There are lots of scholarship lists out there for military kids but it’s a BIG headache searching for the best ones to apply for AND kids feel lost in an endless online search that results in outdated information and broken links.
STOP the scholarship insanity!
We asked Stacy Huisman, military-connected writer and military kid-expert extraordinaire, to put together a list of lesser known (but pretty AWESOME) scholarships for military kids.
Here’s that list. Read. Print. Then start applying!
Ten (Lesser Known) Scholarships for Military Kids!
By Stacey Huisman
There are dozens of groups that offer scholarships to military-connected kids. A quick Google search can give you the better know scholarships available to military kids, but I wanted to find those hidden gems scholarships. Below are ten lesser-known scholarships your kids should consider:
- Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student Competition. This scholarship is open to all high school students, but guidance counselors in highly military impacted schools push their students to apply for this one. It seems the military lifestyle scores pretty well in the application. Applications to apply are usually in December, so you may to add this one to your list for next year. The Elks National Foundation will award 500 four-year scholarships ($3.7 million) to the highest-rated applicants. Scholarship awards may be used for cost of attendance expenses.
- Military Family Scholarship Program – Kaplan University offers 600 scholarships/reduced tuition to Kaplan University for dependents of service members. There are two types of scholarships – Freedom and Liberty Awards. Associates and bachelors degrees are available and the minimum GPA is 2.5. In addition, for every 50 scholarships awarded, one winner from the pool of Freedom Award and Liberty Award recipients will be awarded a full scholarship covering all tuition and fees to complete his/her degree of study. To be considered for the full award, a 3.90 GPA must be achieved in the first term of study at Kaplan University. Applications are due in December.
- American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Scholarships – The American Legion offers several scholarships to descendants of veteran and military connected children. Each scholarship has specific eligibility, but for many military connect high school students, it’s an easy bar to meet. They offer scholarships ranging from $2,500 -$5,000. Each scholarship award is sponsored by an ALA Unit by state or region. Deadline is usually March of each of year.
- European PTA – If your child is currently a DoDEA high school student attending school that falls under the European PTA, then check out the European PTA scholarships. There are two scholarships awarded every year: EPTA Scholarship to a four year college and Diana Ohman Scholarship to a two year college. Applications are due in March.
- Women of War Scholarship – This 1000 word essay contest is available to any child whose female relative is currently or has served in the armed forces. The essay topic this year is Military Women: Now and Then and the amount of the award is $1,500. The deadline for this essay is March.
- Spouses Groups – Most military spouses clubs have a rich tradition of offering student scholarships. For example, the KMC Scholarship Program, which combines three spouses groups into one scholarship program (Ramstein Officer Spouses Club, Ramstein Enlisted Spouses Club, and Kaiserslautern -Landstuhl Spouses Club), offers $120,000 in student scholarships every year. Most base/post spouses around the country and overseas offer some form of scholarships. Check out your local club for eligibility and deadlines.
- Mark A. Foster Scholarship – This scholarship is in honor of Senior Airman Foster. Senior Airman, Mark A. Forester was killed September 29th, 2010 in Afghanistan while risking his life to save a fallen comrade. Mark died serving his country, family and friends. He had courage and honor and gave selfless sacrifice. He embodied everything a hero is. Rocky Mountain Mattress is giving a $1000 scholarship to students in his honor. To apply for the scholarship, a student must write a 300-500-word essay explaining how they go about honoring America’s military heroes. Well, for a military kid, this essay might be an easy one to write. Deadline is the end of December.
- Adopt a Veteran Essay Contest –This contest is fantastic! It pairs young people with veterans and asks them to tell their story in a 1500 word essay. For military kids, access to veterans and their amazing stories is an every day occurrence. There are three awards ranging from $1,000-$5,000. Application deadlines (due in November) have already passed, but keep this one at the top of the list for next year.
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Voice of Democracy Scholarship – More than $2 million in educational scholarships are given away every year by the VFW. Their top scholarship is $30,000. Although the deadline for this year has passed (November), military connected students should keep this scholarship opportunity on their radar for next year. The contest is an audio essay contest (3-5 minutes in length) and is based on topics surrounding freedoms, sacrifice and democracy – something military kids can often understand more than their peers.
- Phi Delta Kappa International – This organization is just for teachers, but it offers scholarships to students who are interested in education. If your child’s teacher is a member of this group, or you know another teacher who is a member, this might be the right scholarship for you. If your military kid is considering becoming a teacher themselves, a member of this organization can nominate a student for this scholarship. Many Department of Defense teachers and teachers in military impacted schools are members! Applications are due in April.
Read more great stuff from Stacy! Visit FAMILIES ON THE HOME FRONT, where they help military children (and their civilian friends) maximize their developmental and learning potential by addressing their unique challenges through parent education and educational advocacy.
Stacy is a freelance writer and advocate with a passion for military families and children. Stacy was published in the popular book Stories Around the Table – Laughter, Wisdom, and Strength in Military Life. She was also a judge for Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year 2015.