Financial Aid Opportunities For Military Veterans

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons.

In 2014 alone, the federal government spent an impressive $12.2 billion in veteran education benefits. And all of this money is being spent for a good reason as it is giving veterans the ability to return to school and utilize the benefits awarded to them after their service.

The financial aid opportunities available to military and veterans aren’t just for these specific individuals either. In fact, family members may also qualify for educational awards designed to lessen the financial burden of school and enable veterans and their families to attain the education they desire.

However, finding these scholarships can be difficult. And sometimes, determining whether or not you’re eligible can be equally complicated. But our team has researched each scholarship, the requirements, and what you stand to gain so you don’t need to.

Below, you can find all this information and more to make finding and applying to relevant scholarships simpler than you may have thought possible. At ACLS Medical Training, we provide continuing education certification courses. Click here to read more about our ACLS certification courses.

All-Military Scholarships

While many scholarships are designed specifically for veterans who have served in specific segments of the military, there are also all-military scholarships designed for individuals and family members who are tied to any branch of the military.
The scholarships below are examples of all-military scholarships you just apply to:


The AMVETS National Scholarship is designed for veterans seeking full-time enrollment to attain their undergraduate, graduate, or certification/degree from an accredited technical or trade school. Those who qualify for the scholarship will receive $1,000 per year for 4 years.

  • Who’s Eligible:  Veterans who have exhausted other government education benefits are eligible for this scholarship
  • Award Amount: $1,000, annually
  • Deadline: Varies


Another AMVETS scholarship, this grant honors Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo, an immigrant who dedicated his expertise and service to the U.S. Army Reserves. There are two scholarships awarded each year for veterans of the National Guard and Army Reserves looking to acquire new skills to remain competitive in the job market.

  • Who’s Eligible:  Current active duty personnel or veterans of the Armed Forces who are enrolled part-time or full-time in a U.S. college or vocational training program.
  • Award Amount: $3,000
  • Deadline: April 15


This scholarship is made possible by the Veterans United Foundation (VUF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that awards up to three scholarships to eligible individuals. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, submit an essay telling their story and goals, community involvement, and other relevant information for consideration.

  • Who’s Eligible: Veterans, active duty service members, including National Guard and Reservists who are currently pursuing a post-secondary education. Family members of these individuals may also be eligible.
  • Award Amount: Up to $20,000
  • Deadline: October 16


The AFCEA Educational Foundation offers merit-based scholarships for tuition, mandatory fees, and books. This scholarship, referred to as the Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans Scholarship, is perfect for college Sophomores and Juniors seeking additional support as they finish their education.

  • Who’s Eligible: Second or third year students enrolled in post-secondary education who have served or are currently serving in any branch of the military.
  • Award Amount: $2,000 for books and tuition
  • Deadline: November 15, 2015


Having awarded over $300,000 in scholarships since 1986, Paralyzed Veterans of America allows members of the organization and family members to complete their schooling and reach their educational goals.

  • Who’s Eligible: Members or relatives of members of the Paralyzed Veterans of America are invited to apply. Recipient must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. college to be eligible.
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: June 17

Air Force Scholarships

As is the case with most military scholarships, many are intended for specific segments of the military (for instance, the air force).
If you or a member of your family served in the Air Force, you may be eligible for a number of scholarships. This includes the all-military scholarships above as well as the specific scholarships that follow here:


With Air Force ROTC Scholarships, you can have most of your tuition and lab fees covered, an annual textbook allowance, and up to $500 to spend as a monthly stipend. Both full and partial scholarships are available (not to mention a variety of them), so it’s best to research which is most suitable for your financial needs.

  • Who’s Eligible: Eligibility requirements vary depending on the scholarship, but Air Force ROTC participants typical enroll in the program at the time of enlistment into the Air Force.
  • Award Amount: Up to $500, annually
  • Deadline: January 12


Created in partnership with Brian Wilson, the Michael Wilson Scholarship is designed for Air Force ROTC cadets seeking a generous scholarship as they enter the final years of their college schooling. Two scholarships are awarded to cadets each year.

  • Who’s Eligible:  Current Air Force ROTC cadets in good standing, enrolled full-time as an incoming junior or senior; those enrolled in the Professional Air Force ROTC Officer Course program and attend Aerospace studies class and leadership lab every semester are eligible, if they meet specific GPA requirements.
  • Award Amount: $15,000
  • Deadline: N/A


Created to honor Captain Jodi Callahan, both an AFA Under-Forty National Director and a Trustee of the former Aerospace Education Foundation, this scholarship is suitable for individuals looking to further their higher education by pursing a Master’s Degree. One scholarship is awarded each year.

  • Who’s Eligible: Active duty Air Force, full-time Air National Guard or full-time Air Force Reserve (officer or enlisted) pursuing a Master’s Degree in a non-technical field of study are eligible for this scholarship.
  • Award Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: June 30


Have you always dreamt of becoming a healthcare professional (whether a physician, dentist, nurse, or otherwise)? If so, you can do so through the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) and have your tuition, books, most fees, and a monthly living stipend taken care of. You can even choose your school, making this scholarship perfect for aspiring health professionals.

  • Who’s Eligible: S. citizens who have been accepted into graduate-level health professions training programs are eligible for this scholarship.
  • Award Amount: $28,000, annually
  • Deadline: Varies


Made possible through the Spencer estate, this scholarship permits recipients to pursue graduate education in management and administration with a $5,000 scholarship. The check is submitted directly to your school, making tuition more affordable as you pursue advanced higher education courses.

  • Who’s Eligible: Military personnel who have been accepted into a master’s level program who have not received this scholarship previously are eligible.
  • Award Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: June 30

Army Scholarships

Much like the Air Force specific scholarships, there are also scholarships created specifically for former members of the Army or family members of these individuals. Below, we discuss some of the most popular options to make the application process more convenient.


If you’re a high school student, college student, or graduate, there are several Army ROTC scholarships available. Each scholarship is awarded based on merit and grades rather than financial need, like many other military scholarships are.

  • Who’s Eligible: High school ROTC, College-level ROTC students or enlisted soldiers are eligible.
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: Varies


Known as the F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program, this scholarship allows qualified students the ability to receive full tuition for an accredited medical, veterinary, psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychology, optometry, or dental program of their choosing. Additionally, recipients will receive a monthly stipend of more than $2,000, giving them the support they need through school.

  • Who’s Eligible: S. residents who have an accredited bachelor’s degree who have been accepted to or enrolled in an accredited graduate program. These individuals must maintain full-time student status and qualify as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.
  • Award Amount: Full tuition, plus a monthly living stipend of more than $2,000
  • Deadline: Varies


Whether you were in Operation Iraqi Freedom Operations or Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan, this scholarship is designed for college sophomores and juniors actively seeking an undergraduate degree. Scholarship fees can be used for tuition, books, and other mandatory fees.

  • Who’s Eligible: S. citizens who have been honorably discharged and who are currently enrolled at a 2-year or 4-year college or university in an eligible degree program
  • Award Amount: $2,500
  • Deadline: November 15, 2015


Whether you’re a woman solider (past or present) or the descendant of one, the Army Women’s Foundation Legacy Scholarship Program awards $1,000 and $2,500 scholarships to qualified applicants seeking education at a Community College/Certificate Program ($1,000) or a College/University/Graduate Program ($2,500). There are multiple recipients each year.

  • Who’s Eligible:  Eligibility requirements vary depending on the specific scholarship; must be a female who has served or is serving in the U.S. Army or a daughter of a current or former service member.
  • Award Amount: $1,000 – $2,500
  • Deadline: January 15, 2016


If you served in the army and have always wanted to pursue a career in nursing, the Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarship is the perfect way to do so. This scholarship is available to students who have served in the army themselves or have parent(s), a spouse, or child(ren)that is/are serving or has/have served.

  • Who’s Eligible: Students in baccalaureate or advanced degree nursing or nurse anesthesia programs who are serving or have served in any branch of the U.S. military at any rank who are not receiving funding by a branch of the military.
  • Award Amount: $3,000
  • Deadline: April 15

Marine Scholarships

Have you or a member of your family served in the Marines? If so, you also stand to gain from military scholarships designed to further education and help take your career to the next level.
Below, you can find some of the most popular to make sure you’re applying to the proper scholarships.


The Marine Corps ROTC National Scholarships give you the ability to attend a listed college or university and enjoy full tuition, coverage of all mandatory fees, a stipend for textbooks, coverage for uniforms, and a monthly subsistence allowance that varies depending on your academic year. Awards differ in length from two and three-year to four-year scholarships.

  • Who’s Eligible:  Individuals who are physically qualified by Marine Corps standards, with no criminal record, a qualifying score on college entrance exams (SAT, AFGT or ACT)
  • Award Amount: Full tuition, mandatory fees, a stipend of $750 per academic year for books, uniforms, and a monthly subsistence allowance


Named for the first African American Marine Corps officer commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1945, the Frederick C. Branch Marine Corps Leadership Scholarship is available at 17 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There is a four-year program as well as three- and two-year programs available.

  • Who’s Eligible:  Individuals who are physically qualified by Marine Corps standards, with no criminal record, a qualifying score on college entrance exams (SAT, AFGT or ACT)
  • Award Amount: $750
  • Deadline: July 15


Designed for architecture students and named after Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture, this scholarship program is the premier program for students in this field. The award is known for its prestige and powerful influence in the architecture field.

  • Who’s Eligible: Military officers and their spouses who are seeking to learn landscape architecture to foster human and societal benefits are eligible. Candidates must be nominated directly by their service branch.
  • Award Amount: $25,000 graduate and $15,000 undergraduate
  • Deadline: March – April


With four available scholarships of $2,500 each available this school year, individuals interested in continuing their current undergraduate education are eligible for this scholarship. You must be a full-time student and study at an accredited institution to receive the scholarship.

  • Who’s Eligible:  Marines who have transitioned from active duty to reserve or civilian status in the past three years are eligible to apply for financial assistance for undergraduate study.
  • Award Amount: $2,500
  • Deadline: April 23

Navy Scholarships 

Last but certainly not least are the Navy scholarships you should consider if you or a family member has served in this prestigious section of the armed forces.
Here are four scholarships worth considering if you or someone you know is looking to further their higher education.


If you are a child or spouse of an active duty or retired Sailor or Marine, the child of a deceased Sailor or Marine, or a MECEP or MECP student, you qualify for education assistance. Loans range from $500 to $3,000 per academic year and can be used for tuition, books, fees, room, and board.

  • Who’s Eligible: Children and spouses of active duty or retired Sailors and Marines, children of deceased Sailors or Marines, and MECEP or MECP students (or selectees).
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: November 1, 2015


Like ROTC scholarships for other members of the armed forces, the Navy ROTC scholarships are available in four-, three-, and two-year periods. With full tuition at listed colleges and universities included, this scholarship is a valuable opportunity to further education as a full-time student.

  • Who’s Eligible: Individuals who are physically qualified by Marine Corps standards, with no criminal record, a qualifying score on college entrance exams (SAT, AFGT or ACT).
  • Award Amount: Full tuition, mandatory fee coverage, an academic yearly stipend of $750 for textbooks, uniform allowance, and a subsistence allowance per month (will vary depending on academic year)


Another scholarship awarded on merit and academic potential (based on considerations such as grade point average, SAT scores, class rankings, extracurriculars, etc.), the Navy Seal Foundation Scholarship is an excellent opportunity to pursue higher education. Scholarship amounts vary and are available to both part-time and full-time students.

  • Who’s Eligible: Active duty SEALs, SWCC, and other active duty Naval Special Warfare personnel as well as dependent children and spouses of these individuals
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: March 15


If you demonstrate an exceptional level of academic and leadership excellence, are looking to pursue education in a full-time Bachelor’s Degree program, and are willing to be enlisted into the United States Coast Guard should consider this scholarship. With full coverage of all expenses, this scholarship is a simple way to pursue higher education while completing a minimum of 16 hours per month in Coast Guard Activities, amongst other requirements.

  • Who’s Eligible: Undergraduate students between 19 and 28 who are sophomores or juniors in a specific college or university with at least a 2.5 GPA.
  • Award Amount: Full Coverage of Tuition, Fees, Books and Living Expenses
  • Deadline: January 4, 2016

Apply for All Applicable Scholarships to Further Your Education Without Paying the Price

All too often, higher education is too expensive for active and retired members of the military and their family members. But through valuable scholarships like those above, you too can access higher education and create a better future for both yourself and your family.

We hope that you’ve found this article helpful as you search for scholarships to help fund your educational journey. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to answer questions or provide other support as you complete the scholarship process.

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As Seen On: American College of Cardiology, U.S.News, JAMA, Circulation Research, The Lancet