Are there any scholarships for Military Dependents? 5 Great Opportunities

Military service often requires great sacrifices not only from those who serve but also from their families. Many educational opportunities are available to support the children and spouses of active-duty, retired, or deceased military personnel. These scholarships are designed to ease the financial burden of pursuing higher education, making it more accessible to military dependents. In this article, we’ll explore the various scholarships available to military dependents, including eligibility criteria and application processes. 

General Eligibility Criteria for scholarships for military dependents

The eligibility criteria for scholarships for military dependents can vary, but they generally include the following:

Dependent Status: You must be a spouse or child of a service member, and in some cases, the veteran’s death or disability status may be considered.

Academic Achievement: Some scholarships may require a certain GPA or standardized test scores for consideration.

Financial Need: Many scholarships are need-based, so you may need to demonstrate financial need to qualify.

Service Requirements: Some scholarships may require that the service member or veteran served for a minimum period.

Specific Branch or Affiliation: Certain scholarships may be limited to specific branches of the military or affiliated organizations. 

General Application Process Guide

Applying for scholarships for military dependents typically involves the following steps:

Research: Start by researching available scholarships to find those that align with your qualifications and goals.

Gather Documents: Collect necessary documents such as your parent’s or spouse’s military records, transcripts, and proof of financial need.

Complete the Application: Carefully complete the scholarship application, following all instructions.

Write a Personal Statement: Many applications require a personal statement explaining your educational and career goals, as well as how the scholarship will assist you in achieving them.

Submit Letters of Recommendation: Some scholarships may require letters of recommendation, so be sure to request these well in advance.

Review and Proofread: Before submitting your application, review it for accuracy and proofread it for any errors.

Submit by the Deadline: Ensure that you submit your application before the specified deadline. Late submissions may not be considered.

Types and Categories of Scholarships for Military Dependent

Federal Scholarships

The Post-9/11 GI Bill

This federal program allows service members to transfer unused education benefits to their dependents, providing up to 36 months of education benefits.

Am I eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits?

To be eligible for this education benefits you must meet at least one of the following requirements,

At least one of these must be true:

  • You served at least 90 days on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service) on or after September 11, 2001, or
  • You received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service, or
  • You served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break in service) on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability, or
  • You’re a dependent child using benefits transferred by a qualifying Veteran or service member

Note: If you’re a member of the Reserves who lost education benefits when the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) ended in November 2015, you may qualify to receive restored benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

For more detail and how to apply visit here

The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

DEA offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.

If you’re the child or spouse of a Veteran or service member who has died, is captured or missing, or has disabilities, you may be able to get help paying for school or job training through the DEA program

Eligibility for education benefits through the DEA program

You may be able to get these benefits if both you and the Veteran or service member meet certain eligibility requirements.

One of these descriptions must be true for the Veteran or service member:

  • The Veteran or service member is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability, or
  • The Veteran or service member died in the line of duty, or
  • The Veteran or service member died as a result of a service-connected disability, or
  • The Veteran or service member is missing in action or was captured in the line of duty by a hostile force for more than 90 days, or
  • The Veteran or service member was forcibly detained (held) or interned in the line of duty by a foreign entity for more than 90 days, or

The service member is in the hospital or getting outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability

And one of these descriptions must be true for you:

  • You’re 18 years old or older, or
  • You completed high school or secondary education

Note: If you’re the child of a Veteran or service member, your marital status doesn’t affect your eligibility for DEA benefits.

For more detail and how to Apply Click here

Scholarships from Military Branches

Each branch of the military often offers its own scholarships to dependents, such as the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Education Assistance Program and the Army Emergency Relief (AER) Scholarships. These programs provide financial assistance to military families to cover education expenses.

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Education Assistance Program NMCRS

The NMCRS Education Assistance Program is designed to help eligible Navy and Marine Corps families pursue their academic goals by providing scholarships and interest-free loans. Awards are provided based on the applicant’s financial need and in accordance with policies established by the Society’s Board of Directors.

Scholarships and interest-free education loans are awarded once per academic year. Scholarships range from $500-$3000 and loans are available up to $4000.

Awards are determined by the FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) and tuition costs. Funds are provided directly to the institution to help pay for tuition, books, room and board. Students may reapply each year.

Applicant Eligibility

Children of active duty, retired or qualifying deceased Sailors and Marines

  • Must be under age 23 by September 30 of current academic year
  • Surviving children of Sailors and Marines who passed on active duty or after retirement

Spouses of active duty or retired Sailors and Marines

Active duty Sailor or Marine enrolled in a MECEP/MECP program is eligible for the loan

Applicants Pursuing:

  • Career & Technical Education
  • Associates degrees
  • Bachelors degrees
  • Masters degrees

For more and how to apply visit

The Army Emergency Relief (AER) Scholarships.

The Army Emergency Relief Scholarship awards vary each year based on the total number of applicants in each program and budget amount allotted to the scholarship program.

Who Is Eligible for AER Scholarship?

Spouses and children of Soldiers in the following statuses are eligible to apply for our scholarship programs:

  • Active duty
  • Deceased active
  • Retired
  • Deceased retired
  • Medically retired

Active Guard Reserve and United States Army Reserve on Title 10 Orders for the entire academic year for which they are applying

Applicants must be listed as dependents of their Soldier Sponsor in DEERS.

Applicants for the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Children’s Scholarship Program must be under the age of 24.

For more and application process click the official link

Nonprofit and Private Organizations

Many organizations are dedicated to supporting military families. For example, the Fisher House Foundation offers the Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship for the children of military personnel who have died on active duty or who are 50% or more disabled veterans.

The National Military Family Association provides scholarships to military spouses seeking education and career development opportunities.

The Fisher House Foundation Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship

The Fisher House Foundation offers The Heroes’ Legacy Scholarships program honors not only those who have fallen in battle, but all who have died or have become disabled through their active military service since September 11, 2001.

The program is open to their dependent unmarried children under age 23. A disability is defined as one that results in the service member being eligible for, and receiving, Traumatic Service Members’ Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) or a permanent and total disability compensation rating of 100%.

Who Is Eligible for The Fisher House Foundation Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship

Dependent unmarried children under age 23 of active-duty personnel, Reserve/Guard, retired service members and disabled service members OR survivors of service members who died while on active duty may apply if they meet one of the following additional criteria:

  • One of the parents died while serving on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 in any branch or component of the US Armed Forces
  • One of the parents, while serving on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, became disabled – meaning that the parent qualified for receipt of Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (TSGLI)
  • One of the parents, who was on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, received a permanent and total compensation rating of 100% from the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Only students who possess a valid (not expired) U.S. Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card or a DOD dependent ID:
  • Applicants must enroll or plan to enroll in a full-time undergraduate program leading to a bachelor’s degree or a community/junior college designed to allow for a direct transfer into a four-year program.
  • High school applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 basis)
  • College applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

For more detail and how to apply visit here

Colleges and Universities

Many educational institutions across the United States offer scholarships specifically for military dependents. These scholarships may be based on academic achievement, financial need, or other criteria.

For example, Florida state university Military Dependent Scholarships visit the FSU veteran portal for more


Scholarships for military dependents provide valuable opportunities for education, helping to alleviate the financial burden of pursuing higher education. Whether you are a child or spouse of a service member, there are various options available to support your academic endeavors. Remember to carefully review the eligibility criteria and application requirements for each scholarship you’re interested in, and apply for as many as you qualify for. These scholarships are a way for society to express gratitude for the sacrifices made by military families and to invest in their future.


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