Is education on your 2018 bucket list? If so, you’re in luck because applications are now being accepted for military spouse scholarships on local and national levels.
This is the time of year when so many options open for financial aid funding for post-secondary education. And these programs are specifically designed for military spouses who want to pursue a degree, license or certification. However, easy money does not mean the process of being awarded is easy. There is work involved to stay ahead of deadlines, to have the required documents, and to submit the best package possible.
So, before diving into where to apply, let’s talk how to set yourself up for success.
Whether you are old school and prefer paper and pen, or are tech-savvy and lean toward digi-tools, establishing some sort of calendar system can help you keep all of the requirements straight. Decide what method works best for your style and before you start applying anywhere, map out this information for each program. You will want to keep track of the organization’s contact, deadlines, and expectations.
Read the instructions
The details of each application vary, so don’t want to miss out of the chance to get funding for failing to read the instructions. For example, you may be required to get letters of recommendations from an instructor or employer, and waiting to the last minute to reach out to your contacts may cause you to come up short. Get a head start by reviewing the information as early as you can.
Where to apply
Now, here’s the good stuff. Who is offering those scholarships and grants? The list below includes all credible sources who typically run these programs on an annual basis. Do not delay in doing a preliminary review of each one to see what your eligible for and how to apply.
Here are the 2018 offerings from around the military community:
Branch aid societies
Each service branch has an equivalent branch aid society that supports service members and their families through various programs – including education assistance.
Who’s eligible: Spouses of active duty or retired sailors and Marines.
What’s the basics: Interest-free loans and grants for undergraduates at an accredited 2- or 4-year education, technical or vocational institution.
Deadline: May 1, 2018.
Who’s eligible: Spouses of active duty and Title 10 Reservists, and widows.
What’s the basics: Needs-based grant ranging from $500 – $4000.
Deadline: April 30, 2018.
Who’s eligible: Spouse of an active duty or retired soldier or the widow of a soldier who died while on active duty or while retired.
What’s the basics: Need-based scholarship program for spouses pursuing their first undergraduate degree.
Deadline: April 1, 2018.
Who’s eligible: Spouses of Coast Guardsmen.
What’s the basics: Loans and grants for a degree, license or certification.
Deadline: Rolling basis.
Local spouse clubs
There are dozens of spouse clubs co-located to military installations around the world. (Yes, we said world – including OCONUS locations). These organizations are a place of camaraderie for spouses, but also participate in philanthropic activities like scholarships and charitable giving. At the start of each new year, the clubs usually open up applications for scholarship programs with a different set up eligibility requirements. Some require applicants to be a member and some do not.
How to find them: A simple internet search of your installation and the phrase ‘military spouse club’ should produce results. Also, the club may be officer, enlisted or combined. Below are a few examples of those currently offering education assistance:
Camp Pendleton (CA): Deadline to apply is March 1, 2018.
Fort Sam Houston (TX): Deadline to apply is March 1, 2018.
Tinker Air Force Base (OK): Deadline to apply is March 1, 2018.
Fort Bragg (NC): Deadline to apply is March 1, 2018.
National spouse clubs
Just as there are local spouse clubs, similar organizations exist on the national level and yes, they want to support military spouse education too.
Who’s eligible: Various offerings, including a scholarship for spouses of Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.
Deadline to apply: May 30, 2018.
Who’s eligible: Current spouses of veterans or active-duty service members, including surviving spouses.
What’s the basics: $10,000 scholarship to assist with academic expenses, such as tuition, fees, and books.
Deadline: March 1, 2018.
Who’s eligible: Spouses of active-duty, drilling reservists, and National Guardsmen assigned to a military installation and resides in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.
What’s the basics: The organization will award scholarships ranging from $750-$1500.
Deadline: June 15, 2018.
Timeline: Open April 1 – May 15, 2018.
Timeline: Open May 1 – June 30, 2018.
What’s the basics: The organization awards $1000 scholarships with the application process typically running July to November.
Who’s eligible: Spouses and caregivers of service members with a service-connected disability.
What’s the basics: Scholarship to be used for any level of degree at Colorado Tech University.
Timeline: Open March 1 – June 30, 2018.
MyCAA (My Career Advancement Account)
Who’s eligible: Spouses of service members with the rank of E1-E5; W1-W2; O1-O2.
What’s the basics: Maximum tuition assistance benefit of $4000 to be used toward an associates degree, license or certification.
Deadline: Rolling basis.
If your organization has a military spouse scholarship program that you want to be added to the list, email the details to email@example.com.Read comments