Scholarships Available for Non-Veterans

Military Transition

There are a number of unique scholarships available to veterans. But veterans shouldn’t overlook scholarships that can be used by anyone. In the case of veterans, many of these can also be used in conjunction with GI Bill benefits. Some of these may pertain only a specific group or those in a select course of study. Let’s take a look at a small sampling.

Non-Veteran Scholarships

Below are a few of the more lucrative scholarships that are available to everyone meeting the scholarship’s eligibility criteria:

  • SP Scholarship – Points Scholarship Fund – $10,000 – Eligibility requirements are simple: must be 13 years old or older; plan to attend a college or university; must be a citizen of the U.S. or Puerto Rico. Four scholarships are awarded yearly.
  • Scholarship Sweepstakes – VIP Voice – $5,000 – Once you confirm your registration, points are earned from each survey completed. It takes at least two surveys to be entered into the sweepstakes, however, the more completed, the better the chances of winning.
  • No Essay Scholarship – Niche.com – $2,000 – This is probably one of the easiest as far as applying – no essay required! Must plan to enroll in college or grad school within the next 12 months and be a legal citizen of the U.S. or have a valid international visa. Application is limited to once per month; one $2,000 award is issued
  • Entrance Scholarship – Art Academy of Cincinnati – Up to $15,000 – Must be a first-year incoming college student. Award is based on portfolio rating, high school GPA and SAT Reasoning score. Renewable as long as at least a 2.0 GPA is maintained.
  • Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship – West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission – $5,000 – Must be a resident of West Virginia and enrolled, or will enroll, in a West Virginia college pursuing a course of study to be a teacher.
  • Career Development Grant – American Association of American Women – $12,000 – This one pertains only to women over the age of 35 with a bachelor’s degree that want to either advance their career, change to a different career or are re-entering the workforce. Women of color and women pursuing their first advanced degree in nontraditional fields are given special consideration.
  • Bound -To-Stay-Bound Scholarship – American Library Association – $6,000 – Must be a U.S. citizen and have been accepted into a Library Science or Librarianship degree program (but not yet started) and agree to work in child services within one year of graduating.

Remember if using the Post 9/11 GI Bill that the VA is the last payer. This means fenced money – scholarship money that must go toward tuition – is applied to your tuition bill first. The VA pays their amount authorized by law last.

However, with that GI Bill, the amount of entitlement deducted is the same regardless of how much (or how little) the VA pays – usually four months for a semester. To maximize your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, look for non-fenced money – money that can be used for anything.

Each year, thousands of dollars in scholarship money goes back to their sponsors due to a lack of applications. With some Internet sleuthing using the term “college scholarships” (without the quotes), it is relatively easy to find ones that apply to your individual situation. This one link alone features over 23,000 scholarships.

Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families through his Veteran School Benefits website as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.

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