Scholarship Instructions



Instructions for Applicants

The Blinded Veterans Association, 1101 King Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314, a national veterans’ organization, has established the Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship Program and the Thomas H. Miller Scholarship Program for the purpose of assisting the educational goals of dependent children, grandchildren, and spouses of blinded veterans to include Active Duty blinded service members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

For this 38th year of the program, the 2021-2022 academic year of the Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship Program, there will be six (6) scholarships awarded for $2,000 each. The Thomas H. Miller Scholarship Program, now in its 9th year, will award one (1) scholarship in the amount of $1,000.00 with more consideration in the area of music and fine arts. Therefore, there will be a total seven (7) recipients and two alternates chosen by the BVA Scholarship Committee.

The scholarships must be used to defray a student’s cost of expenses payable directly to the school, to include tuition, books and other academic fees. Payments will be made directly to the school and will be made in amounts, as equal as may be possible or practicable, at the beginning of the fall and spring terms during the period of the scholarship.

To be eligible, an applicant must be either a dependent child, grandchild, or spouse of a blinded veteran to include Active Duty blinded service members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The veteran need not be a member of the Blinded Veterans Association. The veteran’s blindness may be either service connected or non‑service connected, but it must meet the following definition:

Central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective glasses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than twenty degrees in the better eye.

An applicant must, at the time of application, have been accepted for admission, or be attending, an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited institution of higher education or business, secretarial or vocational training school as a full-time student. Personnel on academic probation are ineligible.

Applicants will be selected for a scholarship on a “most-highly-qualified” basis utilizing the following criteria: answers to the questions on the application form; transcripts of high school and/or college records (and any other achievements of the applicant); three reference letters in calendar school year; and a three‑hundred-word-essay on the applicant’s post-education, lifetime, career goals and aspirations. Incomplete applications will not be submitted to the scholarship committee. It is the responsibility of the applicant, not BVA to ensure a complete application package.

The Scholarship Programs are competitive in nature, and consideration is given by the judges not only to how well the applicant justifies his/her need, but also to such things as how well the applicant fills out the application, etc. Applicants should understand that many people review the applications during the adjudication process. Therefore, prior to submission, applicants are encouraged to carefully proof their applications for grammar, punctuation, clarity, etc., and to ensure that all questions are answered as thoroughly and as completely as possible. By doing so, the applicant will ensure that he/she is on the same playing field as all the other applicants.

Scholarships will be awarded for one year only. Previous recipients are eligible to apply for subsequent years’ scholarships provided they are not on academic probation and provided they have not received the limited amount of four (4).

Applicants are cautioned that they are responsible for ensuring the required transcripts and letters of reference accompany their applications (documents can be sent separately to the BVA National Office). However, a complete package is required for it to be considered by the BVA Scholarship Committee. Letters of academic reference must be related to the school they are attending or will be attending and must be no later than six months old. We ask that you please adhere fully to the scholarship rules.

Additional scholarships are offered through the BVA Auxiliary. Visit for more information.