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Veterans and their family members may be eligible for college scholarships. Scholarships for veterans may add onto other funding such as GI Bill benefits and Pell Grants. They also make college more affordable to those who served and continue to serve the nation.
Veterans scholarships are available to those who have served in the following:
There are four main places to look for military scholarships for veterans. Nonprofits, your service branch, federal and state government programs offer scholarships for veterans. We’ll unpack these resources to give you a sense of where to look and how to apply.
Your branch may know about scholarships that line up with your service experience. Many nonprofits may offer scholarships for current/former members of a specific branch. This may also help you pinpoint the perfect options.
The Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program is one example. It provides grants to women soldiers, past and present and to some family members.
Also, other nonprofits and philanthropic foundations support veterans seeking financial aid. For instance, there’s the Pat Tillman Foundation. Recipients are military veterans and spouses who show strong leadership skills.
Another option is the Veterans United Foundation. It is for family members of service members and veterans. They award 10 scholarships each year of up to $50,000.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs also offers education and training benefits. These extend to veterans, service members and their families.
Per the VA, 25% of those benefiting from VAs education programs are non Veterans. This may include spouses and family members who may benefit.
The following programs are not scholarships in name, but they serve the same function. Providing gift money for college that unlike loans, you do not have to pay back.
One program put in place by the VA is the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It provides up to 36 months of education benefits for approved programs. In state residents who attend public school receive full tuition and fees paid right to the college.
To be eligible, you need at least 90 days of total active duty service after September 10, 2001. These benefits also apply to those on active duty or a veteran who received an honorable discharge.
The Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) is a feature of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Schools who participate in this program may offer additional funds. It also may not interfere with your GI Bill benefits.
To receive benefits under the YRP, you must be eligible for the full benefit rate under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is also available to those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. There are two main MGIB programs.
Veterans in financial need may also qualify for Federal Pell Grants. The Federal Pell Grant is available to eligible undergraduate students.
To know the amount that you are eligible to receive, you need to fill out and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Currently, the most one can get from a Federal Pell Grant award is $6,195.
Like social security, veterans’ education benefits are entitlements. So, they do not affect the Expected Family Contribution on the FAFSA form.
Some colleges and universities offer scholarships for veterans. They may also waive certain fees. Many of these schools charge a discounted tuition for veterans and service members too.
The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is also a possible source. It offers a range of merit based scholarships in exchange for a service agreement.
These often work in collaboration with various colleges and universities. Some cover full tuition. Others may provide extra funding for books, fees and housing.
The cost of college keeps increasing ever year. Scholarships may be perfect to make college more affordable and decrease a student’s school debt. There are a few reasons that make scholarships valuable to veterans.
Some scholarships for veterans may also be for their children and grandchildren. There are also scholarships for active duty service members. The two main GI Bill programs that offer tuition help to survivors and dependents of veterans are:
While you may be eligible for both the Fry and DEA programs, you can only use one of them.
Outside the V.A. there are scholarships for spouses and dependents of service members. Folds of Honor is one example. They offer a Higher Education Scholarship. It aims to help spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.
Another is a federal program called the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. It is for those whose parent or guardian died in service in Afghanistan or Iraq after 9/11. To be eligible, you were under 24 years old or enrolled in college at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death. You must be enrolled at least part time at a college or career school.
There are two V.A. scholarships for children and/or grandchildren of Veterans, Active Duty, Guard/Reserves who are currently High School seniors.
There are 24,650 awards worth $66M below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for veterans.
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