Home Resources Scholarships for Military & Dependents

Scholarships for Active Military, Veterans, and Families

Coy Brandon

Featuring expert advice from SPC Coy Brandon

Those who have sacrificed for our nation should not have to deal with excessive financial burdens that come with the cost of higher education. Even though the GI Bill provides educational assistance for tuition, housing, books, and supplies, this benefit may not cover all of your out-of-pocket costs. Plenty of organizations offer scholarships and grants to deserving military members and their families.

We have gathered scholarships for active-duty service members and veterans as well as their families. Some scholarships are available to either and are listed in both sections below.

Scholarships for Service Members

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Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship
Active Duty, Veterans $5,000

Veterans of Foreign Wars, in partnership with Student Veterans of America and Sport Clips Haircuts, offers this scholarship is for military service members or veterans. The program provides scholarships for fall and spring semesters. Applicants must have separated with or currently hold a military rank of E-5 or below. The scholarship has two application cycles.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Veterans of Foreign Wars, in partnership with Student Veterans of America and Sport Clips Haircuts

Application Deadline: November/April
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for active duty service members or veterans pursuing a STEM degree at an undergraduate level. Veteran applicants must have been deployed abroad during an Overseas Contingency Operation. Students must be sophomores or juniors when applying. Funds are only for academic expenses such as fees, books, supplies, tuition, and equipment.

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Provided by Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA)

Application Deadline: November
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: Multiple
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

Pat Tillman was an NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals when the terrorist attacks of 9-11 occurred. He decided to leave his football career behind and offer his service to the military. He died in Afghanistan in 2004. This scholarship, which focuses on promoting leadership and service, was founded in his honor. Veterans, military service members, and their spouses can apply. Applicants need to be full-time students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. Recipients may use the funds for academic or living expenses.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Pat Tillman Foundation

Application Deadline: February
Working Toward: Undergraduate or Graduate degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None for the initial scholarship, but 3.0 to renew

This scholarship is renewable.

Active duty service members, veterans, and their spouses interested in purusing a computer science degree are eligible for this scholarship. Candidates must be an undergraduate sophomore, junior, or senior. Scholarships are paid in two installments and sent directly to the recipient’s institution.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by American Veterans, in partnership with Lowe’s

Application Deadline: October/May
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: 10
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is intended for veterans or active duty members of the U.S. military or an immediate dependent such as a child or spouse. Applicants must be a high school senior, high school graduate, or enrolled as an undergraduate student at a college or vocational school. Applicants are required to submit a short essay response. Winners will be decided based upon their essay.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Bonsai Finance

Application Deadline: September
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

The Women Marines Association offers multiple scholarships to women with experience in the marines and their dependents or descendants. Applicants need to have either been accepted by a college or currently enrolled.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Women Marines Association

Application Deadline: February
Working Toward: Any degree
Awards Available: Multiple
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for women who have served or are currently serving in the army, as well as their dependants. Scholarships are granted in four areas: community college, certificate programs, undergraduate, or graduate. Community college and certificate program scholarship recipients may receive up to $1,000. University and graduate scholarship recipients may receive up to $2,500. Scholarships are awarded based on merit, academic potential, community service, recommendations, and need.

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Provided by Army Women’s Foundation

Application Deadline: January
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: Varies
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 2.5 to 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

The Women Marines Association offers multiple grants to women with experience in the marines. Applicants must have served or be serving in the Marine Corps or Reserve, a 3.0 GPA, and proof of military service. The award amount varies from $500 to $5,000 based on the number of applicants, and the grant is for undergrad, graduate, or trade school. Submissions include previous transcripts, a passport photo, letters of recommendation, letters of acceptance, and an essay.

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Provided by Women Marines Association

Application Deadline: February
Working Toward: Any degree
Awards Available: Varies
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

The Student Veterans of American and Comcast/NBS Universal sponsor this $12,000 scholarship for two eligible veterans. Applicants can pursue any degree at an accredited college, from an associate to a graduate degree. Submit a resume, proof of enrollment, proof of military service, U.S. citizenship documentation, and an essay on your experiences to apply.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Comcast/NBC Universal and the Student Veterans of America

Application Deadline: November
Working Toward: Any degree
Awards Available: 2
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for veterans or their immediate family members. Applicants can be pursuing undergraduate or graduate education at a college, vocational school, or university. The award is sent directly to winner’s school and to be used only for tuition. Award decision is based upon applicant’s essay. The winner’s essay may be published on sponsor’s website.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Ankin Law Office

Application Deadline: July
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for veterans or their immediate family members. Applicants must be pursuing education full time at a college, vocational school, or university. The award is sent directly to winner’s school and to be used only for tuition. The winner’s essay may be published on sponsor’s website. Only one winner is chosen.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Keller Law Offices

Application Deadline: July
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

The American Veterans organization offers a $1,000 annual scholarship to help three veterans obtain accredited undergraduate degrees. The award is renewable for up to four years, and students may study any field. AMVETS scholarships are competitive. Most awards are based on a combination of academic excellence and financial need, such as veterans who have exhausted their G.I. Bill benefits.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by American Veterans (AMVETS)

Application Deadline: April
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: 3
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: Competitive

This scholarship is renewable.

This scholarship is intended for Paralyzed Veterans of America members, their spouses, or children. Applicants must be enrolled part time or full time at an accredited college or university. Part-time students will receive an $1,000 grant and full-time students will be awarded $2,500. Award recipients may only receive the award twice.

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Provided by Paralyzed Veterans of America

Application Deadline: June
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: Multiple
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is renewable.

If you or an immediate family member was awarded the Purple Heart, you qualify for the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Scholarship to cover a full-time undergrad education. Applicants must maintain a 2.75 GPA and be active members of MOPH. To apply, you must demonstrate financial need, complete an essay, and show proof of volunteer or extracurricular activities. Scholarship amounts vary. This award is non-renewable. However, you can receive two scholarships from the organization in non-consecutive years.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH)

Application Deadline: January
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: Multiple
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 2.75

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for veterans or their children or parents. Funds can be applied only for tuition. The winner’s essay may be published on the sponsor’s website.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Law Office of Matthew L Sharp

Application Deadline: July
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

Scholarships for Families of Service Members

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Veterans United Foundation Scholarship
Spouses and Children $50,000

This scholarship is for spouses or children of deceased or disabled veterans. Applicants must be enrolled or planning to enroll in a college or university and pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. Awards are granted based upon applicant’s essay, financial need, and additional information such as community involvement or academic achievement.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Veterans United Foundation

Application Deadline: March
Working Toward: Undergraduate or Graduate degree
Awards Available: 5
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for Navy spouses or children pursuing undergraduate education. The award can only be used for tuition. The Wings Over America Scholarship Foundation offers more than 50 scholarships. Most award amounts are $4,200 and some scholarships are renewable. The application deadline is March and applicants are notified before May about the status of their application.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Wings Over America

Application Deadline: March
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: 50+
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is renewable.

This scholarship is for spouses or children of Chief Petty Officers of the U.S. Navy. Applicants must be currently enrolled in or planning to attend a college, university, or vocational school. Two $5,000 scholarships are awarded each year. And roughly 35 to 50 scholarships in the amount of $2,000 are also awarded each year.

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Provided by Chief Petty Officer Scholarship Fund

Application Deadline: April
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 30+
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is intended for spouses or children of active duty army members or veterans. Applicants must be high school seniors, high school graduates, or enrolled at a college or vocational school. The award is strictly for undergraduate studies. Children of soldiers must be under 24 years of age when applying.

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Provided by Army Scholarship Foundation

Application Deadline: April
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: Not Available
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 2.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for military spouses and children pursuing undergraduate education. Awards are up to $5,000 per year for up to four years. Award amount will not exceed $2,500 each term. Applicants can be high school students enrolled in college courses or college students enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate institution.

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Provided by Folds of Honor

Application Deadline: March
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: Not Available
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 2.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is offered to children and spouses of active duty military personnel or veterans. Applicants must be pursuing undergraduate education at a college, university, or trade school. Graduate students are not eligible. Awards are not renewable, but students can reapply. Children must maintain full-time status. Spouses can maintain part-time or full-time status.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by ThanksUSA

Application Deadline: April
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 300
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: 2.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is offered to spouses of current or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree. Up to 10 scholarships are awarded ranging between $1,000 to $2,500 each. Funds are sent directly to the winners’ school. Applications are accepted in May and June.

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Provided by Modern Military Association of America

Application Deadline: June
Working Toward: Undergraduate or Graduate degree
Awards Available: 10
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is intended for spouses of active duty service members or veterans. Funds may be used for tuition, course or lab fees, program costs, or exam fees. Funds cannot be used for books or student loans. Winners must be accepted to a postsecondary program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications open in October.

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Provided by The National Military Family Association

Application Deadline: Year-round
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: Multiple
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

The National Military Family Association (NMFA) offers this scholarships to spouses of active duty service members or veterans. Applicants need to show that they have been accepted by a college or university before applying. Winners are selected based on short essay responses, and a winner is announced each quarter.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by National Military Family Association (NMFA)

Application Deadline: Rolling
Working Toward: Any, including certifications and mental health licensure degree
Awards Available: 4
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for spouses of army members or veterans. It was named after Patty Shinseki, an army spouse for over 50 years. Award recipients may receive funding for four years of full-time study or eight years of part-time study. The scholarship is awarded based upon financial need and is used for tuition, books, supplies, and fees.

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Provided by Army Emergency Relief

Application Deadline: Year-round
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: Varies
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: 2.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This program is for military spouses pursuing higher education at a college, university, or trade school. The program awards five scholarships. The Honorary Scholarship is for students seeking a graduate degree. New Beginnings Scholarship is for students taking entry level classes. Restoring Family Scholarship is for spouses of fallen soldiers. Restoring Hope Scholarship is for students pursuing a master’s in social work. And the Restoring Self Scholarship is for students pursuing an undergraduate degree.

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Provided by Hope For The Warriors

Application Deadline: May
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 5
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for children of deceased military members or disabled veterans. The award is meant to provide aid for a student once all government educational grants have been applied. The award amount is up to $20,000 and can go toward undergraduate or postgraduate education. Scholars can reapply for funds up to six times.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by The American Legion

Application Deadline: April
Working Toward: Undergraduate or Graduate degree
Awards Available: 50+
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is renewable.

The Women Marines Association offers multiple scholarships to women with experience in the marines and their dependents or descendants. Applicants need to have either been accepted by a college or currently enrolled.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Women Marines Association

Application Deadline: February
Working Toward: Any degree
Awards Available: Multiple
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is intended for veterans or active duty members of the U.S. military or an immediate dependent such as a child or spouse. Applicants must be a high school senior, high school graduate, or enrolled as an undergraduate student at a college or vocational school. Applicants are required to submit a short essay response. Winners will be decided based upon their essay.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Bonsai Finance

Application Deadline: September
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is intended for Paralyzed Veterans of America members, their spouses, or children. Applicants must be enrolled part time or full time at an accredited college or university. Part-time students will receive an $1,000 grant and full-time students will be awarded $2,500. Award recipients may only receive the award twice.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Paralyzed Veterans of America

Application Deadline: June
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: Multiple
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is renewable.

This scholarship is for veterans or their immediate family members. Applicants can be pursuing undergraduate or graduate education at a college, vocational school, or university. The award is sent directly to winner’s school and to be used only for tuition. Award decision is based upon applicant’s essay. The winner’s essay may be published on sponsor’s website.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Ankin Law Office

Application Deadline: July
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for veterans or their immediate family members. Applicants must be pursuing education full time at a college, vocational school, or university. The award is sent directly to winner’s school and to be used only for tuition. The winner’s essay may be published on sponsor’s website.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Keller Law Offices

Application Deadline: July
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

The American Veterans organization offers a $1,000 annual scholarship to help three veterans obtain accredited undergraduate degrees. The award is renewable for up to four years, and students may study any field. AMVETS scholarships are competitive. Most awards are based on a combination of academic excellence and financial need, such as veterans who have exhausted their G.I. Bill benefits.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by American Veterans (AMVETS)

Application Deadline: April
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: 3
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: Competitive

This scholarship is renewable.

If you or an immediate family member was awarded the Purple Heart, you qualify for the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Scholarship to cover a full-time undergrad education. Applicants must maintain a 2.75 GPA and be active members of MOPH. To apply, you must demonstrate financial need, complete an essay, and show proof of volunteer or extracurricular activities. Scholarship amounts vary. This award is non-renewable. However, you can receive two scholarships from the organization in non-consecutive years.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH)

Application Deadline: January
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: Multiple
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: 2.75

This scholarship is not renewable.

Pat Tillman was an NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals when the terrorist attacks of 9-11 occurred. He decided to leave his football career behind and offer his service to the military. He died in Afghanistan in 2004. This scholarship, which focuses on promoting leadership and service, was founded in his honor. Veterans, military service members, and their spouses can apply. Applicants need to be full-time students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. Recipients may use the funds for academic or living expenses.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Pat Tillman Foundation

Application Deadline: February
Working Toward: Undergraduate or Graduate degree
Awards Available: Multiple
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is renewable.

Active duty service members, veterans, and their spouses interested in purusing a computer science degree are eligible for this scholarship. Candidates must be an undergraduate sophomore, junior, or senior. Scholarships are paid in two installments and sent directly to the recipient’s institution.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by American Veterans, in partnership with Lowe’s

Application Deadline: October/May
Working Toward: Undergraduate degree
Awards Available: 10
Essay Required: No
GPA Required: 3.0

This scholarship is not renewable.

This scholarship is for veterans or their children or parents. Funds can be applied only for tuition. The winner’s essay may be published on the sponsor’s website.

Apply for this scholarship
Provided by Law Office of Matthew L Sharp

Application Deadline: July
Working Toward: Postsecondary degree
Awards Available: 1
Essay Required: Yes
GPA Required: None

This scholarship is not renewable.

Q&A with Coy Brandon

Coy Brandon

SPC Coy Brandon serves in the Indiana National Guard as a 25S (satellite communication systems operator-maintainer). In addition to his National Guard duties, he works for Wireless Networking Solutions, installing and setting up security systems. He attends Indiana University (IUPUI campus), where he is studying cybersecurity.

Did you apply for more than one scholarship? Would you recommend that students do so?

I received Tuition Assistance (TA) from the Army National Guard in addition to a few smaller scholarships. I used a general application and applied for several scholarships at one time. My sergeant was really helpful in helping guide me. I also called the school I was going to attend while I was still in Advanced Individual Training (AIT), to ask questions.

I would definitely recommend students apply for more than one scholarship. The TA paid for a large portion of my education, but the other scholarships covered the rest of my fees, books, etc. Apply for as much as you can.

Was applying to scholarships easier or harder than you expected?

It was a lot harder to apply than I expected. The questions… I’m incredibly grateful that I had a great high school English teacher because they wanted so many words. I like to get to the point. I don’t like to write a bunch of extra stuff, and I felt like that’s a lot of what they were asking for.

What tips would you give other students for applying for and winning a military scholarship?

Talk to your sergeant first. I thought I was going to be leaving sooner than I was able to. When I talked to him about funds for college, he laughed at me and told me I wasn’t going anywhere. That’s when I learned that what was supposed to be four months was only phase one of two that would last a full nine months. I ended up a semester behind.

Second, talk to your VA rep at the college you’re going to. They are usually helpful. When you’re looking at specific scholarships, find someone good to edit your application. There were questions and requirements that I didn’t meet that my mom caught before I sent stuff in. It’s a lot of work, but scholarships are worth it.

Is there any other advice you would give students who are looking for a military scholarship?

Take a bit of a break to get acclimated if you’re just coming out of the military. I went straight from two years away to college, and I messed up a lot. I wasn’t used to the freedom and I made a lot of mistakes. I talked to a lot of guys who are like me, too. Take a bit of time to get into your routine as a civilian before you go to college. I lost my TA because my grades dropped because I didn’t get acclimated. It was stupid on my part, but it meant I had to work harder later. I also had to find a lot of money in scholarships. Reach out and use your resources.