Our Scholarship Programs

FCEF is proud to award an average of $130,000 annually in scholarships around the nation to active or veteran military service members, federal civilian employees, civilians, and their families. Since 1983 we have awarded over $5 million in scholarships!

Scholarships are available for those seeking associate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees, or attending trade school. We partner with organizations across the country to provide scholarships to hard-working students. The partner organization promotes and manages the entire scholarship process, including the selection of winners. A brief description of our scholarship programs is below.

2023 Scholarship Recipients

Carroll H. Payne
Memorial Scholarship

Our primary scholarship program is the Carroll H. Payne (CHP) Memorial Scholarship. In 2005, we received a record-setting donation of $500,000 from the family of Carroll H. Payne, founder of First Command Financial Services (FCFS) and First Command Educational Foundation (FCEF). The CHP Scholarship is designed for us and FCFS Advisors to partner with military-affiliated organizations to increase scholarships available in their communities. While FCFS has been one of our partners for many years, they are not the only organization we collaborate with for CHP scholarships. We have recently worked with the Monterey Bay Spouses Club, the Mid-America Warrant Officers, the East Bay Coast Guard Spouses Club, and the Military Spouses of Newport.

Interested in finding out how FCEF can partner with your organization? Email us at

2023 Scholarship Partners

Each year we award scholarships to well-deserving students in partnership with individuals and organizations whose mission aligns with ours. We are proud to partner with the following individuals and organizations.


Contact Us About CHP Scholarships

Jay Smith Scholarship
and Excellence Fund

The Lt. Paul J. Smith Memorial Scholarship is a private scholarship available to students enrolled in ROTC programs affiliated with the Maxwell/Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. His parents, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Paul and Susan Smith created this endowment after his tragic death in the ValuJet Flight 592 crash on May 11, 1996, as a way to celebrate his life and their love for him.

M. Alice Konecny
Memorial Endowment

Tony and Corinne Konecny established this endowment in 2011 to honor Tony’s mother, Alice Konecny. Alice was a dedicated nurse and active within her community. The M. Alice Konecny Scholarship is a private scholarship available to students attending Tamaqua High School.

Sid Oaksmith ’77 Memorial Scholarship

Sidney Oaksmith, a retired U. S. Army, COL graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery branch, where he served for over 26 years. After retiring from the U.S. Army, COL (Ret.) Oaksmith embarked on a civilian career that culminated as a financial advisor with First Command Financial Services, where he enjoyed helping people achieve financial peace of mind. Upon his death in October 2014, his daughter, Gretchen Butler, and his wife, Becky, created a scholarship in Sid’s name to honor his life of service. This $2,000 scholarship is available to students at Virginia Tech. Awards shall be made under Virginia Tech’s Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid policies.

Melissa Beyland Cheer Scholarship

The Melissa Beyland Cheer Scholarship was created in 2017 by her husband Bryan and their daughter Hadley to honor Melissa and her love for Hadley’s cheer program. Melissa was an active member in all of her daughter’s Cheer Organizations, treating all the girls from cheer and her daughter’s friends as if they were her own. This scholarship will allow her legacy of love and friendship to carry on. The Melissa Beyland Cheer Scholarship is only available to seniors at Centerville High school in Centerville, OH. Information on this scholarship is available by email at

North Texas Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders Scholarship

NTAGGL is an association of lending professionals and support organizations that utilize the guarantee programs of the Small Business Administration, including SBA 7a, SBA 504, and the Farmers Home Administration. Their mission is “to serve and support the small business lending community of North Texas by partnering with government agencies and their affiliates to further provide training and networking through our associated membership.”

In 2013, after two years of a scholarship partnership with FCEF, NTAGGL established this scholarship endowment allowing them to continue their ongoing commitment to young people seeking higher education. For more information about NTAGGL scholarships or to apply, visit

Federal Civilian
Employee Scholarship

The Federal Civilian Employee Scholarship was developed to strengthen our commitment to providing educational resources to federal civilian employees and their dependents. This scholarship is fully funded with proceeds from our Federal Civilian Employee Retirement Benefits Seminar Program. This scholarship is available for traditional and non-traditional students who are either current federal civilian employees or dependent.

Eligible candidates may submit their applications directly to FCEF. The application period is from March 1 to April 15. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed or considered. Details and scholarship criteria are below.

Federal Civilian Employee Scholarship Program Criteria and Application

Dallas T. Lower
Memorial Endowment

Since 2009 we have partnered with Diane Lower and her family to honor the memory of her husband, Dallas Lower’s commitment to the mentorship of new financial advisors. The endowment scholarship is specifically for First Command Financial Services Advisors and Field Support Staff pursuing professional degrees and designations.

Eligible candidates may submit their applications directly to FCEF. The application period is from November 1 – 30. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed or considered. Details and scholarship criteria are below.

Dallas T. Lower Scholarship Flyer/Criteria
Dallas T. Lower Scholarship Application

Establishing an Endowment or Memorial Scholarship

An endowed scholarship is created with a donation that earns interest each year. Your donation is invested, and the proceeds will fund a scholarship for years to come. This is a wonderful way to honor, tribute, or remember of a loved one, family member, friend, or mentor.

  • The scholarship will bear the name designated by the donor.
  • A minimum donation of $50,000 is required; this will fund a $1,000 annual scholarship in perpetuity.
  • The endowment must be fully funded within five (5) years.
  • No monies will be paid out until the endowment is fully funded and there are enough earnings to keep the corpus at $50,000 or above.
  • Annual administration fees (equal to 1% of the end of year value) is charged to the fund; FCEF will assess a $100.00 administrative fee each year until the endowment is fully funded.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be established reflecting the donor’s wishes and outlining the roles and responsibilities of both parties.
  • If the donor chooses to have FCEF manage the application and selection process, an additional $500.00 fee will be assessed annually.

If the donor chooses to have FCEF manage the application and selection process, an additional $500.00 fee will be assessed annually.

FCEF will make every effort possible to accommodate the wishes of the donor for their endowment. Donors are encouraged to provide a brief biography or memorial for the person the endowment is named for. Additionally, donors can provide broad selection criteria requirements for the endowment, such as minimum GPA, need or merit based, or geographic area, etc. Most donors already have a school or university (partner organization) in mind where the scholarship will be offered. FCEF will work on the donors’ behalf with the partner organization to ensure scholarship recipient information is received and funds are distributed annually.

For additional information, please email us at, or call 877-872-8289.