EDITOR’S NOTE: 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 email@example.com.
Completing an education is hard enough without having to stress about how to pay for it. If you are a military spouse (or military kid) thinking about college or are 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:
- Read all of the criteria early so that you can plan for any time-consuming requirements, like letters of recommendation.
- Create reminders for deadlines so that you don’t miss any important dates.
Here are the latest list of 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.
Army Emergency Relief
Link (for spouses): https://www.armyemergencyrelief.org/scholarships/spouse/
What’s the basics: The Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship Program is a need-based scholarship program established to assist Army spouses in obtaining an undergraduate degree or similar professional certification.
Deadline: None. Spouses can apply yearround and must re-apply each year.
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: Applications for 2021-22 academic year will be available Nov. 1, 2020.
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: Applications for 2021-22 academic year will be available Jan. 2021.
Army Emergency Relief (for military kids)
Link (for military kids): https://www.armyemergencyrelief.org/scholarships/child/
What’s the basics: The MG James Ursano Scholarship Program is a need-based scholarship program established to assist children of Army Soldiers in obtaining their first undergraduate degree.
Deadline: Application cycle runs January – April.
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance
Who’s eligible: Members, spouses and children of Coast Guardsmen, Retirees, Reserve and Auxiliary members
What’s the basics: Loans and grants for a degree and vo-tech programs as well as tutoring services.
Deadline: Rolling basis.
Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation (for military kids, service members or veterans)
What’s the basics (for military kids): Applicants must be a student with a parent that is currently serving with the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, or in the National Guard or Reserve Component.
What’s the basics (for service members/veterans): Active Duty, National Guardsman, Reservist or Veteran with honorable discharge
Deadline: Sept. 1, 2020.
Fisher House (for military kids)
What’s the basics: Program is open to students who possess a US Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card (DD Form 173), and whose parent or parents serve or served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. Recipients must be enrolled or planning to enroll full-time in a four-year undergraduate college or university, accredited in the U. S or a two-year community college. They must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 basis.
Deadline: Check back in mid-December for information on the new application period.
Want to find more scholarships? Fisher House created a search tool for military families: SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SERVICE
Modern Military Association of America
What’s the basics: 10 military spouses will be awarded a scholarship ranging from $1,000 – $2,500
Deadline: Next application period opens May 2021.
FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program
What’s the basics: The fellowship provides military spouses the opportunity to earn the Accredited Financial Counselor® certification.
What’s the basics: Scholarships awarded to spouses and military kids may be used for a first-time undergraduate study at an accredited 2-year or 4-year college, university, or accredited vocational technical or trade school program.
Deadline: Application period runs Mar. 1 – Apr. 15.
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).
Deadline: Application period runs Dec. 15 – Mar. 15.
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.
Who’s eligible: Active-duty and military spouses/dependents of drilling reservists, National Guard or retirees.
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.
Deadline: CLOSED. Check back February 2021.
Hope For The Warriors
What’s the basics: Five different categories of scholarships with the application process for the spring 2021 semester.
Deadline: Sept. 30, 2020.
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.
Deadline: Check back Feb. 2021.
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 that offer education assistance—
Eielson Air Force Base Spouses’ Club
Link: https://eielsonspousesclub.com (AK)
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.
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)
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.
Tinker Air Force Base (OK)
Check website in Jan. 2021 for next application period.
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)
Offutt Officers’ 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.
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: Up to 30 scholarships awarded annually, with eligibility for spouses/dependents of the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.
Deadline: Check back in 2021.Read comments