8 Top Scholarships For Children Of Veterans
With the cost of college at a historic high, incoming students should look for every possible opportunity to save money. If one or both of your parents have served in the military, you may consider applying to financial aid programs designed to help the children of veterans.
1. The Army Scholarship Foundation
Scholarships from the Army Scholarship Foundation average $1,000 and are awarded on an annual basis. Awards are available for undergraduate students attending an accredited college.
To be eligible for this award, students must have a parent who is an active or veteran army servicemember. They must have at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA), not already have a bachelor’s degree and be younger than 24 when the application deadline occurs.
2. Children of Coast Guard
Children who have an active, reserve or retired Coast Guard parent are eligible for a scholarship through the Coast Guard Foundation. These scholarships range from $2,000 to $5,000. Over 150 scholarships were awarded in 2021.
Children with a parent who died during Coast Guard duty are eligible for a Fallen Heroes Scholarship, which covers 100% of the cost of attendance.
3. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides scholarships to children with a parent in the Marine Corps. There are two types of awards: the Children of the Fallen Scholarship and the Children of the Wounded. The Children of the Fallen Scholarship pays out $7,500 per year for four years, and the Children of the Wounded pays between $1,500 and $10,000 per year for four years.
To be eligible for either scholarship, the child must have a 2.0 GPA and must attend one of the schools listed on the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator website. The family must also have an adjusted gross income of $112,000 or less for the 2021 tax year.
4. Fisher House Foundation
The Fisher House Foundation provides 500 scholarships annually to children of service members, each worth $2,000. To qualify, students must enroll full-time in an undergraduate program and have a 3.0 high school GPA or a 2.5 college GPA.
5. Wings Over America
Children of Navy personnel from the aviation division are eligible for the Wings Over America scholarship. The parent must have worked in that division for at least eight years and only undergraduate students are eligible. The exact scholarship amount varies, but the average is $5,000.
Students can reapply for the scholarship in multiple years, but renewal is not guaranteed. Funds can only be used to cover tuition.
6. Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society sponsors grants and interest-free loans for students with a Navy or Marine Corps parent.
To qualify, students must be under age 23, have demonstrated financial need, maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher and enroll full-time at an accredited institution. Awards typically range from $500 to $3,000 each.
7. Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship
The American Legion Auxiliary provides scholarships to students whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents served in the U.S. armed forces during the following times:
- Between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918
- Any time after December 7, 1941
Each scholarship is worth $5,000, and 15 students are chosen annually. Only undergraduate students are eligible for this scholarship; recipients can use the funds for tuition, fees, books and room and board.
8. Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Association Scholarship
The Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Association Scholarship is awarded to children and other relatives of army servicewomen. To qualify for this scholarship, you must have a 3.5 high school GPA, plan to attend college full-time and enroll in an accredited university.
Two winners will be selected for this scholarship, and each will receive $1,500.
Other Ways to Pay for School
Beyond special scholarships, students with servicemember parents can use the following options to save on tuition.
Children with a parent who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11 and who are also eligible for the Pell Grant will receive the maximum annual Pell Grant amount, which is $6,895 for 2022. Children who are not eligible for the Pell Grant can instead qualify for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, which offers a similar award amount as the Pell Grant. You must have been under the age of 24 or enrolled in college at the time of your parent’s death to be eligible.
To qualify for these grants, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form includes information about your and your parents’ finances, including income and assets. Filling out the FAFSA will also make you eligible for federal student loans, work-study and more.
Post-9/11 G.I. Bill
If your parent is still in the military and has access to educational benefits under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, they can transfer those benefits to you. There are several requirements they must fulfill to qualify; review them here.
If a parent died while on active duty or because of a service-related disability, you may also be eligible for survivor benefits. A parent who has a total or permanent disability may also transfer G.I. Bill benefits to a child.
Most states provide their own grants for children of veterans, but the exact requirements vary by location. Note that many states only offer these benefits to residents, so you may have to attend a school in the state you live in to qualify. To find out what your state offers, visit its higher education agency website.
Students should continue searching for scholarships beyond those for children of veterans or servicemembers. To find more potential scholarships, you can use tools like:
When possible, sign up for notification emails on these sites so you’ll hear about scholarship opportunities that match your background. Search for scholarships that match your specific skills or demographic criteria. For example, if you’re the first person in your family to attend college, look for scholarships for first-generation students.
Also, ask your high school advisor if they know about any scholarships you may qualify for. When you are accepted into a college, contact its financial aid department and ask how to maximize your scholarship opportunities.