More than 1.4 million Americans have made the choice to serve their country. The brave men and women who voluntarily invest their time in the United States Military are some of the well-respected citizens of the country. Choosing to enter the military should not forfeit your dreams of receiving a college education. Whether you are a member of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy there are a number of college scholarships and grants available for service members, veterans and their families.
The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) offers a variety of scholarships - from full-tuition to additional funding for room and board to allowances for books and fees - that are awarded based on merit and not financial need. While the ROTC offers scholarships that cover tuition, fees and other college expenses, the scholarship application process is just as competitive as any other scholarship. Each year, the Army ROTC awards scholarships to more than 13,000 students and provides roughly $274 million in scholarship money. About 12,000 high school seniors compete at the national level for 2,000 available Army ROTC scholarships. High school students who receive Army ROTC scholarships tend to be in the 25th percentile of their class, are a part of an honor society and are involved in extracurricular activities.
The U.S. Air Force ROTC similarly offers scholarships to help students ease the financial burden of their college education. Air Force ROTC scholarships cover college tuition and the majority of lab fees. Students will also receive a textbook allowance and a maximum of $500 a month in spending cash.
Both the Army and the Navy have ROTC programs that collaborate with a number of colleges across the country. And if you are a member of the Illinois National Guard, you may be eligible to receive the Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant that awards undergraduate and graduate students annually.
Below are some examples of military scholarships and grants worthy of pursuing. To find out if you are eligible for additional scholarships based on service or other criteria, conduct a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.