Civilian grants and scholarships

Consider civilian grants and scholarships to help offset the cost of education

If military education benefits don’t cover all the costs of your education, consider civilian grants and scholarships. Talk to the VA representative at the college or university you are considering attending to learn about grants and scholarship opportunities.

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A grant is federal or state government money awarded to a student based on financial need or academic achievement that does not have to be repaid.
Two federal programs based on family financial need are Pell Grants and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants. For information about federal grants, visit the Federal Student Aid website (
States usually make grants to students with financial need and a strong grade point average. Generally, to qualify, you may have to be both a long-time resident and attend college in the state.
State programs can vary from state to state. To see what’s offered in a particular state, visit the website for your state’s department of education.


Scholarships are money awarded to a student from sources such as universities, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and private individuals that does not have to be repaid. Scholarships fall into three main categories: local, national, and school.
There are thousands of different scholarships, and they vary in terms of how to apply, how much money they’re worth, and who they’re awarded to. For example, you may be chosen based on your overall academic achievement, the subject you plan to study, or talents you have (such as music or sports). There are scholarships designed to help military members and their families pay for education.
To find scholarships for military members and their family, you can search online, visit a library, or talk to other military servicemembers.

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