14 February 2013

Scholarships and Tutoring for Military Children

The child of a military serviceman or woman spends months or years apart from a parent who’s serving the country. In order to lessen the burden that military families bear, there are military dependent scholarships available to children of service members — and educational assistance isn’t limited to college-age students either. If your child has a parent in the military, take advantage of the resources available to get your child the best education.

G.I. Bill

If you or your spouse has served at least 10 years in the military, you can transfer some or all of your G.I. Bill benefits to your dependent children. Remember that children are still considered dependent until the age of 26 if they remain unwed and are enrolled full-time in higher education.

Students must be at least 18 and have completed high school or earned a GED before they can take advantage of their parent’s G.I. Bill benefits. The serviceman or woman is essentially sharing the benefits; they can either use some of the benefits for themselves or for a spouse and some for the child, or they can give all of the benefits to the child. The parent does not have to be on active duty for the child to be eligible.

Army Emergency Relief

The Army Emergency Relief Dependent Children Scholarship is a need-based program; however, the parent need not be on active duty for the child to qualify. The child must be at least 18, unwed, and enrolled in an undergraduate program, an associate program or an accreditation program. If the child gets married after receiving the benefits but before the school year for which the benefits were awarded ends, he/she may lose the benefits. 

The Army Emergency Relief program is also open to children of deceased members of the military, whether or not they died while on active duty. The child must maintain a 2.0 GPA or better while receiving the benefits.

Private Scholarships

Individual institutions and private organizations alike provide financial assistance for children of active servicemen and women, as well as children of veterans and deceased servicemen and women. Contact the office of student financial planning at the school of your choice to discuss your options.

Financial counselors at your school may also be able to direct you to nationally based scholarships, such as the Folds of Honor Foundation and the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund. These organizations specialize in providing scholarships to children of servicemen and women wounded or killed while on active duty. Active-duty military parents may also qualify students for scholarships provided by organizations such as the ThanksUSA program.


If your child is still in elementary, middle or high school, you might not yet be concerned with college scholarships, especially if your child is struggling. Tutoring can help. Many schools provide free tutoring, but professional tutoring centers that can give your child the kind of intense, one-on-one education they may need to succeed often provide free or discounted tutoring to military families. This tutoring can take place either at the tutoring center or even online, via video chats and interactive online lessons. 

You may already be overwhelmed with your service or your spouse’s service, so if your child is struggling in school, don’t be afraid to take advantage of professionals who are willing to help you at no charge or at little cost. Foundations such as the DoD MWR Library Program, the Navy General Library Program, the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and the Army General Library Program work together to sponsor children of military families via these tutoring centers.

Remember, both the military and private organizations are willing to help dependents of military servicemen and women, so be sure to take advantage of this assistance for your child. The assistance isn’t limited to higher education scholarships, so even if your children are years away from college there are resources available, all you have to do is apply.

About the Author: Aubrey Fooks is a contributing writer and former military brat. She currently works in the office of student financial planning at a state university.