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The Ultimate Guide to Scholarships for Military Dependents

Military service members take extraordinary risks and make great sacrifices when they sign up to serve their countries. Their 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.

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

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

Air Force dependents

General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program

A need-based grant program offered 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 career. Applicants must be dependents of active-duty or retired Air Force, Air Force Reserve, or Air National Guard members.

John C. and Blanche Lee Lindsay Memorial Scholarship

One $2,500 scholarship will be awarded annually to a child of members of the United States Air Force who are pursuing a college degree.

Army dependents

Army Scholarship Foundation 

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 Exchange 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 organization offers a variety of scholarships for children and grandchildren of someone who served in the Marine Corps or a U.S. Navy Corpsman, Navy Chaplain, or Religious Program Specialist who is or was attached to a U.S. Marine Corps unit or who was killed while serving with a U.S. Marine Corps unit.

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

Multiple scholarships are available 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.

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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 

This organization provides college scholarships to dependent children and spouses of all active-duty, retired, or deceased members 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, as well as spouses of these members 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.

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.


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 missing or killed in action, a prisoner of war,  or a veteran who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of, active military service. Applicants must also be Arkansas residents.

Delta Dental Grants

This program provides scholarships and grants to military spouses, military dependents, and transitioning service members for the advancement of oral health and wellness. Eligible applicants may pursue a wide range of programs such as dentistry, nursing, home healthcare aid, or caregiver training. Five grants in the amount of $2,000 each will be awarded.

Colonel Aaron Burgstein Memorial Scholarship

The Colonel Aaron Burgstein Memorial Scholarship was established to aid minor dependents of active-duty, veteran, or retired service members; reservists; or National Guard members of all branches who are pursuing a degree at an accredited college or university. One scholarship in the amount of $1,000 will be awarded annually.

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

Provides a variety of scholarships to help empower spouses and children of fallen service members by helping them achieve their educational goals. 

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

A variety of scholarships are available to spouses, children and grandchildren of veterans who are current high school students attending college.

Children of Warriors National Presidents' Scholarship

Children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of service members are eligible for these 15 regional scholarships offered through the American Legion Auxiliary. 

Fisher House Foundation

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

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.

Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) Scholarships  

Provides scholarships of up to $12,000 for the spouses, children, grandchildren, and unmarried siblings of current and deceased AAAA members.

ThanksUSA 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.

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, declared missing in action, or were prisoners of war.

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Scholarships 

MOAA offers one scholarship and several grants to dependents of officers eligible for MOAA membership, or who are children of active-duty, Reserve, National Guard, or retired enlisted military personnel. Applicants must be under 24 years old. 

Where to find more scholarships

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

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