Time is Running Out to Apply for Scholarships

College graduates at graduation ceremony.

Did you know that military members, their spouses, and children are eligible for some very exclusive scholarship programs? There are several scholarships available exclusively for military families and offered by specific service branches or other organizations.

The closing dates and requirements vary be service or organization, but they won't be available for long. Now is the time to apply so the money will be available for school next year.

Tillman Military Scholarship for Active Duty, Veterans, and Spouses

The Pat Tillman Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of the annual application process for the Tillman Scholars program for eligible active-duty service members, veterans, and military spouses. The application to join the 2017 Class of Tillman Scholars will remain open until Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 11:59pm PT. For specific details on eligibility and to apply online, please visit: http://pattillmanfoundation.org/apply-to-be-a-scholar/

"The Tillman Scholars – now over 450 strong – are a dynamic community of emerging leaders who want to make a significant impact at home and abroad," said Marie Tillman, President and Co-Founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation. "As we grow the community, we're looking for applicants who demonstrate extraordinary academic and leadership potential, a track record of perseverance, and a deep desire to impact change across medicine, law, business, policy, technology, education and the arts."

The selection process for the Tillman Scholars program is highly competitive with up to 60 Tillman Scholars chosen annually. For the current selection cycle, applicants will receive notification of selection results in June of 2017. Scholarships will be granted for the 2017-2018 academic year and are eligible for renewal.

In 2002, Pat Tillman proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country. Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat's death in April 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Created to honor Pat's legacy of leadership and service, the Pat Tillman Foundation invests in military veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships–building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. 

Coast Guard Foundation Scholarships and Grants for Children and Spouses

Scholarship open season for unmarried dependent children of enlisted men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard begins on March 1, 2017 and ends on April 15, 2017.

The Coast Guard Foundation's 2017 scholarship is for children of enlisted, active duty reserve and retired U.S. Coast Guard men and women.

In 2016, the Foundation provided more than $400,000 in scholarships to ease the financial burden of college for Coast Guard families, and ensure Coast Guard kids can afford to reach their higher education dreams.

Support for education is a cornerstone of the Coast Guard Foundation's commitment to the men and women of the United States Coast Guard and their families.


The Foundation's Lisa Cook Reed Spouse Education Grants are intended to assist non-military spouses of enlisted Coast Guard members in ranks E3 - E6 pursuing professional development courses, licensing courses, certificates, certifications, and college and graduate level degrees from a nationally or regionally accredited institution.

Applications are accepted from January 1, 2017, and are first come, first served.

See the Coast Guard Foundation's website for details.

Scholarships for Military Children Program

The deadline to apply for one of the 2016 Scholarships for Military Children, each worth $2,000, is Feb. 12. Applications, including the required essay, must be received at a military commissary by the close of business that day. They should be hand-delivered, but if that is not convenient, they can be sent to a commissary via the U.S. Postal Service or FEDEX/UPS. They cannot be faxed or emailed. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants. Applications are available in commissaries worldwide and online at the Scholarship Programs of the Fisher House Foundation website at http://www.militaryscholar.org. If students have questions about the scholarship program application, they should call Scholarship Managers at 856-616-9311.

Commissaries are an integral part of the quality of life offered to service members and their families. The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created in recognition of the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. It is the intent of the program that a scholarship funded through contributions be awarded annually for each commissary operated by the Defense Commissary Agency worldwide.

The Scholarships for Military Children Program is primarily funded through the generosity of manufacturers and suppliers whose products are sold at military commissaries, worldwide. The Fisher House Foundation is honored to be involved with the Scholarships for Military Children Program. Fisher House Foundation provides a "Home Away from Home" near military medical centers for families experiencing a personal medical crisis and is one of the premiere quality of life organizations supporting military families. The Foundation volunteered to underwrite the administration of this program.


Heroes' Legacy Scholarship for Children

The 2017 program is open! Submit your application to your commissary no later than March 17, 2017.

The "Heroes' Legacy Scholarships" program honors not only those who have fallen in battle, but all who have died or have become disabled through their active military service since September 11, 2001. The program is open to their dependent unmarried children under age 23. A disability is defined as one that results in the service member being eligible for, and receiving, Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) or a permanent and total disability compensation rating of 100%.

The scholarship grants for this special program are underwritten by the author's after tax proceeds from the book "Of Thee I Sing. A Letter to My Daughters" written by President Barack Obama, as well as corporate sponsorships and private donations. The amount to be awarded each year depends on the amount of royalties, sponsorships and other donations designated for this program.

Who Can Apply for a Scholarship

Dependent unmarried children under age 23 of active duty personnel, Reserve/Guard and retired military members, or survivors of service members who died while on active duty may apply for a Heroes' Legacy Scholarship if they meet one of the following additional criteria:

  • One of the parents died while serving on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 in any branch or component of the U. S. Armed Forces OR
  • One of the parents, while serving on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, became disabled - meaning that the parent qualified for receipt of Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) OR
  • One of the parents, who was on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, received a permanent and total compensation rating of 100% from the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more information please visit the militaryscholar.org website.

Army Emergency Relief Scholarships for Spouses and Children

Army Emergency Relief, or AER, has announced the opening of its scholarship application period. Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2017.  Visit the Army Emergency Relief website for details.

AER supports both the Spouse Scholarship Program, as well as the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Program for dependent children. Scholarship specifics and applications are available on AER's website.  The Spouse Scholarship can be used for full- or part-time students while the Ursano Scholarship is only for full-time students.

Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Grants & Loans for Spouses and Children

The Society's Education Assistance Program offers interest-free loans and grants for undergraduate/post-secondary education at an accredited 2- or 4-year education, technical or vocational institution in the United States.  This financial assistance is available for children of active duty, retired or deceased Sailors and Marines; and for spouses of active duty and retired Sailors and Marines.

NMCRS Education Assistance Program offers interest free loans and grants ranging from $500 to $3,000 per academic year. Loans must be repaid by allotment, the scholarships require a 2.0 or better GPA on a 4.0 grade scale and the recipient must demonstrate financial need.

The deadline for applications is May 1, 2017.

See the NMCRS website for details.

Air Force Aid Society Grants for Spouses and Children

Since its inception in 1942, the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) has been committed to helping Air Force members and their families realize their academic goals. The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant program, the centerpiece of the Society's education initiatives, has been overwhelmingly popular.

This grant program is competitive in its need-based selection criteria, uniquely tailored to recognize the proper weighing of family income and education cost factors.  The amount awarded is dependent on each student's particular level of need, with the highest levels of assistance going to the students who show the greatest need. Grants ranging from $500 to $4,000 are awarded to selected sons and daughters of Active Duty, Title 10 AGR/Reserve, Title 32 AGR performing full-time active duty, Retired, Retired Reserve and deceased Air Force members; spouses of Active Duty members and Title 10 AGR/Reservists; and surviving spouses of deceased personnel for their full-time undergraduate studies. A 2.0 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale is required to maintain the grant.

Applications for the grant program must be received by March 10, 2017.

Every year highly qualified grant recipients also qualify for a merit scholarship, no further application is necessary.

See the Air Force Aid Society's page for details.

Other Scholarships

For more information on scholarship programs, visit our Scholarship Finder.

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