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Brave of Heart Scholarship
Deadline to apply: April 20, 2023 3:00 pm CT

Brave of Heart Fund ScholarshipThe Brave of Heart Fund was founded in May 2020 by the Foundations of Cigna and New York Life and administered by E4E Relief. It was established to provide charitable grants and emotional support services to families of frontline healthcare workers, volunteers, and support staff whose lives were lost in the fight against COVID-19. The Brave of Heart Fund continues to honor the hard work and sacrifice of healthcare workers and their families via scholarship funding for their spouses, domestic partners, and children.

The program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance, and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Eligibility for individual programs is determined at the sole discretion of the sponsor, and eligible applications are reviewed by Scholarship America’s evaluation team. Awards for this scholarship are granted to eligible recipients without regard to creed, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.

If you or your family member qualifies to apply but are not planning on attending school this academic year; please click Register Now to pre-register and receive notifications about future application cycles. Pre-registering does not guarantee funding will be available when the individual applies.

Students and families who qualify for the Brave of Heart Scholarship Program may also be eligible for Frontline Families Scholarships. Learn more here.

Applicants of the Brave of Heart Scholarship must:

  • Be a child, spouse or domestic partner of a frontline healthcare worker who lost their life to a COVID-19-related cause.

Child is defined as a biological, step- or legally adopted child who is age 26 and under as of the application deadline date. The child must be living in the frontline healthcare worker’s household or primarily supported by the frontline healthcare worker. If the child is enrolled in a graduate school program, they must be age 26 and under and may be financially dependent or independent to be eligible.

Frontline healthcare worker is defined as a person who lived in the United States at the time of death and worked or volunteered in or for a licensed hospital, medical center or clinic, nursing home, medical transport vehicle, triage center, or other licensed medical facility, provider, or setting, or who worked or volunteered as an emergency medical technician, ambulance technician or paramedic. The individual must have had the possibility of exposure to patients with COVID-19 while working or volunteering.

  • Plan to enroll full-time or part-time in an undergraduate or graduate program (graduate program must have a patient-facing medical major). See Awards Tab for definition of full-time and part-time.
  • Plan to attend an accredited vocational-technical school, two- or four-year college or university, or graduate school.
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent. Non-traditional students are encouraged to apply, and will be considered even if they do not have a recent GPA.
  • Be a United States (U.S.) citizen or legal resident living in and attending an educational institution in the U.S. or a U.S. territory.
  • Study abroad programs may be eligible courses of study if run through an educational institution in the U.S. or a U.S. territory.

Ineligible occupations include non-medical frontline workers, such as supermarket employees, delivery workers, ride-share drivers, funeral home staff, and police. Firefighters are also ineligible unless certified EMTs or paramedics. Other occupations may be ineligible and are evaluated at the sole discretion of the sponsor.

Award Information

The authorized distribution for new awards will be determined annually by the Brave of Heart Fund. The total distribution and individual award amounts may vary based on funds available.

  • Awards are not renewable; students can reapply to the program each application cycle they meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Applicants can receive the award a maximum of eight terms or four academic years (whichever occurs first). Applicants lifetime award cannot exceed the maximum award amount (listed below).
  • Graduate Degree applicants must have a patient-facing healthcare major, such as medical school, masters of science in nursing or master of health science in physician assistant studies.
  • Full-time undergraduate is defined as minimum of 12 credit hours or equivalent and part-time undergraduate is defined as 6 or more credit hours or equivalent.
  • Full-time graduate is defined as minimum of 9 credit hours or equivalent and part-time graduate is defined as at least two classes with a minimum of 4 credit hours or equivalent.

Full-time Students who demonstrate financial need may receive the lesser of their Cost of Attendance or the Award Amount based on degree type below.

Part-time Students who demonstrate financial need may receive the lesser of their Cost of Attendance or 50% of the Award Amount based on degree type below.

Type of Degree  
Award Amount
Undergraduate Degree: Non-Healthcare Major $15,000 per year or $7,500 per term $60,000
Undergraduate Degree: Healthcare (or pre-med) Major $25,000 per year or $12,500 per term $100,000
Graduate Degree: with Patient-facing Healthcare Major $50,000 per year or $25,000 per term $200,000

Students who do not demonstrate financial need may receive a one-time honorarium of $5,000. Students who receive an honorarium may reapply if their financial situation changes.

Selection of Recipients

Scholarship America will verify student eligibility, school and program, and calculate financial need. Determination of eligibility is at Scholarship America’s sole discretion.

The Brave of Heart Scholarship is not competitive. All eligible applicants will receive an award.


All applicants will be notified in mid-June 2023. Students may reapply to the program each application cycle they meet eligibility requirements.

Payment of Scholarships

Scholarship America will process scholarship payments on behalf of the Brave of Heart Fund. Payment is made in one installment in August. A check made out to the college or university will be mailed to the student’s address on file. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure the scholarship check is deposited with the college or university.

As part of your application, you are required to upload the following documents:

Please Note: If you are a prior recipient of the Brave of Heart Scholarship from Scholarship America you will only need to upload an IRS Tax Form 1040 and Transcript.

  • Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate or proof of student relationship to deceased healthcare worker
  • Proof of Occupation of deceased healthcare worker
  • Death Certificate of deceased healthcare worker
  • IRS Tax Form 1040 – Students who are claimed as dependents must supply their parent(s) tax form
  • Transcript of student applying, if applicable

Your application is not complete unless all required materials are submitted electronically.

Click below to take the eligibility quiz and apply.