A grateful nation owes the honor, respect, and thanks of a grateful nation to all members of the armed forces of the United States. No act, however small, can truly express gratitude for the brave men and women who have served their country, but we can, as a nation, at least provide them with a wider range of opportunities at home. One of the ways the United States thanks its military personnel and veterans is through scholarships and grants.
Military associations, universities, and private donors offer federally funded grants and scholarships for veterans. As a token of our appreciation for their service and sacrifice, we should help our veterans find new opportunities and greater success within our society.
Importance of Earning a Degree as a Military Veteran
Adapting to civilian life after military service is not an easy task. However, once you complete your military service, there are a few advantages to earning a college degree. The following are some of the advantages of earning a degree after serving in the military.
Easily Transition to Civilian Life
Veteran attendees report that joining study groups, attending classes, and meeting peers help them ease into civilian life. You’re more likely to graduate and smoothly transition to civilian life when you surround yourself with other veterans and build a community with them.
Better Job Opportunities
A degree you earn after serving in the military can also improve your career opportunities. Degree holders are highly valued in today’s competitive job market. According to the Economic Policy Institute Washington, degree-holder workers earned significantly more than those with only a high school diploma.
Opening Up to New Fields
You also increase your chances of learning and training in newer fields when you enroll and return to school after serving in the military. Many members of the military enter the service straight out of high school. The teenagers in those days weren’t too sure what their lives would entail. If you are a veteran, you might be interested in learning other skills you never considered when you were a teenager. During your college years, you learn skills that you will need in your professional career.
The GI Bill
Officially known as the Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, this bill was designed to help you pay for school or training. While not considered an official scholarship, this is one of the most successful programs for military personnel seeking financial assistance. It was created in 1944 to assist both active-duty military personnel and retired military personnel in financing a college education and engineers, business owners, scientists, doctors, teachers, authors, and actors.
With the Post 9/11 GI Bill, military service members have the opportunity to receive higher education for the millions of people who have served since September 11, 2001. Under this bill, qualified veterans can receive tuition reimbursement for public undergraduate higher education in their home states. During the graduate program, out-of-state tuition, or private institutions, these schools may agree with the VA whereby the VA will match the additional costs incurred by the institution.
Over the years, the GI Bill has seen significant changes, but its purpose remains the same: to help military service members and their families achieve their professional and educational ambitions.
Millions of military service members who have served since 9/11 will be able to take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Qualified veterans will be covered for tuition and fees at in-state public undergraduate colleges. If you are interested in graduate education, out-of-state tuition, or private schools, you can work out an arrangement with the VA where the VA will contribute to the added cost.
Although there have been some changes over the years, the GI Bill remains essential to helping military service members and their families achieve their educational and professional goals.
Scholarships And Grants For Veterans
Veterans interested in continuing their education can apply for scholarships and grants listed below.
AFCEA War Veterans Scholarship
To support undergraduate students in STEM fields at accredited colleges and universities who are active military duty or honorably discharged veterans, the AFCEA War Veterans Scholarship offers $2,500 to undergraduates. The scholarship is applicable to distance learning as well as online courses.
Tuition and course-related expenses are the only expenses eligible for awards. The application process requires applicants to submit their transcripts, two letters of recommendation, military service documentation, and statements.
The scholarships are awarded by Lowe’s Companies, Inc. to student veterans and their spouses using funding provided by AMVETS. Student veterans and their spouses are supported through the Generation T Scholarship, while the Technology Scholarships support students enrolled in computer science.
The AMVET National Scholarship is offered to full-time undergraduates, graduates, or certificate students. Academic promise and financial needs are considered when awarding scholarships through Lowes and AMVET.
Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarship
Scholarships of $3,000 are available to nursing students who do not receive funding from any component of the US Army. Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate nursing or nurse anesthesia program. The program is open to spouses, children, and parents of the United States Army members.
Bonsai Finance Veterans Scholarship
Bonsai Finance, founded by Britton Smith, a graduate of the US Naval Academy, awards active-duty military personnel, veterans, and dependents a one-time $1,000 award. The applicant must not have previously earned a bachelor’s degree.
Applicants can use funds to pay for current or future educational expenses. According to Bonsai, awards are given based on essay submissions.
CTU Patriot Scholarship
Wounded service members, their spouses, nonmedical caregivers, and dependents of wounded service members are eligible to apply for 50 Patriot Scholarships each year. Those injured while serving in the armed forces are eligible for Patriot Scholarships, which can be applied to online degrees or on-campus programs at CTU’s Colorado Springs and Aurora campuses.
A laptop computer and textbooks are also provided to each awardee with access to educational advisors and technical support.
Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship
Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship awards a $12,000 scholarship to AMVETS students in his name. After serving in the US Army as an immigrant, he became a physician and orthopedic surgeon.
The program is open to active-duty military and veterans. All awards must be accompanied by proof of financial need, acceptance into eligible programs, and public announcements.
Education Connection’s Military Scholarship
Veterans and military spouses on active duty and honorably discharged can apply for $1,000 scholarships through Education Connection. To apply, each applicant must submit an essay, and Education Connection will evaluate it based on writing ability, creativity, originality, and overall excellence.
Lint Center Scholarships
As part of its efforts to promote global understanding, the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. gives scholarships to various military and intelligence personnel. Various disciplines are taught in the program, such as national security studies, counterintelligence, and alliance building.
An essay explaining the candidate’s goals and ideas about national security studies must be submitted with a photograph, resume, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.
NBCC Foundation Military Scholarship
The NBCC Foundation Military Scholarship is supported by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and offers financial assistance to students pursuing graduate education in counseling. In supporting NBCC’s larger mission of increasing mental health services for underserved groups, applicants must demonstrate their commitment to serving military communities.
Posse Veterans Program
Students who are veterans enrolled in undergraduate programs are supported by three institutions through the Posse Veterans Program. A nomination is followed by an extended interview process, a pre-collegiate training experience, and weekly meetings with mentors and staff. Participants also benefit from career support, tuition remission, off-campus events, and networking opportunities.
The Graydon and Myrth Fox Scholarship
A renewable funding opportunity, the Graydon and Myrth Fox Scholarship created a renewable funding opportunity to help veterans improve their skills through education. Veterans or spouses, children, or grandkids of veterans are eligible to apply. Dependents of wounded personnel and the surviving spouses of veterans are given preference.
The Jack E. Barger, Sr. Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund
Scholarships in memory of Jack E. Barger are available to active-duty military, veterans and their spouses and children. The Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania presents the scholarship in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars. All applicants must be Pennsylvania residents, enrolled in an undergraduate program, and attend a VFW district meeting.
Tillman Scholar Program
The Tillman Scholars are characterized by service, scholarship, humble leadership, and an effort to contribute to the global community. Providing annual funding, networking, mentoring opportunities, and leadership development training to military service members, veterans, and their spouses is the focus of the program. In addition to submitting their resumes, financial worksheets, and responses to prompted questions, applicants must also write personal essays.
Troops to Teachers
Military personnel, active duty and retired, and their spouses are supported by Troops to Teachers as they enter the teaching field. Funding and counseling may be provided based on an applicant’s skills, education level, and goals. Besides the 15 states where it operates, Troops for Teachers has also reached out to other states through consortium agreements.
Veterans United Scholarship
Survivors of the military could apply for the Veterans United Scholarship if their spouses or children were killed or completely disabled during military service. This scholarship is available to both undergraduates and graduate students. In addition to a typed essay, applicants must demonstrate financial need, community engagement, and provide evidence of academic achievement.
VFW’s Sport Clips Help a Hero Scholarship
The VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero Scholarship is awarded to active-duty military and veterans twice a year. Financial need must be demonstrated and admission to or enrollment in VA-approved programs or institutions. All awards must be used during the semester for which they were applied.
In need of a scholarship but you’re not a veteran but one of your parent is? You can find more about scholarship programs for children of veterans.
Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!