Military families have access to many resources to lessen the stresses of military life. Three big stressors are finances, education, and career development. Luckily, there are many organizations that offer scholarships for military spouses and children to help lessen the burden and provide financial assistance. From starting school to starting a business, there are a number of scholarships available for military spouses and children looking to invest in a new endeavor.
When considering applying for scholarships for military children and spouses, be sure to put in the time and effort to properly fill out each application. Some scholarship programs require a simple questionnaire while others may request an essay, so make sure every piece of information is accurate and stands out from other applicants. Start by making a list of scholarships you are eligible for, draft out your answers, and seek help from peers, your academic institution, or career development program if necessary. There will be many military family members applying, so don’t be afraid to brag about yourself and show off why you deserve the scholarship!
There are many organizations that offer scholarships for military spouses and children. Below are some of the biggest programs available, but it doesn’t hurt to see if any local community scholarships are available as well. Some family support centers, military spouse clubs, and school financial aid departments have money set aside for scholarships.
Scholarships for Military Spouses
Sponsored by the National Military Family Association, this military spouse scholarship program grants scholarships with an average value of $1,000 to spouses of active duty, retired, and reserve members. The NMFA scholarship helps spouses pursue degrees, certifications, licensure, clinical supervision for mental health licensure, CEUs, business costs, and more.
MyCAA is an initiative of the Department of Defense Spouse Education and Career Opportunities, or SECO, program to help military spouses pursue a license, certification, or Associate's degree in a portable career field and occupation. This scholarship provides up to $4,000 of financial assistance to eligible military spouses to help achieve career goals.
The ThanksUSA military scholarship program has awarded 4,500 scholarships for military families since 2006. This program is available to both military spouses and children, and they offer 4 types of special scholarship offerings:
- Purdue University Global/Thanks USA Scholarships: Offers 8 full-tuition scholarships through ThanksUSA for eligible military spouses and dependent children.
- Linda J. Romeo Scholarship: A $4,000 scholarship will be awarded to a female military spouse residing in the National Capital Region attending Northern Virginia Community College.
- Helping Hand Scholarship: Awards the renewable Helping Hand Scholarship to the spouse or child of a disabled or fallen military member.
- Pathways for Patriots: Engages corporations from specific industries to create pipelines of military spouses and children to provide professional development through networking, mentoring, and internship opportunities.
Scholarships for Military Children
This annual award honors seven military children from the ages of 13 to 18. Of the seven, six of them will represent one branch of the armed forces based on scholarship, volunteerism, leadership, extracurricular involvement, and other criteria. The seventh award is the Military Child of the Year® Award for Innovation that goes to a military child who has designed an innovative solution to address a local, regional, or global challenge.
The Military Commanders’ Scholarship fund awards children of select active duty, reserve, National Guard, or retired members of the United States military to assist in obtaining a college education. Scholarships are offered annually to an accredited institution of the student’s choice for full-time study, and awards students with $5,000 to apply toward a college education. Two awards will be given per branch of service - Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard.
Scholarships for Military Children is a program created to recognize the service of military members and their families. The scholar program aims to celebrate the role of commissaries in military life, and is primarily funded by the supplier and manufacturers whose products are sold at military commissaries. A total of 500 scholarship grants, each for $2,000, are awarded to at least one recipient selected at every commissary location where qualified applications are received.
Scholarships for military spouses and children are a great way to get your next endeavor underway, whether it’s starting a new career or obtaining a new degree or certificate. There are many applicants to these scholarship programs, taking the time to apply and prove you deserve this opportunity can make an incredible impact on your life. Military life has its challenges, so be sure to take advantage of the advantages available to you and apply!