Education and Career Advancement Grant Guidelines and Application

Education and Career Advancement Grants have been distributed for 2016*

*Please check back for 2017 Applications opening in May 2017


Special Ops Survivors, as part of its efforts to ensure that surviving families have a future that their fallen heroes would have wanted for them, awards education grants to U.S. military spouses of fallen Special Operations personnel as defined below. The purpose of the grants is to reward spouses for their strength and resiliency as they further their careers so that they can better care for their families.

Grant Awards

Grant awards are up to $2,500 to be made payable to the grant recipient for payment of professional licensing and certification programs, including testing fees for transferring careers to a different state (e.g., real estate licensing, professional engineering licensing, teaching certifications); tuition; books; supplies; childcare costs; and transportation expenses. Awards may be reapplied for up to four years for a maximum of $10,000. Note: Grant awards are made for programs that begin in the 2017 calendar year; the program does not have to be completed in the 2017 calendar year.


Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements to be considered for a Special Ops Survivors Education and Career Advancement Grant. 

  • Applicant was legally married to the service member at the time of the service member’s death;
    • Service member died on or after September 11, 2001;
    • Service member was assigned to a Special Operations unit or assigned as support personnel to a Special Operations unit at the time of the service member’s death; and
    • Service member was conducting operations in support of a Special Operations mission at the time of the service member’s death. Special Ops Survivors defines “conducting operations” as any of the following provided that the service member was serving in the line of duty at the time of death: training missions and activities being conducted domestically or abroad, any operation or incident that occurs while the service member is deployed to a combat zone, and any injury or illness leading to death that originates from activities on a deployment.
  • Applicant currently resides in the United States;
  • Applicant is registered as a student at an accredited college or technical institution, or have proof of enrollment in a professional licensure or certification program;
  • Applicant has a minimum 3.0 GPA in his/her most recent course of study. If applicant does not have a minimum 3.0 GPA, then the applicant must provide a separate essay explaining the applicant’s academic potential; and
  • Applicant can have no grants or loans currently in default status.

Selection Process

Selections for Special Ops Survivors education fund grants are made by Special Ops Survivors board members. Board members will select recipients based on need, merit, academic potential and written essay.

The application process will open May, 2017. Awards will be announced in July, 2017.

Application Requirements

Applicants must provide the following documentation to be considered for a Special Ops Survivors education grant:

  • A copy of the front and back of Applicant’s military identification card or a copy of the service member’s DD Form 214;
  • Proof of enrollment at an accredited college, technical institution, professional licensure or certification program;
  • Proof of academic progress and potential. Unofficial transcripts and test scores (GED, SAT, GRE, etc) will be accepted;
  • A completed application form;
  • An original typed one-page essay (no more than 500 words), explaining why Applicant has chosen the intended program of study, and describing how the intended program of study will contribute to Applicant’s immediate or long range career plans. Please omit Applicant’s name and spouse’s information so that Applicant’s essay may be evaluated objectively; and
  • A completed and signed certification statement.