Financial Aid

A Scholarship Opportunity That Goes Where You Are

Steve Bumbaugh, College Board's head of College and Career Access, last week about the benefits of College Board Opportunity Scholarships.

There are roughly two million students with parents or guardians serving in the United States Military, and more than 80% of them attend public schools. Frequent moves and the challenges of having parents deployed across the world make college planning even more complicated for these families.

That makes it all the more important that they get clear, step-by-guidance on the path to college, said Steve Bumbaugh, College Board's head of College and Career Access. He spoke last week at the Military Child Education Coalition National Training Seminar, telling educators and advocates about the benefits of College Board Opportunity Scholarships. More than just offering the chance to earn college money, CBOS gives students a straightforward series of steps to apply to college.

“By a student’s junior year, less than 10% have taken the time to write down colleges that they’re interested to apply,” Bumbaugh noted. “The first step to this program is for the student to write down a handful of schools that they’re interested in. It’s an important but fairly easy step that starts the college planning process and at the same time makes the student eligible for a scholarship.”

College Board Opportunity Scholarships encourage students to make a college list, practice for the SAT, complete a financial aid application, and apply to multiple colleges. Part of the value of College Board resources like CBOS and Official SAT Practice is that they're consistent no matter where students live and learn. That's especially useful for military-connected students who may have to relocate and change schools during the crucial years for college planning.

Bumbaugh described ongoing partnerships with scholarship providers like the Children of Fallen Patriots, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation that focus on scholarship support specific to military-connected children, all a part of the College Board’s greater effort to provide more scholarship opportunities to qualified underserved students with financial need.

Those interested in resources to help service members and military-connected children and families plan for college, may visit