Guide to Veteran and Dependent Scholarships by State

This guide provides a list of veteran and dependent scholarships by state as well as reasons to apply, how to find scholarships, and application tips.

October 19, 2021

Guide to Veteran and Dependent Scholarships by State

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College students face large tuition bills. The typical learner attending an in-state public school pays just under $10,000 annually in tuition. Degree-seekers who enroll in a private college or university pay approximately $35,000 annually.

Earning a degree involves expenses in addition to tuition. Other college costs, such as room and board, books and supplies, and transportation make a degree more expensive than what many students can afford. These learners can turn to private scholarship opportunities to help make their education more affordable.

Although military service members, veterans, and their dependents benefit from the GI Bill®, they can still explore additional financial aid opportunities. States, military branches, schools, and organizations offer scholarships for veterans and their dependents. The following sections outline these financial aid opportunities.

Why Apply for Military Scholarships?

Scholarships for veterans help students earn a degree and return to civilian life. A degree confers new skills and may qualify graduates for various jobs. Many organizations extend the same benefits to veterans' spouses and children, especially those whose veteran spouse or parent died in combat.

Service members become eligible for GI Bill benefits after 90 days of active service. Benefits increase until a service member attains three years of active service. At that point, the GI Bill covers in-state tuition at the most expensive in-state public college or university. The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a database of schools accepting GI Bill benefits.

The GI Bill's primary limitation is that its benefits only cover three academic years, so learners seeking a four-year bachelor's degree may need to find additional funding sources for their fourth year.

Military branches and private organizations sponsor scholarships for veterans, their spouses, and children. Grandchildren enrolled in an approved postsecondary program may qualify in limited circumstances. These awards detail eligibility criteria on their website, which may include possessing a Uniformed Services ID Card.

Learners interested in a military branch scholarship can start the application process by speaking with a commanding officer. These awards may impose rigorous requirements for renewal.

Scholarships for veterans appeal to learners due to their relatively small applicant pool. Fewer applicants means a greater chance of receiving funding. However, military service does not guarantee a scholarship. Learners should strive to submit the best application possible.

Like traditional scholarships, scholarships for veterans often require applicants to submit official transcripts, an essay, and recommendation letters from a work supervisor or commanding officer. Other materials may include proof of military enlistment.

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Veteran and Dependent Scholarships by State

Each state offers unique scholarships for veterans. The following list outlines several state-specific awards. College students can learn more about state scholarships by contacting their school's financial aid advisors. State government websites also publish information regarding financial aid opportunities.

Veteran and Dependent Scholarships by State
Scholarship Amount Deadline

Alabama GI Dependent's Scholarship

Varies Ongoing

Alaska Sea Service Scholarship

$1,000 March 1

Military Active Duty & Reservist Commitment Scholarship-Arizona State University

Varies Ongoing

Military Dependents Scholarship Program (MDS) - Arkansas

Varies July 1

ThanksUSA Scholarship Program - California

Varies N/A

College Fee Waiver - California

Waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees N/A

University of Colorado Office of Veterans Services Exhausted Benefits Scholarships

$2,000 July 1

University of Colorado Office of Veterans Services Harvey Veteran Scholarship

$1,000 July 1

Tuition Waivers - Connecticut

Varies N/A

Delvets Post 2 Scholarship - Delaware

$1,000 March

Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans - Florida

Varies April 1

Georgia HERO Scholarship Program

$2,000 N/A

USS Bowfin Memorial Scholarship - Hawaii

Varies Jan. 31

Branstad/Reynolds Scholarship Fund

Dec. 31 Varies

Idaho Veterans Support Fund

Varies N/A

MIA/POW Scholarship - Illinois

Full tuition N/A

Tuition and Fee Exemption - Indiana

Varies N/A

Kansas Military Service Scholarship

Varies May 1

Tuition Waiver Program - Kentucky

Varies N/A

Louisiana Title 29 Dependents' Educational Assistance

Varies N/A

Veterans Dependents Educational Benefits - Maine

100% tuition waiver N/A

Edward T. Conroy Memorial Scholarship - Maryland

Varies Jul. 15

Veterans United Foundation Scholarship

Varies N/A

Michigan National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program

Varies N/A

Veteran Education Assistance - Minnesota

$750 N/A

Surviving Spouse and Dependent Education Assistance - Minnesota

$750 per fiscal year N/A

Captain Kermit O. Evans, Sr. Annual Scholarship-Mississippi State University

Varies N/A

Wartime Veteran's Survivors Grant Program

Varies N/A

Montana War Orphan Tuition Waiver

Varies N/A

Waiver of Tuition Program

100% of tuition N/A

New Jersey Enlisted Scholarships

Varies June

Wartime Veteran Scholarship Award - New Mexico

Varies N/A

Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship - New York

Varies Jun. 30

North Carolina Scholarship for Children of Wartime Veterans

Varies Feb. 14

Allied Van Lines Scholarship

$1,000 Dec. 15

Ohio War Orphan & Severely Disabled Veterans' Children Scholarship

Varies July 1

Survivors' and Dependents' Education Assistance Program - Oregon

Varies N/A

Educational Gratuity Program - Pennsylvania

$500 N/A

RI National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program

Varies N/A

Free Tuition for Veterans/SDCL 13-55-2 to 13-55-5

Varies N/A

Vermont National Guard Tuition Benefit Program

Varies N/A

Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program

Varies N/A

Where to Find Additional Veteran and Dependent Scholarships

College students can begin their scholarship search by determining whether their service branch offers scholarship opportunities. Other scholarship sources include various institutions and nonprofit organizations, such as the American Legion. The following section details several awards aimed at helping veterans and their dependents earn a degree.

National Guard

National Guard service members may qualify for one of three exclusive scholarship opportunities. Universal requirements include participation in a Simultaneous Membership Program and enrolling as a full-time student.

National Guard Scholarships
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Dedicated Army National Guard (DEDNG) Scholarship

$10,000 annually plus a textbook and housing stipend National Guard members who meet universal requirements can apply for the DEDNG Scholarship. The scholarship renews for up to four years but does not combine with some GI Bill benefits.

Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty Scholarship

$10,000 annually plus a textbook and housing stipend National Guard members in their junior year of college can apply to the GRFD Scholarship. The scholarship renews as long as learners maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA. Learners eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill receive additional financial assistance.

AFBA NGAUS Active Life Member Scholarship

$5,000 The National Guard awards this scholarship to veterans and their dependents with NGAUS membership. Full-time undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers qualify for the award. Interested students must apply between March 1 - June 1.

Schools of Interest

Many top colleges and universities award scholarships for veterans. Scholarship opportunities and requirements vary by school. Students should contact a financial aid advisor to learn more and apply.

Scholarships
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Texas A&M University - Anna and S. Ray Huffiness '74 Military Appreciation Scholarship

Varies This scholarship opportunity awards funding to TAMU students with a parent who was killed in action or became 100% disabled due to combat injuries. Interested students can learn more by contacting the university's Veteran Services Office.

University of Maryland, University College - Veterans Assistance Fund

Up to $3,000 University of Maryland students with an honorable discharge from any military branch can apply to this award. Candidates need at least nine undergraduate credits and a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also submit the FAFSA.

American Legion

A nonprofit organization, the American Legion advocates for the nation's millions of veterans and played an essential role in the GI Bill's passage in 1944. The organization awards scholarships for veterans and their dependents.

Scholarships for Veterans and Their Dependents
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Legacy Scholarship

Up to $20,000 College students may qualify for this award if at least one parent died in combat or became 50% disabled during their service since September 11, 2001. Scholarship recipients can use the award to pay for an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Samsung Scholarship

$1,250-$10,000 Electronics manufacturer Samsung partnered with the American Legion to help military dependents in their junior and senior year of high school. Applicants must possess membership in the American Legion Auxiliary and apply by February 1.

Military Branches

Military branches support service members and veterans with targeted scholarship programs. Eligibility may extend to dependents, depending on the scholarship. A commanding officer may offer additional information about these and other awards.

Military and Veteran Scholarships
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program

Up to $15,000 plus a textbook allowance Active-duty enlisted service members can apply to the ASCP to advance their education and career in the U.S. Air Force. Requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA. Graduates receive a commission as an officer.

Chief Petty Officer Scholarship Fund

$2,000-$2,500 The CPOSF awards funding to naval chief petty officers' dependents. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. Application materials include a resume and three recommendation letters.

Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship Program

Varies This need-based scholarship awards funding to military spouses with a minimum 2.0 GPA. The scholarship offers four annual application windows. Applicants must submit the FAFSA.

Nonprofit Organizations

Many nonprofit organizations sponsor scholarships for veterans and scholarships for veterans' dependents. They may limit applicants to individuals who served in combat or those from a specific military branch.

Nonprofit Scholarships for Veterans and Their Dependents
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Air Force Association - Colonel Aaron Burgstein Memorial Scholarship

$1,000 The AFA awards this annual scholarship to children of Air Force service members. Application materials include a 600-word essay, official transcripts, and one recommendation letter. Candidates must apply by April 30.

FRA Education Foundation Scholarship

$5,000 Active-duty service members earning an undergraduate or graduate degree may qualify for this competitive scholarship. Applicants must submit an essay, recommendation letter, personal statement, and resume. Interested students must apply by April 15.

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation - Undergraduate & Associate Degree Scholarship

Varies Marines and their dependents earning an undergraduate degree can apply for this scholarship. Grandchildren may qualify in limited circumstances. Requirements include a minimum 2.0 GPA and an income below $106,000.

How to Get Veteran and Dependent Scholarships

Veterans and dependents applying for military-exclusive scholarships must meet unique requirements, such as possessing proper documentation. However, other application steps resemble those that all scholarship applicants typically complete, such as submitting transcripts and recommendation letters.

In addition to the following recommendations, students can consult their school's financial aid office for more information. The internet also provides degree-seekers with essential scholarship application tips.

Steps to Applying for Scholarships



Prospective and current degree-seekers should start researching scholarships for veterans as soon as possible, as most scholarships use only one annual application deadline. Additionally, some scholarships are offered on a first come, first served basis. Many scholarships for veterans and scholarships for children of veterans require one or more recommendation letters. Scholarships may request letters from a commanding officer or work supervisor. If the scholarship does not specify recommenders, other options for recommenders include a high school or college professor. In addition to proof of military affiliation, typical scholarship application documentation includes academic transcripts and recommendation letters. Some awards also require a work sample, a resume, an essay, and/or a photograph. An essay allows scholarship applicants to introduce themselves to the scholarship committee. Applicants should take care to stick to the essay prompt, as deviating from the assigned topic may make an applicant ineligible. Applicants can ask another person to read their essay and provide feedback before submitting it. Students should pay close attention to scholarship deadlines. Some scholarships need applications in hand by a specific date, while others consider applications with a postmark by the due date.

3 Tips for Getting a Scholarship



Scholarships for veterans may require applicants to submit the DD Form 214. This form certifies a person's retirement or discharge from the armed forces. It also details a veteran's military service record, awards, and other essential information. Veterans can use the form for scholarships and other services, such as obtaining medical care and planning a military funeral. Scholarship applicants who complete community service demonstrate that they possess a passion for improving other people's lives. Options available in most communities include volunteering at a food bank, building homes for people with low incomes, and working at a soup kitchen. Organizations can help prospective volunteers research and sign up for opportunities in their area. Scholarship committees appreciate applicants who follow all instructions. Some scholarship committees disqualify applicants for even simple mistakes, such as leaving part of the application blank. If a scholarship committee requests missing materials, students should reply to them as soon as possible.

Additional Resources for Military Veterans and Their Families

This comprehensive resource outlines how readers can attain scholarships for veterans. The site also features scholarship opportunities aligning with different vocational fields, such as automotive repair, cosmetology, and culinary school. The government allows service members and veterans with at least six years' active-duty experience to transfer GI Bill benefits to their dependents. This guide outlines the process for transferring benefits to a spouse or child. This resource explains how service members and veterans can use their benefits. The resource covers topics like the FAFSA, the Yellow Ribbon Program, and the importance of military transcripts. Other resources include links to exclusive scholarship opportunities. The Forever GI Bill makes using and transferring benefits easier than the law's prior versions. This guide details these changes and how veterans and their families benefit.

Expert Interview

Richard Sorensen, president of Tuition Funding Sources, founded the scholarship database in 1987. Tuition Funding Sources has been helping students find money for college for over 30 years, offering more than 7 million individual scholarships and more than $41 billion in aid.

Q. Why should veterans and their dependents apply for scholarships even if they have military education benefits available to them?

The amount of aid for veterans varies among programs. Each program places some exceptions or limitations on benefits. Veterans should use scholarship funds to pay for any tuition, housing, fees, or books not covered by their benefits. Dependents of veterans may or may not be covered by the benefit programs, making scholarships even more important for them.

Q. Is it possible that scholarships might clash with military education benefits? How can students ensure this does not happen?

Scholarships do not typically clash with military education benefits. Scholarship sponsors want their funds to be used and will make sure their awards are available to veterans or their dependents without any complications or conflicts with their existing military benefit programs.

Q. What tips can you offer veterans concerning searching and applying for scholarships?

The best advice is to apply often and early. Apply for as many scholarships as possible. Many scholarships are available to anyone. Treat the application process like a part-time job, spending a few hours each week searching and applying. Winning a scholarship requires effort and discipline, which should give veterans a head start.

Applying early improves applicants' chances of their application being seen and carefully reviewed by the selection committee. Early applications have a much better chance of creating a positive impression. Most students procrastinate and apply near the deadline, making it difficult for their application to stand out and be seen.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.

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