Last updated on April 20, 2022

5 Exclusive Military Scholarships

The Top Military Scholarships with Upcoming Deadlines
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SCHOLARSHIPS FEATURED BY:
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4 SCHOLARSHIPS
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  1. Cover image for Bryent Smothermon PTSD Awareness Scholarship

    Bryent Smothermon PTSD Awareness Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bryent Smothermon
    To honor the legacy of Bryent Smothermon, this scholarship exists to support military veterans or military family members who have suffered from PTSD.
    Funded by
    Bryent Smothermon
    To honor the legacy of Bryent Smothermon, this scholarship exists to support military veterans or military family members who have suffered from PTSD.
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline :May 14, 2022
    Scholarship is in review
    1
  2. Cover image for Joseph J. Canfora Hospitality Scholarship

    Joseph J. Canfora Hospitality Scholarship

    Funded by
    Joseph Canfora
    This scholarship seeks to support underrepresented minority students who are interested in pursuing careers in the hospitality industry.
    Funded by
    Joseph Canfora
    This scholarship seeks to support underrepresented minority students who are interested in pursuing careers in the hospitality industry.
    Amount:$5,000
    Deadline :Apr 14, 2022
    Scholarship is awarded to
    2 winners
    2
  3. Cover image for Commander Estabrook Memorial Scholarship

    Commander Estabrook Memorial Scholarship

    Funded by
    Estabrook
    This scholarship seeks to support graduating JROTC cadets or undergraduates in ROTC programs in Oklahoma.
    Funded by
    Estabrook
    This scholarship seeks to support graduating JROTC cadets or undergraduates in ROTC programs in Oklahoma.
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline :May 19, 2022
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    3
  4. Cover image for WiseGeek No-Essay Military Appreciation Grant

    WiseGeek No-Essay Military Appreciation Grant

    Funded by
    wiseGEEK
    The WiseGeek Military Appreciation Grant is a $500 debt forgiveness grant open to those who are currently serving, plan to serve, or have already served in the US military.
    Funded by
    wiseGEEK
    The WiseGeek Military Appreciation Grant is a $500 debt forgiveness grant open to those who are currently serving, plan to serve, or have already served in the US military.
    Amount:$500
    Deadline :Apr 16, 2022
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    4

About military scholarships

There are approximately 1,192,700 military students pursuing a bachelor’s degree, with another 241,000 pursuing graduate degrees. That accounts for about 6.1% of the undergraduate population and 6.7% of the graduate population.

In recognition of their dutiful military service, the United States offers higher education benefits to its servicemen and women, to help reduce the financial burden of college and graduate school. Unfortunately, many students do not receive these benefits. 

As a result, military service members take out an average of $8,000 for college and $18,000 for graduate school. Consequently, many veterans and soldiers are left with significant debt after graduating.

Bold.org is here to help, with a collection of scholarships dedicated to the brave men and women who fight to defend and protect our great country. We thank you for your distinguished service.

The importance of scholarships for veterans and active-duty soldiers

To combat the rising college tuition costs, the US military offers financial assistance through "benefits" to its servicemen and women who wish to pursue a college education. However, just 43% of military undergraduates received veterans’ education benefits, while only 36% of military graduate students received veterans’ education benefits.

Military students who did not receive veterans’ education benefits often have to take out significant loans to pay for school. The average cumulative debt for a veteran or active duty service member who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2015-16 was approximately $25,000 at public and nonprofit institutions, including community colleges.

At Bold.org, we’re committed to making college more affordable for active duty, retired, or dependent military personnel. While the award amount varies between each opportunity, our list of military college scholarships is designed specifically for the people who fight to protect and defend our country.

How to qualify for military scholarships

To have the best chance of winning, it's important to put time and consideration into your scholarship applications. Before working on your submission, be sure to check the eligibility requirements of each scholarship so you're positive that you qualify!

Be an active-duty member of the military

Many military scholarships seek to aid active-duty military members who are trying to pursue a college education. If you're currently serving in the military, you're eligible to apply for these military scholarships!

Be a military veteran

Certain scholarships are exclusively open to veterans, such as the Praccess Veterans Education Grant. If you've served in any branch of the military, you should qualify for veteran scholarships.

Be a loved one of active-duty military members or military veterans

Most scholarships aim to help those who are directly involved in military service, but some scholarships also are open to the family of military members. For these scholarships, you can qualify if you're the child, spouse, or family member of someone who has experience in military service. If you're the child of a veteran, be sure to check out the Bryent Smothermon PTSD Awareness Scholarship!

Check any additional eligibility requirements

In addition to being a service member, veteran, or family member of a soldier, some scholarships have additional eligibility criteria, such as location, disability, or field. Make sure you check all of the eligibility requirements before taking the time to apply.

Types of armed forces scholarships available

In recognition of the bravery and sacrifices of military members, there are many different types of scholarship awards available. Some scholarships are geared towards active members of the military, while others are directed towards veterans living with PTSD or to people who've lost a parent or family member who was in the military.

How to find military scholarships for veterans and active-duty service members

Starting your scholarship search can be daunting. With so many scholarship programs available, finding the right scholarships can feel impossible. Luckily, we're here to help. On Bold.org, you can use all kinds of filters to find the best-fitting scholarships. To find scholarships for service members in the armed forces, go to the "military" category.

You can also choose to display only no-essay scholarships, and you can also filter by amount, deadline, and education level. While you're searching, you can bookmark scholarships you're interested in so you can apply later. With all of these options available, you'll be able to find the perfect scholarships for you.

When to start applying for scholarships for active-duty military personnel

When applying for scholarships, starting earlier gives you as much time as possible to earn money for your college education. Some military scholarships are open to high school students who are going into the military or who have family members in the army, so you can start before you even graduate!

It's also never too late to start your search. There are plenty of scholarships available for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, so don't worry if you're just getting started with the application process.

What to consider when applying for military scholarships

When applying for scholarships, keep in mind the eligibility requirements of each award. Make sure you're applying to scholarships that you're eligible to receive. Additionally, remember that there are often many eligible applicants, so you want to spend time and effort on your application so you can stand out from the competition. Keep reading for our exclusive tips on how to increase your chances of winning.

How to apply for military scholarships

Each scholarship on Bold.org has instructions in the description for a quick and easy application process. Some no-essay scholarships can be applied for with just a few clicks, while essay-based scholarships will give you a prompt and word limit so you can craft your essay.

Tips for winning military scholarships

With so many students looking for college scholarships, it's critical that you make yourself stand apart from the other applicants. To boost your chances of making an impression and winning scholarship funds for your college education, read the tips below.

Find your best-fitting scholarships

The less competition a scholarship has, the greater your chances of winning. Finding scholarships with many eligibility requirements will limit the number of other applicants, making you more likely to win. Military scholarships are already limited to a smaller applicant pool, but finding scholarships with additional requirements, such as serving in a certain field or having PTSD will further your chances of winning.

Apply as early as possible

Being among the first to apply for a scholarship can also improve your chances of winning. You can use the filter feature to find the newest scholarships so you can be the first to apply!

Work hard on your scholarship essays

For essay-based scholarships, it's important to put your best foot forward through your writing. Make sure you stick to the prompt and answer every part of it. Additionally, open with a hook to capture the interest of the reader. Since many scholarships have low word limits, make sure you utilize your words well by remaining focused on the topic. Finally, include a conclusion that wraps up your essay, and be sure to proofread before submitting!

Use your profile to supplement your applications

In addition to putting time into your scholarship essays or other application materials, you can also use your profile to your advantage. Having a unique, personal, and detailed profile can give the donors a better sense of who you are, helping you make a good impression. You can also earn as many bold points as possible to increase your chances of winning.

Military education statistics

By the Numbers:

  • In 2018, 75% of student veterans were enrolled as full-time students
  • In 2018, 62% of student veterans were first-generation college students
  • Veteran students have an average 54% completion rate, similar to the overall national average (53%) and noticeably higher than the completion rate of other adult learners (39%)

Top Fields of Study:

  • Business - 27%
  • STEM - 14%
  • Healthcare professions - 10%

Unfortunately, the transition from active duty military service to civilian life can be quite difficult, with very few soldiers returning home unscathed.

Approximately 58% of military service members reported a service-connected disability. That includes more than 20% of all military veterans who are diagnosed with PTSD, a psychiatric disorder triggered by experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.

These challenges can make it very difficult to hold down a job or to pursue a college or graduate school degree.

It has also been well documented that the Department of Veterans Affairs has struggled to meet the needs of our veterans, leading to many former military members going without desperately needed benefits.

Military challenges remain

A research survey launched by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families found common obstacles that many veterans reported struggling with.

Barriers to Pursuing Higher Education:

  • Lack of financial resources/financial burden, even w/GI Bill benefits - 56%
  • Family obligations - 28%
  • GI Bill benefits expire before degree completion - 25%
  • Health and wellness/disability - 23%
  • Conflict between job and school - 22%

Military to Civilian Life Transition Difficulties:

  • Navigating VA programs, benefits, and services - 60%
  • Finding a job - 55%
  • Adjusting to civilian life - 41%
  • Financial challenges - 40%
  • Applying military skills to the civilian world - 39%

Frequently asked questions about military scholarships

The scholarship application process can feel confusing, so check out these frequently asked questions to clear up any confusion you may have. You can send any additional questions you may have to contact@bold.org!

Who qualifies for military scholarships?

Each scholarship has specific eligibility requirements, but veterans and active-duty military personnel qualify for military scholarships. This includes marine corps and air force ROTC scholarships. Some military scholarships are even open to the friends, family, and loved ones of those who have served.

How do you get a military scholarship for college?

To get a military scholarship, browse through all of the opportunities. Then, follow the scholarship instructions to easily apply. Make sure you follow our application tips listed above to give yourself the best chance of winning scholarship funds.

What are military scholarships?

Scholarships for active-duty military personnel or veterans are scholarship funds that aim to help members of the military afford their college education. These scholarships are exclusively open to veterans or active-duty military as a means of appreciation for their service.

How does a military scholarship work?

Scholarship awards won through Bold.org are sent directly to the university of the winner to go towards college tuition or other costs. If you win a grant for student debt, the money is applied to your student loans.

Are military scholarships taxable income?

Scholarships for active-duty military personnel or veterans are not considered taxable income. The money is applied directly to your tuition or student loans!

Are there scholarships for military spouses?

While most scholarships seek to directly support members of the military, some are also open to the loved ones of soldiers and veterans, including military spouses. Check out this scholarship that's open to the children or spouses of first responders or members of the military.

Can you study abroad with a military scholarship?

While some military programs support students who study abroad, scholarship money won through Bold.org can only be applied at schools located in the United States.