Youth holding scholarship awards.

Two College Scholarships for Military Children and How to Apply

Military families have two scholarships designed just for military kids to help ease rising college costs. The Fisher House Foundation administers the Scholarships for Military Children Program and the Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship. These two opportunities for military children assist with tuition costs, books, lab fees and other college-related expenses.

Scholarships for Military Children Program

When you think of your local commissary, you might not think about an extra $2,000 for college expenses. But over the past 15 years, commissaries have awarded more than $16 million in scholarships to more than 8,012 military children.

The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created to recognize military families’ contributions to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the commissary’s role in the military family community.

At least one $2,000 scholarship is awarded at every commissary location that receives qualified applications. More than one scholarship per commissary may be available based on the response and funding. The scholarship provides for payment of tuition, books, lab fees and other college-related expenses.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be under age 23
  • Be a dependent, unmarried child of active-duty personnel, Reserve Component members, National Guard and retired military members, survivors of service members who died while on active duty or survivors of individuals who died while receiving retired pay from the military
  • Ensure that they and their sponsor are currently enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS database)
  • Have a current dependent military ID card
  • Be enrolled or plan to enroll in a full-time undergraduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university in the fall term (Students attending a community or junior college must be enrolled in a program of studies that allows them to transfer directly into a four-year program.)
  • Have a minimum, unweighted grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)

You can pick up an application at your local commissary or download one during the application timeframe. Completed applications must be printed and hand-carried or mailed to your local commissary. You may apply at only one commissary, and it is recommended you submit your application where your family typically shops or the closest to where your sponsor lives.

How recipients are selected. Scholarship Managers, an independent, professional scholarship service, selects the recipients based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement
  • Participation in school and community activities
  • Work experience
  • A submitted essay

Applications become available in mid-December for the following year. They must be completed and returned to your local commissary by mid-February, and scholarships are awarded in May. For more information, read the FAQs at MilitaryScholar.org.

Heroes' Legacy Scholarships

The Heroes’ Legacy Scholarship honors those who fell in battle and all who died or became disabled through their active military service since Sept. 11, 2001. Over 1.8 million in scholarships have been awarded in the first five years of the program.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be a child with one parent who died while serving on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, in any branch or component of the U. S. Armed Forces, or
  • Be a child with one parent who became disabled while serving on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001 (which means the parent qualified to receive traumatic Servicemembers Group Life Insurance), or be a child with one parent who was on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and received a permanent and total compensation rating of 100 percent from the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Be under age 23
  • Be enrolled or plan to enroll full time in the fall term in an accredited U.S. college, university, or junior or community college
  • Have a minimum cumulative unweighted grade point average of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Be a dependent, unmarried children of active-duty personnel, Reserve Component members, the National Guard or retired military members Applications become available in mid-December for the following year. To apply, download the application from the Fisher House website. Applications are due in mid-March. Detailed information and due dates can be found in FAQs on the Fisher House website.

Completed application packages must be mailed to Scholarship Managers, an independent, professional scholarship service. The completed application package consists of:

  • The two-page application
  • A transcript or copy of grades
  • A typed essay of 500 words or less, double-spaced and not longer than two pages (essay topics vary)

You may apply to both scholarships as long as you meet the criteria for both.

Recipient selection. Scholarship Managers selects the recipients based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement
  • Participation in school, community and volunteer activities
  • Work experience
  • Submitted essay

Find out more about scholarships for military children. College tuition costs will continue to rise, so take advantage of the financial awards available to military families. Start by visiting Military OneSource, where you can schedule a no-cost, confidential education consultation to learn more about scholarship opportunities and the financial assistance available to military children. Call 800-342-9647. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.