Scholarships and Financial Aid for Military and Veterans

Active duty military servicemembers and veterans have a wide range of military scholarship and grant opportunities available to them on a year-round basis. According to the National Institution for Education Statistics (NCES), the average amount of financial aid received by active duty military undergraduates in the last reported year (2011-2012) was $4,565, while student veterans received $9,889 on average. While many opportunities are specific to a particular military branch or terms of service/operations, other military scholarships for veterans and active duty servicemembers are available across all five military branches. Dependents and spouses of active duty and veteran military members are also eligible for a wealth of financial aid opportunities and other benefits.
NCES reported that 87% of dependents of servicemembers and veterans received financial education benefits in the 2012-2013 school year.

The following financial aid guide provides a thorough overview of grants and scholarships that are available to servicemembers and families from every branch of the military (including the Guard and Reserves). Army ROTC scholarships, Navy ROTC scholarships, and Air Force ROTC scholarships are also included in the guide, as well as information on available GI benefits, guidance on FAFSA, and other financial aid resources.


Active Duty Military Scholarships for College

Army Scholarships

Imagine America Foundation Military Award Program Varies

Deadline
June 30, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to any active duty, honorably discharged, or retired veteran of a United States military service branch who is pursuing post-secondary education at a specific college or trade school
  • Students choose their participating college (see additional info below) and complete an application form online

Additional Info
MAP begins July 1 every year; it is recommended that scholarships for active duty military candidates apply three months before they begin college.

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The Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarships Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Provided to students who are active duty or veterans of any branch and rank of the U.S. Army and who are enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or advanced degree program in nursing, nurse anesthesia, or a related healthcare field.
  • Applicants may not be recipients of other funding from the U.S. Army (including full GI Bill benefits)

Additional Info
Check back in the fall for information on ANCA 2018 Army scholarships.

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Council of College and Military Educators (CCME) Scholarships $1,000

Deadline
November 1, 2017

Requirements

  • Open to active-duty (and veteran) U.S. servicemembers working towards an associate or baccalaureate degree at a participating CCME membership institution
  • Applicants must have completed 12 or more hours of their program and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Application requirements include (but are not limited to): recommendation (to be completed on a specific CCME form) and essay

Additional Info
The CCME military scholarships period runs from July 1 to November 1.

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The Army Women's Foundation Legacy Scholarship $1,000-$2,500

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Applicants must be women who served in the any branch of the U.S. Army (including the Reserves), or the child of any woman who served
  • Applicants for the $1,000 scholarships must have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA and be currently enrolled in a community college
  • Applicants for the $2,500 scholarships must be currently enrolled, have completed 30 credit hours, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Application requirements include an essay, transcripts, recommendations, and commander’s verification of active duty

Additional Info
$1,000 Army scholarships are open to those pursuing professional certification or degree programs at an approved community college; $2,500 scholarships are provided to those pursuing degree programs at an accredited four-year college or university

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F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Tuition+

Amount
Full tuition, a $2,000+ monthly stipend, and a $20,000 sign-on bonus

Deadline
For more information, contact a local Army Healthcare Recruiter

Requirements

  • Open to students pursuing a degree in an accredited medical, dental, veterinary, psychiatric, psychology, or optometry program in the U.S. or Puerto Rico
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens with an accredited baccalaureate degree and be enrolled (or accepted) to an accredited graduate program
  • Recipients must continue to study full-time and qualify as a commissioned officer
  • Recipients receive officer’s pay during breaks while training with the Army healthcare team; after graduation, they go into active duty and are made a captain in their specialty

Additional Info
Active duty service obligation is one year for every scholarship year received; an additional obligation is required for residency and fellowship training. Those who win Army scholarships will also receive a $2,000 monthly stipend and $20,000 sign-on bonus.

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Active Nurse Corps Program $9,000+

Deadline
For more information, contact a local Army Healthcare Recruiter

Requirements

  • Open to active duty soldiers interested in completing a bachelor of nursing program
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 21 and 41 years old
  • Applicants must also have served in active duty for at least three years (a maximum of 12 years) at time of commissioning, and have a grade of E-4 or above

Additional Info
Scholarships for active duty military members also include $1,000 per year for books and full pay and allowances.

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Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. Scholarships $500-$1,500

Deadline
January 31, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to military personnel (and their dependents) who work in the fields of International Affairs, Counterintelligence, and National Security
  • Application requirements include (but are not limited to) essay (which may be published by the Lint Center for public reading)

Additional Info
Three different military scholarships for servicemembers are awarded each July and two scholarships are awarded each January; one of each scholarship is awarded annually. Application is done through one form for each set of scholarships. Funds are eligible for tuition and class fees only. Recipients may also request mentorship by a National Security Professional.

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Navy Scholarships

Tillman Scholars Program Up to $15,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to active-duty military servicemembers from all five military branches who are enrolled in a full-time undergraduate degree program or approved professional degree at a four-year, accredited college or university in the U.S.
  • In addition to qualifying military paperwork, applicants must submit a resume, two essays, and character recommendation
  • Recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

Additional Info
Up to 60 scholarships are awarded each year. University Partner schools are guaranteed one Tillman Scholar every year.

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Samuel Eliot Morison Naval History Scholarship $5,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to active duty commissioned U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps officers pursuing a graduate degree in history, international relations, or a related field
  • Application requirements include officer biography, an outline of educational goals, and a statement describing relationship between scholarship and professional interests, transcripts, and a recommendation from a commanding officer

Additional Info
Navy scholarship funds may be used toward research, related travel and educational materials.

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Navy SEAL Foundation Scholarships Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to active duty Navy SEALS and SWCCs, or active duty Naval Special Warfare Support/Tech personnel in at least their second tour in NSW command, as well as to their dependents and spouses
  • Navy scholarship applicants may be part- or full-time students pursuing degree programs at a two- or four-year college or university, professional licensure/certification programs, vocational or associate programs, or graduate programs (the latter limited to active duty and their spouses)

Additional Info
Applicants cannot receive all three of these Navy scholarships, but they are encouraged to apply for all three if qualified: Navy SEAL Foundation, UDT-SEAL Association, and DEVRU Scholarships.

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Air Force Scholarships

George and Vicki Muellner Foundation Scholarship $5,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements
Scholarships are only available to Arnold Air Society and Silver Wing members.

Additional Info
Two Air Force scholarships are awarded annually.

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Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements
Open to an active duty Air Force, Air National Guard, or Air Force Reserve personnel pursuing a Master’s in a non-technical degree program.

Additional Info
Air Force scholarship application requirements include (but are not limited to): letter of recommendation from an Air Force commander and assessment of potential as an Air Force leader, official transcript with a cumulative minimum 3.0 GPA for Master’s (or most recent program of study), and essay.

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Col Loren J and Mrs Lawona R Spencer Scholarship Up to $5,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to active duty Air Force personnel (including Reserves and National Guard) pursuing graduate-level degrees in management and administrative fields in order to serve in an Air Force leadership position
  • Application requirements include (but are not limited to): letter of recommendation from an Air Force commander/supervisor, including assessment as a potential Air Force leader, official transcript with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (in Master’s or most recent program of study), and essay

Additional Info
The number of Air Force scholarship recipients depends on funding and number of qualified applicants.

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Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) Tuition+

Deadline
Contact an Air Force recruiter for additional information.

Requirements
Recipients spend 45 days on active duty during scholarships, and one year on active duty (for each year of scholarship — a minimum of three years) upon graduation.

Additional Info
One- and two-year Air Force scholarships are offered for Allied Health specialties (pharmacists, optometrists, psychologists, and public health officers); two- and three-year scholarships are open to those in the Nurse Corps; and three- and four-year scholarships are available to Medical and Dental Corps students. The award includes funds for education supplies and a monthly stipend.

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Coast Guard Scholarships

Coast Guard Foundation Scholarship Program Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements
Open to active duty, reserve, or retired members of the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as their dependents; civil service employees; and exchange system and MWR employees

Additional Info
Coast Guard scholarships are awarded for one year only.

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The Robert W. Brunsman Memorial Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Available to all active IMCEA Professional Members who are currently enrolled in a higher education institution (including online)
  • Application requirements include (but are not limited to): official transcripts and essay

Additional Info
Also known as the International Military Community Executives’ Association (IMCEA) Memorial Scholarship Fund, and only one Coast Guard scholarship award is available each year.

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Coast Guard Supplemental Education Grants (SEG) Up to $500

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Provided to Coast Guard members (and their family members) who are pursuing an accredited higher education program (except licensing and certification courses), including a GED, through an institution approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Education
  • Application requirements include proof of enrollment, copy of a valid Coast Guard ID, and copies of original receipts for items that qualify for reimbursement

Additional Info
Funds are available to reimburse qualifying items (such as fees, books, specific supplies, and equipment) that are not already covered by Coast Guard Tuition Assistance. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Marine Corps Scholarships

Women's Overseas Service League $500-$1,000

Deadline
March 1, 2018

Requirements

  • Provided to active-duty women servicemembers in any branch of the military who are committed to advancing their military careers
  • Applicants must have completed 12 semester (or 18 quarter) hours of study with a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA and be enrolled full-time in associate or baccalaureate degree program
  • Application requirements include (but are not limited to): resume, official transcripts, essay, and references

Additional Info
Awards are based on decisions of the Scholarships Committee of the Women’s Overseas Service League Board of Directors.

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Marine Corps League National Scholarship $500-$1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to active members of the Marine Corps League and Marine Corps League Auxiliary, as well as their spouses, dependents, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; children of non-league members of the U.S. Marines or FMF Navy Corpsman attached to a marine unit who were killed in the line of duty; and honorably discharged U.S. Marines in need of rehabilitation training
  • Applicants must be accepted to or enrolled in an accredited institution and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Other application requirements include official transcripts

Additional Info
Marine scholarships may be awarded for up to four years (do not need to be consecutive years).

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Scholarships for Military Reserve

Reserve personnel differ from active duty servicemembers in that they do not serve full time. However, members of the Reserve can still be deployed at any time. There are a variety of military scholarships available to members of the Reserve in each branch, including Army Reserve scholarships, Navy Reserve scholarships, and so on, in exchange for service commitment.

Army Reserve Scholarships

The Minuteman Scholarship Tuition+

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • U.S. citizen
  • Valid MEPS physical
  • Ability to obtain secret security clearance
  • Completion of outlined interview processes
  • A minimum combined SAT score of 920 or ACT score of 19
  • Approved academic major
  • Current drilling USAR member and ability to commission before the age of 31

Additional Info
Open to high school or college students (first or second year) in exchange for a service commitment. Recipients are also guaranteed placement in the Army Reserve after graduation.

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Reserve Nurse Corps Program $2,000+

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements
Open to registered nurses currently pursuing a bachelor of nursing.

Additional Info
Recipients serve at least one year in the Army Reserve for each six months (or less) of Army reserve scholarship funds. Recipients of this award receive a monthly stipend of $2,000 or more.

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Navy Reserve Scholarships

Walter Beall Scholarship (Fleet Reserve Association) $2,000-$5,000

Deadline
April 1, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to active Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) members (as well as their spouses, dependents, and grandchildren) who are in good FRA standing for at least two consecutive years
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens who are currently enrolled at an accredited institution in a general engineering, aviation, or aeronautical engineering program

Additional Info
Navy reserve scholarships are given based on academic and community achievements, and overall merit. Recipients may reapply for each eligible year.

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FRA Education Foundation Scholarships Up to $5,000

Deadline
April 15, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to active-duty or retired members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, or U.S. Coast Guard, as well as their spouses, dependents, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens and full-time students at an accredited U.S. based university or college

Additional Info
Scholarship applications become available on September 1 each year.

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Pitsenbarger Award (Air Force Association) $400

Deadline
Ongoing

Requirements
Provided to active duty guard and reserve graduates of the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) who intend to pursue an undergraduate degree

Additional Info
This is a one-time Air Force reserve grant that is given out twice annually – once for spring graduation, and once for fall graduation. Recipients also receive an AFA e-membership.

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Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements
Open to an active duty Air Force, Air National Guard, or Air Force Reserve personnel pursuing a Master’s in a non-technical degree program.

Additional Info
Air Force scholarship application requirements include (but are not limited to): letter of recommendation from an Air Force commander and assessment of potential as an Air Force leader, official transcript with a cumulative minimum 3.0 GPA for Master’s (or most recent program of study), and essay.

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Coast Guard Scholarships

College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative Full tuition+

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Offered to students who are enrolled or have been accepted (as a sophomore or junior) into a full-time bachelor’s degree program at a qualifying minority college or university (schools that do not fall under this category may qualify on a case-by-case basis)
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 19 and 27, have a record of outstanding character, and be eligible for security clearance
  • Additional application requirements include (but are not limited to):
    • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
    • Qualifying debt-income ratio of less than 30 percent
    • Qualifying test scores (see site for details)
  • Applicants must also complete an interview with a Coast Guard interview board and pass a commissioning physical test
  • Recipients are required to spend a minimum of 16 hours monthly in supervised Coast Guard activities during the school year. Students also receive training and exposure to Coast Guard missions while on breaks

Additional Info
Applicants must turn in a letter of recommendation and assessment of potential as an Air Force leader, proof of acceptance into a program, and an essay. Award includes up to two years of full tuition/fees and a $3,600 monthly salary.

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Marine Corps Scholarships

Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to a full-time Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, or active duty Air Force service member who is pursuing a graduate degree in a non-technical field
  • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in their most recent college program or current master’s program

Additional Info
Applicants must turn in a letter of recommendation and assessment of potential as an Air Force leader, proof of acceptance into a program, and an essay.

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Scholarships for National Guard

Scholarships

Dedicated Army National Guard Scholarship Tuition+

Deadline
Contact your school’s ROTC department for more information

Requirements

  • Open to students who are pursuing an undergraduate college degree and want to enlist in the National Guard, as well as grad students who have two years until graduation
  • Recipients must be involved with the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) with a National Guard unit, and applicants must submit a letter of acceptance from a local guard unit indicating acceptance into the SMP
  • Upon graduation, recipient cadets are must fulfill a Military Service Obligation (MSO) contract and dedicate eight years to the National Guard
  • Application requirements include (but are not limited to):
    • U.S. citizenship
    • Minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA (high school)
    • Minimum combined SAT score of 920 or ACT score of 19
    • Completed ROTC basic course requirements or basic combat training
    • Qualifying medical background

Additional Info
National Guard scholarship recipients will receive full tuition, up to $1,200 for books, and may also be eligible to receive the monthly drill pay of a sergeant (in addition to the monthly allowance). The DEDNG Scholarships renews annually.

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Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GFRD) Scholarship Tuition+

Deadline
Contact your school’s ROTC department for more information

Requirements

  • Available to college juniors who are members of the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) with a National Guard unit on campus
  • Application requirements include U.S. citizenship, a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA (high school), a minimum combined SAT score of 920 or ACT score of 19, completed ROTC basic course requirements or basic combat training, and qualifying medical and moral background

Additional Info
Scholarship recipients will receive full tuition, up to $1,200 for books, 10 months of allowance, and monthly drill pay.

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ROTC/JROTC Scholarships

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is a military college program that prepares students (“cadets”) to become officers in a specific branch post-graduation. ROTC programs are offered at over 1,000 colleges and institutions nationwide. Students who qualify for these scholarships are offered paid college tuition and a monthly allowance in exchange for a fixed term of service and career in the military after graduating. The Army ROTC is one of the most popular and successful programs nationwide; students who are offered an Army ROTC scholarship serve a minimum of eight years post-graduation, with all other branches requiring a minimum of four years’ service.

Full ROTC scholarships are based on merit and offered each year in a nationwide competition. In 2014, the ROTC received about 25,000 scholarship applications and awarded approximately 4,000 three- and four-year ROTC scholarships to high school seniors. Additional two- and three-year ROTC scholarships are available for students and ROTC members who do not initially receive a full scholarship. Students who decide to join the ROTC once enrolled in college may also be eligible to apply for a scholarship, usually awarded on a two-year basis. Below, we have included a list of Army ROTC scholarships and Navy ROTC scholarships, including some Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) scholarship programs.

Army ROTC Scholarships

AFCEA Educational Foundation ROTC Scholarships $2,000-$3,000

Deadline
February 22, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to an Army, Navy (including Marine Corps), or Air Force ROTC full-time college sophomore or junior with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a degree program that aligns with the AFCEA Educational Foundation (program details are listed on site)

Additional Info
Nine ROTC scholarships are awarded annually.

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Army ROTC Scholarships Varies

Deadline
Contact your school’s ROTC department for more information

Requirements

  • Provided to high school students who are pursuing a degree program at an accredited four-year institution
  • Recipients must commit to serving in the Army for four years (selected Cadets may serve part-time in the Army Reserve or National Guard while pursuing a non-military career)
  • Applicants must meet all Army ROTC requirements, including U.S. citizenship for students between the ages of 17 and 26; a high school minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5; a minimum combined score of 920 on the SAT or 19 on the ACT; and an accepted physical fitness assessment

Additional Info
Army ROTC scholarships are available for two, three, and four years, depending on the number of years left in college.

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Navy ROTC Scholarships

ROTC Medal of Honor Scholarship $2,000-$3,000

Deadline
February 22, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to students enrolled in the Army, Navy (including Marine Corps) and Air Force ROTC programs
  • Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5, display “good moral character”, have a track record of excellent academic achievement, and have exhibited potential to serve as officer in the U.S. Armed Forces

Additional Info
Four of each type of the above scholarships are awarded annually.

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VADM Jon L. Boyes Scholarship $3,000

Deadline
February 22, 2018

Requirements
Provided to a Navy ROTC midshipman sophomore or junior who is pursuing a major in electrical engineering

Additional Info
Navy ROTC scholarship applicants use the AFCEA ROTC Scholarship to apply for the LGS Innovations award.

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Naval ROTC National Scholarships Tuition+

Deadline
January 31, 2018

Requirements

  • Applicants must apply to their chosen university through the NROTC unit, and pass an NROTC Applicant Fitness Assessment (AFA)
  • Additional requirements include at least 30 semester (45 quarter) hours/maximum of 120 semester (203 quarter) hours and a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.5
  • Navy ROTC scholarships recipients are required to serve a minimum of five years of active military service, and Navy Nurse recipients a minimum of four years active duty service

Additional Info
Two- and three-year scholarships are also available for those applying to Navy or nurse programs. In addition to tuition and expenses, recipients also receive all uniforms and three summer cruises

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Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Scholarship Program Varies

Deadline
January 31, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to those attending or accepted into MSI schools (Historically Black Colleges and Universities [HBCUs], High Hispanic Enrollment [HHE] schools, and other Minority Serving Institutions [MSI])
  • Applicants may be any gender, rate or ethnic background, but must meet all Navy-Option NROTC eligibility requirements, including:
    • Minimum combined SAT score of 1080 (520 math and 530 verbal/critical reading) OR ACT scores of 21 in math and 22 in English
    • Completion and passing of an NROTC Applicant Fitness Assessment

Additional Info
A list of MSI schools can be found on the scholarship website.

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Air Force ROTC/JROTC Scholarships

LGS Innovations-Lt. General Iverson Scholarship $2,000-$3,000

Deadline
February 19, 2017

Requirements
Open to college sophomore or junior cadets in the U.S. Air Force ROTC who are pursuing a major STEM degree

Additional Info
Air Force ROTC scholarship applicants use the AFCEA ROTC Scholarship to apply for the LGS Innovations award.

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Army Veteran Scholarships

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Bernard E. Dillon Vocational Skills Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Offered to post-high-school students attending an accredited vocational-technical school
  • Applicants must be current AMRA members

Additional Info
Also known as the American Military Retirees’ Association (AMRA) Scholarship — The Bernard E. Dillon Vocational Skills Scholarship. Five scholarships for veterans are offered annually. Scholarship applications will be posted on October 1, 2017.

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Paralyzed Veterans’ Educational Scholarship Program $500-$1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Available to paralyzed veterans’ members, as well as their spouses and unmarried dependents (the latter age 24 and under)
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled part- or full-time in an accredited university or college
  • Application requirements include letter proving enrollment, official transcript, and two letters of recommendation

Additional Info
Members and their families may be awarded up to $10,000 in total funding ($1,000 per individual).

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Afghanistan and Iraq War Vet Scholarship $2,500

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Provided to active-duty and honorably discharged U.S. military veterans (including Reservists and National Guard) of the Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan or Iraqi Freedom Operations (2003 to present)
  • Applicants must be a sophomore or junior pursuing an undergraduate STEM degree at an accredited four-year institution in the U.S.

Additional Info
Students enrolled in a distance-learning or online program at an eligible four-year U.S. institution are eligible to apply for veteran scholarships.

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Navy Veteran Scholarships

Sgt Major Douglas R. Drum Collegiate Scholarship $1,000-$5,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Provided to active-duty and honorably discharged U.S. military veterans (including reservists and National Guard) of the Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan or Iraqi Freedom Operations (2003 to present)
  • Applicants must be a sophomore or junior pursuing an undergraduate STEM degree at an accredited four-year institution in the U.S.

Additional Info
Scholarship applications will be posted on October 1, 2017.

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Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship $3,000

Deadline
April 15, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to veterans (including National Guardsmen and Reservists) who have run out of other aid sources and need financial assistance to complete an accredited degree or certificate program (part- or full-time, and includes online schools
  • Applicants must be a U.S. citizen with a high school diploma or GED, who is enrolled or has been accepted into a qualifying program

Additional Info
Scholarships for veterans are awarded annually on a one-time basis.

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Air Force Veteran Scholarships

American Veterans (AMV) Scholarships $4,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens and provide evidence of veteran status (and have served honorably)
  • Students must already have a high school diploma or GED and be enrolled or accepted into a qualifying program (part- or full-time undergraduate, graduate, accredited degree or certification program, or online educational programs)

Additional Info
Three scholarships for veterans are given out annually and are renewed each year. Veteran scholarships are awarded based on financial need, past achievements, and academic potential.

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AFSA International Auxiliary Education Grant Program Up to $2,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to AFSA Auxiliary members who need financial assistance to help complete a higher education program that will provide necessary training and skills to increase their income
  • Applicants must prove AFSA Auxiliary membership for a minimum of one year and continue as members for at least two years after award is granted
  • Eligible applicants are at least 19 years old and have been accepted at an accredited institution

Additional Info
Funds may be used toward tuition or other educational expenses.

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Scholarships for Military Dependents and Veteran Dependents

Financial aid for dependents of active duty military personnel and military veterans are listed below, including military child scholarships, scholarships for grandchildren of military veterans, and more. While spouses of military members and veterans are eligible for many scholarships on this list, we have compiled a specific list of military spouse scholarships in the section below.

Scholarships

Freedom Alliance Scholarship Varies

Deadline
Contact Freedom Alliance for more information

Requirements

  • Provided to dependents of U.S. military personnel who were killed or have been permanently disabled in the line of duty, or U.S. military personnel classified as a prisoner of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA)
  • Applicants must be in their senior year of highschool or a high-school graduate and less than 26 years of age, and/or currently enrolled in a program full time to apply
  • Application requirements include (but are not limited to) official transcripts, an essay or personal statement, and photo of qualifying parent
  • Recipients must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in order to renew

Additional Info
Military child scholarships are renewable up to three years (up to four scholarships total).

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Scholarships for Military Children Program $2,000

Deadline
2018 Deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to children of active duty, reserve/guard, or retired military service personnel
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled or planning to enroll in a four-year undergraduate college program or an accredited two-year community college
  • Recipients must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0

Additional Info
Information on the 2018 program for military child scholarships will become available mid-December.

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Heroes' Legacy Scholarship Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements
Open to unmarried dependents, under the age of 23, of servicemembers who died or were disabled in the line of duty (post-September 11, 2001)

Additional Info
The amount of available scholarships for children of veterans is dependent on the amount of royalties received for the book Of Thee I Sing. A Letter to My Daughters, authored by Barack Obama, along with sponsorships and other donations. Information for the 2018 program will become available mid-December.

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Heroes Tribute Scholarship for Children of the Fallen $30,000

Deadline
March 1, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to children of Marines and veteran Marines who were killed in terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001; of Marines and Navy Corps attached to a Marine unit who were killed in combat after September 11, 2001; of Navy Religious Program Specialists attached to a Marine unit who were killed in combat operations on or after September 27, 2008; or of Marines killed in training after September 27, 2008
  • Family adjusted gross income must not exceed $96,000
  • Students must be planning to attend an accredited undergraduate or career training school in the following year
  • Recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0

Additional Info
The Scholarship Foundation will award $7,500 a year for four years.

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The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Up to $20,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Offered to children of post-9/11 servicemembers killed in action or to VA-rated, post-9/11 disabled (50 percent or higher) veterans
  • Applicants must be high school seniors or graduate who have been accepted or are currently attending an accredited U.S. college
  • Application requirements include (but are not limited to):
    • Official military death certificate or disability rating paperwork
    • FAFSA summary of expected family contribution and other expected financial aid

Additional Info
The scholarship amount awarded each year depends on the student’s financial need and the amount of money available.

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MG James Ursano Scholarship Program Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Offered to dependents of Army soldiers (active duty, retired, or deceased) who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree
  • Students must be registered in Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS), be under the age of 23, and remain unmarried for the academic year
  • Students may not be a member of the National Guard, Reserves, or other military branch
  • Recipients must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0

Additional Info
The annual military child scholarships for 2016-2017 ranged from $500 to $2,900.

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Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Scholarship Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Scholarships provided to children of active-duty or reserve U.S. Marines, veteran U.S. Marines or those killed serving in the line of duty, active-duty or reserve U.S. Navy Corpsman (or those killed in the line of duty while serving in the U.S. Navy and attached to a Marine unit)
  • Family adjusted gross income must not exceed $96,000
  • Students must be planning to attend an accredited undergraduate or career training school in the following year
  • Recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0

Additional Info
Accreditation verified through College Navigator. Schools not listed on the site are not eligible for an award.

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ThanksUSA Scholarship Program $4,000

Deadline
May 15, 2018

Requirements

  • Applicants must be dependents of military service personnel, age 24 or under (spouses are also eligible to apply)
  • Students must be high school seniors accepted into an approved college or university, or already enrolled full-time in an undergraduate course of study
  • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0

Additional Info
Special scholarships are also available for students attending Kaplan University and Northern Virginia Community College.

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Wings Over America (WOASF) $3,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Applicants must be dependents of active duty (must have served at least eight years of service) or retired, honorably discharged, or deceased U.S. Navy service personnel (the latter does not require minimum length of service), who are unmarried and age 22 or under
  • College students who are dependents must be enrolled full-time (at least 12 credit hours) and pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degrees

Additional Info
The application period for spring 2018 opens in October 2017. Recipients may reapply each year, receiving up to four awards. This scholarship is also open to spouses of active duty, though some requirements are different from above. Recipients may also be eligible to receive administered scholarships for specific Navy commands or communities; these awards are provided in addition to the WOASF scholarship.

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Dolphin Scholarship Foundation (DSF) $2,000-$3,400

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Provided to high-school or college dependents of active duty or retired members of the U.S. Navy submarine force
  • Students must be enrolled full-time at an accredited degree-granting institution

Additional Info
The application period for the 2018-19 scholarship will open in October 2017. Approximately 25 to 30 new scholarships are awarded annually for a period of two to four years, supporting 117 ongoing Dolphin Scholarships at a time. The DSF includes the Laura W. Bush Scholarship (sponsoring dependents of those who served or are serving on the USS Texas) as well as the Nautilus Scholarship (sponsoring dependents of those served or are serving on the USS Nautilus).

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Coast Guard Exchange Scholarship $2,000

Deadline
February 28, 2018

Requirements

  • Open to the dependents of Coast Guard personnel who are pursuing a degree program at an accredited college or university; applicants must be the equivalent of high school seniors
  • Applicants planning on accepting appointments in any military branch are not eligible

Additional Info
This is a one-time award.

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Roy C. and Dorothy Jean Olson Memorial Scholarship $1,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements
Available to dependents and spouses of active IMCEA Professional Members who are graduating high school or currently enrolled in a higher-education institution.

Additional Info
One award is available each year. Also known as the International Military Community Executives’ Association (IMCEA) Memorial Scholarship Fund (The Roy C. and Dorothy Jean Olson Memorial Scholarship).

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AFSA and the Airmen Memorial Foundation Scholarships $1,000-$2,000

Deadline
March 31, 2018

Requirements

  • Provided to eligible dependents of active duty Total Air Force members
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate program or have proof of acceptance
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5

Additional Info
Scholarships are awarded based on academic and community records, character, and future potential; financial needs are not a consideration.

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Marine Gunnery Sgt John David Fry Scholarship Tuition+

Deadline
Ongoing

Requirements

  • Benefits are available to surviving children and spouses of servicemembers who died in the line of duty post-September 10, 2001
  • Children between the ages of 18 and 33 are eligible (both married and unmarried)
  • Applicants must first approve their program is eligible for VA benefits, and then complete and submit a dependent’s’ application to their regional VA office; students who are currently enrolled should take their application directly to their employer or school

Additional Info
Scholarship includes full tuition and fees. Depending on eligibility, benefits may be available for up to 36 months.

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Veteran and Military Spouse Scholarships

Military scholarships for spouses are widely available. These military spouse scholarships and grants are typically open to applicants who are or have been married to active, deceased, or disabled military members.

Scholarships

Folds of Honor Scholarship Up to $5,000

Deadline
Ongoing

Requirements
Applicants must be (or have been) married to an active duty or reserve service member (all military branches apply) who was killed in action; a military veteran who died as a result of a service-related disability; a military veteran who has a disability classified as 10% or higher by the VA; or an active duty service member who has received a Purple Heart

Additional Info
Folds of Honor military spouse scholarships are awarded based on a student’s unmet need, which can be calculated on the application’s Financial Need page. This scholarship is also available to dependents of deceased/disabled veterans.

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Tillman Scholars Program Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to military spouses (as well as active-duty servicemembers and veterans) who are enrolled in a full-time undergraduate degree program or approved professional degree at a four-year, accredited college or university in the U.S.
  • In addition to qualifying military paperwork, applicants must submit a resume, two essays, and character recommendation
  • Recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

Additional Info
Up to 60 military spouse scholarships are awarded each year. University Partner schools are guaranteed one Tillman Scholar every year. Applications will open in February 2018.

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Kathern F. Gruber Scholarship $2,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Applicants must be the spouse of a blind veteran and be enrolled at a higher education institution (veterans are not required to be members of the Blind Veterans Association i.e. BVA)
  • Applicants are based on merit as evaluated by an assigned committee

Additional Info
Military spouse scholarships are offered through the BVA. Applicants may reapply each year, up to four times.

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Veterans United Foundation Scholarship Varies

2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to surviving spouses and dependents of a deceased veteran who are pursuing or already enrolled in an associate, bachelor’s, graduate, post-graduate or doctoral degree
  • Awards are given based on the following:
    • An essay that tells an individual’s story in relation to that of a deceased veteran and how life will be affected by choosing a specific educational path
    • Financial need (based on FAFSA)
    • Academic and community achievements/involvement
    • Any additional information (such as poems, photos, etc.)

Additional Info
The scholarship will reopen in the fall of 2017. Up to three military scholarships for spouses are awarded each year; scholarships are nonrenewable.

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National Military Family Association (NMFA) Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements
Applicants must be a military spouse with a valid military ID; married to an active duty, reserve, guard, retired, medically retired, wounded, or fallen service member (the latter post-September 11, 2001); a dual service military spouse; or a divorced military spouse still receiving 20/20/20 or 20/20/15 benefits.

Additional Info
This scholarship is open May 1 through July 30.

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Spouse Education Assistance Program (SEAP) Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to spouses of active duty or veteran soldiers, as well as widowers of soldiers, who are pursuing their first degree and are not fully funded via other sources
  • Applicants must be registered in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting Systems (DEERS)
  • Students may not be active duty, in reserves, or a retiree of any military branch
  • Recipients must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0

Additional Info
Applications for the 2018-19 academic year will be available January 1, 2018. Awards available for up to four years of full-time study or eight years of part-time study.

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Mike & Gail Donley Spouse Scholarship $2,500

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Must be the spouse of Air Force Active Duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve or Department of the Air Force Civilian
  • Applicants must have been accepted to an accredited college or enrolled in a degree program and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5

Additional Info
Funds can be used for tuition, books, fees, transportation, and/or daycare expenses.

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ThanksUSA Scholarship Program $3,000

Deadline
May 15, 2018

Requirements

  • Applicants must be spouses of U.S. military service personnel (dependents are also eligible to apply)
  • Spouses must be enrolled part- or full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited two- or four-year institution; those pursuing a professional license or certification program are also eligible to apply

Additional Info
Awards are provided once and may be applied toward any educational expenses.

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Anchor Scholarship Foundation Varies

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Provided to spouses of active duty, veterans, or honorably discharged Surface Navy personnel
  • Applicants must be enrolled or accepted in a qualifying two- or four-year associate or baccalaureate program

Additional Info
Scholarship is awarded based on four weighted criteria: academic performance; extracurricular activities; good character; and financial need.

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General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program $500-$4,000

Deadline
2018 deadline TBA

Requirements

  • Open to spouses of active duty Air Force members and Title 10 AGR/Reservists on extended active duty, as well as surviving spouses of those who died in active duty or while retired
  • Applicants must be a high school graduate who has been accepted to a full-time, four-year degree program
  • A complete online application and attached documentation verifying military status are required
  • Recipients must maintain an average 2.0 GPA

Additional Info
Ten $5,000 Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) merit-based scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen who have completed and been accepted for the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program; additional requirements include transcripts and an essay.

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Applying for GI Benefits

One of the benefits of serving in the U.S. military is the multiple avenues available to access educational and employment training, financial aid, and other assistance programs. Most honorably discharged veterans and active-duty servicemembers qualify for some form of benefits granted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bills, including the The Post-9/11 GI Bill and/or The Montgomery GI Bill.

Many servicemembers and their family members will qualify for multiple GI benefits, while other programs and benefits are more specific (such as those geared towards Reservists or the dependents and spouses of deceased veterans). About 25% of those who benefit from veterans’ education programs are spouses and family members. Those looking to begin or continue their education, gain new marketable skills, or in training for a particular vocation should become familiar with the benefits and opportunities provided by the GI Bill(S) for which they are eligible.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is offered to veterans and active-duty servicemembers who served after September 10, 2001 for at least 90 days, as well as military family members. The bill provides on-the-job training and other training assistance (such as flight training), and financial aid for a range of educational opportunities, from non-degree certifications to postdoctorate degrees.

In addition, GI Bill servicemembers receive up to 36 months of education benefits (on average payable up to 15 years following retirement), including full tuition and fees paid for all public in-state students, as well as a potential monthly housing allowance and supplies stipend. Students attending private or foreign schools have tuition and school fees capped at the national maximum rate (currently up to $18,077.50 per year).

Out-of-state schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon program may offer qualifying service-members and their families additional financial benefits. Servicemembers may have the option of transferring unused GI bill benefits to dependents.

Students can apply online, visit the nearest VA regional office to apply in person, and/or discuss their options and get help applying with the VA Certifying Official at their chosen school. Students can find more information on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Post-9/11 GI Bill information page.

The Montgomery GI Bill

Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to active duty military veterans and Selected Reserve military personnel. Financial aid varies based on need and may be used towards degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeships/on-the-job training, correspondence courses, entrepreneurship training, and fees for licenses or certifications.

Servicemembers who have been on active duty (MGIB-AD) for at least two years (post-1985) are eligible for up to 36 months of assistance towards degree-granting, technical, certification, and other educational programs; apprenticeships and other job-related training; and specified certification exams and correspondence courses. Benefits are usually available for up to 10 years after release from honorable active service.

Servicemembers of the Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), which includes all military reserve branches who signed on for at least six years after 1985, are eligible to receive education and training benefits. These benefits are generally the same as those offered to active duty; however, specific benefits are determined by the reserve unit to which a servicemember is a part. Eligibility for benefits usually ends the day a service member leaves the Selected Reserve.

Students can apply for benefits online at eBenefits.va.gov, or complete and mail a paper application to their local regional benefit office.

Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance, or “Top-Up Benefits,” are provided to those servicemembers who qualify for federal tuition assistance, as well as the Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty only) or Post-911 GI Bill benefits. Top-Up benefits are specifically reserved for servicemembers who need to complete a degree program while on active duty and have no plans to continue education once retired from the military.

Servicemembers should consult with a School Certifying Official (SCO) about using these benefits, as using them will affect the amount of remaining benefits available after leaving the military. Those who decide to use these benefits are eligible to receive up to 36 months of payments, though benefits may differ depending on applicable GI Bill benefits. Additional information on Top-Up benefits is available on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.


Applying for the FAFSA as a Veteran

Veteran benefits are considered differently by FAFSA than they are for VA purposes. When applying for FAFSA benefits, veterans should not report their education benefits as income. In most cases, veteran education benefits are considered “resources”; these include benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill-active duty, Selective Reserve benefits, and others. There are exceptions to this rule, including income earned from the Veterans Affairs Student Work-Study Allowance Program (VASWAP) and other non-education benefits.

Veterans applying for FAFSA benefits should know the difference between funds that are considered income and those considered as resources before completing their application form. Though veterans education benefits are not reported as income, the FAFSA asks specifically about veterans education benefits to gauge the monthly amount received from benefits (this does not affect Expected Family Contribution). Those able to claim veteran status are also not required to report their parents’ income or assets to FAFSA.

Veterans Education Benefits

What are veterans education benefits?

Veterans Education Benefits are outlined by Section 480(c)(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), and include things like ROTC program benefits and Selective Research Educational Assistance Program benefits. The list provided in HEA is not necessarily all-inclusive, and veterans should talk with a VA representative if they have questions about whether specific benefits classify as resources or income. A list of helpful veterans’ education and training fact sheets can also be found on the VA website.

How do veterans report these benefits on the FAFSA?

When filling out Worksheet B, Question 41 of the FAFSA, veterans will not list education benefits as income, which is limited to non-education benefits. Instead, education benefits are reported and calculated under questions 46 and 47, which ask veterans to list the number of months to which they are entitled to receive Veterans Education Benefits (considered resources), as well as whether they plan to attend school part- or full-time and the monthly amount they’re eligible to receive annually.

HEROES Act of 2003

What is the purpose of this act?

The Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 is meant to serve as a buffer when servicemembers who are currently receiving Federal student aid are called into active duty or service in time of a declared disaster.

What happens if your military status changes while you're attending school and receiving financial aid?

Under these circumstances, several waivers may be implemented for affected servicemembers, including needs analysis by schools in considering the financial circumstances of an affected family, waiver of grant overpayments, temporary halt of collection on defaulted loans, and other waivers. To ensure timely waiver benefits, affected servicemembers and their families should contact loan holders and schools as soon as possible to notify them of their updated status. Providing documentation of active duty status to each applicable party is strongly recommended.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

Who is eligible for this grant?

College or vocational school students who meet all of the following are eligible for Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants:

  • Not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant (dependent on Expected Family Contribution or EFC)
  • Meet all other Federal Pell Grant requirements
  • The dependent of a parent/guardian who served in the military and died in service conducted in Iraq or Afghanistan post-September 10, 2001
  • Age 24 or under and are enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the aforementioned parent’s/guardian’s death

How much are they worth?

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are equal to the maximum Federal Pell Grant for a specific award year (this is $5,815 in 2016-2017), but may not exceed cost of that year’s tuition. These amounts were affected over the past few years due to automatic federal budget cuts, also known as the “sequester.” Eligible students need to complete and submit a FAFSA application to receive benefits.

Financial Aid Resources

  • FAFSA The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the single most important form you can fill out as part of financing your college education.
  • Military One Source Military One Source provides a comprehensive set of contacts and resources for military servicemembers and their families, including information on education and employment.
  • U.S. Department of Education The U.S. Department of Education website serves as a hub for finding more information and applying for federal education loans, grants, military scholarships and other scholarship opportunities.
  • Military Tuition Assistance Military Tuition Assistance provides helpful guides and links for tuition assistance, education benefits, and links to other helpful resources for servicemembers from all military branches.
  • Military.com Military.com offers a personalized military scholarship finder for servicemembers and their families.