scholarships for military children, spouses, and veterans
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15 Scholarships for Military Children, Spouses, and Veterans

Serving as a member in the U.S. Military is one of the greatest sacrifices that an American can make. Not only are soldiers placed in dangerous circumstances, but they also must make a gigantic sacrifice in regards to their families.

The military life affects not only the soldier, but also the husband or wife, and children that belong to the service member. They must also make sacrifices by not having a loved one around for substantial periods of time.

As a result, the U.S. government has always attempted to help reward service member families with financial benefits in order to compensate them for their sacrifice.

Related ArticleJoining The Military After College: How To Do It The “Right” Way

There are many military scholarships that exist. Scholarships for military spouses, children, and veterans are abundant, you just have to know where to look.

Below you’ll find 15 of the best scholarships that are available both for veterans themselves, as well as their dependents.

7 Scholarships For Military Children

scholarships for military kids
A child of a U.S. Military member. Image: DoDLive

There are over 1.3 million active duty military personnel in the United States. When you consider the even larger number of spouses and children, there are millions of individuals each year impacted by military service.

What scholarships exist specifically for children and grandchildren of U.S. service members, both active duty and veterans?

Related Article: Questions to Ask a Military Recruiter

#1 – AMVETS Scholarship

Amount: $4,000

The AMVETS scholarship is awarded annually to students for four years in the amount of $1,000 each year. The scholarship is specifically designed and reserved for children as well as grandchildren of active duty military or veterans.

The program has other scholarships that children may apply for that are a little more selective, including the Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship ($12,000).

How to apply: Applicants are required to be current high school seniors. They also must be United States citizens and provide evidence that the father or mother served in the military honorably.

The AMVETS scholarship considers GPA and financial need. The deadline to enter is January.

Where to apply: https://amvets.org/scholarships/

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#2 – Scholarships for Military Children

Amount: $2,000

The Scholarships for Military Children is funded by Fisher House and its contributors. In nearly two decades the scholarship has raised $18 million dollars for recipients.

In 2018, a total of 500 scholarship grants (each for $2,000) were awarded to recent high school graduates. It is currently closed for this year but will open up once again in mid-December 2023.

How to apply: The application process is conducted online. In addition to factoring in academic achievement and community involvement, the scholarship also requires a short, 500-word essay. The essay topic will be announced when applications open in December.

Applicants must also validate their eligibility as a military dependent by entering the benefits number found on the reverse of the DD Form 1173 Identification Privilege card.

Where to apply: https://www.militaryscholar.org/

#3 – Chief Petty Officer Scholarship Fund

Amount: Varies

The Chief Petty Office Scholarship Fund grants various funds to numerous recipients every year. All children of active duty, retired, or reserve Chief Petty  Officers are eligible for the award, including adopted and step-children.

The non-profit organization established the scholarship to generate and distribute funds specifically for educational opportunities. Candidates eligible for scholarship awards are non-uniformed spouses or dependent children of all Chief Petty Officers in the U.S. Navy.

How to apply: The guidelines for applying include:

  • Be about to graduate or have graduated from high school or earned a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
  • Must intend to enter or currently be enrolled in a community college, vocational college, or university.
  • Be immediate family members of Chief Petty Officers, or adopted or step-children.
 

The deadline to enter is April 1.

Where to apply: https://www.cposf.org/

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#4 – Frederick C. Branch Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

The Fredrick C. Branch scholarship is named after the first black officer to serve in the United States Marine Corps. The NROTC scholarship is awarded to military children that plan to attend one of the 17 historically black colleges in the United States.

Each year, the Fredrick C. Branch scholarship awards nearly 70 Branch scholarships to recipients. Each awardee receives two, four-year installments, or one, three-year installment.

How to apply: For a complete list of all the qualifying colleges please visit the link below. Previous awardees were noted for being exceptional examples of “well-rounded” students.

The scholarship fund is open to all children of military personnel as long as they plan to attend one of the 17 black historical colleges.

Where to apply: https://www.netc.navy.mil/Commands/Naval-Service-Training-Command/NROTC/Marine/Marine/Marine/Marine/Marine/#Top8

#5 – Hero’s Legacy Scholarship

Amount: Varies

The Hero’s Legacy Scholarship was created to provide funds for the children of a parent that has fallen in battle or receives full disability compensation. It honors not only those that have served but have had their life significantly altered as a result.

The scholarship is funded by tax proceeds from the book “Of Thee I Sing. A Letter to My Daughters” by former U.S. President Barack Obama, as well as private donations. The amount to be donated is based on funds received.

How to apply: The program is open to dependent, unmarried children under the age of 23 of a service member who died or was disabled since 9/11. 

You need to apply online. You will also need a transcript of your grades, documents that verify death or TSGLI eligibility, as well as the DD214 or DD1300 Form.

Where to apply: https://www.militaryscholar.org/legacy/

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#6 – Dolphin Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,500, $2,600, or $4,000

The Dolphin Scholarship Fund is provided each year to unmarried children or stepchildren of the US Navy Submarine Force. Children must be under the age of 24 and considered dependent to active duty members of the Navy. A total of 115 awards are granted each year.

The financial award is renewable and based on academic proficiency, need for financial assistance, as well as a commitment to extra-curricular activities in or outside school.

How to apply: Please visit the official website for more details regarding the application process and requirements. The deadline to apply is March 15.

Where to apply: https://www.dolphinscholarship.org/

#7 – Freedom Alliance

Amount: Varies

To help those who have sacrificed for our country, Freedom Alliance is accepting applications from college-age children of military heroes for the 2022-2023 school year.

Students are eligible if they are the dependent child of a U.S. Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, or Guardsman who was killed or permanently disabled (100 percent VA disability rating) in a combat mission or training accident.

To date, Freedom Alliance has provided more than $20 million worth of college scholarships to children with a parent wounded or killed while defending our country.

The top five areas of study among scholarship students are nursing, psychology, biology, business, and mechanical engineering – it’s an incredible program that has helped so many who otherwise may not have been able to continue their education after high school.

How to apply: The student must be a high school senior or graduate or registered as a full-time undergraduate and under the age of 26.  You can learn more about the requirements for this scholarship here.

Where to apply: https://www.tfaforms.com/4659817

4 Scholarships For Military Spouses

scholarships for military spouses
Image: Af.mil

In addition to children of military personnel, there are a variety of scholarships specifically reserved for spouses. Some scholarships are open to both spouses and children (posted above), while others are restricted to spouses.

Related Article: Which Branch of the U.S. Military Should I Join?

#1 –  Hope for the Warriors Spouse/Caregiver Scholarship

Amount: Varies

The Hope for the Warriors Spouse/Caregiver scholarship was created to provide varying amounts to military spouses and caregivers for their strength and resolve despite adversity.

This scholarship is for the spouses of disabled post-9/11 service members that have sustained a combat injury or are 100% VA rated disbled.

The financial assistance for continuing education is supported at accredited U.S. institutions. There are a number of different scholarships offered under the Warriors Spouse/Caregiver program including the New Beginnings Scholarship, Restoring Family Scholarship, Restoring Hope Scholarship, and Honorary Scholarship.

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How to apply: In order to be considered for the scholarship opportunities please submit an online application. You will also need to include an original essay that discusses academic achievement and personal goals, along with a two-page questionnaire.

Two letters of recommendation are also required. The deadline to apply is April 1.

Where to apply: https://www.hopeforthewarriors.org/transition/military-spouse-scholarships/

#2 – Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship

Amount: $500 to $1,000

The Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship is sponsored by the National Military Family Association. It awards up to $1,000 to spouses of all active duty, national guard, or reserve members. It also considers spouses of retired uniformed service members as well.

The scholarship is designed to provide funds for furthering education in vocational training or degree-seeking undergraduate programs.

How to apply: The Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship will only consider online applications. In order to qualify, military spouses must provide a copy of their marriage certificate as well as a military verification document.

The deadline to apply is early February.

Where to apply: https://www.militaryfamily.org/programs/spouses-scholarships/

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#3 – Military Spouse FINRA Fellowship Program

Amount: Varies

The Military Spouse Fellowship program is sponsored by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation. The program produces a monthly stipend to military spouses that participate in a training program that makes them an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC).

The training helps teach marketable job skills, knowledge, tools, and resources that help a military family overcome financial struggles.

How to apply: The Military Spouse FINRA Fellowship Program is a little different from other scholarships listed in this article since it deals with certification training as opposed to receiving a vocational or undergraduate degree. Please check with a qualifying AFC certificate program for more information.

The application period is closed for 2023, but you can sign up to be notified when it reopens at the website below. 

Where to apply: https://www.afcpe.org/resource-center/funding-and-recognition/finra-foundation-military-spouse-fellowship/

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#4 – Wings Over America Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

The Wings Over American Foundation scholarship was created to provide financial relief for spouses as well as dependent children of U.S. Navy Aviation personnel that are on active duty, retired, honorably discharged, or deceased.

Awardees are selected based on scholastic merit, financial need, and community service involvement. The mission of the scholarship fund is to help spouses and children of military personnel to pursue educational dreams and ambitions.

How to apply: Scholarships are awarded to 50 individuals each year. It is funded solely through generous contributions. The money is applicable to use at community colleges, trade and technical schools, as well as traditional college scholarships.

Spouses must be enrolled or plan to enroll as full or part-time students with a load of at least 6 credit hours a semester. The service member must have served at least 8 years in the Navy unless they perished on duty while serving in a Navy Aviation capacity. 

Where to apply: https://wingsoveramerica.us/scholarships

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4 Scholarships For Military Veterans

scholarships for military veterans
There is scholarship money available for U.S. veterans. Image: Defense.gov

Veterans deserve to receive numerous benefits when they return from duty. One way to help veterans adjust back to society is to provide funds for new educational opportunities. Thankfully, there are many scholarships that exist for the brave men and women that have retired from military service.

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#1 – AFCEA War Veterans Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

The War Veterans Scholarship is awarded by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA). It provides financial relief to active duty uniformed military service members as well as honorably discharged veterans that served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The scholarship is open twice a year and provides merit-based scholarships of $2,500.

How to apply: The primary stipulation is the veteran must be enrolled in an accredited STEM-related degree program at an accredited 4-year college or university.

Qualified applicants must be U.S. citizens, a sophomore or junior at the time of application, have either part-time or full-time status at a four-year university, have served in Afghanistan and/or Iraq War, and have an overall GPA of 3.0.

Additionally, you must provide proof that you served in the form of a DD214 or Certificate of Service.

Lastly, you must be majoring in any one of the following related degree programs:

Biometry/Biometrics, Computer Engineering, Computer Forensics Science, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Computer Systems, Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Geospatial Science, Information Science, Information Technology, Information Resource Management, Intelligence, Mathematics, Network Engineering, Network Security, Operations, Research, Physics, Robotics Engineering, Robotics Technology, Statistics, Strategic Intelligence, and Telecommunications Engineering.

Where to apply: https://www.afcea.org/site/foundation/scholarships/war-veterans

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#2 – Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

The Army Women’s Foundation Legacy scholarship was established to honor the many women serving in the U.S. Army. The grant provides up to $2,500 in tuition assistance for undergraduate and graduate military vets.

There are multiple different scholarships listed under the Army Women’s Foundation depending on personal goals. It includes scholarships for community colleges, certificate programs, universities, or graduate programs.

How to apply: In order to apply, you must be a woman that has honorably served in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, or Army National Guard.

Related Article: Does The National Guard Pay For College?

Please visit the official website below for application deadlines and details. Qualified candidates need to demonstrate a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. You must present a college transcript along with recommendations.

Where to apply: https://www.awfdn.org/scholarships/

#3 – Imagine America’s Military Award Program

Amount: $1,000

The Imagine America’s Military Award program was established to assist higher learning funds for military veterans. Also known as the MAP program, it can provide $1,000 for educational funds.

The scholarship is open to active duty military personnel, reservists, honorably discharged military vets, as well as retired veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces that seek to pursue career college training.

How to apply: The deadline for the award varies. Please visit the official website for more details.

Qualified applicants must be enrolled in an accredited higher learning institution. They must also display good academic potential and have a need for financial assistance.

Where to apply: https://www.imagine-america.org/grantsformilitary/

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#4 – Pat Tillman Scholarship

Amount: Varies

The scholarship is honorably named after Pat Tillman, a former NFL all-star that left a lucrative career with the Arizona Cardinals following September 11th and joined the U.S. Military. He later died in combat.

The Pat Tillman Scholarship was created to award annual funds to active service members of all branches of the U.S. military, as well as veterans and spouses. The scholarship is available for undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees.

How to apply: Like most scholarships, you can learn more information by visiting the official website (posted, below) and applying online.

Candidates are asked to demonstrate values and strength of character that reflect Pat Tillman. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is also required.

Where to apply: https://pattillmanfoundation.org/apply-to-be-a-scholar/

Frequently Asked Questions

What states offer free college tuition for veteran’s dependents?

Wyoming provides veteran tuition benefits for overseas combat veterans, surviving spouses, and dependents.

How do you get an Army scholarship?

You can apply for an Army ROTC scholarship if you are a U.S. citizen between 17 and 26, have a high school diploma, have a GPA of 2.50, and meet the minimum 920 on the SAT or 19 on the ACT.

Does VA pay for children’s college?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides 36 months of college tuition up to the maximum in-state college rate, a monthly housing allowance, and an annual stipend for books and supplies.

Do children of 100% disabled veterans get free college?

Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance provides up to 36 months of college benefits for spouses and children of veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability.

Can military spouses go to school for free?

The MyCAA Military Spouse Education Benefits provides tuition assistance up to $4,000 to pursue a license, certification, or associate’s degree.

Conclusion

There are many different scholarships available depending if you are a veteran or have family that would like to continue their education. Several scholarships exist for spouses and children.

If you know of any others, feel free to share in the comments below!

Rob V.
Latest posts by Rob V. (see all)
Scholarships For Military Children

Scholarships For Military Children

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Learn more about the various scholarship opportunities available to both children of active duty military members, but also their spouses.

Originally posted on 05/11/19

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