In addition to the traditional government funded sources of education support, servicemembers can rely on assistance from service specific military associations for low interest loans, grants, scholarships and other forms of education support.
The following is a quick summary of each services relief organization.
Army Emergency Relief (AER)
Spouse Education Assistance Program (EAP)
If you are assigned in Europe, Korea, Japan or Okinawa, Army Emergency Relief offers your spouse a grant to assist with the costs associated with pursuing his or her education, up to a maximum of $350 per term.
Visit the Army Emergency Relief site for more details.
The Navy Maine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS)
The mission of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society's (NMCRS) education programs is to help eligible Navy and Marine Corps service members and families pursue their academic goals by providing a source of education financing. Scholarships and no-interest loans are available, provided solely on the basis of the applicant's financial need in accordance with policies established by the Society's Board of Directors.
Applicants for all education programs must be enrolled or planning to enroll as full-time undergraduate students in a traditional classroom setting at a post-secondary, technical, or vocational institution that participates in the U. S. Department of Education Title IV financial aid programs. In addition, all applicants must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).
To obtain an application, click on“program page” in the program of your choice from those listed below, and then select "Application." Complete the form(s) on screen and print the completed application. Ensure the application has been completely filled in, that all required signatures are in place, and then mail the completed form(s), along with proof of eligibility, to: NMCRS Education Division, 875 North Randolph Street, Suite 225, Arlington, Virginia 22203.
Named after the Society's eleventh President, the Vice Admiral E. P. Travers Loan Program provides interest-free loans to eligible children, under the age of 23,of active duty and retired Sailors and Marines, as well as spouses of active duty Navy and Marine Corps service members who reside within the United States.
The Travers Program offers interest-free loans from $500 up to $3,000 (for an academic year).
The Travers application package is posted on the Travers program page in mid-October of each year for the following academic year. Applications must be received at Headquarters no later than March 1st.
The Boorda Program provides no-interest loans ranging from $500 up to $3,000 for an academic year to active duty students enrolled in the following commissioning programs:
Boorda application forms are posted on the Boorda program page in late November. Forms must be received by Headquarters no later than May 1st each school year, and reviewed and endorsed by the students commanding officer.
The Boorda Program allows repayment to be deferred as long as three months after Commissioning in the Navy or Marine Corps. Students will be advised at the end of each year the total value of their outstanding loan balance, and the anticipated commissioning date.
The Society administers the TENNESSEE Program, which was established upon the commissioning of the USS TENNESSEE (SSBN 734). The scholarship provides grants of up to $2,000 for an academic year to eligible children, under the age of 23, of service members who are serving or have served aboard the USS TENNESSEE. Children of both active duty and retired USS TENNESSEE Sailors are eligible
Previously called the Dependents of Deceased Service Member Scholarship Program, the Gold Star Program provides academic grants for eligible children and unremarried spouses of deceased Sailors and Marines. Awards are based on need and the amount is determined by NMCRS Headquarters Education Division:
For Children (use the application entitled Gold Star Scholarship for Children ). Children of both active duty and retired are eligible.
For Unremarried Spouses (use the application entitled Gold Star Scholarship for
Applications for unremarried spouses are posted on the Gold Star program page in late November. Application forms must be received at Headquarters no later than two months prior to the start of school.
The Joseph A. McAlinden Divers Scholarship is offered specifically to Navy and Marine Corps Divers, whether active duty or retired, and their eligible family members. This scholarship provides financial assistance for full-time undergraduate and graduate students, who must be participating in one of the following areas of study: Oceanography, Ocean Agriculture, or Aquaculture. The McAlinden Scholarship also assists with Department of the Navy approved advanced diver training, qualifications and certifications.
The Scholarship is need-based and ranges from $500 up to $3,000 per academic year, for the eligible students education.
There is no deadline for this Program, you may apply at any time.
Click here for an application.
Since its inception in 1904, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) has provided more than one billion dollars in financial assistance to more than four million members of the Naval Service and their families. NMCRS offers a variety of scholarships and no interest loans to support education.
The Spouse Tuition Aid Program (STAP) is a need based no interest loan, available to spouses residing with their active duty service member sponsor, stationed outside the United States. STAP no interest loans are available for part-time and full-time undergraduate and graduate studies.
STAP offers loans of up to $3,000 per 12 month period and offers qualified spouses an excellent opportunity to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree when stationed overseas.
To learn more about this overseas administered program, contact the nearest Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Office.
Contact NMCRS by e-mail at email@example.com, or call directly to NMCRS HQ at (703) 696-4960 DSN 426-4960.
Air Force Aid Society (AFAS)
General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program
The centerpiece of the Air Force Aid Society's education initiatives is the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program which provides grants to selected sons and daughters of active duty, Title 10 AGR/Reserve, Title 32 AGR performing full-time active duty, retired, retired reserve and deceased Air Force members; spouses (stateside) of active duty members and Title 10 AGR/Reservists; and surviving spouses of deceased personnel for their undergraduate studies. The value and success of this program, is demonstrated in the 74,679 grants disbursed since the first awards were made for the 1988-1989 academic year. In recognition of escalating college costs, the Society has increased the award amount to $2,000 for all qualifying applicants.
This grant program remains competitive in its need-based selection criteria, uniquely tailored to recognize the proper weighing of family income and education cost factors, and is administered by ACT Recognition Program Services. ACT, located in Iowa City IA, is an independent, not-for-profit organization with over 40 years experience in providing support services to scholarship sponsors.
Awards for each academic year are announced in June each year. Use of funds is limited to tuition, books and fees, or other direct educational expenses.
General George S. Brown Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP)
The purpose of the Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) is to provide partial tuition assistance for spouses of Active Duty airmen or officers, who accompany members to overseas locations and will be attending college programs. The focus of the program is on the completion of degree or certificate programs that provide increased occupational opportunities for spouses.
The program provides tuition Assistance (TA) at a rate of 50% of unmet tuition charge per course, with a maximum of $1,500 per academic year and a term maximum, which is calculated by dividing the annual maximum ($1,500) by the number of terms within the academic year. For purposes of this program, "academic year" is defined as the 12-month period beginning August 1 through July 31 of each year.
Visit the Air Force Aid Society to learn more.
The Coast Guard Foundation
If you are an active duty enlisted member the Coast Guard Foundation offers you an annual Education Grant. This grant program is open to active duty enlisted personnel in pay grades E-3 to E-9 with two or more years of Coast Guard service. This $350 grant may be used in conjunction with the Coast Guard Tuition Assistance Program, or other non-funded relevant education items.
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA)
CGMA offers a Supplemental Education Grant (SEG) of up to $160 per year. You can use this grant for any family member's education expenses. However it does not cover Tuition expenses. This grant can also be used to pay for ASVAB, CLEP, SAT, and other study guides. CGMA also offers several education related loans.
Additional Education Assistance
The Coast Guard also offers dependent spouses and Federal Coast Guard employees the opportunity to take CLEP, DANTES, and other tests at no cost.
Advanced Education Programs
There are many advanced education programs available for both enlistees and officers. These are currently announced by way of ALCOAST, ALCGENL, and other general distribution messages from Coast Guard Headquarters.
Visit the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance website to learn more.
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