Are there any scholarships for military dependents?

Are there any scholarships for military dependents?

When it comes to pursuing higher education, the cost can often be a significant barrier for many students. This is especially true for military dependents, who may face unique challenges and financial constraints due to their family’s military service. However, there are scholarships available specifically for military dependents that can help alleviate the financial burden and make higher education more accessible. In this article, we will explore the various scholarships available for military dependents, their eligibility criteria, and how to apply for them.

1. Military Dependent Scholarships Overview

Before diving into the specific scholarships, it’s important to understand the general landscape of scholarships available for military dependents. These scholarships are typically offered by organizations, foundations, and educational institutions that recognize the sacrifices made by military families and aim to support their educational aspirations. They can cover a wide range of educational expenses, including tuition, books, fees, and even living expenses.

2. Scholarships for Military Dependents

There are several scholarships available exclusively for military dependents. Here are some notable examples:

  • The Fisher House Foundation Scholarships: The Fisher House Foundation offers scholarships for military dependents through their Scholarships for Military Children Program. These scholarships are awarded based on academic achievements, community involvement, and financial need. Each year, they award hundreds of scholarships worth $2,000 each.
  • The National Military Family Association Scholarships: The National Military Family Association (NMFA) provides scholarships for military dependents through their Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship Program and the NMFA Military Children Scholarship Program. These scholarships are open to both spouses and children of active-duty, reserve, and retired service members. The NMFA awards scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
  • The ThanksUSA Scholarships: ThanksUSA is a non-profit organization that offers scholarships to military dependents. Their scholarships are open to children and spouses of military personnel, including active-duty, reserve, and veterans. ThanksUSA awards scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $5,000.
  • The Pat Tillman Foundation Scholarships: The Pat Tillman Foundation offers scholarships to military dependents through their Tillman Scholars program. These scholarships are highly competitive and are awarded to individuals who demonstrate leadership potential and a commitment to service. The scholarship covers educational expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and living expenses.

3. Eligibility Criteria

While the specific eligibility criteria may vary for each scholarship, there are some common requirements for military dependents to be considered for these scholarships:

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  • Must be a dependent of an active-duty, reserve, or retired service member
  • Must be a high school graduate or have a GED
  • Must be enrolled or planning to enroll in an accredited college, university, or vocational school
  • Must meet any additional requirements specified by the scholarship provider

It’s important to carefully review the eligibility criteria for each scholarship before applying to ensure that you meet all the requirements.

4. How to Apply for military  scholarships

Applying for scholarships for military dependents typically involves the following steps:

  1. Research and identify scholarships that you are eligible for
  2. Gather all the necessary documents, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and proof of military dependency
  3. Complete the scholarship application form, ensuring that you provide accurate and detailed information
  4. Write a compelling personal statement or essay that highlights your achievements, goals, and why you deserve the scholarship
  5. Submit your application before the deadline

It’s crucial to pay attention to the application deadlines and submit your application well in advance to avoid any last-minute issues.

5. Additional Resources

In addition to the scholarships mentioned above, there are several other resources available for military dependents seeking financial assistance for education:

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  • Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA): DoDEA provides information and resources for military dependents, including scholarships, grants, and other financial aid opportunities.
  • Service-Specific Scholarships: Each branch of the military may offer its own scholarships for military dependents. For example, the Army Emergency Relief Scholarships and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Scholarships are available for eligible dependents.
  • State-Specific Scholarships: Some states offer scholarships specifically for military dependents. These scholarships may have residency requirements, so it’s important to check with the respective state’s education department.


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While the cost of higher education can be daunting, scholarships for military dependents provide a valuable opportunity to pursue educational goals without the burden of excessive financial strain. Organizations and foundations recognize the sacrifices made by military families and are committed to supporting their educational aspirations. By researching and applying for these scholarships, military dependents can access the financial assistance they need to achieve their academic dreams. Remember to carefully review the eligibility criteria, gather all necessary documents, and submit your applications on time. With determination and perseverance, military dependents can overcome financial barriers and unlock the doors to a brighter future.

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