Military Scholarships Can Supplement Your Education Benefits

by John Montesi

Many active duty, veteran, or other military-connected students use their hard-earned education benefits to help fund their college education. However, these benefits may not always cover the entire cost of tuition or associated expenses at their chosen school.

In these cases, military scholarships can help cover the remaining costs. Here’s what you need to know about these funding opportunities.

Veterans Affairs and the GI Bill

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides education benefits through programs like the GI Bill®—and these entitlements are always the first place military-connected students should look for tuition benefits or assistance. Depending on your specific eligibility, the program, and the school you choose, your tuition, fees, books, and housing may be completely or mostly covered. When the full cost isn’t covered, outside scholarships can help bridge the gap.

Seeking Additional Sources of Funding

Vannessa Weber, assistant director of military and veteran education benefits at Azusa Pacific University, is an expert on military education benefits. She noted that while many military-connected students are awarded comprehensive education benefits, it’s also a good idea for them to seek out additional sources of funding.

“Many of our students receive VA education benefits that pay for 100 percent of their tuition, but other students receive a different type of benefit that does not include full tuition coverage—and scholarships can help fill those gaps, at least partially,” Weber said. “Depending on the type of scholarship, students may even receive a refund of excess scholarship funds that they can use toward their living expenses. I definitely recommend that every student consider applying for outside scholarships and grants.”

Outside Scholarship Opportunities

There are a number of scholarships designed to support America’s military servicemembers or their family members who are going back to school. By understanding the available options, you can pursue your dream education without added financial burdens. Here are some options to consider:

California Veteran Grants: The U.S. government has set aside more than $150,000 in government grants and other forms of financial funding for veterans, which is earmarked by state. Visit California Veteran Grants for more information.

NBC Universal: NBC Universal works with Student Veterans of America to distribute two $12,000 scholarships each year. These awards are open to students who are currently pursuing an associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degree at an accredited university.

Google Scholarship: Google has partnered with Student Veterans of America to offer $10,000 scholarships to veteran students pursuing degrees in computer science. Recipients are also invited to attend Google’s annual Scholars’ Retreat.

National Military Family Association Scholarship: The National Military Family Association offers scholarships to military spouses with a valid military ID. Award amounts are $1,000 on average.

Van Sant Law Scholarship: Van Sant Law offers a $1,000 annual scholarship to any military veteran attending a college or university.

George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Scholarship: The office of George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers offers a $1,000 scholarship to any college student who is an active duty servicemember, a veteran, or a spouse or child of an active duty or retired servicemember.

Student Veterans of America: Student Veterans of America provides a number of resources for military members across the country, including scholarship opportunities.

School-Specific Scholarships

Many universities offer their own military scholarships that augment government aid and outside scholarships. From endowments to university initiatives, there are a number of support options earmarked for veterans and active-duty members. Yellow Ribbon schools and school-specific scholarships like APU’s Ahmanson Scholarship help military students cover the costs associated with their education.

Want to learn more about how Azusa Pacific University helps military-connected students maximize their education benefits? Explore the school’s Military and Veteran Education Benefits.