10 Scholarships for Former Military Officers

Rejoining the civilian world with a new career is a daunting task for many service members. For many veterans, there is the added difficulty of needing additional, civilian-specific training in order to pursue their desired career, which means that university or career college classes are in their future. With the cost of a university degree and career college training at record highs, it is already incredibly difficult to fund these kinds of education. Most former service members have the additional challenge of balancing further education with the reality of bills and a family to support. Luckily, there are many scholarships, grants, and loan programs available specifically for former service members who are seeking to increase their skills for a new, civilian career.

Additionally, some of these program benefits are transferrable to the current spouse of service members and their dependents, which can be beneficial for those who do not need to obtain more skills for their civilian career to help their immediate family to pursue their own careers.

1. Adelante! HOPE Veteran’s Scholarship

The Adelante! HOPE Veteran’s Scholarship is funded by the Hispanic Organization for Public Employees, and it is available for any U.S. military veteran of Hispanic descent. It is an award of up to $1,300 to help the recipient cover the cost of tuition and fees at any college or university in the state of Texas.

2. AFCEA Military Personnel Scholarship

For those who wish to pursue a STEM career after their military service, the AFCEA offers a wide range of scholarships to help fund individuals who are pursuing the goals of the AFCEA. Specifically, the War Veterans Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship of $2,500 for those who served in the Afghanistan and/or Iraq Wars to help cover the cost an eligible STEM program. These programs include biometry, engineering, computer science, mathematics, and more.

3. AMVETS Scholarship

There are four kinds of scholarships available through the AMVETS Scholarship Fund. The $12,000 Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship and the $1,000 Henry G. Huestis Memorial Scholarship are available exclusively to veterans, active service members, and those in the National Reserve or the National Guard who served honorably. Additionally, the $4,000 AMVETS scholarship is available to not only these eligible service members, but also their children and grandchildren who are in their last year of high school when they apply. Finally, their children and grandchildren may also be eligible for the $1,000 JROTC scholarship if they have participated in the JROTC program at their high school.

4. Army Staff Sgt. Special Agent Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship

For those who are pursuing careers related to national security, counterintelligence, or alliance building, the Army Staff Sgt. Special Agent Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship is an excellent opportunity to fund part of the tuition and fees associated with these programs. This $1,000 scholarship is awarded to students who have innovative ideas or solutions pertaining to national security, and it includes the opportunity to work with a mentor in the field of national security.

5. Imagine America’s Military Award Program

The purpose of the Imagine America’s Military Award Program is to help veterans fund a career college program so that they can transition into civilian life with a specific skill set. Any qualified active duty, reservist, honorably discharged or retired veteran is eligible for a $1,000 scholarship to cover the cost of their tuition at a participating career college.

6. Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Education Grant

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Education Assistance program features interest-free loans and grants ranging from $500 to $3,000 to help with the cost of undergraduate or post-secondary university expenses. Current and former service members as well as their children are eligible for this program as long as they are MECEP/MECP students who maintain a 2.0 GPA.

7. Paralyzed Veterans of America Scholarship

The Paralyzed Veterans of America Scholarship is a scholarship that is available for paralyzed veterans and their immediate family to pursue higher education degrees. Recipients attending school full-time are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship, whereas those attending school part-time are eligible for a $500 scholarship. This scholarship is renewable, with an individual limit of $10,000.

8. Pat Tillman Scholarship

The Pat Tillman Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship that covers tuition, fees, books, and living expenses for its recipients. The application is open to all veterans, active duty service members, and their current spouses (including surviving spouses) who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited institution. Recipients of this scholarship are held to high academic standards, and they are expected to be actively involved in their communities prior to their application.

9. Troops to Teachers Program

For veterans who have always wanted to teach elementary and high school, this program is designed to help veterans obtain their teach license. This program features a $5,000 stipend for certain participants cover the cost of certifying. Certain participants may also be eligible for a bonus of up to $10,000 as an incentive to teach in certain schools (stipend and bonus cannot exceed $10,000 total).

10. Veteran Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a program that helps eligible veterans pay for their own tuition and fees at a public or private university that has entered into the Yellow Ribbon Agreement. It covers the complete resident tuition and fees for participating public universities, or the national maximum for private universities. The benefits of this program may not be transferred to spouses, but they can be transferred to a dependent.

Related Resource: 10 Highest-Paying Jobs After Military Service


This list is only a small fraction of the hundreds of financial aid opportunities available to veterans and their families. In addition to these ten specific resources, it is also a good idea to look into the scholarships offered at specific universities or through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The ten scholarship programs on this list can also help you search for other scholarships, grants, and loans specifically designed for former service members, as many of the foundations on this list offer more than just one kind scholarship for former service members and their families.