Heroes Fund Scholarship (HFS)
Liberty University is proud of our country’s heroes who have given so much for our freedom. We know that this freedom comes at a high price for many. To show appreciation for our service members who have been wounded while protecting our liberties, Liberty University has created the Heroes Fund Scholarship (HFS).
See eligibility requirements below, or select a different tab to navigate to other information related to this scholarship.
The Heroes Fund Scholarship is offered to service members and honorably discharged Gulf War veterans (1990-present day which includes Desert Shield, Desert Storm, OEF & OIF) pursuing their first Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree or the first certificate at the highest conferred degree level (i.e. a student having a conferred graduate degree cannot be approved for the HFS for an undergraduate certificate program). Doctoral degrees and doctoral-level certificates are not eligible for the scholarship.
- Be a recipient of the prestigious Purple Heart OR
- Rated 50-100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs for a “combat-related” Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) OR
- Rated 50-100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs for “combat-related” injury, illness, or condition OR
- A spouse was killed in action during one of the Gulf Wars
- HFS may only be used for a student’s first Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or the first certificate of one of these levels.
- Applicants who have already obtained a degree at another institution may not receive HFS for another degree or certificate at the same level at Liberty University.
- Non-degree seeking students are not eligible at this time.
- Students awarded the Heroes Fund Scholarship are governed by the “Recipient Standard Operating Procedure” and will be required to sign the document acknowledging receipt and understanding.
- Must have exhausted all Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits.
- “Combat-Related” is defined on pages 63-9 and 63-10 of Volume 7B, Chapter 63 of DoD 7000.14-R dated September 2015.
- Liberty University also uses the Combat Related Definitions as defined by the US Army Human Resources Command to help further explain the eligibility qualifications.
If you feel you are eligible to receive this scholarship, but your situation is not listed above, please complete an application and submit supporting documentation.
The Heroes Fund Scholarship (HFS) is considered a “gap” scholarship, in which recipients are awarded funding to cover all remaining tuition and class fees* once financial aid and military aid have been applied.
HFS recipients eligible for GI Bill® benefits must exhaust all of their GI Bill benefits before receiving any HFS dollars. This is due to the VA regulation that Post-9/11 GI Bill can only be processed after all tuition and fee only aid is subtracted from the tuition and fee charges (SCO Handbook, p.31). Classes required by a HFS recipient degree plan that may not be covered by GI Bill benefits (i.e. remedial classes) may have HFS dollars awarded for those classes only.
*Heroes Fund will not cover School of Aeronautics and School of Law class fees.
The HFS Recipient SOP governs how and when scholarship funds are awarded.
- HFS may be used for a student’s first Certificate at the highest conferred degree level, Associate’s, Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree.
- The HFS may only be awarded to recipients who maintain the minimum required GPA for their degree plan (2.0 for Undergraduate degrees, 3.0 for Graduate degrees).
- The HFS may cover up to 120 credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree and up to 30-60 credit hours for a graduate degree.
- Students may be approved a one-time change in degree plan as long as the change in degree plans does not exceed the maximum number of credit hours HFS is eligible to pay for at a particular degree level.
- Funding is only awarded for classes that contribute to a Liberty University degree being pursued.
- Continued award of this scholarship for subsequent degree programs will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- Students must reapply for HFS and meet any new eligibility requirements for continued support for a degree at the next level.
The Liberty University “General Scholarship Rule” applies to the Heroes Fund Scholarship:
- General Scholarship Rule (GSR): A student’s combined federal grants, state grants, and Liberty aid are not permitted to exceed the combined cost of actual tuition and Tier 2 and standard board charges (see Tuition and Costs for more information). The GSR calculation for commuter students only includes the cost of tuition which means federal grants, state grants, and Liberty aid cannot exceed the actual cost of tuition only because there is no room and board charge. If the combined aid exceeds the total cost as specified, Liberty aid will be reduced to resolve the excess aid. The Federal Pell Grant is not included as a factor in the GSR for Resident students. All Liberty aid is subject to GSR.
If you believe you meet the eligibility requirements, please submit a Heroes Fund Scholarship Application (under Document Requirements), along with all of the required supporting documents. Please keep in mind it is the veteran’s responsibility to provide documents verifying an onset, initial injury of condition, illness, or injury as being combat-related.
Students wishing to apply for the Heroes Fund Scholarship are required to submit documentation along with their application. A complete HFS application will include all of the general document requirements below, as well as the appropriate qualifying documents, and any additional supporting documents that are determined as needed. HFS applications received without all required documents will result in a delay in application review and decision. Your application and all of the required documentation listed below may be submitted to the Office of Military Affairs for consideration by:
- Email: LUmilitary@liberty.edu; ATTN: Heroes Fund Scholarship
- Fax: (434) 455-1287; ATTN: Heroes Fund Scholarship
All applicants must submit all of the below documents:
- HFS Application (submit the document below based on your status)
- Recipient SOP – send both pages of signed HFS Recipient SOP.
- Essay: 750-1000 words on the topic, “What degree do you plan to pursue? How will this degree impact your future?” The essay is to be double-spaced and typed in Times New Roman, 12 point font.
- Proof of FAFSA for the current school year.
- Every undergraduate HFS recipient must apply for Financial Aid by completing an annual FAFSA.
- HFS recipients are not required to use any federal education loans they may be eligible to receive. The FAFSA is a requirement to determine Pell Grant eligibility only, which does not subject the applicant to debt or repayment.
Veterans and Service Members only are required to submit the following:
- Certificate of Eligibility for VA benefits and/or VA letter showing the status of benefit eligibility. Due to VA regulation (SCO Handbook page 31) applicants eligible for Post-9/11 benefits will be required to exhaust their Post-9/11 benefits before any HFS dollars may be awarded.
- Students currently using a chapter of GI Bill® benefits must submit the most recent Certificate of Eligibility showing status of benefits.
- Students who may have transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a family member must submit VA Letter showing a transfer of benefits.
- Note: If your Transfer of Education Benefits document does not specifically list names, ages, and the number of months of transferred GI Bill benefits, you will need to provide that information for consideration. HFS applicants who transferred Chapter 33 benefits to family members will be considered for HFS on a case-by-case basis.
- Disabled veterans must provide confirmation of application for Chapter 31 Veteran Readiness and Employment GI Bill benefits. All disabled veterans are required to apply for Chapter 31 benefits. One document from below needed:
- Copy of the VA Form 22-1900 (Chapter 31 application) OR
- A VA letter stating Chapter 31 application denied and/or exhausted OR
- Copy of confirmation email received when applying for Chapter 31 benefits OR
- Copy of VA letter Summary of Benefits stating applicant as “unemployable.”
Spouses Applying on Their Service Member’s Death (Killed in Action) are required to submit the following:
- Confirmation of application for Fry Scholarship and/or Chapter 35 Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance GI Bill benefit. One document from below needed:
- Copy of the VA Form 22-5490 or 22-5495 OR
- Certificate of Eligibility OR
- A VA letter stating application denied and/or exhausted OR
- Copy of confirmation email received when applying.
Service Members/Veterans must submit the following qualifying documents:
- DD-214 (Member-4 copy showing Character of Service), Certificate of Discharge/Retirement, and/or copy of military discharge orders
- One of the following is required:
- Purple Heart Citation/Orders OR
- VA letter of disability rating that specifically spells out each injury/illness with the percentage awarded for each illness/injury* OR
- CRSC (Combat-Related Special Compensation) document OR
- Print screen of your eBenefits Disability Dashboard (All documents must show the student’s name verifying the document belongs to the applicant. This can be done putting cursor over “Dashboard” in the upper right corner which will allow your name to appear as well as a log-out option)
Spouses Applying on Their Service Member’s Death (Killed in Action) must submit the following qualifying documents:
- Marriage Certificate AND
- Photo ID, such as valid Driver’s License or Passport. Military ID cards are not accepted AND
- Report of Casualty (DD Form 1300) or Death Certificate
- Must specifically state spouse died as a result of combat action / “Killed in Action”
- Must specifically list the HFS applicant as spouse at the time of death
*Please Note: All VA letters must be the full formal letter showing both the VA letterhead and signature pages (rebuttal pages are not needed). Applicants may black out any part of the VA Disability Award letter he/she feels is too sensitive and/or unnecessary for application purposes.
Applications for the Heroes Fund Scholarship are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The below additional documents may be requested to complete our review of your application.
- Excerpts of Military Medical Records that document combat-related onset/nature of injury/condition.
- VA document that verifies initial onset of injury/condition as having a combat-related onset.
- Copy of military award citation, NCOER or OER, or other official military document showing combat-related action/service
The Heroes Fund Scholarship (HFS) is sustained through the generous donations of Liberty University supporters. Contributions for this scholarship may be made through a variety of methods. The most common are listed below:
- This scholarship is provided by the generous private donations of Liberty University supporters. The continued award of this scholarship may be re-evaluated based on the availability of funds and increased need/applications.
- Changes in what the HFS may or may not cover is subject to change between semesters without any advance notice.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.