35 Scholarships for Dependents of Active Duty, Veterans, and Retired Military

Military men and women sacrifice so much for the service of their country. It is important to note that their sacrifice is not limited to them alone — their dependents and families also give up a lot to support these servicemen. Some challenges military dependents have to face include the hassles of frequent moves and uncertainty about the future, and much worse, the heartbreak of losing their military parent or spouse while they are in active service. 

To show solidarity and appreciation for the collective sacrifices of these families, the government and several organizations have specially designed scholarships for military dependents and their families. They make this financial aid available to help them attain college degrees without additional financial hassles. 

Who are Military Dependents?

According to the definition put out by the U.S. Army, “A dependent is a person who has a relationship to the military sponsor and is entitled to certain benefits by virtue of that relationship.” A military dependent primarily includes a spouse, child, step-child, or a legally adopted child. 

Certain family members may also become dependent under special conditions and critical review. They might include family members like a parent, a parent-in-law, a grandparent, a grandparent-in-law, a grandchild, a disabled child over the age of 21, and a brother, sister, niece, or nephew for whom the service member has legal guardianship.

There are plenty of scholarship opportunities for these dependents. This publication will discuss the different scholarships available for them in 2023.

35 Available Scholarships for Military Dependents

  1. American Legion Legacy Scholarship

This scholarship is a need-based scholarship that provides financial aid to children of post-9/11 veterans who died on active duty. Children of veterans with a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater can also be considered. Scholarship awards must be used for one year and recipients of the award can reapply up to six times.

Amount: $5000 to $20,000

Application Deadline: January 1 – April 1, 2024

  1. Allied.com Military Scholarship

This scholarship opportunity is available to three sets of people. Recipients must be either honorably discharged veterans or current members of the active military (including National Guard and Reserves), a spouse of a current military service member, or an honorably discharged veteran or a child (under age 21 or full-time student under age 23) of a current military service member or honorably discharged veteran.

Amount: $1000

Application Deadline: December 15, 2023

  1. American Legion Auxiliary Scholarships

The Auxiliary supports various scholarship programs that are for veterans, their dependents, and The American Legion Family.

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Fisher House Scholarship For Miltary Children

The Fisher House Foundation provides this award to children of parents who are on active duty, reserve/guard, deceased, or retired from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Space Force. Recipients should be unmarried military-dependent children under the age of 23 who possess a valid Uniformed Services Identification (USID) card.

Amount: $2000

Application Deadline: December 14, 2023 – February 14, 2024.

  1. Children of Fallen Patriot Foundation

The Children of Fallen Patriot provides college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent while in active service. The vision of the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation is to ensure that every such child receives all necessary college funding despite losing a parent.

Amount: Up to $25,000

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. AMVETS National Scholarship Program

The American Veterans(AMVET) offers scholarships to Veterans, Active Duty, Guard, and Reserves; their Spouses and their Children and Grandchildren. AMVETS scholarships are specifically designed as an alternative to any eligible applicant after all available Federal/State grants and/or scholarships have been exhausted.

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: October 15, 2023

  1. Army Emergency Relief Scholarships

This scholarship program is a need-based scholarship that provides financial assistance to spouses of active duty and retired Service Members and widows(ers) of Service Members who died either on active duty or in a retired status. Eligible applicants must be residing in the U.S.

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Scholarships for Children or Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans (CSDDV)

This scholarship program targets dependent children or un-remarried spouses of qualified Florida veterans.  

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: October 1, 2023 – April 1, 2024

  1. Patt Tillman Foundation Scholarship

The Patt Tillman Foundation offers academic scholarships to remarkable military service members, veterans, and their spouses. The foundation also provides its scholars with lifelong leadership development opportunities and a diverse, global community of high-performing mentors and peers.

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Military Officers Association Of America (MOAA)

MOAA offers educational assistance to students who have a parent eligible for MOAA membership or are children of active duty, Reserve, National Guard, or retired enlisted military personnel. Applicants must be 24 years old and must be attending an accredited college or university as full-time students.

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Scholarship opens November 1, 2023

  1. Fry Scholarship

The Fry scholarship is for children and spouses of certain Veterans. If your parent or spouse died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, while serving in the Armed Forces, or was a member of the Selected Reserve who died from a service-connected disability, you may qualify for this benefit.

Amount: Full tuition and other benefits

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation (MCSF)

The Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation gifts scholarships to the son or daughter of a retired, Reserve, or active-duty Marine. Eligible candidates must demonstrate financial need before they apply for this scholarship.

Amount: $3000

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. The Wings Over America Scholarship Foundation

The Wings Over America Scholarship Foundation (WOASF) offers scholarship awards to eligible children and spouses of the U.S. Navy personnel from the aviation community; Officer and Enlisted, active duty, retired, honorably discharged, or deceased.

Amount: Up to $5000

Application Deadline: October 1, 2023 –  March 1st 2023

  1. The National Military Family Association (NMFA) Military Spouse Scholarship

NMFA offers scholarship awards to the spouses of Veterans and servicemembers, including divorced spouses under certain conditions. Eligible candidates must be married to an active duty, reserve, guard, retired, medically retired, wounded, or fallen” member of any U.S. military branch.

Amount: $500 – $2500

Application Deadline: December 31, 2023

  1. Folds of Honour Higher Education Scholarship

This scholarship program provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of fallen and disabled service members. All qualified applicants must demonstrate financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Amount: Up to $5000

Application Deadline: February 1, 2024 – March 1, 2024

  1. The Coast Guard Foundation Scholarship

The Coast Guard Foundation offers scholarship awards to children of an active duty, retired, or active reserve Coast Guard member

Amount: From $2000 to $5000

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Marine Corps Tankers Association Scholarship Program

This scholarship award is specifically for children and grandchildren of current or former active, reserve, retired or honorably discharged members of the Marine Corps Tank Unit and current members of the Marine Corps Tankers Association. 

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Army Aviation Association of America Scholarship

The AAAA Scholarship Foundation offers scholarship awards to college-level spouses,  children, grandchildren, and unmarried siblings of current and deceased AAAA members. This is a merit-based scholarship. 

Amount: $1,000 to $12,000

Application Deadline: September 1 – December 15 2023

  1. Association of the United States Army (AUSA)

AUSA offers scholarships to premium or Association members and their dependents. These dependents include children, spouses, and grandchildren. 

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Army Scholarship Foundation 

The Army Scholarship Foundation offers a lot of scholarship opportunities for military children and spouses based on their academic performance and participation in school and community activities. Scholarship recipients may apply to renew their scholarships annually for a total of four years of college education..

Amount: $500 to $2000

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Association Scholarship

This scholarship program is for dependents of a Army female veteran (alive or deceased) that has served or is serving in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard whether direct or through marriage (decedent, step or adopted). This scholarship is merit-based so eligible candidates are selected based on their academic achievement and leadership in co-curricular activities and community involvement. 

Amount: $1500

Application Deadline: February 2, 2024

  1. Samsung American Legion Scholarship

This scholarship program gives awards to children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of a veteran who served on active duty during a period of war designated by the American Legion. Eligible candidates are expected to also be selected to attend American Legion Boys State or American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs.

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Dolphin Scholarship Foundation

The Dolphin Scholarship Foundation offers scholarship/grants to high school or college children/stepchildren and spouses of members or former members of the submarine force or those who have served in submarine support activities. 

Amount: $1,500 – $4,000

Application Deadline: March 2024

  1. ThankUSA Special Military Spouse Scholarship

This scholarship program targets the spouses of military personnel. Recipients may use the scholarship to pursue a degree or non-degree certificate or licensing, such as a nursing or medical license or real estate continuing education.

Amount: $3,000

Application Deadline: April 2024

  1. Coast Guard Supplemental Education Grant Program

This program provides financial support to dependents of the Coast Guard who are enrolled in college pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or approved vocational and technical training. The funding helps pay for their books, supplies, or academic equipment.

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

This foundation offers scholarship opportunities to a child or stepchild of one of the following: 

  • Active duty, Reserve, or veteran in the U.S. Marine
  • A Marine killed while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps or
  • An Active duty, reserve, or veteran U.S. Navy Corpsman, Navy Chaplain or Religious Program Specialist who is or was attached to a U.S. Marine Corps unit or who was killed while serving with a U.S. Marine Corps unit

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Marines’ Memorial Association Scholarship Program

The Marines Memorial Association offers various scholarship programs to dependents and grandchildren of active Marines’ Memorial Association members.

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: January to March 2024

  1. Joseph A. McAlinden Divers Scholarship

This scholarship is sponsored by the American Maritime Partnership. It offers scholarship awards to children or spouses of active-duty Navy or Marine divers who desire to get a college degree in the field of oceanography, ocean agriculture, or aquaculture at any approved institution.

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Navy League of the United States College Program

The Navy League Foundation provides scholarship programs for children and grandchildren of veterans or active duty sea service men and women, as well as members of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. These scholarships are given to high school seniors who will attend college in the fall.

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. The Tailhook Educational Foundation Scholarship

The Tailhook Educational Foundation awards scholarships to High school graduates who are children or grandchildren of current or former Naval Aviators, Naval Flight Officers, or Air-crewmen. Children/grandchildren of individuals who served aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier are also eligible to apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be accepted into an accredited college or institution, pursuing a degree.

Amount: $3500 to $15,000

Application Deadline: Varies

  1. Delta Dental Grants

This scholarship is one of the many scholarships sponsored by the Air and Forces Space Association. It offers scholarships and grants to military spouses, military dependents, and transitioning service members primarily for the advancement of oral health and wellness.

Amount: $2000 

Application Deadline: April 2023

  1. Lt. Col. Romeo and Josephine Bass Ferretti Scholarship

Also sponsored by the Air and Forces Space Association, this scholarship targets minor dependents of Air and Space Force Active Duty, Reserve, or Air National Guard enlisted Airmen who are pursuing an undergraduate STEM degree.

Amount: $5000 

Application Deadline: April 2023

  1. Colonel Aaron Burgstein Memorial Scholarship

This Scholarship program is for minor dependents of Active, Guard, Reserve, veteran, or retired members of any service branch pursuing a degree at an accredited college or university.

Amount: $1000 

Application Deadline: April 2023

  1. Dr. Sydell Perlmutter Gold Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship opportunity is a renewable scholarship opportunity that is for the daughter of Active, Guard, or Reserve Air Force members. Eligible females must be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field.

Amount: Up to $20,000 

Application Deadline: April 2023

  1. John C. and Blanche Lee Lindsay Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is specifically for a child of members of the United States Air Force who is pursuing a college degree

Amount: $2500

Application Deadline: April 2023

Conclusion

Military dependents really deserve all the help they can get to succeed in their academic and career pursuit. If you are a military dependent, this publication has given you an overview of the different scholarships that are available for you. We strongly recommend that you examine each of them and find out which you qualify for. Then, you will need to do thorough research on the preferred scholarship and send in a processed application before its deadline. We wish you the very best in all your educational endeavors.

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