If you served in the United States military, the federal government and a handful of nonprofits offer their gratitude in the form of scholarships for your children. From $1,000 a year to full tuition, each comes with its own application criteria. They can help lessen the burden of what can be an onerous financial obligation.
MG James Ursano Scholarship
Children of U.S. Army veterans who want to go to a four-year college can apply for the need-based MG James Ursano Scholarship. You must be a full-time student and maintain a 2.0 on a 4.0 grade point average scale to qualify. If your parent is a veteran on active duty, retired or deceased, you qualify for the benefit. You need to reapply each year to maintain the scholarship. If you’re married, 23 or older or a member of the military, you don’t qualify. You can apply online at the Army Emergency Relief website and get more information at 703-428-0000.
The nonprofit ThanksUSA offers $3,000 annual scholarships to children of full-time military personnel, or retired or discharged personnel who served at least 180 days after Sept. 11, 2001. The scholarships cover two- and four-year colleges, but not certificate programs or postgraduate work. You must be 24 or under, a full-time college student or a high school senior and maintain a 2.0 on a 4.0 grade point average scale in your most recent term. The organization awarded 500 scholarships in 2014. Applications are due May 15. Apply on the ThanksUSA website or call 507-931-0631 for more information.
Veterans Affairs Dependent Assistance
Dependents of veterans who were permanently disabled or who died in the line of duty are eligible for up to 45 months of education benefits, or up to 81 months if they use the scholarship in conjunction with other programs. The scholarship is also available to children of veterans who died as a result of a condition contracted while in the military or a soldier detained by a foreign government. Applicants generally must be between 18 and 26 years old, although the program can make exceptions. You can’t receive the benefit if you serve in the military. Download a form at the Veterans Affairs website to apply. For more information, call Veterans Affairs at 800-827-1000.
American Patriot Scholarship
The American Patriot Scholarship awards a minimum of $2,500 a year to children of deceased or severely wounded active duty military members, reservists or members of the National Guard. The scholarship amount and number of awards hinges on the level of donations in a given year. You must be 24 or under to qualify and the scholarship can’t be applied to graduate study. Criteria for selection include your grades, extracurricular activities and financial need. Applications are due March 1. Apply at the Military Officers Association of America website and call 800-234-6622 for more information.
American Patriot Freedom Scholarship
The nonprofit Homefront America offers $1,000 annual scholarships to children of veterans. The organization has handed out $100,000 in awards since the scholarship’s inception in 2006. The scholarships can go toward education at a four-year college, vocational school or certificate program. Applicants must submit a single-spaced typewritten essay of 500 words or fewer. Scholarship donors are acknowledged on the Homefront America website and in publications. Apply online at the Homefront America website. For more information, call the San Juan Capistrano, California-based organization at 949-248-9468.
- Army Emergency Relief: MG James Ursano Scholarship Program
- Thanks USA Scholarship Guidelines
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Survivors and Dependent Assistance
- Military Officers Association of America: American Patriot Scholarship
- Homefront America: The American Patriot Freedom Scholarship Award
- U.S. Census Bureau: Veterans Day 2013
- videodet/iStock/Getty Images