The Ultimate Guide to Scholarships for Military Dependents

Julissa Treviño Updated on January 16, 2019

Military service members take extraordinary risks and make great sacrifices when they sign up to serve their countries. Oftentimes, spouses and families also make sacrifices along the way. Thankfully, there are many programs designed to pay back this service from dependents of military service members in the form of college scholarships.

If you're the child or dependent of a military service member and you're looking for a way to fill the financial gap in college tuition, check out the following scholarship opportunities.

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We've compiled a list of opportunities for dependents by military branch. Search for:

Be sure to click on each scholarship for deadlines and award amounts. 


Air Force dependents


General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program

A need-based grant program offers for children and spouses of active duty, retired, and fallen active duty Air Force members. 

Lt. Col Romeo and Josephine Bass Ferretti Scholarship

For graduating high school seniors who are pursuing a STEM field. Applicants must be dependents of active duty or retired Air Force, Air Force Reserve, or Air National Guard members.


Army dependents


Army Foundation Scholarships

More than a dozen scholarship opportunities are available under this umbrella for military children and spouses based on academic performance and participation in school and community activities. 

SMA Leon Van Autreve Scholarship

SMA Leon Van Autreve Scholarship provides educational support to Army soldiers and their family members who have dedicated themselves to service.

Army Aviation Association of America Scholarship

For college-level education of members of the AAAA and their spouses and children.

MG James Ursano Scholarship Program

Offers financial awards to children of active duty or retired Army soldiers, or soldiers who died while on duty. This award is renewable.

Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Association Scholarship

A merit based award for children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews of female members of the Army.


Coast Guard dependents

Coast Guard

Coast Guard Exchange System Scholarship Program

This one-time scholarship is for dependent children of Coast Guard service members. Awards are based on merit, demonstrated leadership, and other factors.


Marine Corps dependents


Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

This is a group of three scholarships for children of parents who served in the Corps and are first-time college or career tech students.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

This program offers several scholarship opportunities, including the NMCRS Gold Star Scholarship, to children of fallen sailors or Marines. 

John Cornelius/Max English Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is for children and grandchildren of current or former active, reserve, retired or honorably discharged members of the Marine Corps Tank Unit and current members of the Marine Corps Tankers Association. The award can be used toward an undergraduate degree or graduate degree.

Marines' Memorial Association Scholarship Program

Awarded to dependents and grandchildren of active Marines’ Memorial Association members.

Joseph A. McAlinden Divers Scholarship 

For children or spouses of active-duty Navy or Marine divers who want to study oceanography, ocean agriculture, or aquaculture at an approved institution. Award amounts are based on financial need.


Navy dependents


Chief Petty Officer Scholarship Fund

Applicants must be an immediate family member of an active duty, retired or reserve Chief Petty Office of the U.S. Navy. 

Wings Over America Scholarship Foundation 

To provide college scholarships to dependent children and spouses of all Navy active duty, retired, or deceased who served in the Naval Air Forces. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of scholastic merit and community service.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

This program offers several scholarship opportunities, including the NMCRS Gold Star Scholarship, to children of fallen sailors or Marines. 

Navy League of the United States Scholarship Program

These scholarships are open to children of Navy League members, as well as children of Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and Naval Sea Cadet Corps members. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA. 

Dolphin Scholarship Foundation

High school seniors and current college students who are dependents of U.S. Navy Submarine Force members or veterans can apply for this scholarship. Awards are based on academic merit, extracurricular activities and community service. Applicants require an essay and recommendations.

Tailhook Educational Foundation Scholarship Awards

These scholarships are for children and grandchildren of those who served in specific jobs in the U.S. Navy. Applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate program at an accredited institution.


Dependents of any branch


Arkansas Military Dependents Scholarship Program

Provides financial aid for students seeking a bachelor's degree or certificate of completion at a public institution in Arkansas. Designed for spouses or children of an Arkansas resident who has been declared to be missing in action, killed in action, a prisoner of war, or killed on ordnance delivery, or a veteran who has been declared to be 100% totally and permanently disabled during, or as a result of, active military service. Applicants must also be Alaska residents.

Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans and Service Members

This opportunity is for dependent children or non-remarried spouses of Florida veterans or service members who died from injuries, diseases, or disabilities sustained while on active duty or who have been certified by with a permanent disability. This scholarship helps cover tuition and registration fees at an eligible higher education institution in Florida.

Living Legacy Scholarship

To help empower spouses and children of fallen service members by helping them achieve their educational goals. 

Salute to Spouses Scholarship 

Applicants who are family members of service members — active duty, retirees and veterans — and are specifically interested in attending Bryant & Stratton College Online can have a shot at this $6,000 scholarship.

Hanscom Spouses Club Scholarship

For military spouses and dependents who reside within a 60-mile radius of Hanscom Air Force Base. The scholarship is awarded based on merit, scholarship, citizenship, leadership and diversity of interests. 

AMVETS National Scholarship Program

Two scholarships that are available to children and grandchildren of veterans are available to current high school students attending college.

Children of Warriors National Presidents' Scholarship

Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of service members are eligible for these scholarships offered through the American Legion Auxiliary. 

Fisher House Foundation

Students under 23 who are enrolling in a full-time college program and who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible for scholarships through this foundation. Parents need to be active duty or retired military. 

Military Commanders’ Scholarship Fund

The New York chapter of the American Logistics Association awards scholarships to children of active duty, reserve, National Guard or retired members of the military. Awards are based on academic merit, community involvement, work experience and financial need.

BVA Kathern F. Gruber Scholarships

Spouses, dependent children and grandchildren of blind veterans are eligible for this scholarship.

Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation

This scholarship is for members of Fallen Patriots Foundation who are military children and who have lost a parent in the line of duty. Scholarships cover tuition and books, as well as other college expenses.

America’s Child Higher Education Assistance 

Provide financial assistance for college to the surviving children of military members who served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and the Philippines, Operation Iraqi Freedom or other conflicts.

Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) Scholarships  

For immediate family members of current and deceased AAAA members.

Thanks USA Scholarship   

For all dependent children age 24 or younger and all spouses of active duty military service members.

Folds of Honor Foundation Scholarships

Awarded to spouses and dependents of veterans or service members whose death or injury was sustained during their service.

AT&T Fallen Heroes' Scholarship

Spouses, children, and stepchildren of military service members who were killed in action can apply for this.

Iowa War Orphans Educational Aid 

Awards financial support to the children of military personnel who have been killed in combat.

Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund 

For college-bound children of soldiers who have been killed or disabled in combat, or declared missing in action or prisoners of war.


Where to find more scholarships

Looking for other military-related scholarship guides? Here are 84 Scholarship Opportunities for Veterans and Their Families 

Published in: Scholarships

About the Author
Julissa Treviño

Julissa Treviño is a writer and journalist based in Texas. Her work has appeared in BBC Future, CityLab, Columbia Journalism Review, The Dallas Morning News, Racked, Teen Vogue and other publications. She enjoys traveling, playing with makeup, biking and trying new food. Follow her @JulissaTrevino. Read more by Julissa Treviño

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