Alternatives to Military Service

Other ways to serve your country, see the world, get money for college, and gain job skills.

Paying for College

The government provides financial aid to help students pay for college. Other scholarships and grants are also available. Apply for student financial aid from the federal government, including grants, loans, and work-study. You can download FAFSA forms in English or Spanish, get help filling out the forms and track the status of your application at If you are a high school student, you may also contact your guidance counselor for additional information about paying for college.

Job Training and Serving Your Country

There are many opportunities to become a hero, build communities, and promote peace and justice without taking the life of another.

  • YouthBuild. Teaches young people how to build new homes for people in need, and new lives for themselves. Receive a combination of classroom academic and job skills development and on-site training in a construction trade.
  • Americorps. Provides jobs in all types of community programs, including training, work experience, stipends and scholarships.
  • City Year. Works within urban school systems with many partners and stakeholders. City Year Americorps members help bridge the gap between what students need and what schools are designed to provide.

Challenging Yourself

There are many ways to challenge yourself physically and mentally. There are many careers that command respect. Here are some careers to consider:

  • Firefighter
  • Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic
  • Pilot - For more information, see Aviation Schools Online, a complete directory of flight schools, aviation colleges, helicopter training programs, and aircraft mechanic schools.

If You Have Already Completed College, Consider:

Adapted from