If you are a U.S. Veteran, spouse or dependent you may be eligible for tuition assistance as well as for a wide variety of military scholarships. 2013 has seen a slew of new scholarships for military members, veterans and their dependents, along with the return of many scholarships available in previous years.
Military scholarships provide you or your dependents with money to put toward education, which makes paying for college a significantly less stressful and far less expensive experience. Scholarships allow military members and their dependents to reach their educational goals without having to graduate with overwhelmingly high student loan debt, putting a great college degree and potentially, a fantastic career, well within your reach!
Researching scholarships can be intimidating as specific information is hard to find, some are relatively secretive, and others are extremely confusing, so we’ve made your search a little easier by rounding up the very best of 2013′s scholarships for veterans, military spouses and their dependents:
1. AMVETS National Scholarship
AMVETS National Scholarship awards two annual scholarships to eligible veterans (including National Guard and Reserves members) each worth $3000. This scholarship is specifically designed for veterans who are furthering their education in order to become more competitive in the job market and the money can be used toward both part-time and full-time programs and for both brick-and-mortar and online colleges and universities.
2. American Legion Auxiliary
The American Legion Auxiliary Student Scholarship awards $2000 annually to one eligible scholarship applicant. This scholarship is open to all American Legion Auxiliary members (meaning both veterans and their dependents are eligible) and all applicants must be pursuing training in a certified, trade, professional, or technical program, or a two-year or four-year degree program in order to qualify.
3. Pat Tillman Foundation Scholarship
The Pat Tillman Foundation has awarded over $3.2 million in scholarships to over 230 scholars and each year awards around $11,000 to each scholarship recipient. The Pat Tillman Foundation awards scholarships to veterans (as well as their dependents) that are seeking various different educational qualifications, and these include both undergraduate and graduate degrees. There are various requirements that need to be met in order to apply for this scholarship and these include responding to two essay questions and providing documentation proof of military service experience or of being a military dependent.
4. Army Women’s Foundation Scholarship
The Army Women’s Foundation Scholarship is designed to financially assist female military veterans and their children with furthering their education. This scholarship awards up to $1000 to scholarship recipients that are pursuing community college or certificate qualifications and up to $2500 to scholarship recipients that are pursuing four-year college and university programs. Female veterans of all military branches (including the Reserves and National Guard) are eligible to apply as are their children.
5. Veterans United Foundation Scholarship
The Veterans United Foundation Scholarship bi-annually awards five $2000 scholarships to help veterans and their family members pay for their tuition costs and school books. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA to be eligible for one of these scholarships and applicants pursuing associate, bachelors, masters or doctorate degrees are eligible. All applications involve filling out an application form and also submitting an essay (essay guidelines are listed on the scholarships official site).
6. The David W. Fox Fellowship
The David W. Fox Fellowship is offered by The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is worth approximately $50,000 as it pays for two years worth of the school’s tuition costs. This scholarship is open to both veterans and active duty personnel applicants and encourages applicants to demonstrate in their application their academic and extracurricular interests and talents as well as what unique skills and perspectives they have gained form serving in the Armed Forces.
7. Helen Dyar King Scholarship
The Helen Dyar King Scholarship is offered annually by Arizona State University to veterans that are Arizona residents and who has a minimum GPA of 3.0. This scholarship is worth $4000 and is awarded to Arizona State University students at any stage of their education, including incoming freshman and seniors. The scholarship is open to both active duty servicemen and veterans and also for their children and grandchildren.
8. Operation Education
Operation Education is a scholarship and services program offered to University of Idaho students who are veterans that have suffered injuries and disabilities since serving in the military post 9/11. Priority is given to Idaho residents but disabled veterans from all U.S. states will be considered in the application process. Recipients will receive money to put toward their educational costs as well as additional services such as tutoring and mentorship and also help with finding and transitioning into employment post graduation.
9. AFCEA Military Personnel Scholarships
The AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association) offers scholarships to veterans, active duty personnel and their dependents. To be eligible applicants must be enrolled in undergraduate programs within the field of electronics, aerospace, physics, mathematics, information technology or information technology security. Applicants must also have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and veteran and military personnel applicants must be freshmen when applying.
10. Wyakin Warrior Foundation Scholarship
The Wyakin Warrior Foundation Scholarship awards full-tuition scholarships (worth four years of tuition) for disabled veterans that wish to attend Boise State University. Eligible applicants must have suffered an injury as a direct result of their military service in or after September 11, 2001 and scholarships are awarded based on character and motivation over previous academic achievement.
1. ThankUSA Scholarships
ThankUSA scholarships are awarded to children and spouses of active duty military personnel and veterans annually and each recipient receives $3000 to cover educational costs. Students studying at two-year or four-year undergraduate colleges or universities or vocational schools are eligible to apply but students that are completing certificate programs or graduate (masters degrees) programs are not eligible.
2. Air Force Aid Society Scholarships
The Air Force Aid Society Scholarships award scholarships of $2000 to the children of either active duty Air Force members or Air Force veterans. More than 96,000 scholarships have been awarded since 1988, and the money granted can be put toward covering various educational needs including tuition, books and supplies and housing.
3. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation awards a “Heroes Tribute Scholarship Program for Children of the Fallen” which is awarded to the sons or daughters of Marines or Marine veterans that are now deceased due to involvement in the wars since September 11 2001 or due to the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks. Recipients are awarded $30,000 ($7,500 a year) and all applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA to be eligible.
4. Folds of Honor Foundation Scholarship
Folds of Honor Foundation annually awards scholarships of needs based amounts to spouses and children of disabled or deceased military personnel and veterans. Applicants must complete an application and provide proof of their eligibility in order to qualify. Applicants can choose to apply to either immediate use scholarships or to scholarships for future use, and both require at least a 2.0 GPA to be eligible.
5. Freedom Alliance Scholarship
The Freedom Alliance scholarship annually awards scholarships to the children of military personnel or veterans that have either lost their lives or a limb while in military action. The Freedom Alliance has awarded over $5 million in scholarships over the past year and in 2011 alone 240 scholarships were awarded. Scholarship award amounts can differ in size per each recipient but past scholarships awarded have included $20,000 and $40,000 values. Applicants must be under the age of 26 at the time of submitting their application and be a senior in high school, high school graduate or in enrolled full time at an undergraduate institution to qualify.
6. Scholarships for Military Children
Scholarships for Military Children has awarded over $10 million in scholarships to children of current and retired military members and a minimum of $1500 is awarded to each successful applicant. To qualify applicants must be under the age of 23 and be the child of an Active Duty military member or veteran or a survivor of a deceased member of the Armed Forces. Applications involve a two page application, and essay and a 3.0 GPA minimum.
7. National Military Family Association Scholarship
The National Military Family Association awards military spouse scholarships that awards money to military spouses to put toward various educational goals including GED, undergraduate programs and graduate programs. To qualify applications must be the spouse or widow of a military service member from any of the military branches (including National Guard and Reserves). The scholarship application includes short answer questions, a survey and a completed essay question.
8. Salute to Spouses Scholarship
The Salute to Spouses scholarship awards $6000 to successful applicants which can be put toward a higher education qualification at Bryant and Stratton College. To qualify applicants must be a spouse of an active full-time military member. Applicants must submit proof of being a military spouse, complete a short essay and complete an application form to apply.
9. Joseph A. McAlinden Divers Scholarship
The Joseph A. McAlinden Divers Scholarship awards scholarships between the amount of $500-$2500 per academic year for successful applicants. To be eligible applicants must be the child of an active duty, veteran or deceased Navy or Marine Corps member. Applicants must also have a minimum 2.0 and be able to demonstrate financial need.
10. HSBC Military Spouse Scholarship
The HSBC Military Spouse Scholarship provides scholarships to military spouses that wish to study at University of Maryland University College. Scholarships are awarded to the amount of $1500 for each semester the student completes their degree program at University of Maryland University College. Applicants must provide proof that they are a military spouse and write a 500-600 word essay demonstrating their academic goals and ambitions.
Scholarships are a fantastic way to get a great education for less, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunities here. Don’t let college become a financial drain on your family, but instead take advantage of the tens of thousands of dollars available in scholarship funds in 2013.
In addition to scholarships, don’t forget to explore what other educational benefits you may eligible for. For example, look into the specific benefits offered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill, including programs like military tuition assistance, MYCAA, The Yellow Ribbon Program and BAH for online students. It’s likely that you’ve got thousands of dollars in benefits just waiting to be claimed, so go get them!