red, white, and blue star with initials B V A

Dive into the opportunities offered by BVA’s Kathern F. Gruber Scholarships – a chance like no other for spouses, dependent children, and grandchildren of blind and low vision veterans seeking support for their higher education tuition. Applications for the 2024-25 academic year are due April 30 for the five awards valued at $2,000 each. The scholarship can be a valuable help to students and their families. 

The application process is straightforward with applicants evaluated on merit by a select committee. Although the Gruber scholarships are awarded for one year, students can reapply and receive the award up to four times. This allowance can offer a steady support system throughout an educational journey. 

Noteworthy also is that the recipient’s blind or low vision veteran family member is not required to be a BVA member for the spouse, child, or grandchild to be eligible for a scholarship. It is an inclusive opportunity to ease the financial burden of higher education. 

Kathern “Kay” Gruber is a renowned friend and advocate of blinded veterans and their families. A native of Minnesota, Kay graduated with high honors from the University of Minnesota, where she specialized in the education of blind children. Shortly after graduation, she accepted a job in her academic specialty but became disenchanted with the way blind children were taught and trained.
There was a de-emphasis, she said, on independence and self-reliance.

Soon after the end of World War II, Kay began working in the rehabilitation of blinded veterans as Director of Services for the War-Blinded at the American Foundation of the Blind. She held that position for 18 years, testifying before Congress, composing a regular column for the BVA Bulletin, establishing the scholarship program that now bears her name, and receiving votes unanimously at the national conventions as the “Sweetheart of the BVA.” In 2002, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Printing House for the Blind. Former BVA Field Service Director Bob Brown referred to Kay as “quick witted, outspoken, and tenacious.”

Using the life of Kay Gruber as motivation, students should explore the opportunities, apply for the award, and let the Gruber scholarship be a steppingstone toward achieving their educational goals! Additional resource information and application materials must be submitted online or via the US mail on or before the April 30 deadline. The completed materials are available here.