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 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:  

  • 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 Scholarships?

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 awards worth below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for veterans.

AR Military Dependents Scholarship Program

This award is available to Arkansas resident undergraduate students who are attending an Arkansas state-supported college or university. Students must be the natural child, adopted child, or spouse of an Arkansas resident who is/was one of the following: a prisoner of war, missing in action, killed in action, killed on ordnance delivery, or disabled during the course or result of active military duty after Jan. 1, 1960.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: July 01

WGU Military Appreciation Scholarship

Western Governors University is an accredited online university offering online bachelors and masters degrees. WGU has partnered with the National Military Family Association to offer active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their spouses an opportunity to advance their education. This is a competitive program and scholarships will be awarded based on a candidate’s academic record, financial need, readiness for online study at WGU, and current competency, plus other considerations. It can be used in addition to any tuition discounts you may be eligible for.

Total: $2000

Awards: 10

Deadline: 

General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant

This award is available for U.S. high school seniors or older students planning to enroll full time in an undergraduate program of study. Students must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and be the son, daughter, spouse, or surviving spouse of an Air Force member. Learn more and apply today!

Total: $2000

Awards: 5000

Deadline: April 30

George Sink, P.A Injury Lawyers Veterans & Military Family Scholarship

The George Sink, P.A Injury Lawyers Veterans & Military Family Scholarship is available for U.S. veterans who are currently enrolled in or accepted to an accredited undergraduate or graduate program. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: June 15

WGU Military Appreciation Scholarship

Western Governors University (WGU) has partnered with the National Military Family Association to offer active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their spouses a chance to advance their education. Scholarships will be awarded based on a candidate’s academic record, financial need, readiness for online study at WGU, plus other considerations.

Total: $2000

Awards: 10

Deadline: 

Marine Corps Essay Contest

This essay contest is open to any U.S. citizen who submits an essay of 3,000 words or less. Check the USNI website for exact essay topic each year.

Total: $3000

Awards: 3

Deadline: August 31

Navy Seal Foundation Scholarships

These scholarships are for NSW active duty service members, their spouses and dependent children, SEAL and SWCC Post-9/11 veterans, and Gold Star/Surviving Spouses and dependents. Opportunities include vocational, certificate, licensure and post-secondary programs, undergraduate and graduate degrees for qualifying applicants.

Total: $20000

Awards: 10

Deadline: June 30

Lowe’s + AMVETS Generation T Scholarship

Through a corporate grant from Lowe’s Companies, Inc, AMVETS ( American Veterans) offers the Generation T Scholarships. These are available to eligible Veterans and spouses who would like to enter into or advance their career in the skilled trades industry. These scholarships provide up to $5,000 each.

Total: $50000

Awards: 10

Deadline: October 02