Military Scholarships for Service Members, Veterans and Families

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If you have a connection to the military — whether you’re on active duty, a veteran, in ROTC or planning to serve in the future, or even if you’re a military spouse or dependent — there are military scholarships available to you.

Some are specific to certain U.S. military branches, while others are more generic. Some military scholarships are merit-based, while others are need-based, and some require a service commitment.

Below is a list of scholarships so you can find the right military scholarship program for you. Beyond these options, you may find additional military scholarships through your state, college, military branch or other military-related organizations.

Active duty scholarships

Here’s a list of awards geared primarily toward active-duty service members. Some of these programs also cover spouses and children, as well as veterans, and are listed again in the subsequent section.

F. Edward Hebert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program

Amount: Full tuition for up to four years, monthly stipend of more than $2,200, $20,000 signing bonus
Branch: Army

The U.S. Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program is available for students pursuing medical, dental, veterinary, optometry, specialty nursing or clinical/counseling psychology degrees. The program pays for your tuition and in return, you agree to serve in the Army for at least eight years total: at least two years on active duty and the remaining time in the Reserve. The Army recommends applying for the program at the same time you’re applying to your degree program. This scholarship is part of the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), which also includes the Navy and Air Force.

Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program

Amount: $1,000 for certificate programs and community college coursework, $2,500 for undergraduate and graduate degree programs
Branch: Army

The Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program awards scholarships to women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard, as well as the children of women who have served honorably in one of those capacities.

There are four types of scholarships in this program, each with slightly different eligibility requirements:

  • Community College Legacy Scholarship: Must be a high school graduate with a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) or GED, currently enrolled in an accredited community college.
  • Certificate Program Legacy Scholarship: Must be a high school graduate with a 2.5 GPA or GED, currently enrolled at an accredited school.
  • College and University Legacy Scholarship: Must be enrolled at an accredited college or university and have completed 30 credit hours with at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Graduate Program Legacy Scholarship: Must have an undergraduate degree with a cumulative 3.0 GPA, and be currently enrolled in or accepted into a master’s or doctoral program.

Pat Tillman Foundation Tillman Scholar program

Amount: $11,000 per academic year, on average
Branch: Various

The Tillman Scholar program is open to veterans and active duty service members from all branches of the U.S. military and also to their current and surviving spouses. To be eligible, you must be a full-time student pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. This scholarship is merit-based and the application requires a resume, two 400-word essays and a letter of recommendation, among other things. Applicants also must have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Navy SEAL Foundation scholarships

Amount: Varies
Branch: Navy

The Navy SEAL Foundation scholarship is available for active duty SEALS, active duty Special Warfare Combatant-Crewman (SWCC) and active duty Naval Special Warfare (NSW) support personnel who are on their second tour (as well as the spouses of these military members), as well as veteran SEALs and SWCC. This scholarship is merit-based and the application requires a 500-word essay.

Colonel Loren J. and Mrs. Lawona R. Spencer Scholarship

Amount: $5,000
Branch: Air Force

The Colonel Loren J. and Mrs. Lawona R. Spencer Scholarship is designed for members of the U.S. Air Force who are pursuing a graduate degree in management and administration. Numerous types of Air Force personnel may qualify: officers, enlisted members, Air Force civilians, full-time members of the National Guard or full-time Reservists. The application requirements include a letter of recommendation from your Air Force supervisor or commander, a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and a 600-word essay.

Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $1,000
Branch: Air Force

The Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship is designed for members of the U.S. Air Force who are pursuing a master’s degree in a non-technical field. You may qualify if you’re on active duty, in the Air National Guard or a full-time member of the Air Force Reserve (either as an officer or an enlisted member). The application requirements include a letter of recommendation from your Air Force supervisor or commander, a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and a 600-word essay.

Coast Guard Foundation Scholarships

Amount: $1,000 – $5,000
Branch: Coast Guard

The Coast Guard Foundation offers multiple scholarships for enlisted Coast Guard members, spouses of Coast Guard members and children of Coast Guard members (including the Fallen Heroes Scholarship, for those whose parents died in the line of duty). In addition, there is also a scholarship available to members of the Coast Guard Reserve and their families. Each scholarship has slightly different eligibility requirements — review your preferred scholarship’s page for details on applying.

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

Amount: $6,000 to $40,000 over four years ($1,500 to $10,000 per year)
Branch: Marine Corps

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to students pursuing bachelor’s or associate degrees, as well as career and technical education certificate programs. The application requires a photo, school transcript and your family’s 2019 tax return, as well as documentation of your parent’s military service. To qualify for an award from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, you:

  • Must be a child of a Marine or a Navy Corpsman, or a chaplain or religious programs specialist attached to a Marine unit.
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on an unweighted 4.0 scale.
  • Your family must have an adjusted gross income of less than $103,000.

Women’s Overseas Service League scholarships

Amount: $500 to $1,000 per year, on average
Branch: Various

The Women’s Overseas Service League scholarships are awarded to female students who have completed at least one semester of college with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and you must be pursuing a professional or technical degree program. The application requires a resume, three reference letters and a 250-word essay about your career goals, including “evidence of your commitment to a career in the military or other public service occupation.”

Scholarships for veterans and dependents

Note that veterans may also qualify for some of the scholarships listed under “Active duty” above.

AMVETS National Service Foundation Scholarships

Amount: Up to $4,000 over four years ($1,000 per year)

American Veterans (AMVETS) is a veterans service organization that offers multiple military scholarships through its National Service Foundation scholarship program. The scholarships are for honorable veterans and military members who are on active duty, in the National Guard or in the Reserves, and the spouses, children and grandchildren of those veterans or current military members. These scholarships can be used to pay for undergraduate courses. To apply you must complete the FAFSA, provide SAT or ACT scores, and write a 350- to 500-word essay, among other requirements.

AMVETS Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship

Amount: Up to $12,000 across four years ($3,000 per year)

American Veterans (AMVETS) also offers two memorial scholarships, including the Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship. Like the National Service Foundation Scholarships, this scholarship is for undergraduate coursework. To apply you must complete the FAFSA, provide SAT or ACT scores, and write a 350- to 500-word essay, among other requirements.

American Legion Legacy Scholarship

Amount: Up to $20,000

The American Legion Legacy Scholarship is designed for children of U.S. military members who died while on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as children of post-9/11 veterans have a combined disability rating of 50% or above, as assigned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The scholarships are need-based and can be used for undergraduate- or graduate-level coursework. The application requires that you submit the FAFSA, as well as information about your college financial aid package and any other government veterans benefits you’re awarded.

Purple Heart Scholarship

Amount: $1,500 to $5,000

The Purple Heart Scholarship Program awards scholarships to Purple Heart recipients, as well as their spouses, children and grandchildren. To be eligible, the Purple Heart recipient must be a member of The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). The scholarship can be used to pay for full-time enrollment at an accredited undergraduate program or trade school.

Coast Guard Exchange Scholarship Program

Amount: $2,000

The Coast Guard Exchange Scholarship Program is for dependent children of Coast Guard members (including active duty, reserve, retired, current Coast Guard auxiliarists and current civilian employees) who are pursuing an undergraduate degree. Students must be in their final year of high school to apply. The application requirements include a high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, a one-page essay and two letters of recommendation.

Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program

This award is listed above under “Active duty scholarships” and also includes children of women serving in the Army.

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

This award is listed above under “Active duty scholarships” and also includes children of Marines.

Coast Guard Foundation Scholarships

This award is listed above under “Active duty scholarships” and also includes children of Coast Guard members.

ROTC scholarships

Finally, here are some scholarship awards for Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets.

Army ROTC scholarships

Amount: Full tuition, plus a stipend for living expenses

There are multiple Army ROTC scholarships for graduating high school students who are interested in enrolling in Army ROTC, as well as current college students and enlisted soldiers. These full-tuition, merit-based scholarships also provide $420 a month for living expenses and allowances for books and fees. The application process and commitment requirements vary depending on whether you’re an incoming college freshman, already enrolled in college or are already enlisted.

AFCEA Educational Foundation ROTC scholarships

Amount: $2,000 to $3,000

AFCEA is an international non-profit organization that connects militaries, governments and industry communities. The AFCEA Educational Foundation ROTC scholarships are designed for sophomores and juniors who are enrolled in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps or Air Force ROTC. To be eligible, you must be pursuing a major in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field that supports the mission of the AFCEA Education Foundation such as biometrics, computer engineering, cybersecurity or robotics technology.

FAQ on military scholarships

Does the military pay for college? In many cases, yes. The GI Bill offers education benefits to help veterans and their families pay for an undergraduate or graduate degree, or a career training program. You can get up to 36 months of benefits, which help cover expenses including tuition, books and housing.

How can you check if you qualify for the GI Bill? The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ website has information about GI Bill eligibility requirements. There are different versions of the GI Bill, including the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The department’s GI Bill Comparison Tool can help you weigh your options.

Should veterans report educational benefits as income on FAFSA? No. Veteran education benefits are considered a resource and shouldn’t be reported on the FAFSA. However, you will need to report non-education veterans benefits, such as disability benefits and VA educational work-study allowances.

Are college grants for veterans available? Yes. Options may include the federal Pell Grant and the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, which is for students whose parents died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11. There are also military grants and scholarships available from private organizations, state governments, military branches and colleges.

Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

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1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
 
This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a first year graduate student borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.10% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $141.66 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $16,699.21. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 4/22/2021. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.


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3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.  If you choose to complete an application, we will conduct a hard credit pull, which may affect your credit score. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.


4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Rates include 0.25% Auto Pay Discount
     
  2. Explanation of Rates “With Autopay” (APD)
    Rates shown include 0.25% APR discount when client agrees to make monthly principal and interest payments by automatic electronic payment. Use of autopay is not required to receive an Earnest loan.

    Available Terms
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    In school deferred payment is not available in AL, AZ, CA, FL, MA, MD, MI, ND, NY, PA, and WA).


5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

sofiDisclosures

UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 11.26% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 1.22% to 11.66% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.13% to 11.37% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.12% to 11.73% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.30% to 11.52% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.29% to 11.89% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.60% to 10.76% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.22% to 11.16% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin and your APR may increase after origination if the LIBOR increases. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 4/1/2021. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Lending Corp., licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)..


6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.76% – 7.14% (2.76% – 7.14% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 3.01% – 7.50% (3.01% – 7.50% APR).

Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.19% – 6.73% (2.19% – 6.73% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 2.89% – 7.09% (2.89%-7.09% APR).

Business/Law Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.36% – 9.54% (1.36% – 8.82% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.13% – 9.84% (4.13% – 9.12% APR).

Medical/Dental Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.36% – 8.34% (1.36% – 8.04% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.03% – 8.64% (4.03% – 8.34% APR).

Parent Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 2.10% – 7.41% (2.10%-7.41% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.69% – 7.83% (4.69% – 7.83% APR).

Bar Study Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 4.45% – 9.60% (4.45% – 9.53% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 7.39% – 12.94% (7.38% – 12.81% APR).

Medical Residency Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.55% – 7.05% (3.55% – 6.77% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.99% – 10.49% (6.97% – 10.07% APR).

Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable Rates are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of March 1, 2021, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.11%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable rate is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. 

Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.

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Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer.  Borrowers should carefully review federal benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision on our website including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.

Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/Promissory Note, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank participating school.

Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.

Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.


7 Important Disclosures for Discover.

Discover Disclosures

  1. Aggregate loan limits apply.
  2. Get a cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan when you earn at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) in any academic period covered by the loan. Limitations Apply. Visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for terms and conditions.
  3. Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans, and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest and highest interest rates offered on Discover student loans, including undergraduate, graduate, health professions, law and MBA Loans. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 0.250% as of April 1, 2021. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Your APR will be determined after you apply. Learn more about Discover Student Loans interest rates at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Rates.
  4. Lowest APRs shown for Discover Private Consolidation Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants who are approved and choose a shorter repayment term, and include a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable margin percentage. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 0.250% as of April 1, 2021. Discover Student Loans may adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Your APR will be determined after you apply. Visit Discover.com/student-loans/consolidation.html for more information, including up-to-date interest rates and APRs.
Lowest APRs shown for Discover Student Loans are available for the most creditworthy applicants for undergraduate loans, and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.