Guest Author - Stacey Abler
Paying for college can be an expensive venture for any family. If you are a military family, in addition to the resources that are available for everyone, you also have other opportunities to find money for school. Many of these opportunities are available for military spouses & children.
The deadlines for many of these scholarship applications are in the spring of each year - March and April. Be sure to apply early to have the best chance of being offered this type of financial aid.
There are a variety of scholarships, many of which are not based on need. Be sure to check with:
*The post thrift shop raises money throughout the year through the sale of items in the thrift shop. The thrift shop on our post offers several scholarships each year with these funds.
*Spouses club are also a great source of scholarship funds for both spouses and children. Our spouse club as well as the sister post's club both offer scholarships to spouses & children. The rules differ by club but some require that the spouse be a member of the club in order to apply for the scholarship.
*National Military Family Association (NMFA) offers several scholarships each year. These scholarships are open to all branches. Applications are made available at the first of each year and involve writing an essay on a specific topic related to military life.
In addition, the Army is testing a pilot program that would allow family members (specifically spouses) to use up to half of the soldier's GI Bill. The GI Bill pays a monthly stipend while the soldier is in an accredited program. The full-time rate for 2007 is $1,075 per month.
There are many stipulations for the spouse to be able to use these benefits and it is not available to everyone. The soldier must re-enlist in order to take advantage of this program. In addition, he must be in a certain MOS and fall under other guidelines. Be advised that this program is monitored and administered by the Army, not the Veteran's Administration.