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9 Awesome Scholarships for Military Children

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What’s Covered:


There are currently 1.4 million active-duty service members in the United States and 2.28 million retired service members. 


If you are the child of a service member, there are a host of scholarships specifically geared toward you. These scholarships can help you cut down on college costs so you can graduate college with less debt to worry about. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best scholarships for military children, including all application requirements and deadlines. With some options laid out, you’ll have a better idea of which scholarships you want to apply for and can begin making a plan for submitting your applications on time.


9 Scholarships for Military Children


1. Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship)


Amount: Full tuition at in-state public universities or up to $22,805.34 at private, foreign, or out-of-state schools. 

Deadline: After you have committed to a university but before matriculation.

Eligibility: If your parent died in the line of duty during or after September 11, 2001. Applicants must be between 18-33 years old.

Application Requirements: Choose the school you wish to attend on the Veterans Affairs website to see what benefits you will receive. Then, fill out an eligibility form online that requires your:

  • Social Security number
  • Social Security number of your sponsor
  • Bank account information
  • Educational history


You will receive a decision within 30 days. 


The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship was established in memory of Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry who died in the line of duty in 2006. This scholarship covers tuition and offers a stipend for housing and textbooks for the children and spouses of service members who have died in the line of duty. Tuition and benefits are dependent on the specific university of the applicant’s choice.


2. AMVETS Scholarships


Amount: $4,000

Deadline: The application opens annually on January 20 and closes on April 30.


  • Child or grandchild of a veteran, active duty member, or Guard/Reserves with honorable discharge papers.
  • U.S. citizen
  • High school senior with financial need
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0

Application Requirements: 

  • 1 essay between 350-400 words
  • ACT/SAT scores
  • Transcript 
  • Student Aid Report (SAR) from the FAFSA
  • Acceptance letter from the school you will be attending


The AMVETS Scholarship provides supplementary financial assistance to veterans, their spouses, children, and grandchildren after all federal and state means have been used. Six students receive the scholarship annually.


3. The 9/11 Promise Scholarship


Amount: Between $5,000-15,000. The award can be used for any academic expenses.

Deadline: The application opens November 1 and closes March 15.


  • Students who have lost a parent who was a first responder or military service member, or whose parents have become disabled and are unable to work.
  • Under the age of 25
  • High school senior
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Planning on attending a trade school or accredited college

Application Requirements:

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Two essays
  • Proof of dependency
  • Official notice of death of family member
  • Paperwork defining the eligible family member as a first responder or military service member.


The 9/11 Promise Scholarship was established in 2019 with the goal of helping students whose parents have become injured or died in service. 9/11 Promise started out as a marathon and bike trip beginning at the Pentagon and ending at Ground Zero in New York City to remember the victims of 9/11. Today, the organization also provides scholarships for students.


4. Folds of Honor Scholarship


Amount: Up to $5,000 per year for approved college expenses.

Deadline: The application opens February 1 and closes March 31.


  • Child of a fallen or disabled veteran
  • Parent must have at least a 10% combined service-connected evaluation from the Veterans Administration
  • Attending an accredited college or university
  • Demonstrate an unmet financial need
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 for the last year of high school

Application Requirements: 

  • Proof of service paperwork from parent
  • Proof of service member’s disability
  • Proof of dependency


Folds of Honor was established in 2007 to help the families of military service members who have died or become injured during their service. The organization provides funding for children and for those pursuing higher education as well.


5. Fisher House Foundation Scholarship


Amount: $2,000 for a maximum of 4 years

Deadline: February 17


  • Children of active or retired service members with a valid I.D.
  • Planning on enrolling in a 4-year program or community college that allows transfer to 4-year programs
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 for high school applicants 
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 for college applicants 

Application Requirements:

  • 500-word essay
  • Extracurricular and/or volunteer activities preferred 


The Fisher House scholarship was developed to aid the educational goals of military children. 500 grants of $2,000 are offered each year. Fisher House is an organization that builds homes near VA and military medical centers so that families have a place to stay when they visit a loved one in a hospital.


6. Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship


Amount: $5,000

Deadline: March 1


  • Children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of veterans between April 6, 1917-November 11, 1918 or anytime after December 7, 1941.
  • High school senior or accredited college student
  • 50 hours of volunteer service throughout high school

Application Requirements:

  • Four letters of recommendation are required
  • Transcript
  • Application questions
  • 3 essays, no more than 1,000 words
  • Letter from volunteer organization certifying 50 hours of community service
  • ACT/SAT scores
  • Copy of the FAFSA
  • Description of parent or grandparent’s military service


The American Legion Auxiliary was founded in 1919 in order to promote patriotism and provide support for veterans and their families. The organization sponsors several different scholarships for veterans and families in different stages of their lives, including children, college students, and non-traditional students. This scholarship is awarded to 15 students each year.

7. Bonsai Finance Veteran’s Scholarship


Amount: $1,000

Deadline: September 30


  • Have served in the military or are a dependent of a military member
  • U.S. citizen
  • Not yet have a bachelor’s degree

Application Requirements:

  • 500-word essay


The Bonsai Finance Veteran’s Scholarship celebrates high-achieving veteran and dependent students. The scholarship provides a one-time payment of $1,000 for current or future education costs. Bonsai Finance is a veteran-owned company.


8. Military Commanders Scholarship Fund


Amount: $5,000

Deadline: Only the first 100 applications are considered with a final deadline of February 16. 


  • Dependents of active-duty or retired military service members
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5 

Application Requirements:

  • Transcript
  • Parent DD214 form
  • Support of Service form


The Military Commanders Scholarship Fund has awarded over $660,000 to children of active and retired military service members. The scholarship itself is administered by Scholarship America and assists children of select active duty, reserve, National Guard or retired members of the United States military who plan to continue post-secondary education.


9. Fleet Reserve Association Scholarship 


Amount: Up to $5,000

Deadline: Opens September 1 and closes April 15.


  • Child of an active duty or retired military service member affiliated with the Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, or Coast Guard.
  • U.S. citizen
  • Matriculating into a university for full-time study

Application Requirements:

  • 1 essay
  • List of all extracurricular activities and work experience
  • Transcript
  • ACT/SAT scores
  • 2 recommendation letters
  • Application requiring family financial information


The Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) provides funding for military service dependents, and several different scholarships exist depending on eligibility. FRA’s mission is to help service members of the Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, and Coast Guard as well as their families achieve higher education degrees.



Tips for Applying to Scholarships


1. Prepare Early


Many of the scholarships listed above like the Children of Warriors National Presidents Scholarship require significant background information as well as recommendation letters and essays. We recommend you gather all materials you need well in advance of deadlines. Additionally, some scholarships like the Military Commanders Scholarship Fund are awarded to the first students that apply, so be sure to look into the details of each process.


2. Be Genuine


If you have to write essays in your application, do your best to tell your story in an authentic way. Don’t write what you think someone else will want to hearinstead, write what is genuine and true. Remember, scholarship committees are typically made up of a diverse panel of readers who want to get to know their applicants.


3. Pick Solid Recommenders 


When picking a recommender, try to pick someone who knows you both personally and professionally. If you’re picking a teacher, don’t just pick a teacher whose class you did well in. Pick someone who can also talk about your character as a student, not just the grade you received in a class. 


4. Create a Resume


It might be hard for you to remember every single activity that you’ve participated in, especially if you need to write about your extracurricular activities. Creating a brief resume before starting your application can help you remember the various activities you’ve been involved in throughout the year. This can help you brainstorm essay topics as well.


5. Show Impact 


In your application, make sure to “show, don’t tell.” For your essays, use vivid descriptions and specific examples from your experiences to bring your story to life. If you have to list extracurricular activities, don’t just describe them. Instead, tell the committee why they are significant and what impact your involvement had on other people, your community, etc.


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Short Bio
Juliette is a senior at Cornell University studying Industrial & Labor Relations. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, running, drinking coffee, and exploring different hiking trails in Ithaca.