Scholarships for Air Force Veterans

Air Force veterans who have served their country and were honorably discharged can apply for scholarship assistance to help pay for the cost of completing a post-secondary degree. Some programs are available to veterans nationally, while others are offered from specific colleges or universities.

A veteran who is looking for options to help defray the cost of paying for an education program should make a point of considering both types of funding options. Once the former airman or woman knows what type of degree he or she is interested in and has a short list of schools in mind, the next step should be to investigate all funding options offered by those schools. The Financial Aid Office at the school should be able to provide information about available options. [Read more…]

Scholarships for Dependent Children of Air Force Personnel

Dependent children of airmen and women can get help to pay for the cost of pursuing a post-secondary degree. Some programs are offered only to dependents of those who were killed or disabled while serving their country, while others are awarded based on the recipient’s personal characteristics or on demonstrated financial need. Scholarship programs are recognizing that not all people going to school pursue their education goals in an on-campus program, and funding for online degree programs is now being offered in some cases.

Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund

Freedom Alliance provides scholarship funds to dependent children (under the age of 26) of Airmen (as well as soldiers, sailors, Marines and Guardsmen) who died or became permanently disabled on an operational mission or in a training accident. Individual awards are made based on the recipient’s demonstrated need and the scholarships may be renewed for up to three years (four years funding in total). The money received under this program may be used toward the following expenses: [Read more…]

US Air Force Scholarships

The Air Force offers a number of scholarships to high school students who would like to get help paying for their post-secondary education costs. It also has a scholarship program which helps enlisted personnel who want to qualify for a promotion to commissioned officer status.

Before applying for a scholarship, a prospective student should review the program criteria carefully. Some scholarships are used mainly to fund technical programs and others have an annual funding limit.

ROTC Air Force Scholarships for High School Students

The Air Force Type 1 Scholarship covers the full cost of college tuition for a four-year program. It also pays up to $900 per year for books and most fees associated with going to school. About five percent of scholarship recipients are offered Type 1 funding and in most cases, students are enrolled in a technical program.

A Type 2 Scholarship is used to fund a three or four-year post-secondary educational program. It pays for tuition and fees up to a cap of $18,000 per annum. It also provides up to $900 per year to cover the cost of books. If a student attends a school where tuition costs more than the $18,000 annual funding limit, he or she is responsible for paying the difference personally.

Another scholarship program offered to high school students interested in enlisting in the Air Force is a Type 7. This option provides funding up to the amount charged to in-state students at a public school. This scholarship also pays up to $900 per year for books.

All ROTC Scholarship recipients are paid a stipend for each month they spend in school. Four year scholarship funding starts at the beginning of the recipient’s freshman year. Three-year ones start to provide money at the start of the student’s sophomore year.

A high school student who applies for an ROTC Scholarship is not obligated to serve in the Air Force. A student who accepts the scholarship funds is required to serve a minimum of four years active duty after graduation.

Air Force ROTC Enlisted Scholarships

Air Force personnel who are U.S. citizens and have served for at least one year can apply for one of the enlisted scholarships available to them. The ASCP scholarship allows eligible active duty personnel to receive up to $15,000 to complete a college degree program.

The Professional Officer Course – Early Release Program (POC-ERP) allows enlisted personnel to leave active duty early so that they can enrol in an ROTC program and attend college on a full-time basis. This program is only offered for Bachelor’s degree programs. After completing the degree program, the graduate is commissioned as a second lieutenant and is required to serve four years active duty.

Air Force scholarships are available to high school students who are interested in enlisting after completing a degree as well as active duty personnel who want to qualify for a promotion to a commissioned officer in the Service. In each case, scholarship recipients are required to complete a minimum of four years of active duty service after completing their degree program.

More Air Force Scholarship Resources

Below we have listed additional resources for specific members of the US Air Force.

Air Force Tuition Assistance Programs & Financial Aid

Air Force Active Duty Education Benefits

Air Force personnel can take advantage of several types of education benefits to help them obtain a degree which will help them qualify for a higher rank in the service or to prepare for the next phase of their working life after being discharged. All eligible personnel should review their options for financial assistance carefully to ensure that they are choosing the right

Montgomery Bill Active Duty Benefits

The Montgomery Bill, or MGIB, provides educational benefits for active duty Air Force personnel. Servicemen and women establish their eligibility while on active duty status (which does not include training). The benefit is available to qualified personnel who have obtained a high school diploma or a GED (General Educational Development) certificate.

Active duty personnel contribute $100 per month through a payroll deduction plan. Funds are withdrawn from the regular pay for 12 months. To qualify for this educational benefit, a member must have a minimum of two years of active duty service.

Choosing to obtain benefits under the MGIB offers the recipient more flexibility than other sources of funding to finance a post-secondary education program. Recipients can use the available funding to help pay for a certificate or degree program, as well as technical or vocational training.

Montgomery Bill funding is available for up to 36 months to qualified personnel and can be accessed for up to 10 years after date the serviceman or woman is honorably discharged.

New GI Bill Benefits

The New GI Bill is also called the Post-91/11 GI Bill. As the name implied, it provides educational benefits to people who have served in the Armed Forces after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Eligible airmen and women can get the full cost of a college degree covered under the GI Bill. Funding is provided to pay tuition, books and materials, and tutoring (if required). A monthly housing stipend is also included under this plan. The fee required to take a licensing exam after completing a degree may also be covered under the New GI Bill.

Funding is provided up to the level it would cost to attend the most expensive public university in the state where the recipient lives. If you wanted to attend a private school for your degree, you would still be able to receive funding up to this level and you would pay the difference personally or through student grant or loan programs.

The Post-9/11 Bill allows eligible recipients who have served for at least six years and who plan to stay in the Service for another four-year term to transfer his or her benefit to a spouse or a child.

Air Force Active Duty Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The federal government offers a number of financial aid programs to help pay for post-secondary education, including grants and low-interest loans. All prospective students will out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the process of applying for admission to a college or university. Filling out the form means the prospective student will be considered for multiple sources of funding offered by federal and state governments, as well as the school itself.

Air Force personnel can use these resources to supplement the education benefits they are entitled to receive under MGIB or the New GI Bill. These funds are awarded through the school and prospective students need to keep in mind that they are not required to accept all of the funding they are awarded.

If an airman or woman has a choice between topping up military educational benefits with any available grants first, as opposed to taking out a loan. A grant is a preferred method of funding, since the money does not have to be paid back.

Air Force Active Duty Tuition Assistance (TA)

The Air Force Active Duty Tuition Assistance (TA) program provides 100 percent tuition assistance for college and university courses up to an annual limit of $4,500. The funds can be used to pay for tuition, as well as the following expenses:

  • Computer Fees
  • Enrollment Fees
  • Lab Fees
  • Special Fees

In most cases, TA funding cannot be used to fund a degree program above a Master’s level. Exceptions may be made for some professional degrees, though. This financial assistance program can only be used by airmen and women who are currently serving and are taking classes during off-duty hours.

Air Force personnel who opt to receive TA benefits may be required to commit to a longer service obligation. Commissioned officers may have to plan to stay in the Service for an additional two years after completing their last TA-covered course.

Air Force Active Duty Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP)

The General George S. Brown Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) provides partial tuition assistance to spouses of airmen or officers on Active Duty status who are stationed overseas. Eligible spouses can receive up to $1,500 in funding per academic year to pay for up to 50 percent of tuition costs. An approved program will lead to a certificate or a degree which will help the recipient upgrade his or her employment skills.

Air Force Active Duty Accelerated Payment Program (APP)

The Accelerated Payment Program is offered under the umbrella of the Montgomery Bill benefits. Eligible servicemen and women can receive a lump sum payment to help finance their education, as opposed to smaller monthly amounts. This option is available to Air Force personnel who decide to enroll in approved high-tech educational programs and who indicate that they are planning to pursue careers in this industry. Examples of degree programs which can be funded under APP are as follows:

  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics

Life science degree programs would also qualify for funding under APP, but people who are interested in studying social sciences at the post-secondary level would need to look to other education benefit programs to help defray the cost of pursuing a degree in this area of study.

The money received under APP can be used to pay for up to 60 percent of the cost of tuition for eligible programs. The recipient has the convenience of getting funding on a semester by semester basis, which should help to keep the cost more manageable.

Air Force personnel who have received funding under APP are not required to prove that they have obtained work in a high tech field after graduating from their degree program. They must maintain an acceptable minimum Grade Point Average. A recipient who fails a course will probably have to pay back the money received for that class.

Air Force Active Duty College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP allows eligible airmen and women to use their existing knowledge and/or life experience to obtain college credit. Instead of taking the time and spending money enrolling in a course, the person writes an exam. If he or she obtains a passing grade, credit for a course is given.

The program is available to provide credit for over 30 introductory level college courses. The exam may be written at over 1,700 colleges located across the United States or on military bases around the world.

Air Force personnel interested in writing an exam to get college credit can get help to prepare them for writing the test. Study guides and materials may be available at no charge through the Education Center located on your military base.

Why would someone considering upgrading their education take advantage of CLEP? Education benefits offered to Air Force personnel are generous but they are limited. Being able to get credit for one or more college-level courses means the recipient can make better use of the education benefits available to him or her. It also means the student can spend more time focusing on the courses he or she must complete to obtain a degree.

Air Force Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

VEAP supplements the money deducted from an airman or woman’s regular pay. For each dollar contributed by eligible military personnel, the government provides $2. Up to 36 months of funding can be provided under VEAP, and eligible Air Force personnel can access these funds for up to 10 years after being honorably discharged.

To be eligible for VEAP funding, an airman or woman must have contributed between $25 and $2,700 through the payroll deduction plan. The funds can be used to help pay for the cost of a certificate or degree program, as well as flight training. This money can also be used toward the cost of on-the-job training.

There are a number of Air Force education benefits available to active duty personnel. To get the most out of them, servicemen and women should consider what type of program they are interested in and which programs can provide the highest levels of funding.

Timing also matters, since there is a deadline after being discharged for obtaining financial aid to pay for the post-secondary education expenses. Air Force personnel who are interested in applying for the TA program need to keep in mind that they can only be used by currently-serving personnel.