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 Article – Joining 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 17 of the best scholarships that are available both for veterans themselves, as well as their dependents.
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7 Scholarships For Military Children
There are over 1.3 million active duty military personnel in the United States. When you consider the even larger amount 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?
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#1 – XYZ Scholarship
The XYZ scholarship is awarded to children of military veterans, and gives away $50,000 annually. Ever since 2005, this organization has assisted children of military personnel to continue their education in college or vocational school.
The program is administered by Scholarship America, the largest creator and manager of college scholarships, tuition assistance, and other educational support programs. The awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, sexual orientation, religion, gender, or disability.
How to apply: In order to be eligible for the XYZ scholarship:
- Be a high school graduate or current post-secondary undergraduate, or graduate level student.
- Plan to enroll in part-time or full-time undergraduate or graduate studies for the following year.
Applicants are evaluated on academic performance, leadership and participation in school and community activities, as well as work experience. Financial need is also considered, as well as first generation students.
The deadline to apply is September 1.
Where to apply: https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/xyz/
#2 – AMVETS Scholarship
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 citizen and provide evidence that the father or mother served in the military honorably.
The AMVETS scholarship consider financial need. The deadline to enter is January.
Where to apply: https://amvets.org/scholarships/
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#3 – Scholarships for Military Children
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, yet will open up once again in December for the year 2020.
How to apply: The application process is conducted online. In addition to factoring academic achievement and community involvement, the scholarship also requires a short, 500 word essay.
The essay requests that you describe two examples of how being a child of a military service member has influenced your educational goals. 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/
#4 – Chief Petty Officer Scholarship Fund
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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#5 – Frederick C. Branch Scholarship Program
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 historical 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 so long as they plan to attend one of the 17 black historical colleges.
#6 – Hero’s Legacy Scholarship
The Hero’s Legacy Scholarship was created to provide funds for 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. A disability is defined as one that results in the service member being ineligible for, and is not receiving TSGLI insurance or a total disability compensation rating of 100 percent.
You need to apply online. You will also need a transcript of your grades, documents that verify death or TSGLI eligibility, as well as DD214 or DD1300 Form.
Where to apply: https://www.militaryscholar.org/legacy/
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#7 – Dolphin Scholarship Fund
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: http://www.dolphinscholarship.org/
5 Scholarships For Military Spouses
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.
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#1 – General George S. Brown Spouse Tuition Assistance Program
The General George S. Brown Spouse Tuition Assistance Program is administered by the Air Force Aid Society. The program is commonly referred to as STAP. It provides up to $5,000 for selected spouses of active duty U.S. Air Force service members.
STAP was created to provide partial tuition assistance for spouses of military personnel. The goal is to help spouses complete educational programs that will help increase their own opportunities for employment.
How to apply: Eligible candidates need to prove they are legally married to a service member, and without separation or pending divorce.
The applicant must also be a high school graduate enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student and has maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. A demonstration of financial need is also a determining factor.
The level of tuition assistance varies based on unmet tuition costs each semester. STEP can cover 50% of unmet tuition charges per course, or a maximum of $1,500 per academic year.
The deadline to apply is March 7.
#2 – Hope for the Warriors Spouse/Caregiver Scholarship
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.
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 get 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.
#3 – 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 an education in a vocational training or degree-seeking undergraduate program.
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.
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#4 – Military Spouse FINRA Fellowship Program
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 receive a vocational or undergraduate degree. Please check with a qualifying AFC certificate program for more information.
The application period is closed for 2019. Check back in 2020 for new information.
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#5 – Wings Over America Foundation Scholarship
The Wings Over American Foundation scholarship was created to provide financial relief to spouses as well as dependent children of all U.S. Navy personnel that are 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.
You must be a current high school senior or already enrolled in an accredited college or trade school for consideration. Your husband, wife, or father/mother must have served in the Navy.
Where to apply: https://wingsoveramerica.us/scholarships
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5 Scholarships For Military Veterans
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
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 a U.S. citizen, 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.
The deadline to apply is November 15, 2019.
Where to apply: https://www.afcea.org/site/foundation/scholarships/war-veterans
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#2 – Army Staff Sgt. Special Agent Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship
The scholarship was created in memory of Army Staff Sgt. Special Agent Richard S. Eaton Jr. who perished in Iraq in 2003. The Lint Center for National Security Studies provides the $1,000 scholarship to active duty and veterans.
The funds are directed to those that are interested in pursuing scholarship studies in fields related to Alliance Building, Counterintelligence, Cultural Understanding, and National Security.
Qualified candidates must submit an online application, 600-word essay, photograph, personal statement, current resume, and academic transcript.
How to apply: In order to receive consideration, please submit an online application with a 600 word essay. The application also requests a photograph, personal statement, resume, and academic transcript.
There are two different deadlines. One in January and the other in July.
Where to apply: https://www.lintcenter.org/scholarships/
#3 – Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship
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 college, certificate program, university, or graduate program.
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.
The deadline to apply is mid-January.
Where to apply: https://www.awfdn.org/scholarships/
#4 – Imagine America’s Military Award Program
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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#5 – Pat Tillman Scholarship
The scholarship is honorably named after Pat Tillman, a former NFL all-star that left a lucrative career with the Arizona Cardinals following September 11, 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 apply online.
Candidates are asked to demonstrate values and strength of character that reflects Pat Tillman. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is also required.
The deadline to apply is early March.
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, a high school diploma or GED, a GPA of 2.50, and a 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 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 pursues a license, certification, or associate’s degree.
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!