Military Spouse Scholarships

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What are Scholarships for Military Spouses?

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.  

What is a Military Spouse?

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:     

  1. Air Force 
  2. Army 
  3. Coast Guard 
  4. Marine Corps 
  5. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
  6. Public Health Service 
  7. Navy 

Do Military Spouses Receive Free College?

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 military spouse scholarships at once. But the amount of aid received cannot exceed the COA.   

Can Military Spouses Get Tuition Assistance? 

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.  

Do Military Spouses Get College Benefits?

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.

What does the GI Bill Cover for Spouses? 

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.  

Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) assists military spouses. It is for children and spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. This military spouse scholarship may cover tuition, housing, books and supplies.

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.  

Who Offers Military Spouse Scholarships?

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. 

List of Scholarships

Scholarships for military spouses may help the husbands and wives of enlisted service members and veterans. Check out our list of 7,692 awards worth $18M.

NY Military Service Recognition Scholarship (MSRS) – Spouses/Dependents

This award is available to U.S. undergraduate students who are children, spouses and financial dependents of members of the armed forces of the United States or state organized militia who, at any time on or after Aug. 2, 1990, while New York State residents, died or became severely and permanently disabled while engaged in hostilities or training for hostilities. Students must be attending or planning to attend an eligible postsecondary institution in New York.

Total: $24250

Awards: 1

Deadline: June 30, 2021

Navy Seal Foundation Scholarships

These scholarships are for NSW active duty service members, their spouses and dependent children, SEAL and SWCC Post-9/11 veterans, and Gold Star/Surviving Spouses and dependents. Opportunities include vocational, certificate, licensure and post-secondary programs, undergraduate and graduate degrees for qualifying applicants.

Total: $20000

Awards: 10

Deadline: June 30, 2021

EducationConnection Military Scholarship

This scholarship is available for U.S. undergraduate students (ages 18 and older) who are military active duty, honorably discharged, veterans, or spouses from any branch of the military.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: September 30, 2021

NMFA Military Spouse Scholarships

NMFA spouse scholarships are one-time/year awards averaging between $500 – $1,000. The amount can depend on their donors and your educational or professional need. In addition to college courses towards any level degree or certificate, scholarship funds may be used for professional expenses such as licensure/certification (or renewal), and more.

Total: $1000

Awards: 30

Deadline: September 30, 2021

Voice of Democracy Scholarship Program

U.S. high school students in grades nine through twelve who are 19 years of age or younger are eligible for this scholarship. To apply, the applicant must write an essay on the theme listed on the Veterans of Foreign Wars website and record the reading of that essay; submit both essay and CD/flash drive to be considered for this scholarship.

Total: $30000

Awards: 1

Deadline: October 31, 2021

Columbia Southern Saftey Scholarship

Columbia Southern University is an online university in Orange Beach, Alabama. Columbia Southern University recognizes the sacrifices made by the family members of America’s military men and women. To honor family members, CSU will provide one scholarship to the spouse of an Active-duty member. The award is available to both future and current CSU students, the scholarship will cover up to $25,200 in one online degree program. The scholarship will be applied directly to the recipient’s tuition for up to 36 consecutive months or until the completion of the selected online degree program, whichever comes first.

Total: $25200

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 25, 2021

Fla. Scholarship for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans

This award is available for Florida undergraduate students who are attending an eligible college or university in Florida. Students must be the dependent child or spouse or un-remarried widow(er) of a Florida veteran or service member who died as a result of service-connected injuries, diseases, or disabilities sustained while on active duty OR has been verified by the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs as having service-connected 100 percent total and permanent disabilities OR is classified as a POW or MIA.

Total: $3855

Awards: 335

Deadline: April 01

Spouse Education Assistance Program

This scholarship is open to spouses of active duty or retired Army soldiers and widow(er)s of soldiers who died on active duty or in retired status to pursue their first undergraduate degree. Students must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher; scholarships are based on financial need.

Total: $2200

Awards: 1818

Deadline: April 01

Mike & Gail Donley Air Force Spouse Scholarship

This scholarship is available for current U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who are spouses of Air Force, Air National Guard, or Air Force Reserve members. Students must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Total: $2500

Awards: 12

Deadline: April 30

Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarship Program

The Spouse/Caregiver Scholarship Program identifies, recognizes, and rewards post-9/11 spouses/caregivers for their strength, fidelity, and resolve despite adversity. Scholarships aid in continued education at a reputable, accredited university, college, or trade school. They are for spouses/caregivers.

Total: $50000

Awards: 13

Deadline: October 30

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