Military veterans are heroes who have served our country with selfless sacrifice, and many of them also have families that are also paid the price for our freedom.
The children of veterans often undergo a great deal of hardship as military personnel struggle with their duties and all of the demands of service.
The benefits for military veterans are extensive and many of them fall over to their family as well.
Of all of the benefits that military personnel receive, scholarships for military children is one of the most important things the military does for soldiers and their families.
Scholarships for military children including veterans, and a lot of it comes down to just knowing where to look and how to go about the process. There are a wide variety of scholarships from many, many, different sources, and there are also other resources military personnel and their children can use to finance their education.
There are a lot of details to consider when thinking about scholarships and what to do to get them. We have developed a comprehensive guide to help military personnel and their families understand what the military and other do to offer scholarships for military children.
So, let's take a look at exactly what there is to find and what you have to do in order to expedite the process of obtaining a scholarship or scholarships if you are a child of a military veteran
Different Sources of Scholarships for Military Children
There are a wide variety of potential sources for scholarships or dependents of military personnel.
We have included a list of five major sources that you can scour that offer a large number of different scholarships.
These sources include the following:
There are many different sources of financial aid available, and if you want to find more scholarships for military children than were listed above, it is important to do extensive research into available scholarships.
There really are too many scholarships to count and they can't all be listed in one place. Using the internet to locate scholarships is a great resource, and you will have to spend significant time evaluating and analyzing different scholarships to see which best fits you.
Remember, it is possible to have multiple scholarships at the same time, as well as receive other financial aid. You may want to apply for scholarships that are not military-related as well, to broaden the net as far as receiving financial aid.
Steps to Take When Seeking Scholarships
For those interested in applying for scholarships for military children, there are certain steps to take in order to expedite the process efficiently to achieve optimal results.
First of all, not every student will qualify for every scholarship available. The terms of scholarships vary greatly and some of them have to do with the Veterans service and others are related to the academic and personal information of the military child.
In some cases, some scholarships are geared towards the dependents of military personnel in certain branches of service or who has certain specialties. There may be a host of related characteristics that will prevent some people from applying for certain scholarships.
In every case, it is important to evaluate and analyze the individual scholarship that you are applying for and understand it fully before applying. It's perfectly okay if you don't think you're going to get a scholarship and apply for it anyway, there is no penalty for trying and you might be surprised as some people have been in similar situations.
1. Find Your Source of Scholarship
In order to apply for a scholarship, you have to first find the source of the scholarship and then determine if you are eligible to apply for it. You also have to find out what the application process involves as each scholarship is different and how it is handled.
There are too many different scholarships to count really, so you will have to narrow down your list from a variety of sources. One thing you should do is find sources of scholarships and determine which ones may be best suited for you.
You need to really spend a lot of time to understand the details of what is being offered and what you will be required to do. Again, you don't have to be afraid to try to apply for a scholarship in any circumstance, but you should be certain that you are eligible and qualify for it before you do.
2. Contact the School and Analyze Scholarships Offered
The next step that you should take his to contact your school that you plan on attending and see what they have to offer for financial aid. You should reasonably exhaust all other avenues of financial aid and apply them to your school cost before you begin to seek out scholarships and count on the money from them.
In many cases, attending school is possible through the traditional means of TAP and Pell Grants as well as subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans. Just because you qualify for a scholarship doesn't mean that that's your only avenue for potential financial aid.
3. Assess Your Credentials
After evaluating and analyzing the various scholarships and determining which ones you want to apply for, gather the information and materials you need to make your application and do so. Scholarships are often awarded based on academic achievement and the personal presentation of your case, but not always especially in the case of military scholarships.
You should have done well enough in school to prepare for a college education in order to receive a scholarship reasonably. The criteria for scholarships vary widely between them, and in the sea of scholarships there is something for everyone almost.
4. Complete the Form Online
The next step you should take is to complete your FAFSA form online and submit it well before school begins, at least 3 or 4 months prior to classes in most cases. If you are applying for scholarships, you will need to apply to them in time frames that are outlined by the institution granting them.
In some cases, you will need to apply for scholarships before you complete your FAFSA. When your application is complete, take all the necessary steps that are required as outlined by the scholarship granting body. Each scholarship is different, yet they will all give you information as to specifics as to what you have to do.
Who Qualifies for Scholarships for Military Children
There are roughly 5 million service members on active duty, and a high number of veterans as well. There are certain criteria for eligibility for scholarships for military children, but there are roughly 2 million children of military personnel currently.
Even for deceased military service persons, the dependents of the soldiers are eligible for scholarships and other assistance from the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense.
If you are a child of someone in the military, living or dead, you most likely qualify for many different types of scholarships related to their service.
The GI Bill also has provisions for the dependents of military personnel if they do not use all of their credits. In some cases, financial aid provided by the GI Bill can be transferred to the dependents of military personnel, if it is not completely used up in the time allotted.
There are also a host of other types of financial assistance for education for the dependents of military personnel available from many different sources.
In most cases, all you have to do is be a direct dependent of a military service member in order to qualify for this type of financial assistance for education.
Related Resources for Those Applying for Scholarships
There are a wide variety of different resources available for those who want to attend school and are dependents of military personnel besides just scholarships. These resources come from many different places including VFW Halls, associations and networks related to the military, benevolent sources of funding from friends of the military, and much more.
Many of these resources are available online, and simple Google searches will result in a wide variety of information that you can use. Some keywords you can try in your search include:
Research into the resources available will yield many different results.
You should also take the time to ask around the groups for spouses and military bases, the Veterans Administration, and any other source of information that is related to the military and military benefits.
Suffice it to say, if you are a child of a military service man or woman and you are seeking financial aid for school, there are a wide variety of different resources you can find if you are diligent in your searches.
Alternative Sources of Educational Financial Aid for Military Children
There are also other different ways to obtain financial aid as well as scholarships that you should take. Some of these include the following:
Contact the federal government.
The Department of Federal Affairs is one agency that can assist you in finding financial aid for school if you are a dependent of a veteran. This should be the first alternative place you should look. Using the GI Bill comparison tool will allow you to view what you qualify for a different schools and how much financial aid you will receive.
Dependents Educational Assistance Program
The dependents of deceased or disabled veterans are eligible top to 45 months of educational assistance. Also, the post 9/11 GI Bill makes it possible to transfer the credits to dependents of up to 36 months of school.
There are also many grants available from the Department of Education for dependents of military personnel as well as others. If your parent died serving at in the Afghanistan or Iraq wars, you could be eligible for Pell Grant as well.
The Specific Military Branch of your Family.
Foundations that support the military and the dependents of military personnel are numerous and many of them provide financial aid for those dependents of military personnel seeking education.
Many of these foundations offer millions or hundreds of millions of dollars of grants every year, but they are specifically geared towards the different branches of the service such as Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
If you are the child of someone in a specific service, contact the service in question to find out information about these types of foundations. Like any other scholarship, your academic performance may play a role in your eligibility, as well as the status of the service member you are related to in their length of service.
Your Specific School
Schools often will respond well to someone who is a relative of a service member and you should foster a good relationship with the financial aid department. Oftentimes, schools have a wide variety of information about resources that if not are geared specifically towards dependents of military personnel, then they are a good fit and would qualify for as well.
Many students and schools have a student Veterans Center or ROTC centers that have more information about different programs that the schools offer. Schools have gift programs for veterans and dependents of military personnel.
Don't be afraid to ask for help from the school as they often have a great degree of empathy for the situation of those who are dependents of military personnel.
Your State Government
Besides the programs of the federal government and other forms of financial aid, state governments offer a wide variety of financial assistance available to dependents of military personnel.
There are grants and scholarships available on a state level that are not offered by the military or the federal government.
Contacting the state government in your state or whichever state you’ll be attending school at is a wise idea to see what they have to offer in addition to whatever other resources and sources of scholarships you may find.
How to Prepare to Get Scholarships for Military Children
Scholarships are not like other forms of financial aid such as loans as they never need to be repaid. But unlike other forms of financial aid, they are based on personal characteristics such as academic achievement, circumstances of need, personal achievements and honors, and other factors such as community service.
Make a Great Essay That Tells Who You Are
You will need to provide a number of documents when applying for a scholarship. One famous item is the essay. Your application for a scholarship will be based on your personal story and what you have to say about what you have to offer the world in exchange for your education.
You have to make your essay absolutely amazing as possible as the reviewers need to be able to understand why you need your education and why they should grant you a scholarship before other people. But don't let this scare you off at all. People deserve an education no matter who they are. It's your job to convince the scholarship governing body of your worthiness however.
Preparing an essay is a very important step in the scholarship granting process. You will need to outshine your competition and great care should be taken to develop the best essay possible.
Submit Your Application Early and Correctly
Make sure to fill out the application fully and in as great detail as possible. Submit all documentation in a timely manner and within the deadlines that are set by the scholarship governing body. There are usually guidelines for the submission of the application the essay and other documentation that must be followed explicitly.
Other steps you can take on the road to getting a scholarship include talking with the scholarship governing body about your application, getting letters of recommendation from former teachers and employers, and fine-tuning your essays by practicing multiple copies before you submit your final draft.
Get the Scholarship that You Deserve
With all of the available resources for scholarships and other forms of financial aid for dependents of military personnel, there is an excellent chance you will be able to attend college and live out your dream of an education.
There is no reason to suppose that you stand any less of a chance than anyone else, however, scholarships for military children do require that there has been an extensive preparation done academically. You must also be qualified in other specific areas which can vary from scholarship to scholarship.
If you leave no stone un-turned, you should be able to apply for scholarships and other financial aids, and be able to live the American dream of attending college and all that it provides.