Grants and scholarships for dependents of retired military personnel can help them defray the costs of a college education. The requirements vary considerably, and some scholarships are restricted to a particular branch of the Armed Forces. Check each scholarship proposal carefully for requirements and due dates. A copy of the student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for receiving financial aid at any school of higher education.
Navy League of the United States Foundation
The Navy League of the United States Foundation offers more than 25 scholarships to dependents and direct descendants of Sea Service personnel. The sea services are the U.S Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and U.S.-Flag Merchant Marines. The Navy League has 25 endowed scholarships, and the local councils may have additional ones. The application form is available on their website in the fall of each year. Winners are notified in May.
The AMVETS National Scholarship Program offers six $1,000 scholarships to a child or grandchild of a U.S. veteran who is a graduating high school senior. Financial need and academic ability are considered. There are nine required documents including an essay and a copy of the veteran's honorable discharge. The application, which may be accessed on the AMVETS website, must be submitted by April 15. This award is for four years and can be used at a college, university, or technical school.
Armed Forces Crossroads
Armed Forces Crossroads awards Scholarships for Military Children through the Defense Commissary Agency. Sons and daughters of active, deceased, or retired veterans who have a U.S. military I.D. card are eligible. Students must be registered for full-time study. The application may be acquired through a local commissary or downloaded from its website. Applications should be submitted between December 1 and February 15. These scholarships, worth at least $1,500, one at every commissary, are administered by Fischer House, an organization that provides services for military families. A total of $8,311,000 has been awarded since 2001.
Air Force Sergeants Association and Airmen Memorial Foundation
The Air Force Sergeants Association and the Airmen Memorial Foundation have a scholarship program for dependents of active and retired personnel of the Total Air Force, which includes Air Force Active Duty (AFAD), Air National Guard (ANG), and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). Applications are available January 1 and are due by March 31. The awards range from $500 to $3,000. Scholarships are awarded on six criteria, including character. Financial need is not considered and the funds may be used for all college expenses.
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides financial assistance to children of active and retired Marines and Navy Corpsmen who served with Marines. Their Heroes Tribute Scholarships are up to $30,000 for four years. The other requirements are family income and GPA of 2.0. The application is due April 1 and the final decision will be made by July 15. This foundation also manages other organizations' scholarships for grandchildren of Marines The Marine Corps Foundation has awarded scholarships since 1962 and has provided more than $60,000,000 since then.
Army Emergency Relief
Army Emergency Relief's Dependent Children Scholarship Program is for dependent children of active, retired, or deceased soldiers. The requirements are a 2.00 GPA and full-time status. Financial need, academics, and leadership are also considered. The primary mission of the organization is emergency relief, not scholarships, therefore the funds are limited. The application deadline is in April.
Scholarships for Military Children Program
The Scholarships for Military Children Program is available for children of active and retired service members or their survivors. An applicant must not yet have an undergraduate degree and have a GPA of 3.00 for both high school and college. An application may be obtained at a commissary or from the organization's website and must be submitted to the commissary.
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) has a considerable scholarship and awards program that is open to any student. Teachers are encouraged to obtain the materials and promote the Voice of Democracy competition that allows high school students to write and record a patriotic speech. Finalists are invited to Washington, D.C. to compete for scholarships, including a $30,000 award to the first-place winner.