August 9, 2020
military scholarships

Military Scholarships for Service Members, Veterans and Families


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
Scholarships for veterans and dependents
ROTC scholarships
FAQ on military scholarships

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
Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program
Pat Tillman Foundation Tillman Scholar program
Navy SEAL Foundation scholarships
Colonel Loren J. and Mrs. Lawona R. Spencer Scholarship
Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship
Coast Guard Foundation Scholarships
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Women’s Overseas Service League scholarships

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
AMVETS Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship
American Legion Legacy Scholarship
Purple Heart Scholarship
Coast Guard Exchange Scholarship Program
Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Coast Guard Foundation Scholarships

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
AFCEA Educational Foundation ROTC scholarships

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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2 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 7/1/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Lowest advertised rates require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

3 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Earnest Disclosures
Rates include 0.25% Auto Pay Discount
 
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
For Cosigned loans – 5, 7, 10, 12, 15 years. 
Primary Only – 10, 12, 15 years

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

.br-none brdisplay:none4 Important Disclosures for Discover.
Discover Disclosures
Students who get at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) qualify for a one-time cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan. Reward redemption period is limited. Please visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for any applicable reward terms and conditions.
View Auto Reward Debit Reward Terms and Conditions at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/AutoDebitReward.
Aggregate loan limits apply.
Lowest APRs shown are available for the most creditworthy applicants and include an interest-only repayment discount and Auto Debit Reward. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest and highest interest rates offered on Discover student loans, including undergraduate and graduate 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 0.375% as of July 1, 2020. 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. Our lowest APR is only available to customers with the best credit and other factors. Your APR will be determined after you apply. It will be based on your credit history, which repayment option you choose and other factors, including your cosigner’s credit history (if applicable). Learn more about Discover Student Loans interest rates.
Get a variable interest rate from 2.37% APR to 6.14% APR (3-Month LIBOR + 2.00% to 3-Month LIBOR + 5.77%) for either a 10-year or 20-year repayment term. Or lock in a fixed interest rate from 3.99% APR to 7.49% APR for a 10-year repayment term or from 4.24% APR to 7.74% APR for a 20-year repayment term. 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. The margin is based on your credit evaluation at the time of application and does not change. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 0.375% as of July 1, 2020. 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.

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.
5 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Ascent Disclosures

Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.

Competitive variable rates calculated monthly at the time of loan approval based on a margin plus the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a percent. The current LIBOR is 0.667%, which may adjust monthly. Your interest rate may increase or decrease, based on LIBOR monthly changes. Rates are effective as of 07/07/2020 and reflect an Automatic Payment Discount. Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. (See Automatic Payment Discount Terms & Conditions.)

Undergraduate Loans: Variable rate loans have an Annual Percentage (APR) range between 2.73% – 13.01%. Fixed rate loans have an APR range between 3.62% – 14.50% based on your credit worthiness and your selected program. Rates reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25% (for Credit-Based Loans) on the lowest offered rate and a 2.00% discount on the highest offered rate (See Undergraduate Loan repayment examples.)

Graduate Loans: Loans have an APR range between 4.11% and 10.78% based on your credit worthiness and your selected program. Rates reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25%. (See Graduate Loan repayment examples.)

Payments may be deferred. Subject to lender discretion, forbearance and/or deferment options may be available for borrowers who are encountering financial distress.
Making interest only or partial interest payments while in school will not reduce the principal balance of the loan. There are three (3) flexible in-school repayment options that include fully deferred, interest only and $25 minimum repayment. (See Undergraduate Loan repayment examples.)
Flexible repayment plans may be offered up to a fifteen (15) year repayment term for a variable rate loan and ten (10) year repayment term for a fixed rate loan. Students must be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school. Minimum loan amount is $2,000.
Interest rate reduction of 0.25% for enrollment in automatic debit applies only when the borrower and/or cosigner signs up for automatic payments and the regularly scheduled, current amount due (including full, flat, or interest only payments, as applicable) is successfully deducted from the designated bank account each month. Interest rate reduction(s) will not apply during periods when no payment is due, including periods of In-School, Deferment, Grace or Forbearance. If you have two (2) returned payments for Nonsufficient Funds, we may cancel your automatic debit enrollment and you will lose the 0.25% interest rate reduction. You will then need to re-qualify and re-enroll in automatic debit payments to receive the 0.25% interest rate reduction.
All applicants (individual and cosigner) are required to complete a brief online financial literacy course as part of the application process to be eligible for funding.
Eligibility, loan amount and other loan terms are dependent on several factors, which may include: loan product, other financial aid, creditworthiness, school, program, graduation date, major, cost of attendance and other factors. Aggregate loan limits may apply. The cost of attendance is determined and certified by the educational institution.
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1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions. Click here for details. In order to be eligible for the 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward, borrower must meet the following criteria after graduation:

The student borrower has graduated from the degree program that the loan was used to fund.
The student borrower may change majors and/or transfer to a different school, but must obtain the same level of degree (e.g. – undergraduate or graduate)
The graduation date is more than 90 days and less than five (5) years after the date of the loan’s first disbursement.
Any loan that the student has borrowed under the Ascent loan is not more than 30-days delinquent or in a default status as of the graduation date and until any Graduation Reward is paid.

Students can apply to release their cosigner and continue with the loan in only their name after making the first 24 consecutive regularly scheduled full principal and interest payments on-time and meeting the other eligibility criteria to qualify for the loan without a cosigner.

* Application times vary depending on the applicant’s ability to supply the necessary information for submission.

6 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restrictions. Loans are offered through CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS #1175900).

 Rates are as of July 1, 2019 and include auto-pay discount. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

1.25% – 9.44%*,1 Undergraduate and Graduate

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