10 Scholarships for Students in the Military

  • Military scholarships aim to show appreciation and give back to the brave men and women who fight for the country.
  • Several military-dependent scholarships extend financial aid to the spouses and children of service men and women.
  • Most military scholarships require supporting documentation to show that the applicant meets the strict eligibility requirements.

Several organizations offer generous military scholarships as a way to show their appreciation to the brave men and women who choose to fight for the country. These military scholarships for college aim to give back in some small measure to veterans and their families. Some awards are offered even before enlisting, with a commitment that the recipient will enlist within the specified time.

Military scholarships are not just limited to those who enlist. Many military-dependent scholarships are awarded to an enlisted individual’s spouse and/or dependent children.

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A Common Requirement For All Military Scholarships

One thing that all military scholarships for college have in common is that they have strict eligibility criteria regarding who can apply for the award. Most awards ask applicants to provide additional documents supporting their claim. All documents must comply with the requirements stated on the scholarship page.

In some cases, applicants may be asked to send some basic documentation during the pre-qualification stage. Award winners are then asked to submit additional documentation.

When applying for a military scholarship, make sure to follow these important tips:

  1. Read the instructions carefully.
  2. Check the eligibility criteria, and documentation required. Make sure you are thorough so your application is not rejected only because of non-compliance with the guidelines.
  3. Submit complete applications on (or preferably before) the deadline.

If you’ve served in the military for any amount of time, are retired from the military, or are a military spouse or dependent, check out these military scholarships that can help cover your cost of tuition.

1. Purple Heart Scholarship Fund

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: June 30th 2024

Considered one of the most valiant decorations a US service member can receive, the Purple Heart symbolizes dedication to the country and willingness to sacrifice personal safety. To reward those who put their lives on the line for their country, the Purple Heart Scholarship Fund offers award recipients a $5,000 scholarship to cover their higher education costs.

Purple Heart recipients as well as their spouses, children, and grandchildren are eligible to apply for this competitive award. One winner is chosen each year by the spring. The Purple Heart Scholarship Committee evaluates multiple aspects of each application to choose the most deserving winner. Academic achievement, extracurricular activities, essays, work experience, community and military service, and work experience are all considered.

All applications must include relevant documentation and evidence.

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2. Air Force ROTC Scholarships

Amount: Varying depending on specific scholarship

Deadline: January 12, 2024

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a program that combines military training and undergraduate education. It focuses on preparing students for the military while also giving them a classic college experience.

The Air Force ROTC Scholarship program offers multiple awards every year for students at different academic levels. Winners can potentially cover 100% of their tuition at any public or private institution. This includes lab costs and textbooks but not room and board. In addition, winners also receive a monthly living stipend and an annual book stipend.

Although you’re under no obligation when applying for an Air Force ROTC scholarship, if you win the award, you will have to sign an agreement to serve at least four years with the United States Air Force or Space Force.

To apply for this opportunity, you must:

  • Be a US citizen.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Pass a Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board (DoDMERB) medical exam.
  • Complete and pass a Physical Fitness Assessment that includes: a 1.5-mile run, push-ups, and crunches.

3. Olmsted Scholarship

Amount: Varying

Deadline: Varying

Named in honor of Major General George H. Olmsted, a US military icon, this award is often considered the most prestigious scholarship offered to members of the military community. A legendary figure of the Military Academy in West Point, General Olmsted and his wife Carol established the program in 1959 to reward the hard work of active-duty officers in the US Armed Forces.

This exclusive program does not offer an online application. Officers interested in becoming an Olmsted Scholar must campaign for a nomination by their personnel headquarters, which screens several applicants to find the officer to nominate.

The Olmsted Foundation traditionally selects about 15 to 20 Scholars every year from among all six military services. The Foundation does not process applications directly nor do they solicit applications. It’s up to each of the services to nominate their top candidates. Each service has a different deadline month for sending in their nominations.

There are strict eligibility requirements, including:

  • 3-11 years of active service.
  • Currently being on active duty, serving in an operational capacity.
  • Demonstrating professionalism in their service.

Winners or Olmsted Scholars are considered active-duty military members. They continue receiving regular compensation and benefits in addition to the cost of living and housing allowances. The Foundation also covers tuition costs and the financial support necessary for the Scholar to travel to a foreign location and fully immerse themselves in that country’s culture, language, and academics.

4. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

Amount: Varying

Deadline: March 1, 2024

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is committed to honoring Marines by educating their children. This Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children.

You may qualify for this award if you are:

  • A child or step-child of a U.S. Marine, a U.S. Navy Corpsman, or a Chaplain attached to a Marine unit.
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.0.
  • Be able to demonstrate financial need.

What sets the Marine Corps Scholarship apart from most other military scholarships is that all eligible applicants receive an award. Full as well as part-time students enrolled in an accredited undergraduate program or career technical education program may apply for this award.

Every year, the foundation awards multiple awards of $2,500, $5,000, $7,500, or $10,000 each. Financial need, GPA, and available funding are some of the factors taken into consideration when calculating award amounts. Award amounts are not guaranteed from one year to the next. You may be awarded a different amount as a renewal applicant in subsequent years.

You can use the scholarship money to pay for any expenses related to the cost of attendance, including tuition, books room, board, and transport. The money can be used only for that academic year. Any unused funds must be returned at the end of the academic year.

5. Women’s Overseas Service League

Amount: $500 – $1000

Deadline: March 1, 2024

The Women’s Overseas Service League, founded in 1921 by American women who served with the military forces overseas during World War One, is a national organization that aims to financially support young women committed to advancement in the military or other public service careers.

To be eligible, the League requires applicants to:

  • Demonstrate commitment to military or public service careers through life experiences.
  • A minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Be enrolled in a program leading to an Associate Degree or higher.

Scholarship awards range from $500 to $1000 annually and may be renewed during subsequent years provided the recipient maintains certain academic standards. Scholarship winners must agree to enroll for a minimum of 6 semester hours of study per academic period.

As part of your application for this military scholarship, you will have to submit a 250-word essay describing your career goals. Your essay must demonstrate, through life experiences, your commitment to a career in the military or other public service occupation.

6. Wings Over America Scholarships

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: March 1, 2024

Wings Over America is dedicated to honoring the services of Navy aviation families through various scholarships. The organization awards 50 scholarships annually to spouses and dependent children of Navy personnel from the aviation community. One condition is that the service member sponsor must have served in Navy Aviation Commands for at least 8 years in total.

You can apply for this scholarship if you’re a high school senior or already enrolled in college or a trade/technical school program. Most awards are for one year only but you can apply for the same over subsequent years.

Some awards are renewable. And because Wings Over America administers other aviation scholarships, you may be able to apply to multiple opportunities with one application.

Winners are chosen based on five criteria:

  1. academic achievement
  2. community service
  3. extra-curricular activities
  4. work or internship experience
  5. essay, and recommendations.

The $5,000 award applies to tuition, fees, room, and board. The scholarship check will be mailed directly to your school or college, and payments are made twice a year.

7. College Loan Repayment Program

Amount: Varying

Deadline: Varying

The Loan Repayment Program is an initiative by the United States Army as an incentive to qualified applicants entering the Army. Under the Loan Repayment Program (LRP), the Army will repay part of a Soldier’s qualifying student loans. The LRP only repays federal student loans. Private loans do not qualify.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be enlisted for Active Duty in the Army.
  • Have a high school diploma.
  • Be qualified for federal student loans.
  • Score above 50 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). This is a basic aptitude test all military personnel take before enlisting.
  • Agree to a term service of three years or more to qualify.

If you meet all the requirements, the Loan Repayment Program will repay 33 ½ percent of the outstanding principal balance, less taxes on your student loans annually or $1,500, whichever is greater. This applies after each year of service that you fulfill for up to a total of three years. To continue receiving this repayment, your loans must not be in default before entering active duty or during the repayment process.

The LRP also has other repayment programs for other Army personnel.

8. The Graydon & Myrth Fox Scholarship

Award: $1,000 to $5,000

Deadline: March 10, 2024

The Sacramento Region Community Foundation funds The Graydon and Myrth Fox Scholarship. This program aims to offer financial aid to Veterans and their families seeking to hone their job skills and improve their circumstances through higher education.

Successful applicants receive award amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 a year. Winners can reapply for a renewal award every subsequent academic year for up to four years.

All veterans who served honorably in the United States Armed Forces are eligible to apply for this award. Their spouse and dependent children or grandchildren are also eligible to apply by providing documentation proving a relationship to the veteran. Applicants must be pursuing a degree at an accredited college, university, or trade school and must also be able to demonstrate financial need.

As part of your application for this military scholarship for college, you will need to answer a list of supplemental questions and write a one-page personal statement essay highlighting your academic and professional goals and financial need.

9. AFAS General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program

Amount: $500-$4,000

Deadline: April 30, 2024

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) is an official charity that supports the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force members and their dependents. The AFAS General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program is one of the organization’s many support programs.

This particular program is designed to offer education support and tuition assistance to AFAS members and their spouses and children.

What sets this program apart from most other military scholarships is that the application process for this award opens the doors to other education support opportunities sponsored by the AFAS.

The awards range between $500 to $4,000. The exact award amount for each winner is calculated based on their particular level of financial need. This is a highly competitive grant and is awarded based on the cost of education, family income, and financial need. Students can re-apply and re-compete every year to renew their scholarship.

10. Army Nurse Corps Association (ANCA) Education Fund

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: March 31, 2024

The Army Nurse Corps Association (ANCA) was established to support students pursuing a career in nursing. The Scholarship Program is one of the organization’s major initiatives and is available to students currently enrolled in an accredited baccalaureate or advanced degree nursing or nurse anesthesia program. Eligible nursing programs include BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, Anesthesia and Nursing Doctoral programs, Accelerated Nursing Degree programs, and Graduate Certificate in Nursing.

In addition, the applicant must be currently serving or have previously served in any branch of the US Army. Nursing or anesthesia students whose parent/s, spouse, or children have current or previous service in a component of the US Army are also eligible to apply.

The ANCA Education Committee reviews all scholarship applications and notifies the winners. The award money is sent directly to the school to be managed on behalf of the student.

Do you qualify for any of these military scholarships? If you’re struggling to find scholarships that you are eligible for, either as a military veteran, active military member, or a child or dependent of a military member or veteran, try using a scholarship database to identify matches specific to you.

Search thousands of scholarships right now for free with College Raptor’s scholarship search tool.


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