Completing an education is hard enough without having to stress about how to pay for it. If you are a military spouse thinking about college or already working on a degree, you’re in luck. This is the time of year when organizations start accepting applications for military spouse education assistance programs.
Yes, that’s right. There are programs – scholarships, loans, and grants — designed with you in mind. But, it’s going to take some work and a lot of organization.
A few things to consider ahead of time:
1. Read all of the criteria early so that you can plan for any time-consuming requirements, like letters of recommendation.
2. Create reminders for deadlines so that you don’t miss any important dates.
Here is the latest list of 2019 offerings from around the military community:
National Military Family Association
What’s the basics: Awards available for career funding, degrees, clinical supervision towards licensure in the mental health profession, and business expenses.
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 associate degree, license or certification.
Deadline: Rolling basis.
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.
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
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, 2019.
Air Force Aid Society
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: Apr. 30, 2019.
Army Emergency Relief
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.
Application cycle opens: Apr. 1, 2019.
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance
Who’s eligible: Spouses of Coast Guardsmen.
What’s the basics: Loans and grants for a degree, license or certification.
Deadline: Rolling basis.
Florida Advisory Council on Military Education
Who’s eligible: Active duty, guard, or reserve service member of the U. S. Armed Forces; Spouse of any active duty, guard, or reserve service member of the U. S. Armed Forces; and Veteran with an honorable discharge (must provide documentation).
Southeastern Council on Military Education (SECOME)
Who’s eligible: Students (spouse, veteran, active duty, and/or guard/reserves) attending 2019 member institutions (member institutions are posted on our website) who reside in NC, SC, GA, or AL are eligible.
What’s the basics: The organization will award scholarships ranging from $500-$1500.
Deadline: May 31, 2019.
Pat Tillman Foundation
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.
Who’s eligible: Spouse of US military personnel pursuing an undergraduate course of study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university, or vocational or technical school for the academic year.
Application period: Apr. 1 – May 15, 2019.
American Military Partner Association
Details: Open to military spouses with a valid ID who are married to an active duty, reserve, guard, retired, medically retired, or fallen service member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Application period: May 14 – June 15, 2019.
CTU Patriot Scholarship
What’s the basics: CTU will award 50 scholarships.
Opens: Spring 2019.
Patriot Education Fund
Who’s eligible: Must be a Post‐9/11 military member (active duty/reservist/veteran) Rank E1 to E5 enlisted OR the spouse of OR the dependent child of a Post‐9/11 military member.
Hope For The Warriors
Link: Apply for services.
What’s the basics: Five different categories of scholarships with the application process for fall semester expenses opening in spring 2019.
Deadline: May 31, 2019.
Council of College and Military Educators (CCME)
What’s the basics: The organization awards $1000 scholarships with the application process typically running July to November.
Coast Guard Foundation
Who’s eligible: Spouses and children of enlisted Coast Guard members; children of fallen Coast Guard members; and enlisted Coast Guard members.
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 specific 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:
Fort Huachuca Community Spouses Club (AZ)
Details: Spouses or dependent children whose sponsor is assigned to or living in the greater Fort Huachuca area are eligible to apply for FHCSC scholarships. Deadline to apply is Mar. 1, 2019.
The Officers’ Spouses’ Club in Yuma (AZ)
Details: Scholarships available to military dependents within a 50-mile radius of Yuma, AZ.
Military Spouse Association of Camp Pendleton (CA)
Details: The scholarship is open to spouses and dependents who have an AD or retired sponsor from Camp Pendleton.
Monterey Bay Officers Spouse Club (CA)
Details: Deadline to apply estimated to be May 2019.
Travis Spouses Club (CA)
Details: Scholarships for graduating high school seniors, college/continuing education students, and military spouses attached to Travis AFB in Fairfield, CA.
Ft. Gordon Spouses’ and Civilians Club (GA)
Details: The club offers two scholarships, a merit scholarship and a continuing education scholarship.
Wright Patterson OSC (OH)
Tinker Air Force Base (OK)
Check website for most current details on application deadlines.
Fort Meade Enlisted Spouses’ Club (MD)
Details: Open to spouses & dependents. See website for eligibility.
Fort Meade Officers’ Spouses’ Club (MD)
Details: Open to local Fort Meade affiliated dependents (including spouses).
Camp Lejeune Officers’ Spouses’ Club (NC)
Details: Spouses of active duty military personnel assigned to MCB Camp Lejeune, a tenant unit aboard Camp Lejeune, Camp Johnson, Camp Geiger, or MCAS New River; or deceased military personnel whose last active duty station was one of the above locations
Fort Bragg (NC)
Details: Awarded to spouses, dependents, and service members who are continuing their education at the collegiate level, including undergraduate and graduate levels
MCAS New River Officer Spouses Club (NC)
Offutt Enlisted Spouses Club (NE)
Minot Spouses’ Club (ND)
Details: Spouses & dependents of active duty, retired, or deceased military Members of any rank or service branch seeking a degree or certificate from an accredited College or Vocational School.
North Country Spouses Club (Fort Drum, NY)
Military Spouses of Newport (RI)
Details: Spouses of RI active duty military personnel; graduating high school students that reside in or are attached to a base in the state of Rhode Island that are dependents of active duty, retired or deceased military personnel.
Fort Bliss Spouses’ Association
Details: FBSA scholarships are for spouses and children of active-duty, retired, and Gold Star families of ALL RANKS in and around the El Paso area as well as the spouses and children of GS civilian employees who are members of FBSA.
Randolph Spouses Club (TX)
Fairchild Spouses Club (WA)
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.
Navy Wives Clubs of America
Who’s eligible: Various offerings, including a scholarship for spouses of Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.
If your organization has a scholarship program for service members, military spouses or dependents, and you want to be added to the list, email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.Read comments