Scholarships for Veterans

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Are There Scholarships for Veterans?

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 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:  

  • Army 
  • Navy 
  • Air Force 
  • Marines 
  • National Guard 
  • Coast Guard  

Where Can You Find Scholarships for Veterans?

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.  

Service Branch

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.  

Nonprofits and Charities

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.  

Military Federal Aid for Veterans 

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. 

Post 9/11 GI Bill 

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.  

Yellow Ribbon Program 

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. 

Montgomery 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.  

  • Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD). For active duty members who enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months. This entitles them to receive a monthly education benefit after completing some service 
  • Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR). For Reservists with a six-year obligation in the Selected Reserve who are actively drilling 

Do Veterans Qualify for a Pell Grant?

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.

Do Universities Offer Scholarships to Military Veterans?

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.

Why Consider Scholarships for Military Veterans?

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.  

  • The cost of attending college is on the rise: Recent data shows that the average cost of attending a public in-state college is $16,757. That’s 34% higher than it was a decade ago! 
  • Military scholarships for veterans often pay above average amounts: The total amount undergraduate aid recipients received averages around $12,300. Those who received federal veterans’ education benefits got an average of $15,300
  • Validation for service: Such awards often pay tribute to a veteran’s service record. They honor the sacrifice of time spent away that may have interrupted studies. One example is the Military Order of the Purple Heart Scholarship. It is available to Purple Heart recipients.  
  • State funding for education is lower: State funding for public two- and four-year colleges is $9 billion below compared to a decade ago. This often means higher tuition for public colleges.  
  • Scholarships may allow veterans to earn a degree online: The Post-9/11 GI Bill reduces the benefits for monthly housing if you only take online courses. 
  • Scholarships may help you transition to a new career: The Army Nurse Corps Association is an example. Funding is for persons enrolled in bachelor or graduate nursing or anesthesia programs. One criterion for eligibility is to be serving or have served in any branch. This includes any rank of the U.S. Army.  

Do Children of Veterans Receive Free Tuition?

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: 

  1. The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship): This scholarship is for children and spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001 
  1. The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program: This offers education and training to qualified dependents of Veterans. This includes those who are disabled because of a service related condition. As well as those who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition.

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.  

Are there any Scholarships for Grandchildren of Veterans?

There are two V.A. scholarships for children and/or grandchildren of Veterans, Active Duty, Guard/Reserves who are currently High School seniors. 

  1. AMVETS Scholarship: This is a $4,000 scholarship. It pays $1,000 per year over four years. There are 6 recipients each year 
  1. JROTC Scholarship: This is a $1,000 scholarship paid in one installment. There is one recipient each year. With the application, one needs to submit proof from JROTC instructor  

List of Scholarships for Veterans

There are 31,420 awards worth $100M below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for veterans.

Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program

U.S. high school students in grades nine through twelve who are 19 years of age or younger are eligible for this scholarship. To apply, the applicant must write an essay on the theme listed on the Veterans of Foreign Wars website and record the reading of that essay; submit both essay and CD/flash drive to be considered for this scholarship.

Total: $5000

Awards: 500

Deadline: October 31, 2020

American Airlines Veteran’s Initiative Scholarship

This scholarship is open to military veterans who are pursuing aviation/aeronautical education or training. Candidates will be evaluated on achievements, teamwork, leadership skills, motivation, and community service involvement.

Total: $5000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 10, 2020

AFCEA War Veterans Scholarship

This scholarship is open to college sophomores and juniors who are U.S. Armed Forces and National Guard personnel, currently on active-duty or honorably discharged veterans, or reservists who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. Students must major in fields related to the mission of AFCEA and have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Total: $12500

Awards: 5

Deadline: November 15, 2020

VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship”

This scholarship provides service members and veterans with financial help needed to pursue their education without incurring excessive student loan debt. Up to $5,000 will be awarded to qualified applicants. Funds must be used by the end of the school semester for which the veteran is applying, or they will become null and void.

Total: $5000

Awards: 10

Deadline: November 15, 2020

2020 Overcoming Adversity Scholarship

Must be a undergraduate or graduate or GED holder with a GPA of 3.0 and higher to be eligible. A detailed essay on how the applicant has encountered and overcame hardship is required.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2020

TonaLaw Veteran’s Scholarship

The TonaLaw Veteran’s Scholarship is available for U.S. students who have a history of military service.

Total: $1000

Awards: 2

Deadline: November 30, 2020

Applications International Corporation Impact Scholarship

This award is for international and U.S. college juniors who are pursuing a degree in occupational safety and health or a closely related field. The applicant must enroll full time and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Priority will be given to students that have served in the military.

Total: $11250

Awards: 4

Deadline: December 01, 2020

The Military Family Scholarship

The Military Family Scholarship is available to high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students who come from a military home, are currently serving, or who are military Veterans. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and must submit an original essay about how the military has shaped and impacted their lives.

Total: $5000

Awards: 1

Deadline: December 31, 2020

Imagine America Military Award Program (MAP)

This scholarship is available to any qualified active duty, reservist, honorably discharged or retired veteran of a United States military service branch for attendance at a participating career college. Students must demonstrate financial need.

Total: $1000

Awards: 2850

Deadline: December 31, 2020

Hope for Kansas Heroes Endowment Scholarship

This scholarship is open to U.S. students who reside in Kansas and have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. Students must be active duty military, veterans, or immediate family members of military members/veterans.

Total: $950

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2021

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