The MOAA Scholarship Fund
The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) established the MOAA Scholarship Fund in 1948 to provide educational assistance benefits to children of military families.
Supporting one of the association's founding principles: education is the cornerstone of a strong democracy, the Scholarship Fund aims to remove or lessen the financial burden that comes along with continuing education through two core programs- Interest Free Loans and Student Grants.
To reduce the debt load held by students, the MOAA Scholarship Fund Board of Directors has steadily increased the grant allocation, reducing the loan amount. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the board approved $3.6 million in grants. These will be in addition to grants provided by donors, including chapters and councils.
have received financial assistance
distributed to students
Students who attend college today have loans totaling over $32,000 on average. These loans are often paired with an extremely high interest rate, which takes the average student loan borrower more than 20 years to repay. The MOAA Scholarship Fund proudly offers students Interest-Free Loans so they are not burdened by a mountain of debt when they complete their continuing education journey.
The interest-free loans are renewable annually for up to five years of full-time undergraduate study. Currently, this program provides a $7,000 loan per student each year. Students selected as loan recipients and their sponsoring parent must sign a promissory note before receiving funds. We disburse funds electronically in two increments: one-half in early August and one-half in mid-December.
Our process of recycling donations through interest-free loans is the main component of our program’s success. Currently, more than 4,000 students are using $50 million in interest-free loans for higher education. By offering interest-free loans, students are able to pay for their continuing education without the burden of thousands of dollars spent on interest payments while also ensuring the Scholarship Fund remains solvent to aid future generations.
While interest free loans are the backbone of the MOAA Scholarship Fund, we also offer several grant programs to eligible students. Grants are made possible by generous donors who recognize the value in higher education.
Designated Scholar Program: We consider all eligible loan recipients for this program. Students chosen receive a $6,500 interest-free loan and a $500 grant named by the donor. Students must correspond with the donor or their designee each fall.
Senior Grants: We notify current loan recipients entering their final year in college of these grants in January of their junior year. Students who believe they are eligible for these grants and who do not receive an link to the application should email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. Recipients of Senior Grants become ineligible for further Educational Assistance programs. The number of grants awarded varies from year to year.
General John Paul Ratay Educational Fund Grants: These grants are limited to children whose military parent retired and subsequently died. Students qualifying for a loan who meet the criteria of a Ratay grant are automatically considered. Students who believe they are eligible for these grants and who do not receive a request for supporting documentation should email email@example.com. Funding for this grant is limited and may not be available every year.
In response to the skyrocketing cost of continuing education and to better assist students of military families continue their education, the MOAA Scholarship Fund Board of Directors recently updated the disbursement formula to enable the fund to distribute more assistance in the form of grants. In 2021, 36% of assistance distributed was in the form of grants compared to 12% in 2019. The MOAA Scholarship Fund will continue to evaluate our programs to ensure we are meeting the needs of our families to the best of our abilities.
Since financial stress has been an everyday reality of my academic career, this grant means so much to me and makes my goals much more attainable... thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Together We Make A Difference
Our work is made possible thanks to a generous community of supporters who believe in the mission of the MOAA Scholarship Fund. Join us today to help provide military children financial assistance for the next phase in their education.
MOAA Scholarship Fund Mission
MOAA Scholarship Fund (SF, EIN 54-1659039), a 501(c)(3) charitable subsidiary of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), offers students of military families financial relief to alleviate some of the burden that comes with continuing education.