for college expenses.
This isn't the first time the University of Memphis has made headlines for its efforts to help veterans and their families. Two years ago, in 2015, the school was named a VETS campus by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. It became one of just 12 schools in the state to be recognized for its commitment to student veterans -- an incredibly noble title to be had.
With their motto being, "Driven by doing," this campus is certainly acting upon it and leading by example in ways that will be appreciated by many for generations to come.