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5 best scholarships for children of veterans

Man in a military uniform with his son
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Scholarships provide college students with free money to pay for school. Unlike loans, they don’t have to be paid back, which makes them a good first choice if you need help affording college. There are scholarships designed for many types of students; children and grandchildren of veterans can find college funding reserved for them.

5 best scholarships for children of veterans

There are a wide variety of scholarships for children of veterans. While the scholarships listed below are a good place to start, don’t limit yourself to these. Scholarship search engines can help you find more scholarships based on your military affiliation, ethnicity, gender, economic background and school.

1. AMVETS National Scholarship

To get an AMVETS National Scholarship, you’ll need to carry at least a 3.0 grade point average and show academic and financial need. You’ll also need to prove that you’re a child or a grandchild of a U.S. veteran and be a high school senior who’s entering college the upcoming fall. Applicants will need to submit an essay of 250 to 500 words, with a topic that rotates year by year.

Amount: $4,000
Deadline: April 30, 2022 (applications open in January)
Apply here:

2. Paralyzed Veterans of America Educational Scholarship Program

If you’re unmarried and a dependent of a Paralyzed Veterans of America member, you could apply for this scholarship. If you’ve won this scholarship in the past, you can apply again, but you’re capped at two scholarships in a lifetime. Both full-time and part-time students can apply.

Amount: $1,000 or $2,500
Deadline: Applications open in March
Apply here:

3. Dolphin Scholarship Foundation

You might be eligible for the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation award if you’re currently a high school senior or or college student and are the child of a current or former member of the submarine force. Accredited technical and vocational schools are accepted, although Military Service Academy students are not eligible.

Amount: $2,000 or $3,400
Deadline: March 15, 2022 (applications open in October)
Apply here:

4. Military Scholarship Competition

Students wanting to pursue a career in logistics and supply chain management can apply for the Military Scholarship Competition. Applicants must be a dependent of a current or former active-duty military member and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. To apply, students must write an essay explaining why they’ve chosen a college major in logistics.

Amount: $1,000
Deadline: Dec. 15, 2021
Apply here:

5. Wings Over America Scholarship

Children of current or former U.S. Navy personnel may apply for one of the fifty scholarships Wings Over America offers. In addition to traditional four-year college, Wings Over America covers community college and trade and technical school. The scholarships take into account six factors: academic achievement, extracurriculars, work experience, community service, recommendations and essays.

Amount: Varies, but typically $4,600
Deadline: March 1, 2022 (applications open in October)
Apply here:

Where to find scholarships for children of veterans

Hundreds of thousands of scholarships are awarded every year based on a number of things, including:

  • Race.
  • Ethnicity.
  • Gender.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Birthplace.
  • Academic achievements.
  • Socioeconomic background.
  • Interests or hobbies.

If you’re the child or grandchild of someone who served in the U.S. military, there are scholarships out there just for you. You can explore scholarships from around the world by doing internet searches based on your profile. For instance, “military scholarships for women” or “military scholarships in Indiana” or “scholarships for veterans at the University of Miami” might work for you. You might also consider trying scholarship-based websites like:

You can also search for related scholarships at the institution you plan on attending. Some schools have their own targeted scholarships, while others might be more broad in who gets their awards.

Tips for applying for scholarships

If you want to limit how much money you borrow through student loans, it’s a good idea to maximize your free money. Applying for and managing scholarships is like a part-time job, so know what it takes before getting started.

  1. Get organized. Create a spreadsheet you can access from anywhere, anytime, that details each scholarship, the award amount, deadlines, application status and anything major you need for the application, like letters of recommendations or essays. It might help to keep a separate tab on all awarded money so you know how many more scholarships you need to apply for to get a free ride to school.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Many scholarships require a completed FAFSA when you apply. To save yourself a little time, complete the FAFSA as early as possible. This not only helps your scholarship applications, but also gives you an idea of your expected family contribution. It also gives you federal financial aid aside from private scholarships, if you qualify.
  3. Complete requirements. Even after you’ve won awards, stay up to date with ongoing requirements. Many scholarships for children of veterans are multiyear awards, requiring annual reapplications. If there are any scholarships that aren’t renewed, you’ll need to cover those costs and apply for new scholarships, grants, work-study or loans.

Learn more:

Written by
Dori Zinn
Contributing writer
Dori Zinn has been a personal finance journalist for more than a decade. Aside from her work for Bankrate, her bylines have appeared on CNET, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Wirecutter, Quartz, Inc. and more. She loves helping people learn about money, specializing in topics like investing, real estate, borrowing money and financial literacy.
Edited by
Student loans editor