If you are a military veteran or active duty, you may be eligible for scholarships and grants! Scholarships for veterans can include specific scholarships for military veterans, active duty members of the armed services, and also children and spouses of veterans.
Veterans may also qualify for other benefits from the federal government such as the GI Bill. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about financial aid and scholarships for military veterans.
Jump ahead to:
- How to win veteran scholarships
- Resources for veterans
- Guide to the GI Bill
- Yellow Ribbon Program
- Frequently asked questions
- Explore these other scholarship categories
How to win veteran scholarships
Going back to school isn’t an easy decision, especially when it often comes with a price tag. Fortunately, there are a lot of scholarships out there for veterans, and all you have to do is apply for them. Discussing how your service has empowered you or including a resume detailing the skills you learned can be the key to setting yourself apart. Fighting for your country was the first step, now you have to follow up with fighting for yourself and your education.
Find out more tips for your scholarship application with these resources:
- Writing your scholarship essay
- Avoiding scholarship scams
- Responding to “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” prompts
Resources for veterans
This organization is focused on giving back to the veterans that have served this country. The National Association of American Veterans offer several initiatives, one of them being sponsorship for ACT and SAT preparatory programs. Even going the extra mile to volunteer for societies and organizations like this one can prove to scholarship reviewers that you’re serious about this cause and set you apart from other applicants.
The American Legion is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting veterans and their families through mentorship, advocacy, and support. They offer scholarships and programs, such as the Legion Riders and the Legacy Scholarship, to ensure veterans are taken care of on the homefront.
Getting help from organizations like the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) can take a big load off of your shoulders. DAV offers services and opportunities to veterans young and old to receive benefits and transition into their next phase of life. This organization also hosts job fairs for veterans and free transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. Volunteers are also encouraged, and some of the benefits DAV offers even extend to family members!
The GI Bill helps veterans and active duty service people pay for school. If you have served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify for the educational benefits!
Notably, the GI Bill may cover the cost of public, in-state tuition and fees. The GI Bill rates for private and foreign colleges and universities is capped (this cap changes from year to year). The GI Bill also provides students with money for housing, books, supplies, and even moving expenses if they are moving from a rural part of the country.
You can learn more about the GI Bill through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon Program is another financial aid program that the Department of Veterans Affairs runs. This program helps veterans pay for certain types of education that the Post-9/11 GI Bill that we discussed above does not cover. This includes out-of-state higher education, private school, or graduate school tuition. Students must ensure that their college or university participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Check whether you are eligible to apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program, and use this tool to see which institutions are Yellow Ribbon partners.
Frequently asked questions about scholarships for veterans
Are there grants for veterans applying for college?
Yes, students who are veterans are eligible for other types of financial aid! This aid can include grants that don’t need to be repaid, like Pell Grants and Federal SEOG Grants, as well as work study, and federal student loans.
To qualify for need-based grants and other financial aid there are two main applications that veterans should know about: the FAFSA and the CSS Profile.
The FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an application required to qualify for federal need-based financial aid. The CSS Profile is another application that some colleges may require to award institutional financial aid.
Be sure to check-in with your college to see which financial aid applications are required!
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