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College Resources Available for Military Families

There are several resources available to military families with children entering college provided by different non-profit and federal agencies. This money is usually offered to veterans, future members of the military, active members of the military, or those who are closely related to a member of the military. Make sure you do your research on the best type of grant or scholarship for you and incorporate future payments and fees that may come with your grant or scholarship. Not all grants or scholarships must be paid back, so make sure you read the fine print of the terms of your scholarship or grant. Grants typically have to be paid back since they are technically loans, while scholarships usually are given as “gifts” towards tuition by institutions to entice and keep their students, as well as motivate them. So what are these resources, and how can you use them to your advantage?

Reserve Officers Training Corps Scholarships

Also known as ROTC, the Reserve Officers Training Corps Scholarship is merit-based, rather than a financial assistance scholarship.   Army ROTC scholarships are a very common form of scholarship and are offered at over 1,000 different college institutions. Once again, since these are merit scholarships, you must contact the local office to get instructions on how you can apply.   The Air Force ROTC program focuses on students who plan on pursuing foreign language degrees and technical programs in college. This does not mean that you cannot apply from a different academic scene, you can. They accept all programs, but the foreign language and technical degrees are the most accepted.   The Navy ROTC Marine Option Scholarships is a bit vaguer than the others, so make sure that you contact the Navy ROTC office of the school you are applying to, or your local Navy ROTC information session.   The Navy ROTC programs have both 4-year programs and partial programs, so please make sure that you are applying to the program that you intend to go to.  

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants are grants provided by the government to students who lost a parent in the events of 9/11 or overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan.   There are several restrictions on these types of grants. For example, at the time of your parent or legal guardians’ death, you (the student) must have been under 24 years of age or already enrolled at least part-time in a career school or a college.   If you meet these requirements and are eligible for this form of aid, you an EFC (expected family contribution) of zero. This increases your eligibility for the Pell Grant and can also boost your chances of getting other forms of Federal Aid.   If you do not qualify for a Pell Grant based on your EFC but fulfill the requirements, you can receive eligibility to receive an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, which has the same maximum grant money as a Pell Grant.   Both of these grants have adjusting scholarship money, meaning that if you are enrolled part-time in a college or career school, you will receive less grant money than you would have if you were enrolled full-time.

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