National Scholarships for Veterans
In addition to the G.I..Bill, and the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, there are a wide variety of available scholarships designed to encourage and support veterans in their quest for a college education. These scholarships are supported by both public and private funds, and are offered to eligible veterans who have been honorably discharged from military service. Requirements and award amounts will vary according to the program.
The following examples are just a small sampling of scholarships designed to benefit veterans and their families.
- The AMVET National Scholarship Program is designed for those veterans who have exhausted the resources of the G.I. Bill. Applicants must have been honorably discharged, and must be attending an accredited college, university or technical school. The award is $1000 per academic year, renewable for up to three years.
- The Military Order of the Purple Heart Scholarship is available to all veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart. The program is also open to widows and dependents of those service-members who have been awarded the Purple Heart posthumously. Award amounts vary, and are based on financial need.
- The American Legion Scholarship is available to all veteran members of the legion who are pursuing their undergraduate studies at an accredited college or university. Annual awards are $1000, and eligibility is determined by financial need.
- The Pat Tillman Foundation offers the Leadership Through Action – Tilman Military Scholars program which provides financial assistance to veterans and active-duty military who wish to start, continue, or finish their college education. Award amounts vary, and eligibility is determined by merit as well as financial need. Applicants are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA, and must submit two essays for consideration.
- The Troops to Teachers Program is administered by the U. S. Department of Defense, and provides financial support for veterans who choose to pursue a degree in teaching or education. Eligible applicants must agree to a term of service in a high need school or community in order to receive funding. Eligibility is determined by financial need, as well as academic merit.
Scholarships and Grants from Every Branch of the Military
Financial aid for active-duty service-members is available from every branch of the U. S. Military. Scholarships, grants and tuition assistance programs are often used as recruiting incentives, and offer educational opportunities in exchange for military service. While this is a very viable, and rewarding, way to find funding for college, students should note that these programs require service commitments. Recipients must agree to a predetermined term of service in the military in order to receive awards. Enlisting in any brand of the military is an honorable decision, but it is not to be taken without due consideration.
The following examples will show the breadth of financial aid programs available to enlisted servicemen and women, as well as to their spouses and dependents.
- The Air Force Tuition Assistance Program offers financial aid to active-duty personnel who wish to complete their college education while enlisted. Funds can be applied to either on-base, or off-base, schools. Award amounts are contingent upon time served, and range from partial to full tuition grants.
- The Navy College Fund offers funding for enlisted sailors over and above what they are eligible to receive from the G. I. Bill. The purpose of the fund is to assist both active-duty and retired Navy personnel in the completion of a college education. Applicants must have an honorable standing in the service, and must meet general service and performance requirements.
- The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society administers a number of grants and low interest loan programs for service-members, their spouses and dependents, including the Gold Star Scholarship and the Admiral Mike Boorda Loan Program. Financial aid amounts vary, and are determined by time of service and financial need.
- The U.S. Army’s Survivors and Dependents Assistance Program provides financial aid to the widowed spouses and children of service-members who were killed, or disabled, in the line of duty. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits to be used while pursuing either a degree or certification at an accredited college or technical school.
Military service is a brave, and honorable, choice that offers more than just financial rewards. They who have given so much, deserve the educational support and encouragement of a grateful nation. Veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families rightfully have access to a wide range of scholarships and grants to enable them to pursue a college education, and to find lasting success on the home-front.
Scholarship Opportunities for Military Dependents
Each branch of the United States’ Military supports a variety of scholarship programs for the children and spouses of their service-members. All of these programs have distinct eligibility requirements, and interested students will want to thoroughly research the programs to which they are applying.
The United States Army
The US Army sponsors a variety of scholarship and grant programs designed to help the families of service-members find the necessary funds for college. These programs are intended to help the spouses and children of army personnel achieve their college ambitions. The following financial aid programs are currently being supported by the United States Army.
- The Survivors & Dependents Assistance Program offers financial assistance to children, aged 16 – 26, of army personnel who have been disabled or killed in the line of duty. The program is also open to the children of service-members who have been declared missing in action, or who have been detained as a prisoner of war. The program offers up to 45 months of educational benefits to eligible students who are enrolled in approved undergraduate, graduate, or vocational studies.
- The Spouse Education Assistance Program provides grant money to the eligible spouses of active-duty or retired Army personnel. Applicants must be enrolled at least part-time in an accredited college or university. Scholarship funding is available for fall and spring semesters only.
- The Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program supports the educational ambitions of Army spouses who are currently stationed overseas. Applicants must be enrolled in approved college or university, and must take a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester. Full time students are eligible for 4 years of financial support.
The United States Air Force
The US Air Force supports a number of scholarships and grants for for the dependents of both active, and retired, personnel. These programs offer much needed financial assistance to the spouses and children of Air Force personnel who are pursing a college education.
The US Air Force currently supports the following programs for the dependents of active and retired service-members.
- The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program is sponsored by the Air Force Aid Society. The program provides financial assistance to the children of active-duty and retired Air Force personnel. It also provides grants for the children and spouses of deceased service-members. This is a need-based grant, and current awards stand at $2000.
- The Scholarship for Air Force Enlisted Member’s Dependent Children is supported by the Air Force Sergeants Associationand the Airmen Memorial Foundation. These scholarships are available to the dependent children of active-duty, retired or veteran Air Force personnel. Scholarship awards are determined by academic achievement, service to the community, character and writing ability. Financial need is not a consideration. Award amounts range from $500 to $3000.
- The AFSA Scholarship Program is available to the dependent children of AFSA or AFSA Auxiliary members. Awards are strictly merit-based, and range from $1500 to $2500 each.
The United States Navy and Marine Corps
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society provides financial support to Naval personnel, Marines, and their families. In addition to a number of interest free loans for service-members and their families, the Relief Society offers the following programs for the college-bound dependents of Navy and Marine personnel.
- The NMCRS Gold Star Scholarship Program is available to the children and spouses of Navy and Marine personnel who were killed in the line of duty. Applicants must demonstrate the requisite level of financial need, and once in school must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. Awards range from $500 to $2500 per academic year.
- The Joseph A. McAlinden Divers Scholarship is available to the children or spouses of active-duty Navy or Marine divers. Students must be studying oceanography, ocean agriculture or aquaculture in an approved college program. Awards range from $500 to $3000, and are determined by financial need.
In addition to these scholarship programs, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society also administers the Vice Admiral E. P. Travers Loan Program and the Spouse Tuition Aid Loan Program which provide low cost education loans to the dependents of active-duty Navy or Marine Corps personnel.
The United States Coast Guard
The Coast Guard Foundation administers a variety of grant and scholarship programs designed to benefit the children and spouses of active-duty, retired and deceased Coast Guard personnel. These programs are a combination of need-based and merit-based awards, and include theRADM Arnold I. Sobel Scholarship, the Commander Ronald J. Cantin Scholarship and the Fallen Heroes Scholarship. These and other financial aid programs offer much needed assistance to the children and spouses of Coast Guard service-members who are struggling to meet the rising costs of a college education. Award amounts vary depending on program, school of attendance, academic achievement and financial need.