Are you the child, grandchild, spouse, or family member of a U.S. military veteran or servicemember? If so, you may qualify for valuable scholarships that can shave thousands of dollars off your college expenses. Combined with military tuition assistance, tuition discounts, and/or other sources of financial aid, military dependent scholarships can make higher education affordable and accessible.
Earning your degree doesn’t have to be expensive — especially if there are veterans or active-duty servicemembers in your family. Keep reading to learn about college scholarships for children of veterans, military spouses, and other military dependents. You might be surprised by some of the resources that are available to you — and by which scholarships you could qualify for.
Who Counts as a Military Dependent?
According to the U.S. Army, the term “military dependent” generally includes the spouses and children of military servicemembers, excluding adult children age 21 or older. The parents, adult children, foster children, siblings, cousins, nieces, or nephews of servicemembers also potentially qualify as military dependents, depending on the circumstances.
If you are a dependent of a veteran or service member, such as a service member’s spouse or child, you may be eligible for various scholarships. There are an abundance of military scholarship opportunities that could help you save money on college tuition and related expenses.
8 College Scholarships for Military Dependents
Most scholarships for veteran dependents are geared toward spouses or children. Though less common, there are also scholarships for the grandchildren of veterans, which we’ll also cover later in this article. Some organizations even offer scholarships or financial aid for veterans’ siblings, stepchildren, or adopted children. For now, let’s start with a closer look at some scholarship opportunities for the children and spouses of servicemembers.
5 Military Dependent Scholarships for Children of Veterans
#1: The American Patriot Freedom Scholarship
Homefront America awards the American Patriot Freedom Scholarship to eligible dependent children of military veterans. The scholarship, which awards up to $1,000 per recipient, goes toward expenses such as tuition, fees, room, and board.
#2: ASF Scholarships
If you’re the child of an active-duty Army member, including active-duty Reserve personnel, you may qualify for a scholarship from the Army Scholarship Foundation (ASF). ASF scholarships range from $500 to $2,000 in value.
#3: The CGF Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded by the Coast Guard Foundation (CGF) to eligible children of active-duty, Reserve, or retired Coast Guard members. The amount varies from $1,000 to $5,000.
#4: MCSF Scholarships
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (MCSF) has a prestigious history dating back more than half a century. Over that time, the MCSF has awarded more than 37,000 scholarships totaling over $110 million — an average of nearly $3,000 per scholarship. If you’re the son or daughter of a retired, Reserve, or active-duty Marine and meet other eligibility criteria, you can apply for an MCSF scholarship online.
#5: The Wings Over America Scholarship
Eligible children and spouses of U.S. Navy personnel are welcome to apply for the Wings Over America Scholarship. This includes applicants whose parents or spouses are active-duty, are deceased, were honorably discharged, or are now retired. The scholarship, which is awarded to 50 students each year, considers factors like “scholastic merit, community service, extra-curricular activities and character,” according to the Wings Over America website.
3 Veteran Dependent Scholarships for Military Spouses
#1: The Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship
According to its website, Folds of Honor was founded in 2007 to provide educational scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled servicemembers. Though the 2020 application window is now closed, you can learn more about the Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship here.
#2: Hope For The Warriors Scholarships
Hope For The Warriors is an organization whose unique scholarship program “celebrates and rewards the spouses and caregivers of post-9/11 veterans.” Since its inception in 2006, the program “has awarded over 140 scholarships totaling more than $412,000” — an average of more than $2,900 per scholarship.
Currently, there are five scholarships available through the Hope For The Warriors foundation:
- The Honorary Scholarship for post-grad and graduate students
- The New Beginnings scholarship for students pursuing an associate’s degree
- The Restoring Family Scholarship, which is only available for Gold Star Spouses
- The Restoring Hope Scholarship for students pursuing a master’s degree in social work
- The Restoring Self Scholarship for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in any field
#3: NMFA Military Spouse Scholarships
The National Military Family Association (NMFA) awards scholarships “for a variety of educational and employment pursuits,” such as pursuing your degree. Subject to other eligibility requirements, NMFA spouse scholarships are generally open to the spouses of veterans and servicemembers, including divorced spouses under certain conditions. You may be eligible if you are “married to an active duty, reserve, guard, retired, medically retired, wounded, or fallen” member of any U.S. military branch.
Please note that these scholarships are intended for military spouses and are not open to dependent children. However, additional scholarships for kids of veterans are available through Fisher House, which operates the Scholarships for Military Children Program.
Can Grandchildren of Veterans Get Scholarships?
As you’ll see from this list, the answer is yes: there are plenty of college scholarships for the grandchildren of military veterans. Read on for a few examples.
3 College Scholarships for Grandkids of Veterans
#1: The AMVETS National Scholarship
American Veterans (AMVETS), which is one of the nation’s largest organizations for veterans, awards the AMVETS National Scholarship to high school students to help pay for undergraduate coursework. To be eligible for the AMVETS scholarship, you must be the child or grandchild of a veteran or active-duty servicemember, must currently be a senior in high school, and must meet additional scholarship requirements.
#2: The Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship
The Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship, which is awarded annually by the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA), is available to the “daughters, sons, grandsons, granddaughters, great-granddaughters, [and] great-grandsons of veterans who served in the Armed Forces” during or after World War II (“any time after December 7, 1941”). The scholarship amount is $5,000, which “may be used for tuition, books, fees, room, and board.” If you think you might be eligible, you can apply for the scholarship online.
#3: NLF Scholarships
The Navy League Foundation (NLF) awards assorted scholarships to the children and grandchildren of U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps personnel, including veterans and active-duty servicemembers. These scholarships include but are not limited to the Navy League Foundation Scholarship ($20,000), the Ann E. Clark Scholarship ($10,000), the John G. Brokaw Scholarship ($10,000), the United Armed Forces Association Scholarship ($10,000), and the Rockwell Collins Scholarship ($2,500).
While the application period for 2020 is now closed, you can get a headstart on the next season by learning more about the application process. In the meantime, you may be interested in exploring some additional Navy scholarships for grandchildren of veterans. You can also investigate scholarships for military dependents by branch, such as Army-specific or Navy-specific scholarships.
Veteran-Founded, Military-Friendly: Discounted Tuition and Financial Aid for Children of Veterans at NU
At National University, we take pride in serving those who serve. As a veteran-founded, military-friendly college, we are fully committed to supporting our servicemembers, our military veterans, and their families. We honor that commitment by offering tuition discounts and scholarships for veterans, providing discounts for military family members, accepting the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and helping families navigate VA benefits. The NU Veteran Center in San Diego offers additional services and resources to help support our military students, who can also access our Virtual Veteran Center online 24/7.
If you’re looking for a challenging, fast-paced, accredited degree program uniquely designed for veterans and servicemembers, you’ll find it at NU, which offers more than 75 online and on-site programs. Apply today and find out what makes us one of the top military-friendly colleges in the country.