Children of military personnel looking to score free money for school will find ample options, as this type of scholarship is one of the most common. We’ve selected just a few of our favorite financial awards to get you started on your quest.
Every year, the New York chapter of the American Logistics Association awards scholarships to children of select active duty, reserve, National Guard or retired members of the United States military. To qualify, students must plan to enroll full-time in a two- or four-year college or university. Awards are only for undergraduates and require a 3.5 minimum GPA. Selections are made based on academic achievement, community leadership, extracurricular participation, work experience, outside appraisal, financial need and family circumstances.
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation offers awards to children of Marines or former Marines who were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or have died in combat since 9/11. Applicants must plan to attend an accredited undergraduate college or vocational/technical institution, meet income requirements and have a 2.0 minimum GPA. The foundation also offers scholarships to grandchildren of certain veterans. Visit the website for details.
High school seniors and current college students who are children/stepchildren of members or former members of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force can apply for financial awards through the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation. Candidates must be unmarried and under the age of 24 during the year of application. Applicants must attend a four-year accredited college or university.
The Tailhook Educational Foundation grants scholarships to children and grandchildren of individuals who serve or formerly served in the U.S. Navy as naval aviators, flight officers or aircrewmen, or as carrier aviation air wing or ship’s company personnel. Applicants must be accepted to an undergraduate program at an accredited college or university. Graduate students are not eligible.
The Marine Corps Tankers Association offers awards to children and grandchildren of current or former active, reserve, retired or honorably discharged members of the Marine Corps Tank Unit and current members of the MCTA. High school seniors, college undergraduates and graduate students may apply.
The Heart of a Marine Foundation awards scholarships to children of current or former armed forces personnel. To apply, students must submit a 500-word essay describing how they exemplify the concepts of loyalty, patriotism, honor, respect and concern for others. This is one of the few scholarships that does not have a minimum GPA requirement.
The MG James Ursano Scholarship Program offers financial awards to children of Army soldiers on active duty, children of retired soldiers, or children of soldiers who died while on active duty or retired status. To be eligible, students must be pursuing a four-year undergraduate degree.
AMVETS assists children and grandchildren of veterans with scholarships. This award is open only to graduating high school seniors with 3.0 minimum GPAs. To be selected, candidates must show academic promise and financial need.
The Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Association Scholarship grants scholarships to children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews of female members of the Army. Graduating high school seniors must have a 3.5 minimum GPA and plan to enroll full time at an accredited college or university. Selections are made based on academic achievement, leadership, recommendations and a biographical sketch.
The Air Force Association provides scholarships for minor dependents of active duty or retired Air Force, Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard enlisted airmen. The award is open only to graduating high school seniors pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering or math. Recipients are chosen according to academic achievement, good character and financial need.
More ways to pay
The scholarships on this list are all great ways to help pay for college. But be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid so you get other sources of financial aid, too. The FAFSA is the key to unlocking grants, work-study opportunities and even additional private scholarships.
Once you’ve maxed out all initial payment options, including federal loans, consider private loans to cover additional costs. Private loans tend to carry higher interest rates than federal loans. They also have fewer protections and forgiveness options. Shop around and compare private student loans before choosing a lender.
This article was updated on Feb. 9, 2015.