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Jacob and Wilhelm were sent to school for a classical education once they were of age, while their father was working. They were very hard-working pupils throughout their education. They followed their father’s footsteps and started to pursue a degree in law. However, in 1796, their father died at the age of 44 from pneumonia. This was a tragic time for the Grimms because the family lost all financial support and relied on their aunt, Henriette Zimmer, and grandfather, Johanne Hermann Zimmer. At the age of 11, Jacob was compelled to be head of the household and provide for his family.
In school, their grandfather wrote to them saying that because of their current situation, they needed to apply themselves industriously to secure their future welfare. Shortly after attending Lyzeum, their beloved grandfather died and they were again left to themselves to support their family in the future. The two became hell-bent on becoming the best students at Lyzeum, since they wanted to live up to their deceased father. They studied more than twelve hours a day and established similar work habits. They also shared the same bed and room at school.