'Tis the season for scholarship applications. If you're interested in going back to school or getting help paying for licensing or other career-expenses, you've probably been hitting the Google machine looking for the perfect military spouse scholarship (or seven). School and licensing isn't cheap, but the good news is there are a ton of different organizations out there interested in giving money -- if only you can get your application in on time.
So what are some of the military spouse scholarship deadlines you should be watching? Where do you find scholarships and what are their deadlines?
2017 Military Spouse Scholarship DeadlinesMilitary relief societies. The Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy all have relief societies that help military families in a financial pinch. But they do more than give loans or grants to help troops cover their bills in an emergency. These organizations also give scholarships to military spouses and kids. The Army Emergency Relief's program has a deadline of April 1. The Navy-Marine Relief Society's deadline is May 1. And the Air Force Aid Society's application due date is March 10.
Your local spouse club. In addition to providing a fun social outlet, your local base spouse club likely has some sort of scholarship program for those stationed on base. While each base club is going to have rules, scholarship amounts and deadlines of their own choosing, early spring is typically when they close applications for the upcoming year. The Fort Campbell Spouses' Club scholarship deadline is March 15, for example, while the Camp Lejeune Officer Spouses' Club's application is due March 1.
Private organizations, schools and companies. The National Military Family Association (NMFA) has partnered with a parade of companies, organizations and schools to highlight existing scholarships or offer ones just for those registered with NMFA. Most of these have application windows closing between late February and late June. Check out the list on the National Military Family Association website.
National Military Family Association scholarship. The NMFA scholarship is one of the few designed to pay for education beyond undergrad. This scholarship could help cover graduate costs or costs associated with continuing education and relicensing. This scholarship window isn't open just yet, but you can read more here.
Military unit associations. If your service member is a member of a professional organization associated with a military unit you may qualify for a scholarship through the organization. Although not all units have their own professional organization, many do. For example, the 101st Airborne Division Association annually gives scholarships to spouses, children and grandchildren of association members. Check with your service member's unit organization to see if they offer a scholarship. Like many scholarship programs, the deadlines for these will vary, but many will be between now and mid-June.
A few handy military spouse scholarship toolsEven if you're not ready to apply for a scholarship right now, there are a few tools you should have when you're ready to start looking.
My Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA). Although many spouses don't qualify for this DoD-run program, MyCAA is a great option for junior spouses who are just starting their degree or working on a certificate. MyCAA gives up to $4,000 to those married to a service member between grades E1-E5, O1-O2, and W1-W2. You can learn more about MyCAA over here.
The Fisher House scholarship finder. The Fisher House scholarship finder tool is one of the handiest online widgets I've found in a long time. Depending on what kind of information you give it, the scholarship finder will cough up a wide variety of options. Not all of them will apply to you, but they are worth a look!