Tillman Scholars Program

Army Reserve: Drilling

Benefit Fact Sheet



Pat Tillman, in response to the attacks of September 11th, left a distinguished NFL career to serve as a U.S. Army Ranger with 75th Ranger Regiment in Iraq and then Afghanistan, where he was killed in 2004. The Pat Tillman Foundation was established by friends and Family to honor Pat's legacy and his commitment to service, learning and action.

The Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) invests in military Veterans and Spouses through academic scholarships- building a diverse group of leaders who are committed to service to others. Founded in 2008, the Tillman Scholars (TS) Program supports our nation's active-duty Service members, Veterans and military Spouses. The scholarship covers direct study-related expenses, including tuition and fees, books and living stipend, for scholars who are pursuing undergraduate, graduate or professional degrees as a full-time student at a public or private, U.S.-based accredited institution. Each year, PTF selects up to 60 Tillman Scholars who embody Pat's commitment to service, learning and action. The Scholars chosen demonstrate extraordinary academic and leadership potential and a deep desire to create positive change through their work in the fields of medicine, law, business, policy, technology, education and the arts. The scholarship is not a gift; it's an investment in excellence and potential.

Since its inception, the TS Program has evolved into a world-class community of military Veterans and Spouses. Selection of each year's class is a rigorous, three-month process conducted by regional committees. In 2015, PTF made a $1.7 million lifetime commitment to the 2015 Class of Tillman Scholars. Overall, PTF has invested more than $12 million in academic support since 2004, and has named more than 400 Tillman Scholars at more than 100 academic institutions nationwide.

Selection as a Tillman Scholar includes much more than financial support. Pat Tillman made his mark as a husband, teammate, Soldier, and brother. He believed we should always strive to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. As part of the TS Program, Scholars benefit from leadership development and a community of mentors to help them reach their fullest potential as leaders, so they too can make their mark on society.


Pat Tillman Foundation will accept online applications for the Tillman Scholarship covering the 2017-2018 academic year during February 2017.

Army Reserve Service members on drill status and their Spouses (including Surviving Spouses) are eligible to apply to the Tillman Scholarship to pursue an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree as a full-time student at a public or private, U.S. - based accredited institution.


  • Educational and career ambitions
  • Record of military service (or service as a 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

The application requires responses to two (2) essay questions and a character reference.

Benefit Highlights:

Each award amount is determined on an individual basis and is intended to meet each Scholar's unique need. The exact amount will be based on individual financial need and the strength of application in comparison to the overall pool. The scholarship is renewable for the duration of the Scholar's academic program, provided the Scholar meets criteria set forth in their Scholar Agreement.

Throughout the year, the PTF is deeply committed to providing high quality, world-class engagement opportunities to current and alumni Scholars. These opportunities include preferential consideration for attendance at conferences, pipelines into highly competitive internships, attendance at world premier film and documentary screenings and panel discussions, media interviews related to scholar subject matter expertise, and assistance placing opinion pieces in major publications. Scholars are also encouraged to collaborate on service initiatives in their local communities and globally. Scholars have completed more than 40,100 community service hours while enrolled in rigorous, full-time degree programs.

Each summer, the annual Pat Tillman Leadership Summit also convenes Tillman Scholars from diverse branches, backgrounds and areas of study to collaborate on continued service. The three-day event features inspiring keynote speakers, engaging peer workshops and panel discussions, a graduate ceremony and a community service project. Past speakers include author Jim Collins, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and NetApp Chairman and motivational speaker Tom Mendoza. Overall, the event not only brings together more than 100 scholars annually, it provides Scholars with a professional networking pipeline to leaders in the business, medical, technology, government, and nonprofit sectors among others.

Additional Information:

Pat Tillman Foundation Military Scholar Program page:


Tillman Scholars Program on the VA Education resources Website:


Questions about applying to the Tillman Scholars Program? Please contact:

Document Review Date: 17 October 2016