Resources for Using Your VA Education Benefits, and Other Financing Options
You may or may not be eligible for certain benefits based on your or a parent's military service that could cover some or all of the costs of your education, and even pay you a housing allowance and a stipend for books while you are enrolled in school. It's important to verify your eligibility and apply for these benefits through the VA, and explore some other possibilities for funding your education:
VONAPP (Veterans Online Application) - Enables service members, veterans and their beneficiaries, and other designated individuals to apply for education benefits through the US Department of Veterans Affairs
GI Bill Comparison Tool - Learn about education programs and compare estimated benefits by school
Yellow Ribbon Program - The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers tuition costs at any public educational institution, but tuition at private educational institutions is normally above that cap. Some private institutions enter an agreement with VA under the Yellow Ribbon Program so that veteran student tuition and fees are all covered by the student's benefit.
JLV College Counseling scholarship database – a very full list of scholarships you can apply for. Sorted by category, but don’t limit yourself to looking in just the “Military” category! Check for other categories that apply to you: hobbies, age, field of study, life situations, etc.
North Dakota Dollars for Scholars – This program has approximately $100,000 in scholarships available to North Dakota students. Individual awards range from $500 to $2,500. Applicants must be from a North Dakota community with an active Dollars for Scholars chapter to qualify. Click here for details and the online application. Apply between 1 Jan and 1 Apr of each year for scholarships awarded in the following fall.
Wells Fargo Veterans Scholarship Program – This scholarship helps fill unmet financial need of veterans after military benefits and other grants and scholarships have been applied by their school. Renewable awards of up to $7,000 per year are granted to assist with remaining tuition, books, room and board, and transportation costs as part of Wells Fargo's commitment to helping veterans succeed in the civilian job market. Apply annually before the 1st of March. For full details and the application, click here!
Gene L. Kouba Memorial Scholarship Program – sponsored by Adam Klein Chapter #3, Disabled American Veterans – North Dakota. Apply annually no later than March 15th. Awards of up to $1,000 for the coming school year to veterans or spouses/widow(er)s or unmarried children of veterans that are residents of Burleigh or Morton county, North Dakota. For additional qualification information and application form, click here!
Tillman Scholar Program – Pat Tillman put a promising career in the National Football League on hold to serve his country following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In 2004, Pat was tragically killed while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. To honor his memory, Pat’s family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation to champion his causes. More than just a scholarship, the Tillman Scholar Program connects recipients of the award to a national support network and professional development opportunities to empower them to make an impact in the fields of medicine, law, business, policy, technology, education, and the arts. The scholarship (average award of $10,000!) assists with academic expenses, and can be used for tuition and fees, living expenses, and books. Applications accepted each year between 1 February and 1 March for the coming academic year.
Raytheon Patriot Scholarship – Named after Raytheon's Patriot Air and Missile Defense System, two $10,000 scholarships are awarded each year to U.S. Army veterans that are attending full-time at an accredited four-year college or university in the U.S. demonstrating commitment and passion for their field of study, and leadership and engagement within their community. A partnership between the Raytheon Company and Student Veterans of America. Apply annually by April 10th. See the website for eligibility and details.
Veterans of Foreign Wars/Sports Clips Haircuts "Help a Hero" Scholarships - Awards of up to $5,000 to qualified applicants. Must have separated at or currently hold rank of E-5 or below and demonstrate financial need; visit the website for complete eligibility and application details.
Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA) War Veterans Scholarship - Merit-based scholarships of $2500 awarded to active duty or honorably discharged veterans (including Reservists and National Guardsmen) who actively participated in either Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) or Iraqi Freedom (years 2004 - present) that are currently enrolled and attending classes at least part time pursuing an eligible STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degree program at an accredited four-year college or university in the United States. For more details and to complete an online application, click here!
Tona Law Firm (Long Island, NY) Veterans Scholarship - $1,000 scholarship awarded twice a year to a veteran of any service attending or accepted by an accredited U.S. college or university.