The United Services Automobile Association, an insurance company that specifically serves members of the armed services, also offers scholarship money for college. Although USAA scholarships are limited to students who are already in college, USAA has partnered with the Naval Enlisted Reserve Association to offer scholarship money to children of NERA members who are graduating high school seniors.
To be eligible for the NERA/USAA Scholarship, an applicant must be either an NERA member or the spouse, child or grandchild of an NERA member, and must be a graduating high school senior.
Spouses, children and grandchildren must be sponsored by a current NERA member to be eligible for the scholarship. In addition, children and grandchildren who are sponsored must be unmarried, and must be under the age of 23 on June 3 of the year in which they apply. Also, an applicant must be enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate program of study leading to either a bachelor's degree or an associate's degree.
As of 2011, NERA/USAA scholarships available to regular NERA members are awarded in the amount of $3,000. Two such scholarships are awarded each year. In addition, four $2,500 scholarships are available annually to sponsored spouses, children or grandchildren of regular NERA members.
This scholarship money may be used along with other partial scholarships; however, students who have already received a scholarship that pays for the full amount of their tuition, books, and room and board are not eligible for the NERA/USAA Scholarship.
To qualify for an NERA/USAA Scholarship, an applicant must compose and submit an essay on one of two specific topics. The first choice is to submit an essay explaining a student's personal educational goals, with emphasis on how her education will benefit herself or others. The second topic is to answer the question "Why are reservists important to America?" A successful essay must be approximately 500 words in length.
How To Apply
To apply for an NERA/USAA Scholarship, eligible applicants should visit the NERA website to download and print a scholarship application. Seven copies of a completed application and essay must be mailed to the NERA Scholarship Committee, in addition to seven copies of an applicant's high school transcript. The annual deadline for application is June 3. More information is available by calling 800-776-9020, or by visiting the NERA website.