The Coast Guard is unique among the individual military branches in that it offers educational benefits to more than its active duty and reserve members. There are options for veterans and dependents associated with the Coast Guard as well. Though there are few, likely due to the small size of the Coast Guard, this article expands on the educational benefits that are available. There are more benefits available to all members of the military, veterans, and dependents.


Benefit Name Active Duty Reservist Veteran Dependent
Coast Guard Foundation and Vander Putten Education Grants X X    
Coast Guard Foundation Spouse Education Grant       X
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Supplemental Education Grants X X X X

Coast Guard Foundation and Vander Putten Education Grants

Note: These grants are currently without funding and indefinitely suspended. Should funding become available again, they will be reinstated.

There are a variety of grants available through the Coast Guard Foundation and the Vander Putten Family. These include the University of Oregon Bookstore Education Grant, the Marine Science Education Grant, the CG Foundation Education Grant, the Vander Putten Education Grant, and the Selected Cutters Education Grant. Conveniently, the application process is the same for all of them.

  • Award amount: Each grant will reimburse up to $500 annually for textbooks and miscellaneous educational expenses that are not covered by other forms of financial aid.
  • Eligibility: Active duty and Reserve enlisted Coast Guard members between the ranks of seaman (E-3) and master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard Reserve Force (E-9) who have served on active duty for at least one year and are currently serving are eligible. Certain grants have specific eligibility requirements.

Coast Guard Foundation Spouse Education Grant

This grant helps spouses of enlisted Coast Guard members fund licensing courses, certifications, and undergraduate and graduate degrees. Funds can be applied to books, fees, transportation, and childcare as well.

  • Award amount: This grant will reimburse up to $250 annually for textbooks, fees, and transportation provided these are not covered by other forms of financial aid.
  • Eligibility: Non-military spouses of active duty enlisted Coast Guard personnel who rank between seaman (E-3) and petty officer first class (E-6) and spouses of Coast Guard Reserve personnel of the same rank who have served on active duty for at least one year. Spouses must be enrolled at an accredited institution.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Supplemental Education Grants

These grants provide financial aid to current and previous Coast Guard members and their family members. They aim to alleviate the cost of educational materials that are not covered by other forms of financial aid.

  • Award amount: Coast Guard Mutual Assistance will reimburse up to $500 per family member per year for educational costs that are not covered by Tuition Assistance or other financial aid programs. Costs include books, fees, supplies, and calculators but not transportation, childcare, or exams.
  • Eligibility: Students must be enrolled in a degree-granting program, pursuing vocational or technical training approved by the VA or the Department of Education, attaining a GED, or completing a correspondence course associated with any of the aforementioned programs.

Page last updated: 05/2017