Tillman Military Scholars Program

Website: Pat Tillman Foundation


The Tillman Scholar Program unites and empowers remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. The fellowship supports Tillman Scholars with academic scholarships, a national network, and professional development opportunities so they are empowered to make an impact in the fields of medicine, law, business, policy, technology, education and the arts. 

The mission of the  Pat Tillman Foundation is to invest in military veterans and their spouses through educational scholarships; building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. This is accomplished with the Tillman Scholars program which purpose is to identify high-impact active or veteran servicemembers and their spouses and invest in their higher education, covering the needs left unpaid for by the GI Bill and other government support. The scholarship funds awarded are just a portion of the Tillman Scholar experience which also focuses on guiding an engaged community and providing essential resources that empower Scholars to serve and lead in their local communities and ease the transition from military to civilian life.

Each year, 75 new Tillman Scholars join the Current and Network Tillman Scholars both online and in-person at the annual Pat Tillman Leadership Summit and subsequent regional gatherings throughout the US, as well as at Pat's Run each April.

Scholars are selected based on meeting a high level of excellence as demonstrated through essays and application questions which tie together these factors: motivation for serving in the military, impact of service on life/career, explanation of how degree will apply to/accelerate career and applicant's desire to continue service and make a positive impact.


The following candidates may apply to become a Tillman Scholar:

  • Veteran and active-duty military service members
    • Pre-and post-9/11 service eras
    • 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, veterans 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 partners at Fisher House Foundation, No Greater Sacrifice, ThanksUSA, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation and Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.


Selection Criteria

Members of each class of Tillman Military Scholars represent a rich and diverse set of backgrounds, experiences and ambitions, and were selected based on strong leadership potential and a drive to make a positive impact on others through service.

What specific criteria will be considered for selecting Tillman Military Scholars?

  • Service: Dedication to service beyond self in and out of uniform
  • Scholarship: A lifelong learner, passionate about intellectual growth
  • Humble Leadership: Selflessly committed to leading by example
  • Impact: Determined to unite others and advance ideas that change the world
Student Type
  • freshman
  • sophomore
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • Us Citizen
  • Permanent Resident

Necessary Preparation and Required Documents

Before starting the application, first visit the Tillman Foundation website to meet current and alumni Tillman Scholars, the community you will join if selected.

The Tillman Scholar Program is a merit-based academic fellowship. Applicants will be required to submit the following materials:

  • Current resume
  • Two, 400-word essays based on prompts provided in the application
  • Financial worksheet
  • Character recommendation from a third party
  • Biography of no more than 250 words

If an applicant progresses in the selection process, they will be required to submit:

  • Student Aid Report (SAR) generated through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Two photos from military service or with their spouse who is/was in the military
  • Institutional financial aid award letter
  • Applicants at this stage of the selection process will also be required to complete a background check.



In 2002, Pat Tillman proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country. This decision was just one of many he made over the course of his lifetime to help others and serve a cause greater than his own self-interest.

Following Pat's death in 2004, while serving with the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan, his family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation.

The mission of the Pat Tillman Foundation is to invest in military veterans and their spouses through educational scholarships; building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others.

Service Agreement

Annual funding renewability will be considered for Tillman Scholars based on:

  • Meeting the expected graduation date
  • Proof of full-time student status and a minimum 3.0 GPA earned
  • Engagement with the Tillman Scholar community
  • 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.

Contact Information

Questions? Contact scholarships@pattillmanfoundation.org.


UW Contacts for application assistance:

UW-Seattle Undergraduate applicants:

Robin Chang

Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

171 Mary Gates Hall, 206-543-2603



UW-Bothell applicants:

Merit Scholarships

UW1-186, 425-352-3667


UW-Tacoma applicants:

Cindy Schaarschmidt

Student Fellowships & Awards

MAT 210, 253-692-4358



UW Veterans Services Contacts:


Tim Wold

Director, Veterans Center

520 Schmitz Hall, 206-685-2065




Rosa Lundborg

Manager, Veterans Services & Disability Resources for Students

UW1-170, 425-352-5307



Wanda Curtis

Coordinator of Educational Partnerships and Benefits Advisor- Office of Veteran and Military Services

MAT 206, 253-692-4810