Members of the military provide a vital service to their country. One of the ways we thank them for that service is by offering them, and sometimes their families, scholarships. When military servicemen and women leave the military, they often have not earned degrees, or their degrees are not sufficient to gain them the employment they desire. While military service can prepare you for much in your life, that may not apply to running a business or working in healthcare. Military scholarships give these men and women easier access to our country’s various educational offerings. Other military scholarships are for those who are currently serving in the military or the reserves. These allow those who are in the middle of their service to work toward their chosen future. Finally, there are military family scholarships. These scholarships can be given to those who have never served in the military but have a spouse or parent who served or is still serving. This is a perk of military service that allows the spouse or children of service members earn a degree, when they may not be able to afford college otherwise.
Ways to Help You Pay for Your College Tuition
Military Service Scholarships
California National Guard Assistance Award Program
Deadline: April 30
This grant is awarded by the California Student Aid Commission to active members who already have completed two years of service in the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia and who will maintain their active duty status as they pursue their degree program. They must maintain enrollment of at least 3 units per semester and maintain a 2.0 GPA throughout their degree, diploma, or certificate program.
Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant Program
Amount: $100 to $12,192
Deadline: Applications accepted throughout the academic year
This is another program by the California Student Aid Commission that provides grants for the children or spouses of active duty California peace officers, California Youth Authority, and California Corrections Department officers who were killed in the line of duty, allowing the spouse or dependent to attend the college of their choice.
Imagine America Foundation Military Award Program
Deadline: December 31
This scholarship program is for honorably discharged, retired, or active duty veterans of any U.S. military branch for a college or trade school program. After students have chosen their desired institution, then they complete the online application form.
Tillman Scholarship Program
Amount: Up to $15,000 (Average award is $10,000)
Deadline: February 28
The goal of these grants is to provide scholarships for graduate or undergraduate study to veteran and active-duty military service members, including the National Guard and National Reserve, current spouses, and surviving spouses who will pursue a full-time post-secondary degree program. There is also a networking aspect to this program.
Coast Guard Foundation Scholarship Program
There are several different kinds of grants for scholarships on this website for families of members of the Coast Guard. There are grants for spouses, active-duty members, reservists, retired members, and family members. These scholarships for surviving children of fallen Coast Guard members offer full tuition.
Army Reserve Scholarships
Amount: 4 Years of Full Tuition OR $10,000 of Room & Board (Also a Stipend and Yearly Book Allowance)
Deadline: September 1 (Fall); December 1 (Spring)
The U.S. Army Reserve Minuteman Scholarship is for a current or prospective college student. The scholarship will provide the student with either full tuition and fees (with no cap) or room and board of $10,000 per year for all four years of attendance at a university bachelor's program. The cadet will also receive a monthly stipend of $420 and a $1,200 book stipend per year.
The requirements of the scholarship are that the student has to drill monthly with their USAR unit (which will also be paid), enroll in the ROTC program at their university, and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA while in college. Upon graduation, the student agrees to a tenure with the U.S. Army Reserve. Students need a 2.5 GPA to qualify for this scholarship.
U.S. Coast Guard College Pre-Commissioning Initiative
Amount: Tuition and More
This scholarship covers tuition, fees, books, and a full Coast Guard salary and housing allotment for students who are at a college sophomore or junior level and are attending a university that has historically served minorities. The scholarship is for up to two years of college. The student admitted into the program will be inducted into the Coast Guard, will receive basic training in the summer, and will be required to wear their Coast Guard uniform once per week at school and during their four hours of training per week with the Coast Guard. They are also required to attend a three-week officer training course in the summer of their junior year in college. After graduation from college, the students will attend 17 weeks of officer candidate training and will enter the Coast Guard as an ensign.
Dedicated Army National Guard Scholarship
Amount: Tuition, $1,200 for Books, Monthly Allowance
This program allows the student to receive full tuition expenses, up to $1,200 per year for books, a small monthly stipend, and sergeant drill pay. The student will be concurrently enrolled in the Army National Guard and will drill with their local unit. Upon completion of studies, the student will be required to be an active member of the Army National Guard for the next eight years. This scholarship is for U.S. citizens with a 2.5 or better high school GPA.
Marine Gunnery Sergeant David Fry Scholarship
Amount: 36 months of Up to 100% benefits (Tuition and possibly more)
Deadline: Always Taking Applications
This scholarship is for surviving children and spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after 9/11. Applicants need to determine if the school program qualifies for VA benefits. If the program qualifies, there is a VA application that needs to be submitted. For a student already enrolled in college, they can go to the school's financial aid office and complete the required forms. All tuition and fees are covered for up to 36 months.
American Legion Legacy Scholarship
Amount: Up to $20,000
Deadline: April 15
This scholarship is for surviving children of members of the military that died in the line of duty after 9/11. It is also available to service members who have a 50% or greater impairment in functioning suffered in the line of duty. The scholarship is for either undergraduate or graduate work and scholars may receive the award up to six times.