It's the scholarship season, and some important scholarship deadlines are looming for military children and spouses.
Many scholarship opportunities are available from spouse clubs, military and veterans service organizations, and other groups. A a good place to start is Scholarships for Service, a free search engine developed by the Fisher House Foundation, online at http://search.militaryscholar.org,
Here are a few examples, for starters:
Scholarships for Military Children Program. Feb. 17 is the deadline for your local commissary to receive your application. It must be hand-carried or mailed, not faxed or emailed. Forms are available at commissaries, or online at www.militaryscholar.org.
The program will award 700 scholarship grants, each for $2,000, for school year 2017-2018, with at least one recipient selected at every commissary location where qualified applications are received.
Additional applicants will be selected from commissary locations with larger numbers of applicants. This program, which is funded by donations from companies that supply products to commissaries, is open to sons and daughters of active-duty, Guard and Reserve, and retired military commissary customers. Recipients must be enrolled or planning to enroll full-time in a four-year undergraduate college or university, or a two-year community college.
The Fisher House Foundation administers the scholarship program.
Military relief society scholarships. Check your military relief society's website for complete eligibility information on these programs. Rules vary by offering: For example, some family members of deceased service members are eligible for certain scholarships and grants.
- The Air Force Aid Society's education grant program, a need-based program offering grants ranging from $500 to $4,000, has a deadline of March 10 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. Eligible children and spouses of certain Air Force members must use the grant money for full-time undergraduate studies. Get more information at www.afas.org (click on "Education Grant Application").
- Army Emergency Relief's scholarship programs close April 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern. The scholarships for spouses and children of soldiers are based on financial need, and award amounts vary each year based on the number of applicants, the total approved scholarship budget and other factors. For more information and eligibility requirements, visit www.aerhq.org (click on "Apply for Scholarship," then on "Spouse" or "Child").
- The Navy-Marine Relief Society's assistance programs close May 1 (postmark deadline). Interest-free loans and grants range from $500 to $3,000 per academic year for eligible children and spouses of active-duty or retired sailors and Marines. For more information and complete eligibility requirements, visit www.nmcrs.org (click on "Education Assistance" under "What we offer").
There's no guarantee you'll get a particular scholarship, education grant or loan, but don't pass up an opportunity to try to get some scholarship money that can whittle down your college costs.
Karen Jowers covers military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.