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Military spouse scholarships are one of the benefits available to military dependents. Scholarships for military spouses go to the husband or wife of a member of the nation’s armed forces. Also, while there are many military scholarships, they are not all for spouses too. There are active duty spouse scholarships for military students who want to transition into a civilian career.
Scholarships for military spouses are a valuable source of aid. They often help a military spouse pursue a post secondary degree and fulfill their career goals.
Unlike a loan, one usually does not have to pay back the funds. But one does have to abide by the terms that the scholarship comes with. Others may provide financial aid for college in return for service.
A military spouse is the wife or husband of a service member. They can be spouses of active duty and veteran military members.
That said, there are a few forms that a scholarship for a military spouse might take. Some scholarships may offer to wives and husbands of currently serving military personnel. Others are scholarships for widows. These are for spouses of service members who died or became disabled while in service.
The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society grants one such award. The Gold Star Scholarship Program is for the dependent children and spouses of Navy and Marine personnel killed in the line of duty. Awards range from $500 to $2500 per academic year. The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society also provides education scholarships.
Many scholarships for military spouses will look at your financial need and GPA if you qualify. There are seven Uniformed Services which may have scholarships set aside for military spouses:
There are many resources in place to help military spouses pay for college. But whether college is ‘free’ depends on two main factors such as cost of attendance and amount of financial aid received.
One is the net cost of attending (COA) college or career school. Another, the amount of aid received. This varies between scholarships and other benefits that spouses may be eligible for.
Yes, it is possible to apply for several scholarships at once. But the amount of aid received cannot exceed the COA.
Each branch of the military offers education assistance programs. These are for their branch’s service members and dependents.
One example is the Spouse Education Assistance Program. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Army and offers a need based scholarship. It is for the spouses of Army soldiers who are pursuing an undergraduate degree.
There are a range of college benefits for military spouses. One example is the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) Program. MyCAA is an employment assistance program.
It provides up to $4,000 of financial help to eligible military spouses. Spouses must be pursuing a license, certification or Associates degree. It must be in a portable career field and occupation. There are lists of approved schools in each state. Many schools also offer a reduced tuition. Military spouses may enjoy this benefit too.
Military members may transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or dependent. The request to do so needs to be while the member is in service. Then, the Department of Defense either approves or denies the request.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) also extends other benefits. These education benefits may go to dependents and survivors. They are also called Chapter 35 benefits. There are two main programs.
One is the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship). It is for children and spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001.
Another is the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. It offers education and training to qualified dependents of Veterans.
Veterans who are disabled in a permanent and total way because of a service-related condition or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition.
Many entities honor the service and sacrifices military members and their families make. Many state and federal governments, nonprofits and colleges may offer scholarships for military spouses.
At last check, 87% of dependents of service members and veterans receive financial aid if they qualify. Most were pursuing a degree at the undergraduate level. A wide range of military spouse scholarships come from branches of the military such as the Army, Navy and Marines. Others may also come from Federal and State governments.
One example is the Maryland Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship. Spouses of armed forced personnel who served in these conflicts are eligible to apply.
You need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It may award from $4,498 to $7,152.
Charitable foundations also extend scholarships to military spouses. The National Military Family Association offers military spouses who hold a valid military ID. Awards range from $500 to $1,000. Scholarship funds may be used towards degrees, certifications, and licensures.
Private donors, and individual colleges are yet another option. These may provide scholarships that also pertain to specific fields of study. One example is the Army Nurse Corps Association (ANCA) Scholarship. Military spouses who are also nursing or anesthesia students may apply.
Scholarships for military spouses may help the husbands and wives of enlisted service members and veterans. Check out our list of 9,070 awards worth $21M.
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