Scholarships for Police Dependents

by Rudy Miller
Police officer standing in station

Scholarships for children of police officers range from $1,000 to $10,000. Several nonprofit organizations offer them to help offset sacrifices made by officers and their families. Police officers work long hours, evenings, weekends and holidays which means spouses and children often have to make due without them. The work has one of the highest rates of illness, injuries and stress, all burdens the officers bring home with them.

ESA Youth Scholarship

The Electronic Security Association, a nonprofit trade association representing the electronic security systems industry, offers annual scholarships for children with a parent or guardian serving as an active police officer, sheriff’s deputy of firefighter. State chapters will select one nominee in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada (Clark County only), New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington or Wisconsin. If you don’t live in any of these states, you can apply for one national slot, and compete against the state nominees for the scholarships. At the time of publication, the awards were $10,000 first prize, $5,000 second prize, $3,500 third prize and $1,500 fourth prize. Applicants must write an essay, "What it means to me to have my parent or guardian involved in securing our community.”

Ron and Cora Lee Children of Law Enforcement Officers Scholarship

An annual scholarship is offered to children of police officers or police pensioners who live in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania or New Jersey through the Ronald G. Williams, Jr. Foundation. The scholarship amounted to $1,000 at the time of publication. The foundation was formed in memory of the Delaware State Police Master Corporal who died in 2002. Each applicant must write an essay on the importance of having a good relationship with his or her parents. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 high school grade point average. Applicants are also asked to disclose the college in which they plan to enroll and scholastic achievements.

Jeanne E. Bray Memorial Scholarship

The National Rifle Association awards the annual Jeanne E. Bray Memorial Scholarship to children of active or retired police officers who are NRA members, or children of police officers killed in the line of duty who were NRA members when they died. (Reference 5) The scholarship was $2,500 per semester, up to $5,000 a year for four years at the time of publication. The scholarship is in memory of Jeanne E. Bray, a former police officer from Columbus, Ohio. A former NRA director, Bray won the National Women's Police Combat Pistol Championship five times from 1962-67. Applications must be received by Nov. 15 for the subsequent year’s awards.

Wives Behind the Badge

The nonprofit Wives Behind the Badge offers scholarships of an undisclosed amount to dependent children of active-duty, retired or deceased law enforcement officers. (Reference 6) Scholarships are for use at an accredited four-year college of university. Winners get a one-time award sent directly to the school for tuition expenses. Rose Winnick, the wife of a police sergeant in southern California, started the nonprofit as an online support group in 2006, and it grew into a 200-member enterprise with police wives in the United States, Canada, England and Australia.

American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens Scholarship

Hundreds of children of police officers killed in the line of duty each year win scholarships through the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens: Police Family Survivors Fund. You can use the funds toward tuition, books, housing or education-related fees at any four-year college, technical or vocational school. The scholarships covered $1,000 a year for up to four years at the time of publication. You must reapply each year. You need a 2.0 grade point average and a course load of at least six credits to qualify. Application reviews typically take 30 to 60 days.

About the Author

Rudy Miller has been writing professionally since 1996. Miller is a digital team leader for, a local news website and content provider to the Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pa. Miller holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Miami.

Photo Credits

  • Andersen Ross/Blend Images/Getty Images
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article