If you have served in the United States armed forces or you are the spouse or child of someone who’s served in the military, you could be eligible for assistance in funding your education. The GI Bill offers partial and full-ride scholarships to a number of colleges, universities, and vocational schools for members of the military who have completed their service. However, this is not the only avenue available to military members and their families.

GI Bill covers educational costs for veterans, but it does not cover the costs of education for military wives, husbands, or children. Fortunately, there are a number of military scholarships available for family members of servicemen and women.

What Is a Military Scholarship?

A military scholarship is a education scholarship created to assist military members and their families in gaining postsecondary education. Our servicemen and women in the armed forces have put their lives on the line for our country. And the foundations, institutions, and organizations that have created these funds believe that military members and their spouses and families should have ample access to education and resources to further their careers and get a chance to live a more fulfilling and successful life after serving time in the military.

Many military members and their family members can qualify for Pell grants, which the federal government awards to families and individuals on a basis of financial need. Similarly, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is also awarded based on financial need. These grants are not specifically for military, but they are a good place to start when looking for funding opportunities for your education or your children’s education.

In addition to these governmental grants, you can find hundreds of scholarships for military wives, children, and servicemen and women with a few quick searches online:

  • CareerNetInfo.org – The US Department of Labor’s scholarship search engine, you can use this site by hitting “Search by Keyword” and searching for “military”, “military spouse”, “military children”, etc. It provides information on and links to hundreds of military scholarships that you and/or your family members will be eligible for.
  • US Veterans’ Magazine – Dedicated to assisting United States military veterans with business, employment, and educational opportunities, US Veterans’ Magazine provides a comprehensive list of funding opportunities, including grants and scholarships for military veterans.

These and more scholarship opportunities for military members and their families are available, and you can even apply for a lot of them online.

Scholarships for Military Wives

It is no secret that members of the military do not make astronomical sums of money. As a result, their spouses often have to work to supplement their income. This can be incredibly difficult without the right education and training. At the same time, that education and training can cost a great deal of money. A lot of military wives feel that they are in a catch-22 situation. They can’t afford to stay home, but they also can’t afford to get the education they need to get jobs in fields that will pay them decent salaries.

Does this type of situation sound familiar to you? With the help of scholarships for military spouses, you can find partial or full funding for your college education. For example, Hope for the Warriors has scholarships available for military spouses and caregivers, as well as scholarships for military members and spouses transitioning careers after honorable discharge.

Scholarships for Military Children

Even with working spouses, most military families still find themselves in financial need for their children’s education. If you find yourself in this position and/or you are not eligible for a Pell grant or other governmental assistance (besides loans, which must be paid back), you can find a number of scholarships for military children to help fund your children’s education.

One such scholarship comes from ThanksUSA and awards a minimum of $3000 in college scholarships for dependent children (and spouses) of military service personnel. If your child maintains over a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and is planning to enroll full-time in a 2- or 4-year college, they could be eligible for this scholarship.

Support for Families of Military Members Killed in Service

Some scholarships for military children and spouses have been specifically created to help families of deceased veterans. If your husband or wife died in service of our country, you and/or your child could be eligible for one of these scholarships. One such military scholarship comes from the Freedom Alliance and is available to any spouse or dependent child of an active military serviceman or woman killed in the line of duty. Another is America’s Child, a foundation with the motto, “Rebuilding futures, one child at a time.”

The Application Process

For the most part, military scholarships will require proof of service, which is usually just your military ID. If the scholarship is for a surviving member of a military serviceman or woman, a certificate of death will usually be required, as well. Some scholarships will require a minimum GPA, and most will require an essay or personal statement.

When you choose to apply for a military scholarship, make note of the deadline, and then make a full list of the requirements for the scholarship. Set milestone deadlines between when you start and when the application is due, and make sure to complete it ahead of time for any last-minute issues.

If you have to send documents in the mail, make sure that you give it plenty of time to arrive before deadline and that you insure and track the package. Many scholarships won’t require this step because the applications are all online, but you should still give yourself a little bit of breathing room when gathering information, writing your personal statement, and putting your application together.

Search and Apply for Scholarships on ScholarshipChart.com

ScholarshipChart.com helps students and parents search and apply for scholarships, grants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through ScholarshipChart.com.