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Navigating the Path to Higher Education: Marine Corps Scholarships

scholarships for marines and families

Scholarships for the Marine Corps and Their Family Members

Going to college or seeking a professional certification or license can be a costly endeavor. Luckily, there are scholarship opportunities for Marines, their children, and their spouses. Check out these ten scholarship opportunities that can make enrolling in a military friendly college more cost-efficient, so you can pursue your career goals.

Marine Corps League National Scholarships

The scholarship is for students seeking undergraduate college degrees or technical school credentials on a full-time basis. Students must currently have a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled as a full-time student. You can receive the scholarship a maximum of 4 times, the scholarship must be applied for each year.

Who’s Eligible

      • Paid members of the Marine Corps League
      • Paid members of the Marine Corps League Auxiliary
      • Children of Marines, FMF Navy Corpsmen, and Navy Chaplains serving with a Marine Unit who was killed in action

Visit their website for more program details.

The Marine Reserve Officers Training Corps (Marine ROTC)

The Marine ROTC Program is done in conjunction with normal college or university courses. The scholarship offers full tuition coverage, a $750 stipend for textbooks per academic year, and a monthly subsistence allowance based on the year of college. This scholarship opportunity is available for two-year, three-year, and four-year college degree programs.

To be eligible for this scholarship opportunity you must qualify physically by the Marine Corps standards, have no criminal record, and possess a qualifying score on a college entrance exam.

Visit their website to learn more or apply for the scholarship.

RELATED: Marine Corps and Navy ROTC Scholarships & Colleges

Naval-Marine Corps Relief Society Education Assistance

This education assistance program consists of interest-free loans and grants for undergraduate and master’s degree students attending an accredited two-year or four-year post-secondary, technical, or vocational institution within the United States. The program assistance ranges from $500 to $3,000 per academic year. The funds received through the program can be used for room and board, tuition, books, and other fees. You will be able to apply May of the year prior to your anticipated school year start date.

Who’s Eligible

      • Children of active duty or retired Sailors and Marines
      • Spouses of active duty or retired Sailors and Marines
      • Children of deceased Sailors or Marines
      • Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) or MECP students

Check their website for more details.

Marines’ Memorial Family Scholarship

The Marines’ Memorial Association provides eight Scholarships a year typically ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. To qualify you will need to provide two reference letters, provide your most recent transcripts, provide a 500-word response to two application questions, and be currently attending a full-time accredited undergraduate program. Applications are usually due in April.

Who’s Eligible

      • Member of the Marines’ Memorial
      • A child of a member
      • A grandchild of a member

Visit their website for more details.

Marines’ Memorial Tribute Scholarship

The Marines’ Memorial Tribute Scholarships hands out eight scholarships a year between $2,500 and $5,000. To qualify you must be a full-time student attending an accredited non-profit undergraduate program or graduate program within the United States. To qualify you will need to provide your most recent transcripts, DD-214, two reference letters, and a 500-word response to two application questions, Applications are generally due in April.

Who’s Eligible

      • Those who have honorably served in any branch of the US Armed Forces and EAS’ed or moved to reserve status in the past three years

Please visit their website to learn more.

Women Marines Association Scholarship (WMA)

The scholarship amounts are between $500 and $5,000. The grant can be used at any accredited university, college, or college-level trade school. The application period is February 1st through March 31. To be considered you will need to be sponsored by a WMA member.

Who’s Eligible

      • Those who have served
      • Currently serving in the United States Marine Corps or Reserve
      • Direct descendant
      • Siblings
      • A descendant of a sibling
      • Marine Corps JROTC program participants

Direct descendants, siblings, descendants of siblings must be of blood relation, legally adopted, or a stepchild of a Marine who honorably served in the United States or who is currently on active duty.

Available Scholarships Through WMA

      • Agnes Sopcak Memorial Scholarship: up to $5,000
      • Ethyl and Armin Wiebke Memorial Scholarship (1): $1500
      • Fallen Warrior Scholarship (1): $1500
      • LRue A. Ditmore Music Scholarship/s: up to $5000
      • Lily H. Gridley Memorial Scholarship (1): $1500
      • Major Meghan McClung Memorial Scholarship (1) $1500
      • Margaret Apel : Sponsored by the OR-Chapter $1500 (1)
      • Virginia Guveyan Memorial Scholarship: $1500 (1)
      • WMA Memorial Scholarship: up to $5000 (multiple)

Visit their website for program details.

RELATED: Scholarships for Women Veterans

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (MCSF)

The scholarship amounts are generally between $1,500 to $10,000 per year. Scholarships awarded to surviving Marine Corps children can receive up to $20,000 each. The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (MCSF) is renewable for up to four years. Applicants will need to provide a Statement of Service or a DD-214, the college must be listed on the National Center for Education Statistic’s College Navigator, gross income is less than $103,000, the application must be completed every year, scholarships are for undergraduate study only. Students are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain eligible. Members who were dishonorably discharged are not eligible.

Who’s Eligible

Child of:

        • Active duty, veteran, or reserve of Marine Corps
        • Marine killed while serving in the Marine Corps
        • Active duty, veteran, or reserve Navy Corpsman who is attached to a Marine Corps unit
        • Active duty, veteran, or reserve Navy Corpsman who was killed while serving with a Marine Corps unit
        • Navy Chaplain or Religious Programs Specialist who is attached to a Marine Corps unit
        • Navy Chaplain or Religious Programs Specialist who was killed while serving with a Marine Corps unit

Check the program details here.

1st Marine Division Association Scholarships Fund

The Scholarship award amounts can be up to $2,500. The scholarships are for those pursuing bachelor’s degrees at accredited four-year or two-year colleges and universities. Vocational-tech schools are also eligible. Students will need to submit a Standard Form 180 to verify service in the First Marine Division.

Who’s Eligible

      • Dependents of deceased or missing in action veterans of the 1st Marine Division
      • Dependents of 100% disabled veterans of the 1st Marine Division
      • Children of active members of the 1st Marine Division Association

Visit their program website for more details.

Marine Corps Tankers Association Scholarship Program

Eligible applicants must be a graduating high school senior or a full-time student at an accredited junior college, four-year college, or university. Scholarship recipients may apply for the scholarship for 4 years and will need to show increased achievements on each new application.

Applicants will need to include an application form, essay, proof of full-time student status, official school transcripts and status, two letters of recommendation, and showcase extracurricular or school activities. The committee will evaluate and approve based on need. Applications are due no later than March 30 each year.

Who’s Eligible

      • Children of Marine Corps Tankers
      • Spouse of Marine Corps Tankers
      • Grandchildren of Marine Corps Tankers
      • Dependents of any military member who served in a Marine Corps Tank Battalion
      • Active-duty Marine Tanker or Marine serving with a Marine Tank Unit
      • Reserve Marine Tanker or Marine serving with a Marine Tank Unit

Visit their website for more information.

  • National Military Family Association (NMFA)

The scholarship average award amount is $1,000. Applications are accepted year-round starting in October. This scholarship can be used for different education or career advancements such as college degrees, certifications, licensing, and business expenses.

Who’s Eligible

      • Spouse of an Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA
      • Spouse of a retired, medically retired, wounded, or fallen military member (must have taken place after September 11, 2001)
      • Dual Service military spouse

Visit their website for more details and to apply.


Once you find the right scholarship make sure to carefully check the program details and requirements. It is important to meet program deadlines and submit the necessary documentation to meet the scholarship requirements and prove eligibility.


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About the author

Lori Waddell serves as Co-director of an emergency response COAD in Montana, a freelance writer, and an Air Force Key Spouse. She is passionate about empowering communities and individuals through knowledge and resources. She currently lives in Montana with her husband and two children.