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Paying for college: Tips for children of veterans

As a senior transfer student in college, I understand the struggle of paying for tuition as well as transferring from community college to a four-year institution. And as a child of a U.S. military veteran, I understand the struggle of figuring out what resources I should be aware of. 

If you are also a child of a veteran trying to pay for college, there are some tips and resources to consider that can likely save you money in the long run. 

First, if your parent is a veteran then they most likely receive benefits from the post 9-11/G.I. Bill. The bill provides veterans with financial assistance for college tuition. It also provides a monthly housing benefit as well as money towards books and supplies. 

According to research company Statista, the average amount of aid that a student in the United States received in post 9-11/G.I. Bill benefits in 2022 was $14,772. 

If your parent has G.I. Bill benefits, they can divide them among their immediate family members. My dad was able to divide his benefits among my mother, my sister and myself. 

Military scholarships can also help pay for college. When I was in high school, I applied for scholarships whose only requirement was that you have a parent who was previously or currently enlisted in the military. Your high school or college may have military scholarships available, or you can go online to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and see military scholarships you may qualify for. 

Keep in mind that you should apply for scholarships even if you aren’t entirely positive that you qualify. Even if you don’t know whether you meet all the requirements, there is always a chance you could earn that scholarship anyway. 

Additionally, many colleges have a veterans’ services representative that you can talk to one-on-one. Applying or transferring to college is much easier when you can directly communicate with somebody who will help you get the necessary documents and make sure your military benefits can be applied to your tuition. 

Being aware of these resources will make applying and paying for college much easier. As a child of a veteran myself, and as a transfer student, I can say that the process would have been easier if I knew then what I knew now.

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