Both the federal government and nonprofit organizations offer student aid for:
- Future military personnel
- Active duty personnel
- Certain members of military families
This includes scholarships and loan repayment assistance.
Examples of available governmental student aid
- Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships
- Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Education Benefits
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant or Additional Federal Pell Grant Funds
- Limited Interest Rates, No Accrual of Interest, and Deferment of Student Loans
Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships are awarded based on merit rather than financial need. For more information, visit todaysmilitary.com.
Army ROTC Scholarships
Available for more than one thousand colleges. For more info, call 1-888-550-ARMY (1-888-550-2769) or visit GoArmy.com.
Air Force ROTC Scholarships
Chiefly (but not exclusively) available for students pursuing certain foreign language and technical degrees. For more info, call 1-866-4-AFROTC (1-866-423-7682) or visit AFROTC.com.
Offers 4-year scholarships and partial scholarships, including the Navy ROTC Marine Option Scholarship which is available for approved Navy ROTC colleges. For more info, call 1-800-NAV-ROTC (1-800-628-7682) or Navy.mil.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Education Benefits
Through the GI Bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers education benefits for:
- The widows of veterans
- The dependents of veterans
For more information, visit benefits.va.gov.
Additional Federal Pell Grant
A student may be eligible for an Additional Federal Pell Grant if their parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11.
To be eligible, the student must have been younger than 24 years when the parent/guardian died. Exception: Students that were 24 years or older when the parent/guardian died can still be eligible if they were enrolled at least part-time at a college or career school when their parent/guardian died.
The student must meet the general requirements for a Pell Grant recipient to receive the Additional Federal Pell Grant.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
Some students meet all the requirements for an Additional Federal Pell Grant except one: their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is not low enough for a Pell Grant. Such students can instead apply for an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.
Limited Interest Rates, No Accrual of Interest, and Deferment of Student Loans
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
If you have student loans from before you entered the military or was called to active duty, you can have the interest rate on those loans reduced to 6% during your active duty. This benefit is available for both federal, state and private student loans.
Federal Direct Loans
For Federal Direct Loans disbursed after October 1, 2008, you will not be charged any interest (for a maximum of 60 months) while serving on active duty or performing certain qualifying National Guard duties.
Deferment of repayment
- While serving on active military duty in the military, you qualify for deferment of repayment of any of your federal loans. It is also possible to have the deferment extended for an additional 180 days after the demobilization date, provided that your period of active duty includes Oct. 1, 2007, or began after that date.
- You qualify for deferment of repayment on any of your federal loans while performing qualifying National Guard duty, during a war, military operation, or national emergency. For members of the National Guard or other reserve components of the U.S. Armed forces (current or retired), it is also possible – in certain situations – to qualify for deferment of repayment on federal student loans for the 13 months immediately following the end of active duty service.
Financial aid from veteran service organizations
Examples of large veteran service organizations that offer student aid for active duty military personnel, veterans and/or members of military families: