Military Scholarships

Military scholarships can refer to at least three distinct types of financial aid to help with high school, college, or graduate education costs. Get information about military scholarships, including military prep school scholarships here.

Types of Military Scholarships

There are three main types of military scholarships. First, there are those provided by the branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. These awards are provided to those who are or have served, along with spouses and dependents as well as to those who plan to serve and receive their scholarships in return for a commitment to do so. Second, there are other organizations that also provide scholarships to service members, spouses, and dependents, but these organizations are not part of the military, though they often have close associations with the military in one way or another. Finally, military scholarships may refer to scholarships given to those attending military school, although military school scholarships would be more accurate.

Military Scholarships Provided by the Military

There are several types of military scholarships provided by the U.S. Military. ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) and Junior ROTC programs provide college scholarships in exchange for commitments to serve in the military. There are ROTC programs in the Army, the Marine Corp, the Navy, and the Air Force, but not the Coast Guard. The Department of Veterans Affairs Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program offers educational benefits to dependents of some veterans. The MyCAA Program is provided by the Department of Defense (DOD) to spouses of service members who are on active duty, but does not include spouses of Coast Guard members.

Military Scholarships Provided to Members of the Military or Their Families by Organizations Other Than the Military

Not every organization that provides military scholarships to servicemen is part of the government. The Pat Tillman Foundation, founded by his family and friends, was created and named in honor of Pat Tillman, a professional football player and Army Ranger who died during an ambush in Afghanistan in 2004. This organization provides military scholarships for Tillman Military Scholars, who are chosen from veterans and active service members and their spouses, as well as dependents under the age of 30 who are pursuing higher education and vocational training.

Another program is Scholarships for Military Children. Through each commissary location where there are applicants, at least one $1500 scholarship per year is provided to a dependent, unmarried child of a military member who is active, on reserve, in the guard, retired, or who died while in the service and who is less than 23 years old. The military scholarship is for undergraduate study only.

The American Legion provides its American Legion Legacy Scholarship to children of service members who died during active duty, on or after September 11. Other military scholarships are also available to those with military connections from this organization. A number of other organizations also provide military scholarships.

Military Scholarships Provided to Students Attending Military Prep Schools

Many, if not all, military prep schools - also known as military academies or private military schools - award some of their students military scholarships based on need or merit, just as other types of private schools make such provisions. This type of award is often part of a financial aid package that may also include grants and/or loans. Other scholarships may be based on particular accomplishments, talents, hometowns, or other qualifications. For example, there may be scholarships for students one of whose parents attended, students who are children of active or retired military members, scholarships for the second child in a family to enroll, and/or scholarships for those with special gifts in art and/or music.


Related Article: Applying to Military School >>