Back in the day, I used to have a little website called Military Scholarship Finder. (Wait – does anyone even say “back in the day” anymore? Am I old?) I enjoyed posting the scholarships and grants that I found, but I hated the platform on which I set it up, and I stay pretty busy with KateHorrell.com, my coaching, and my family. I was talking about it recently, and my smart friend said, “Why don’t you put the scholarships at KateHorrell.com?”
And so starts a new series here at KateHorrell.com – scholarships and grants!
Now, this listing is only military-related scholarships. There are a bjillion other non-military scholarships and grants, but I’m not going to list them all here because there are many resources to help you find them. One big scholarship website is Chegg Scholarships, which seems better organized than some of the other choices.
As with any other scholarship resource, verify eligibility, requirements and deadlines. We make every effort to ensure these listings are up-to-date, but we can’t guarantee it!
If you want some help with your college financial strategy, including making the most of your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, consider hiring me to help. You can schedule a free 30 minute call to discuss your family’s specific concerns by using this link to my Calendly schedule.
Tips and Tricks for Scholarship Hunting
Ask your recommenders if they’d be willing to do a generic letter of recommendation and give you multiple copies, or let you make copies yourself. Because it becomes a pain to ask the same person for a letter of recommendation every day! You want at least two, but some scholarships will ask for a third, or a recommendation from someone specific (like a boss, or a volunteer leader.)
Read through the requirements at least two weeks before the deadline. Yes, you might be able to do it more quickly, but most applications require help from people outside your family: a recommender, your guidance department or records office, or some other group. Plus, essays almost always improve with time.
Find local scholarships through your school. The counseling office or financial aid office probably has a list or a place where they post scholarships.
Research local community groups and businesses. Organizations like the Elks, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, school parent-teacher organizations, and even some businesses will offer scholarships.
Build yourself some sort of system for organizing the scholarship applications.
I use a spreadsheet, and when my kids were still in high school, I made little packets for each scholarship with a cover sheet. My friend has clipboards hanging from her dining room wall. The best plan I’ve heard, at least while the student lives in the same place as the researcher/organizer, is a milk crate type file box, with a separate file for each scholarship, sorted by due date. When the student has time to work on scholarships, they can just pull out the right file. I’d probably add a colored sticky note for special requirements like letters of recommendation or official transcripts.
A note about organization: If your child is the student, it is tempting to expect them to do this work alone. After all, it’s their college journey. But let’s be realistic here. High school seniors are busy, and very few of them truly understand how much money’s at stake. Having someone else research and organize the scholarship process is going to increase the chances that they’ll be awarded a scholarship because it increases the chances that they apply. And being awarded a scholarship is the goal here. An adult can’t ethically apply for the student, but they can make sure the paperwork is available and easy to find, and make photocopies, and remove some of the obstacles to applying.
Which Scholarships Should You Apply For?
Well, that’s a trick question. On one hand, apply for them all! On the other hand, that’s often unrealistic. And the likelihood of being awarded an open-to-the-whole-country scholarship is slim. If you’re prioritizing, pick scholarships with a smaller field of eligibility. These may include local area spouses’ clubs, military job-specific organization, or demographic groups (female children of Army officers, grandchildren of Korean War veterans.)
Important if you’re using the GI Bill: Check to see whether the scholarship will cover expenses outside of tuition and fees. If it’s a tuition-only scholarship, you might want to leave it for someone else, depending. Most schools apply payments of tuition-only scholarships in such a way that the scholarship simply reduces the amount that the GI Bill pays. This may also apply if you are receiving need-based aid from your school.
Now look through the lists! Be sure to check back regularly, as I am always finding new scholarships to add.
The Scholarships, By Month of Due Date
Note: Each month is updated yearly, about a month in advance. The older months are left for reference until they are updated for the new year.
If you know of a military scholarship, please shoot me an email at kate at katehorrell dot com, and I’ll add it to the list. Thanks! And let me know if you are awarded any of these scholarships – those emails make my day!
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