back to top



Founded in 2008, the Tillman Scholars program supports our nation’s active-duty service members, veterans and military spouses by investing in their higher education. Since the program’s inception, the Foundation has named over 400 Tillman Scholars at 108 institutions nationwide.

The application to become a 2015 Tillman Scholar has closed. The next cycle to apply online will open in February 2016.

The scholarship covers educational expenses, including tuition and fees, books and living expenses. But scholars receive much more than just funding. Our program unites the best talent and leadership in the military to make a significant impact in the fields of medicine, law, business, policy, technology, education and the arts. Read our Application One Pager and explore the profiles of the Tillman Scholars to see what distinguishes our most successful applicants.

Eligibility and Application Requirements

The application to join the 2016 class of Tillman Scholars will open in February 2016.

Each class of Tillman Scholars exemplifies strong leadership potential and a drive to make a positive impact on our communities and country.

The following candidates may apply to become a Tillman Scholar:

  • Veteran and active-duty military service members
    • Honorably discharged of pre-and post-9/11 service
    • From all branches of the U.S. Military including National Guard and Reserve
  • Current spouses of veterans or active-duty service members, including surviving spouses
  • Service members or spouses pursuing a degree as a full-time* student:
    • Undergraduate (Bachelor’s or above)
    • Graduate or professional degree
    • At a public or private, U.S.-based accredited institution
*Full-time as determined by your institution and program of study

Scholarships are available to military children through our partners at Fisher House Foundation, No Greater Sacrifice, ThanksUSA, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation and Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

On what basis are Tillman Scholars selected?

  • Educational and career ambitions
  • Record of military service and/or community impact as a military spouse
  • Record of personal achievement
  • Demonstration of service to others in the community
  • Desire to continue to serve others and make a positive impact on your community
  • Leadership potential
  • Compelling, thoughtful, genuine and thorough essay question responses

Details about the Application

In order to best prepare for completing the application, please have the following information available during the process: military service history, educational history, enrollment plans, and expected academic/living expenses and income for the upcoming academic year.

The following documents will need to be uploaded in a digital file format:
  • Documentation of military service and/or community impact as a military spouse. All discharged service members must provide their most recent DD-214 (please block out your SSN). Active Reservist or National Guard applicants may provide alternate military service verification forms. Note: all submitted military service verification forms will undergo validation.
  • Résumé including education, work, public service history, recognitions and awards earned.
  • Responses to (2) essay questions exploring the following areas: military and public service motivation and experiences; and educational, career and service ambitions.
  • Character recommendation from a third-party
  • If an applicant progresses, we will request the following additional information at junctures in the selection process: student aid report from FAFSA; (2) photos from military service or with your spouse; institutional financial aid award letter; and completion of a background check. Please download our background check policy here.

All Tillman Scholar applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for funding.

Annual funding renewability will be considered for most scholars based on:
  • Meeting expected graduation date
  • Proof of full-time student status and minimum 3.0 GPA earned
  • Tillman Community engagement as a thought leader
  • Documented participation in service
  • Accountability for use of scholarship funds

All criteria must be met in order to be renewed. Review of renewal status is conducted each June by the Foundation. Students who have to extend their expected graduation date must provide proof of extenuating circumstances. Tillman Scholars are expected to maintain full-time enrollment in a U.S. accredited institution unless they are assuming part-time status during the semester they will graduate.

Scholarship funding can only be used toward a single post-secondary degree.

“Now I have 200+ other people who understand how I feel and what I’ve been through.


-Sam Innocent, 2013 Tillman Scholar

In addition to educational scholarships, Tillman Scholars receive the following benefits:
  • Access to the Tillman Community and leadership opportunities within the network
  • Invitation to the annual Pat Tillman Leadership Summit in Chicago, IL
  • Entry to the annual Pat’s Run in Tempe, AZ, or Shadow Runs nationwide
  • Invitation to premier partner conferences including Inc. 500/5000
  • Access to veteran affinity groups and talent acquisition networks at top companies across the U.S.
  • Participation in groundbreaking research studies in the veterans and military community
  • Opportunities to lead and volunteer with veteran partner organizations including Team Rubicon, The Mission Continues, and Team RWB
  • Highlights of your stories, studies and service efforts on the Pat Tillman Foundation website and social media
Along with your role as an ambassador of the Pat Tillman Foundation, as a Tillman Scholar, you must meet the following expectations:
  • Mandatory attendance for selected 2015 Tillman Scholars at Pat Tillman Leadership Summit in Chicago, July 16-19th, 2015. All expenses paid.
  • Maintain a full-time student status;
  • Maintain a high academic standing (3.0 GPA or higher);
  • Report to the Pat Tillman Foundation when requested (completing surveys); and
  • Meet expectations of high moral character and leadership
  • Attend the Pat Tillman Leadership Summit and other Foundation events in your region
  • Active engagement in the Tillman Community, with significant contribution as a thought leader, spokesperson and ambassador


The following institutions are partners with the Pat Tillman Foundation. These University Partners demonstrate strong support for their military veterans and spouses and are proud to support Tillman Scholars on their campuses. If interested in becoming a Tillman Scholar at one of our 18 University Partners, please contact:

Chris Rauschenbach
Eric Halperin
Victoria Pridemore
Bridgette Ingram
Emily Ives
Jennifer Horn
Cody Nicholls
Terry Zacker
Jenni Peterson
Jennifer Trimmer
Justine Carpenter
Larry Braue
Robin Chang
LeNaya Hezel
Margaret Baechtold
Mike Carrell
Michael Kirchner
Jim Craig