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An American Legion scholarship may provide financial aid to make higher education affordable for children of post 9/11 veterans. American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary want to help students invest in their education and fulfill their college and career goals.
Each year, there are a number of scholarship programs to apply for. Eligibility requirements may vary, but most assess your financial need and merit. American Legion scholarship supports military children of past service members and veterans to achieve their dreams of college.
Here are ten awards from the American Legion scholarship organization that you should apply for now.
Chartered by Congress in 1919, the Legion is the nation’s largest nonprofit veteran’s service organization. It began with a group of World War I veterans and grew its membership as they set up local posts around the U.S.
By 2020, membership stands at almost 2 million in more than 13,000 posts nation wide. The posts have 55 departments. One for each 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines.
In fact, one of the early resolutions in 1919 was in support of the Boy Scouts of America. Today, the Legion is the chartering agency for over 1,700 Scouting units made up of about 64,000 youths.
In 1920, the Legion created the U.S. Veterans Bureau. It’s currently now known as Veterans Administration or VA.
The Legion also currently lobbies for Veteran funding. As a result, it advocates that these funds should be enough to cover medical, disability, education and more.
Over the years, the Legion also runs programs for veterans, children and youth. These include several fundraising campaigns. They’ve raised over $1.4 million for VA hospitals. The Legacy Scholarship also offers about $1 million in scholarship funds. Some of the Legion’s programs and events include:
Legion Riders. Known for their charitable work, these chapters raise money for local children’s hospitals, schools, veterans’ homes, severely wounded service members and scholarships.
Boys State / Boys Nation. A selective educational program founded in 1935. Program participants may also learn the rights, privileges and duties of franchised citizens.
National Convention. This is the largest annual meeting where each of the Legion’s 55 departments send up to five voting delegates.
The Legion also offers special services and resources to veterans and their family members.
Veterans Health and Career Center. The Legion runs career fairs as well as helps veterans find jobs through various tools. This service also offers guidance about healthcare options for PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and suicide prevention.
Troop and Family Support Center. The Legion offers financial assistance in the form of grants for children of veterans eligible for membership.
Women Veterans. There are many resources that help women veterans learn about their benefits and gender specific health care. Female veterans may also tap this source to learn how the Legion responds to, and advocates against Military Sexual Trauma.
You may apply for a American Legion membership by signing up online. Your information could be processed by the headquarters. Then, after review, the organization mails out a membership card to you. Then you may participate in numerous programs to assist veterans, military personnel and their communities. Membership is open to veterans who meet the following:
As a member, you must pay dues of about $40 per year. However, each post sets the cost of these dues, so they could vary.
The membership expires on December 31 of the paid year shown on your card. After that, you must renew (with a fee) or the account becomes delinquent.
Once you are a member, you may enjoy benefits like discounts on auto insurance, medical, car rental and other services. You could also receive career and education assistance and American Legion scholarships to help pay for your continued education.
The Samsung Scholarship fund started with a $5 million donation from Samsung. They range from $1,250 to $10,000. Due to Covid 19 this American Legion scholarship is on hold for 2020-2021.
Recipients used the funds for tuition, books, fees, room and board and for undergraduate study only. To qualify, you must be a high school junior with the following requirements.
This is a needs based American Legion scholarship and awards up to $20,000. The funds help offset the cost of undergraduate or post graduate study. The goal of the program is to fill the gap left after tapping all other sources of aid such as state and federal grants.
The program is open to high school seniors and grads who are children of:
This academic speaking contest has been around for high school students since 1938. It exists to deepen students’ understanding of the U.S. Constitution. This American Legion scholarship helps improve students’ ability to lead, think and speak in a clear way.
Contest eligibility requirements:
If you are eligible, you must prepare a 10 minute speech on some aspect of the Constitution. It should focus on a citizen’s duties and obligations to the government.
The national contest winner receives an American Legion scholarship of $25,000. Second place takes home $22,500, and third receives $20,000.
The competition begins at the post level then advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest. Here, department winners compete against each other. By the final round, there are three finalists.
Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest’s first round receives a $2,000 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an extra $2,000 scholarship.
Every year, this American Legion scholarship awards between $22,000 to $25,000 to deserving baseball players.
Each American Legion Department Baseball Committee may select one of its players to receive the funds. Eligible applicants each receive $500.
Then, the All Academic Team sponsored by Diamond Sports considers each certified winner. Eight of these players receive an extra $2,500 annually. A ninth player, deemed “most outstanding member” of the Team receives an extra $5,000.
If you are interested, you must receive a nomination and fill out a scholarship application. The application asks for high school transcripts, three letters of recommendation and essays.
Each year, students receive nominations from their respective departments to put them in the running for this scholarship. The Scout of the Year receives a $10,000 scholarship. Three runner ups receive a $2,500 American Legion scholarship each.
The Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. It has about 1 million members and runs hundreds of volunteer programs.
These programs serve its communities and veterans. The organization also raises money to support Legion and other charities familiar to Americans. Some of the ALA programs include:
ALA Girls State / Girls Nation. A hands on learning program for young women. Its mission is to grow leadership skills, foster confidence and an action based understanding of government.
Americanism. These programs also aim to foster patriotism and respect for the nation’s flag. One of the things they do is fold pocket flags to send to our troops overseas.
Community Service. This is a major outreach program run by the ALA since 1926. It includes blood drives, first aid and CPR training, child safety and support for women’s shelters.
National Security. ALA members help military families during deployments. Activities include child care, lawn work and hosting send offs and welcome home events.
This $5,000 award is available for five U.S. female high school seniors who are current members of the ALA. To qualify, you must have a GPA of 3.0 and be a member for at least 3 years.
This $2,000 award is available for non traditional students who are ALA members. There are five recipients each year, one for each ALA region. To qualify, you must also be returning to college after an absence or attending college at a nontraditional age.
This $5,000 award goes to fifteen students each year. There are three recipients in each division. To qualify you must be a current U.S. high school student who has 50 hours or more of community service. You must also be the sons or daughters of veterans who served in the armed forces during the eligibility period.
Deadline: March 01
Deadline: March 15
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.