Scholarship and Grant Programs for Veterans and Their Families

This is the excerpt for a featured content post.

CDR Carl B. Forkner, Ph.D., USN(Ret)

One of the areas to which many Veterans aspire during their transition from military service–or even during their service–is finding the right education and training resources to help them advance their careers or land the private sector career in which they are interested. In many cases, Veterans and their family members are faced with sticker shock when identifying potential programs that may provide the education and training credentials they desire–or need. 

In this post, I will share some of the scholarship and grant programs available for Veterans and their family members. These links were current as of November 2016; however, if you happen to come across a link that no longer works, please let me know so that I can research and either replace or remove the bad link.

Academic Top Scholars (ATS): http://www.thanksusa.org/scholarship-program.html

Accessible to all dependent children, age 24 and under, and all spouses of Active-Duty U.S. military Service Members are eligible to apply for scholarships.

AFCEA Educational Fund: http://www.afcea.org/education/scholarships/

The AFCEA Scholarship for Working Professionals will provide $2,000 to those students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree while employed in the science or technology disciplines directly related to the mission of AFCEA .

American Legion Scholarships: http://www.legion.org/scholarships

The American Legion offers a number of scholarships and other resources to assist young people in their pursuit of higher education. There are opportunities for everyone, including the kin of wartime veterans and participants in Legion programs.

AMVETS – Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship: http://www.amvets.org/pdfs/programs_pdfs/programs_scholarship_application_caccomo_vet.pdf

The scholarships are for veterans, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, seeking new skills in order to be more competitive in the job market. The one time $3,000 award may be used for part-time or full-time undergraduate courses, accredited degree or certificate programs, including online schools.

Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association Scholarship: http://www.afcea.org/education/scholarships/undergraduate/military.asp

Merit-based scholarships of varying amounts will be awarded to persons on active duty in the uniformed military services, to honorably discharged U.S. military veterans (including Reservists and National Guard personnel) who are currently enrolled and attending classes part time or full time in an eligible degree program at an accredited four-year college or university in the U.S. .

Armed Forces Crossroads Scholarships for Military Children: http://www.afcrossroads.com/education/coll_scholar.cfm

Children of Active Duty personnel, Reserve/Guard and Retired commissary customers may apply for a Scholarship for Military Children. The applicant must be planning to attend or is attending an accredited college or university, starting in the fall term of the year following the application year, on a full-time basis.

Army Aviation Association of America Scholarships (AAAA): http://www.quad-a.org/

In order to apply for an AAAA Scholarship you must meet one of the following criteria:

You must be (1) a current member of the Army Aviation Association of America, or (2)  the spouse of a current AAAA member or deceased member, or (3)  the son or daughter of a current member or deceased member, or (4)  the grandchild of a current member or deceased member, or (5)  the unmarried sibling of a current member or deceased member.

Army Scholarship Foundation: http://www.armyscholarshipfoundation.org/scholarships.html

The Army Scholarship Foundation awards one-year financial scholarships (not grants or loans) on an annual basis to qualified and deserving students on the basis of academic record and participation in school and community activities. Scholarship recipients may apply to renew their scholarships annually for a total of four years of higher education.

Army Women’s Foundation: http://www.awfdn.org/programs/legacyscholarships.shtml

Applicant must be a woman who has served or is serving honorably in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, Army National Guard or the child of a woman who served honorably in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard. Scholarships are available for tuition assistance for certification, coursework at community college level or four-year academic institutions and graduate schools

Chief Petty Officer Scholarship Fund: http://www.cposf.org/

Applicant must be the immediate family member of either an active duty, retired, or reserve Chief Petty Officer (children may be natural, adopted or step-children). They must: (1) be about to graduate or have graduated from an accredited high school, or equivalent educational institution or earned a GED; -and- (2) must intend to enter or be currently enrolled in a community college, vocational college, college or university to complete the curriculum prescribed in or to be graduated with an AA, AS, BA or BS degree.

Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation: http://fallenpatriots.org/what-we-do/how-to-enroll/

Enrolling with Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation is the first step in ensuring that your child or children will receive the financial support they need to get a college education. Together, we can keep the dream alive and provide the opportunity for a brighter future.

Coast Guard Exchange System Scholarship Program: http://www.uscg.mil/mwr/hqrec/CGESScholarshipProgram.asp

The Program provides scholarships to students who are dependents of Coast Guard active duty, reserve, and military retired members, current civilian NAF and APF employees, and current Coast Guard Auxiliarists. Applicant must be in the last year of high school or homeschooling and scheduled to graduate and attend college full-time during the subsequent year. Those who have already graduated are not eligible to apply.

Dolphin Scholarship Foundation: https://dolphinscholarship.org/

Dolphin Scholarship Foundation grants are available, on a competitive basis, to high school or college children/stepchildren (unmarried, under age 24 at time of deadline) of: (1) members or former members of the Submarine Force who have qualified in submarines and have served in the Submarine Force for at least eight years; -or- of (2) Navy members who have served in submarine support activities (e.g., submarine bases, tenders, and rescue vessels) for a minimum of ten years (not required to be consecutive).

Fisher House Foundation Scholarship Programs: http://www.militaryscholar.org/index.html

Scholarship programs include (1) Military children; (2) Children of deceased or disabled service members; (3) Military spouses.

Folds of Honor Foundation: https://www.foldsofhonor.org/scholarships

Provides post-secondary educational scholarships to the spouses and children of Service Members disabled or killed as a result of their military service to our great nation. Our unique scholarships can be applied to schooling now or held by Folds of Honor on behalf of young children until needed at the time of enrollment.

Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund: http://freedomalliance.org/programs/scholarship-fund/

Students are eligible if they are the dependent child of an active duty Service Member who was killed or permanently disabled (100%) rating as the result of an operational mission or training accident, or who is currently certified as POW or MIA.

Horatio Alger Military Veterans Scholarship: http://www.scholarships4students.com/horatio_alger_military_veterans_scholarship.htm

Horatio Alger Military Veterans Scholarship is awarded to Veterans who have served under the United States Military Operation in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan or Operation Iraqi Freedom beginning Sept. 11, 2001 or later. Must be a U.S. citizen.

Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant: https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/iraq-afghanistan-service

A student who is not eligible for a Pell Grant but whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, may be eligible to receive the Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant.

John A. Keller Scholarship: http://www.cwoauscg.org/scholarship.htm

The Chief Warrant Officer John A. Keller-CWOA Scholarship is available to dependents of members in good standing of the Chief Warrant Officers Association who is a high school senior or a current undergraduate student with a minimum “C” grade average.

Ladies Auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association: http://www.la-fra.org/scholarship.html

  • LA FRA Scholarship: Awarded annually to the male or female candidate chosen from children or grandchildren of members of the FRA and LA FRA.
  • The Sam Rose Memorial Scholarship Fund: Awarded to the male or female candidate chosen from the sons, daughters, grandsons, or granddaughters of deceased LA FRA and FRA members.
  • Allie Mae Oden Memorial Scholarship: Awarded to a candidate chosen from the children or grandchildren of members of the FRA or LA FRA.
  • NP Scholarship: Awarded annually to the candidate chosen from children and grandchildren of members of the LA FRA or FRA, or deceased members of the LA FRA or FRA. by the National President and the committee, in the name of the Auxiliary.

Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation: http://www.awfdn.org/programs/legacyscholarships.shtml

The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation (MC-LEF) provides educational assistance to the children of fallen United States Marines and federal law enforcement personnel. MC-LEF is currently able to provide a $30,000 scholarship account for every child who loses a parent serving in the United States Marine Corps or any federal law enforcement agency.

Marine Corps League Scholarship Program: http://www.mclfoundation.org/scholarship_program.html

These scholarships are granted to the children and grandchildren of Marine who have lost their lives in service to their country and to children and grandchildren of members of the Marine Corps League and its Ladies Auxiliary.

Military Officers Association of America Scholarships & Grants: http://www.moaa.org/main_simplelist.aspx?id=1172

  • American Patriot Scholarship: Students (under age 24) who are children of an active-duty, reserve, or National Guard parent who died on active service or children of severely wounded (as defined as Traumatic SGLI) are eligible to apply.
  • Designated Scholar Program: Loan recipients are automatically considered for this grant. This program replaces the $5,500 interest-free loan with a $5,000 interest-free loan and a $500 grant. No special application is necessary.
  • Senior Grants: Only current loan recipients entering their final year in college are eligible for these grants.
  • General John Paul Ratay Educational Fund Grants: These $5,000 grants are limited to children of the surviving spouse of retired officers.

Military Order of the Purple Heart Scholarship: http://www.purpleheart.org/scholarships/

Competitive scholarship program that awards approximately eighty (80) scholarships to Purple Heart recipients and their spouses, children, and grandchildren each year.

  • In addition, one of the recipients of the MOPH Scholarship is also selected to receive the Navy Seal Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Award.

Military Spouse Fellowship Program for Financial Counseling: http://www.saveandinvest.org/MilitaryCenter/MilitarySpouseFellowships/

The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program gives military spouses the opportunity to earn a career-enhancing credential—the Accredited Financial Counselor® certificate—while providing financial counseling and education to the military community. The fellowship covers the costs associated with completing the AFC® training and testing.

National Guard Educational Foundation: http://www.ngaus.org/united-voice-national-guard/scholarships

  • Van Hipp Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund: This new initiative will be administered by the National Guard Educational Foundation and will begin accepting applications in Jan 2016. DRS Guardian Scholarship: provides college scholarships to the children of National Guardsmen who lost their lives in support of the war on terrorism.
  • University of Phoenix Scholarships: NGAUS has teamed up with the University of Phoenix to offer three full-tuition master’s degree scholarships to association members who are current National Guardsmen in the rank of LtCol or below. Warrant officers may also apply.

National Military Family Association (NMFA) Military Spouse Scholarship Program: http://www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/military-spouse-scholarships/

The NMFA Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarships are awarded to spouses of Uniformed Services members (active duty, National Guard and Reserve, retirees, and survivors) to obtain professional certification or to attend post-secondary or graduate school.

Navy League of the United States: http://navyleague.org/aboutus/scholarship.html

The Navy League Foundation awards scholarships to high school seniors who will attend college in the fall, and are available only to children and grandchildren of former members of the Sea Services and those currently serving as well as members of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. Presently the Foundation has twenty-five endowed scholarships.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Education Programs: http://www.nbccf.org/Programs/Scholarships

NMCRS currently has eight graduate degree and training programs. The program provides financial support to students who enroll, or seek to enroll, in a CACREP accredited counseling program during or after military service, and who commit to serving military personnel.

Paralyzed Veterans of America Scholarship: http://www.pva.org/site/c.ajIRK9NJLcJ2E/b.6305559/k.FBA1/Scholarship_Program.htm

Applicant must be either a Paralyzed Veterans member, the spouse of a Paralyzed Veterans member, or an unmarried child (under 24 years of age) who is dependent (as defined by the IRS) on the member for principal support. Must be a citizen of the United States.

Pat Tillman Foundation Military Scholars Program: http://pattillmanfoundation.org/apply-to-be-a-scholar/

Applicants for this program are limited to (1) Veteran and active-duty military service members; (2) Honorably discharged of pre-and post-9/11 service; (3) From all branches of the U.S. Military including National Guard and Reserve; and Current spouses of veterans or active-duty service members, including surviving spouses.

Ranger Memorial Foundation Scholarship Fund: http://www.rangermemorial.com/forms/scholarship_application.pdf

Awards will be made to promising high school seniors (3.0 GPA) that have been accepted into a state accredited two- or four-year educational or technical institution. Students already enrolled in an accredited institution that demonstrated academic ability (3.0 GPA) can also compete for the award.

Society of the First Infantry Division – Scholarships & Grants: http://www.1stid.org/scholarships.php

  • DePuy Scholarships: For children of soldiers killed in combat or training accidents while serving in a unit assigned/attached to the 1st ID and authorized to wear the 1st ID patch.
  • Huebner Scholarships: Competitive scholarships for children and grandchildren of former members of the Division as well as children of active-duty 1st Infantry Division soldiers.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation College Scholarship:  http://www.specialops.org/?page=collegescholarship

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides family assistance to the children and spouses of fallen warriors from the time they join the SOWF family. The scholarship program starts in the 10th grade with college planning materials. Scholarship application materials arrive during the senior year.

Teacher Educational Assistance for College & Higher Education Grant (TEACH): https://teach-ats.ed.gov/ats/faq.action

The U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) Program provides funds to students who are completing or who plan to complete coursework that is required to begin a career in teaching, and who agree to teach full-time for at least four years: (1) As a highly qualified teacher; (2) At a school or educational service agency (ESA) servicing low-income students; and (3) In a high-need field.

That Others May Live Scholarships: http://www.thatothersmaylive.org/

That Others May Live Foundation mission is to assist with providing a college education for every child who has lost a parent during an operational or training Air Force Rescue mission as well as provide immediate tragedy assistance and Warfighter appreciation events.

The Women’s Army Corps (WAC) Veterans Association Scholarship: http://www.armywomen.org/pdf/scholarship.pdf

The Women’s Army Corps Veterans Association Scholarship has been established to recognize relatives of Army Service Women and is based upon academic achievement and leadership as expressed through co-curricular activities and community involvement. A $1500.00 scholarship will be given annually.

Troops to Teachers: http://www.proudtoserveagain.com/

U.S. Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel begin a new career as teachers in public schools where their skills, knowledge, and experience are most needed. See also: http://www.troopstoteachers.net/States/Arizona.aspx

Undergraduate Scholarship Program – CIA: https://www.cia.gov/careers/student-opportunities/undergraduate-scholarship-program.html

This program requires U.S. citizenship, includes a mandatory work-study component, and offers benefits beyond tuition and fees. Because there are many restrictions and requirements on this program, go to the link provided above to determine if you qualify.

VA Mortgage Center Scholarship: http://www.vamortgagecenter.com/scholarships.html

Applicant must have a connection to the United States Military through falling into at least one of the following categories: (1) A current active-duty service member; (2) Veteran of the United States Armed Forces; (3) Spouse of a military member or veteran; (4) Surviving spouse or child of a fallen soldier; or (5) Child of a military member or veteran.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Scholarship Program: http://www.vfw.org/Youth/

The VFW has a number of scholarship and academic award programs, including: (1) Voice of Democracy (Grades 9-12); (2) Patriot’s Pen (Grades 6-8): (3) Scout of the Year (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Sea Scouts or Venturing Crew—three awards); and (4) Teacher of the Year (three awards).

Wings Over America Scholarship Foundation: http://wingsoveramerica.us/scholarships/

  • CAPT Neil Kinnear Memorial Scholarship: 4-year scholarship
  • CAPT John “Turk” Green Scholarship: $2,500.00 ($10,000 over 4 years)
  • Tomcat Sunset Association Scholarship: 4-year scholarship
  • CAPT Brad Johanson Scholarship: 4-year scholarship

National Resource Directory: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/nrd


More to come in future posts that show grant programs available to all American citizens!

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