Individual grants

Armed Forces Education Trust exists to help ease the difficulties that sometimes happen with the education of children of members of the Armed Forces as a result of their parents’ service. The Trust believes the education of children and young people is a vital part of their lives and our society, and that no child should miss out.

An individual grant is a grant awarded to an individual child who needs funds to support his or her education.

Our impact

In the last five years we have given individual grants of over £1.1 million to support service children and young people

We have given continuity to service children to enable them to complete their GCSEs or A-Levels at their current school when their parent(s) left the Armed Services and Continued Education Allowance stopped

We have paid for specialist support for children with special educational needs where frequent moves has hampered the provision of this support

Success Stories

Frequently asked questions

Most grant applications, unless urgent, are reviewed at our quarterly grants meetings.  The key dates are as follows:

  • Closing date for applications each term: 15 January / 1 April / 15 May /  1 October
  • Allocate funding and notify applicants by: End February / Mid May / End June/ End October

In exceptional circumstances, we can make a grant in between grant meetings.

Click here to confirm that you are eligible to apply for an individual grant prior to submitting an application form.

No. We receive a large number of applications from eligible parents and sadly are not able to help them all. The Trustees review all applications at the termly grants meetings to decide on grant allocations.

Now that most undergraduate courses are eligible for a loan to pay for fees we rarely give grants for this purpose and even if we do, we only make university-related grants for years 2 and 3 of attendance. This allows us to ensure that you are committed to your studies by passing successfully through your first year at university.

However, we understand that this might present financial worries for students and parents and therefore allow applications from students in the final year of their A Levels or equivalent. Successful applicants may receive a provisional grant for university years 2 and 3. In doing this we hope to provide assurance of support for the following two years. In some circumstances the Trust will support accommodation related charges where a maintenance grant is not available, but this will be on a means tested basis and only for years 2 and 3 as above.

In exceptional circumstances, we will consider additional requests for expenses (up to an agreed limit). However, we are not able to make payments directly to the individual / family in receipt of a grant.

If the parents’ or guardians’ financial circumstances do not change, we will always aim to make our grants available to allow a child to complete the full period at school (or college) up to the next obvious break ie to end of year six or GSCEs. However, please note that the means testing is an annual requirement, so if parents or guardians are able to contribute to fees at a later date, they will be expected to do so.

No. Continued Education Allowance (for boarding school) is paid up to a maximum value with parents being expected to pay 10% of the fees plus any excess. However, the Trustees may consider an application for other specific education related costs not covered by CEA.

Serving parents are generally able to anticipate the effect of their leaving the service on the education of their children and thus make arrangements for continuation of their education. The Trust does appreciate however that at times this is not possible, particularly when unforeseen circumstances cause an end to a service career, and also when children are in an important / exam year when their parent leaves. In these situations, the Trustees may consider an application for short term support up to the original CEA element.

Yes. Sometimes Parents apply for CEA and for whatever reason it is refused. If this is the case, we would expect you to have made an appeal to CEAS/DCYP before applying for a grant and would ask to see the details of the CEA refusal.

We means test applications on the basis of the family’s joint income (from work, pensions and benefits), savings and regular outgoings. We also take into account a range of other criteria including for example: Are you able to describe the impact on the child of their parents’ service? Are either parent still serving? How long did the qualifying person serve in the Forces? Has any injury while serving impacted their ability to work? Please do note though that the final decision on who receives grants is at the absolute discretion of the Trustees.

If the grant is for a child over the age of 18 we would also ask for details of their income.

As long as you have served in one of HM Armed Forces as either a regular or reservist, you can apply. But you will need to demonstrate that the education of the child on whose behalf you are applying has been affected in some way by your service and that education facilities where you now live cannot meet their needs as a result. If the child was born or reached school age after you left the Services, a grant is likely to be made only in the most exceptional circumstances.

While of course sympathising with such difficulties, the Trust will only consider grants in such cases where it is clear that the child’s needs cannot be met from existing resources, or that there are particular reasons why health or education provision cannot do so, due to the parent’s situation as a Service person.

The Trust has an agreement with Cognita and receives discounted fees should the Trust provide a grant for a child at a Cognita school. The Trust wants to assist as many young people as possible and making use of Cognita’s discount is obviously beneficial. If the application for a grant is for a child at a Cognita school, this might help the likelihood of success though we must stress that it is absolutely not a requirement and nor does an application from someone with a child in a Cognita School guarantee a grant from the Trust. Information about Cognita and a list of Cognita schools can be found at:


We pay fees direct to the school or university/college or other education provider concerned by BACS. We are not able to make payments directly to the individual / family in receipt of a grant.

Applying for a individual grant

The first step is to answer a few short questions about your child’s situation. If your child meets the criteria you will be asked to email us with your contact details so that we can get in touch with you to find out more information and agree the best way forward which may be to invite you to complete an online application. We will confirm we have received your application and it will then be considered by the Trust at one of our termly grants meetings. We will contact you if we need any more information and will keep you up to date with progress.

See if your child may be eligible