There are many extraordinary sacrifices made by military families. We can never fully repay them for the service they have given, but some awards help to ease the financial burden of furthering education for members of military families.
One way that foundations and colleges can help to give back to military families is by the offering of scholarships for military spouses. This allows them to pursue degree programs without being weighed down by student debt.
These scholarships come in numerous forms, and may be awarded by the government, military branches, organizations or colleges themselves. Some are given to spouses of current or past military personnel, while others have been dedicated to spouses of military members who were disabled or killed while serving their country.
Each military branch in the United States offers different levels of student aid to the spouses of service members. State governments and civic groups may also provide scholarships for military spouses and other members of military families. All of these programs have been designed to reward and recognize the sacrifices that service members and families make for our country.
National Military Family Spouse Scholarship
This scholarship is offered by the military, for spouses of military personnel. It is a once-yearly scholarship that has to be used within a year of its award. Military spouses can apply every year, even if they have won the award in the past.
The associate partners for this scholarship include select schools, which coordinate with the military to offer certification, licensing and scholarship funding. The funds in this award range between $500 and $2,500 and are paid to eligible military spouses who have a valid military ID.
You may apply for these scholarships for military spouses if you are married to a military member who is active duty, retired, guard, reserve, wounded, medically retired or deceased. Your spouse must have been injured or fallen in training or combat after the September 11, 2001 attacks. You can learn more at the Military Family website.
The U.S. Army Spouse Assistance Program for Education
This is a need-based program that was designed to help Army soldiers’ spouses to obtain four-year degrees. They accept applications from January until May every year, for educational assistance for the next academic year.
If you wish to win one of these scholarships for military spouses, you will need to apply every year. You can receive funding for up to four years if you meet their eligibility criteria:
- You must be a part time or full time student who is working toward an undergraduate degree.
- You must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
- You must be a spouse of a soldier or a widow of a soldier who has passed.
- You must not yourself be a member of any military branch. If you are, there are direct military scholarships for which you can apply.
The program website includes more helpful information.
Navy‑Marine Corps Society for Assistance in Education Program
This education assistance package is available for spouses and children of retired or active duty Marines and Sailors, which includes retired Reservists, if they are drawing retirement pay from the military.
You are also eligible if you are the child of a deceased Marine or Sailor who fell while they were in active service of after they retired. Learn more at their website.