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The University of Memphis has announced that it will soon offer free tuition to the children and spouses of fallen service members.

University Of Memphis Offers Free Tuition

The Commercial Appeal, a local Memphis publication, reports that the university already accepts the Folds of Honor scholarship, which gives $5,000 per year to undergrads under the age of 24 if he or she has a parent killed or injured during active duty. Spouses who have not remarried can also receive the scholarship.

Now, starting this fall, Folds of Honor recipients won’t have to worry about figuring out how to pay the rest of the University of Memphis tuition, which averages to about $9,700 a year, plus room and board, fees and textbooks.

Further, if students quality for other scholarships, the University of Memphis will help them pursue those opportunities as well.

“Our commitment is to cover any gap that exists as a result and to relieve them of that burden,” University of Memphis President David Rudd said.

Done Deal

The University of Memphis is the first university to accept the Fields of Honor scholarship as payment-in-full. Folds of Honor Senior VP Ben Leslie said the organization had been working on finding a higher education institution to jump onboard; several said they were interested, but none took the plunge until now.

“For other people going forward, I think it will be a huge help and a huge relief,” said Alyssa Hill, a recent graduate whose father, Army National Guard Captain Raymond D. Hill II, was killed in Iraq on Oct. 29, 2005. “It will try to take some of that burden off and try to pay back some of that sacrifice.”

The deal is all but done, with a formal agreement between the university and Folds of Honor expected to be signed in the coming weeks.

“This sacrifice is remarkable and we need to recognize that,” Rudd, who is also a veteran, told the school board.

Leslie hailed the deal, dubbing the University of Memphis the “most patriotic university in the country” and telling the Commercial Appeal that veterans and their families would feel welcome on campus as a result of the agreement.

“They’re attending a school that acknowledges the sacrifices a family has made to protect their freedoms,” he said.

As Fox 13 Memphis notes, it’s unknown how many current University of Memphis students are on the Folds of Honor scholarship. Details are scant, but a spokesman told the news channel that, “there will be a possible cap on how many will be admitted and that it is only for Tennessee residents.”

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