Free Veteran Programs

…that helped us get into the nation’s top colleges.

Student veterans have access to a handful of unbelievable organizations. Each one of the following programs is unique yet shares a common goal to assist you in your pursuit of higher education, for free. Moving forward, we will write about our own involvements with each organization, as well as outsource advice from our close friends regarding programs of which they are more knowledgeable.

Image: UC Berkeley, Xander DeLosReyes


Warrior-Scholar Project

Free 1-2 week academic bootcamp at elite universities

“As a dynamic national non-profit, we empower enlisted military veterans by providing them with a skill bridge that enables a successful transition from the battlefield to the classroom, maximizes their education opportunities by making them informed consumers of education, and increases the confidence they will need to successfully complete a rigorous four-year undergraduate program at a top-tier school.”

Learn more from our representative, Anthony Lenkiewicz Jr. (Dartmouth ’22), and his experience as a Warrior-Scholar Project fellow.


Service to School

Free virtual mentorship and a chance to give a detailed explanation of your military accolades to their partner schools

“Service to School has partnered with select colleges and universities to form VetLink, a network of schools committed to expanding access and opportunity for student veterans. Our partner colleges are widely known for academic excellence, aspiring students, leading-edge research, and high graduation rates.”

Learn more from our representative, Jonathon Longcoy (Penn ’21), and his experience as an S2S ambassador.

Link: “63% of S2S Mentees Went on to Enroll at US News Top 50 Colleges”


Stanford University: Veteran Accelerator

Stanford’s free 8-week summer course, designed for veterans in their first two years of school

“Stanford Summer Session’s Veteran Accelerator is an eight-week, full-scholarship program designed for military veterans in their first two years of study and are headed towards a four-year degree or beyond. The program builds on a veteran’s significant military experience to further develop important academic, professional, and personal skills needed to thrive at a four-year institution. The Veteran Accelerator allows students to take two to three courses during the Summer Quarter at Stanford, while living on campus as participants in an active learning community.” For questions, email: summersession@stanford.edu.

Learn more from our representative, Lyndsea Warkenthien (Stanford ’23).


Pat Tillman Foundation

The Pat Tillman Foundation honors Pat Tillman’s legacy in many ways. For student veterans specifically, they offer an incredible scholarship. One can apply to become a Tillman Scholar every February to join an extremely competitive group of high-achieving, driven individuals. As many Tillman Scholars have mentioned, the financial aspect of the scholarship is fantastic, but the community is invaluable.

“Tillman Scholars also receive invitations to events like the annual Pat Tillman Leadership Summit in Chicago, entry to Pat’s Run, access to $1,000 mini grants to further their leadership development through training, certifications or events. We are also able to offer access to premier partner events, including SXSW, Inc. 500 / 5000, the Aspen Ideas festival and more. And we highlight your stories, studies and service efforts through our website and social media.”


Posse Foundation

Creating a cohort of sponsored veterans, sending you to their partner colleges on a full scholarship (combined with your GI Bill)

“The Posse model works for both students and college campuses and is rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students—a Posse—carefully selected and trained, can serve as a catalyst for individual and community development. As the United States becomes an increasingly multicultural society, Posse believes that the leaders of the 21st century should reflect the country’s rich demographic mix. The key to a promising future for our nation rests on the ability of strong leaders from diverse backgrounds to develop consensus solutions to complex social problems. Posse’s primary aim is to train these leaders of tomorrow.”

Learn more from our representative, Kaedy Puckett (UChicago ’23), and her experiences as a current Posse scholar.


Columbia University:
Center for Veteran Transition and Integration

Note: CVTI is useful for applying to all schools, not just Columbia itself.

CVTI provides innovative educational programming and support for veterans making the transition to two- and four-year colleges, graduate and professional schools, civilian life, and the workforce.

“CVTI draws on Columbia’s expertise in curriculum development, instructional technology, and support services in facilitating veterans’ success in an academic setting. In collaboration with a network of public and private partners, CVTI serves military service members at all levels, enlisted and officers, as well as active-duty military personnel preparing for transition, veterans already in higher education, and veterans in the workforce, providing them with the best-in-class resources that they need to ensure their continued academic and professional development.”

For more videos like this one, visit CVTI’s Video Library.


Khan Academy

Free SAT preparation and online subject matter assistance

“Our mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.”

“20 hours of practice on Khan Academy is associated with an average 115-point score increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT, nearly double the average gain without Khan.”

“In 2017, Khan Academy and the College Board, the maker of the SAT, analyzed gains between the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT and found a positive relationship between use of Official SAT Practice and score improvements on the SAT. Score gains are consistent across gender, family income, race, ethnicity and parental education level.”


ArmySmart.org

Army Smart provides free online math, statistics, and standardized test tutoring to members of any branch of the military, veterans and dependents to help them achieve their further education goals.”

“Army Smart is a program that pairs service members with experienced tutors from military backgrounds capable of adjusting their teaching style to make understanding math and statistics as easy as possible. If you are active duty, a reservist, a veteran, or a dependent from any branch of the military who is struggling with a college level math or statistics course we can provide you with free weekly tutoring sessions to help you succeed. Classes will be conducted over either Zoom or Google Hangouts using an interactive whiteboard.”

Primarily focusing on: Introduction to Statistics, Business Statistics, Introduction to Probability Theory, College Algebra, Linear Algebra, Introduction to Geometry, and Calculus I, II, III.


Know of another free program for student veterans? Let us know!

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