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. 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.

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. 

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

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.

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 provides educational support to Army soldiers and their family members who have dedicated themselves to service.

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

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

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

Coast Guard dependents

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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. 

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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. 

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

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.

For immediate family members of current and deceased AAAA members.

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

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

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

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

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 


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