Alan Pattee Scholarship Act

Frequently Asked Questions - Alan Pattee Scholarship Act

The Alan Pattee Scholarship Act enables qualified fallen firefighter survivors to attend certain colleges without having to pay tuition or other fees. You may be able to receive this higher education support if you are a survivor of a California firefighter who has passed away:

· In the performance of their active fire suppression and prevention duties;

· Because of an accident or injury caused by external violence or physical force that was incurred in the performance of their active fire suppression and prevention duties; or

· As a result of an industrial injury or illness arising out of and in the course of their active fire suppression and prevention duties.

Who is eligible to receive the waiver?

· Natural or adopted children, including stepchildren, or the spouse of a fallen state or local government agency firefighter (e.g., city and/or county fire department, joint powers agency, fire authority or fire protection district), or a California federal firefighter; or

· Children of a fallen CalFIRE contract pilot or employee of a contractor, excluding security guards or security officers

Are children or spouses of firefighters with fire service-connected disabilities eligible?

Unfortunately, no – not at this time. However, if the firefighter is also a member of the National Guard who was activated and then permanently disabled in the line of duty while on active service to the state, their dependent(s) may be eligible under the College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents.

What is waived?

All mandatory systemwide fees or tuition and mandatory campus-based fees at a campus within: Univeristy of California, California State University, California Community Colleges. 

What doesn’t the waiver include?

It does not cover the expense of books, parking, room and board, or meals.

What documentation do I need to obtain the waiver?

You may be asked by your campus Admissions office to submit one or all of the following:

· The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Form;

· A copy of the deceased’s death certificate;

· A letter from the Fire Chief confirming that the death was a line-of-duty death that meets the eligibility criteria outlined above – view/download a template letter; and/or

· Other third-party documentation, such as workers’ compensation documentation, which describes or reports the occupation and circumstances of the parent’s or guardian’s passing.

Does an eligible survivor need to demonstrate financial need?

The law does not require eligible survivors – i.e., children or spouses of a fallen state or local government agency firefighter, or a California federal firefighter – to demonstrate financial need or document their income or assets as a condition of receiving the waiver. However, the law (Education Code Section 68120(b)(2)) does require a surviving child of a fallen CalFIRE contract pilot or employee of a contractor to demonstrate need.

To contact campus admissions:

University of California

California State University

California Community Colleges

If you're the survivor of a fallen firefighter who is applying to a college within the UC, CSU or California Community College system and you have questions regarding the waiver, or the campus you’re applying to has raised questions about your waiver eligibility, please contact the California Fire Foundation at (800) 890-3213 or