In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about military spouse scholarships. From eligibility requirements to the application process, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re the spouse of an active-duty service member or a veteran, we’ll help you navigate the scholarship landscape and maximize your chances of receiving financial assistance.
1. Eligibility Criteria
Are you eligible for a military spouse scholarship? The eligibility requirements vary depending on the scholarship program, but generally, they extend to spouses of all 8 Uniformed Services, including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA. To determine your eligibility, both of the following statements must be true:
- You, as the applicant, are the spouse of a service member who served post 9/11/2001 and meets one of the following requirements:
- Active-duty service member
- Retiree (including medically retired)
- 100% Disabled Veteran
- Fallen service member
- 20/20/20 spouse
- You have, or are eligible to hold, a valid military/Uniformed Services ID.
Please note that NMFA volunteers, employees, and board members are not eligible to receive an award.
2. Application Process
Ready to apply for a military spouse scholarship? The application process is straightforward and can be completed online. To get started, visit the scholarship program’s website and locate the application form. Here are the steps to follow:
- Access the scholarship application form.
- Fill in all the required fields, providing accurate and up-to-date information.
- Prepare any necessary documents or supporting materials, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, or financial statements.
- Upload the required documentation as part of the application process.
- Review your application to ensure all information is correct and complete.
- Submit your application.
3. Application Deadlines
When it comes to application deadlines, military spouse scholarships typically operate on a rolling basis. This means that the application is open year-round, but awards are granted quarterly. You only need to apply once per scholarship year, so choose the quarter that aligns with your educational plans.
If you haven’t chosen a school or are waiting for acceptance, it’s advisable to wait and apply once you have been accepted and enrolled in your desired program. This ensures that you can provide accurate information about your educational plans and avoid any potential complications.
4. Choosing a School or Program
Choosing the right school or program is a crucial step in your educational journey. Before applying for a military spouse scholarship, it’s essential to research and identify the educational institution that aligns with your goals and interests. Consider factors such as:
- Accreditation: Ensure that the school or program is accredited by a recognized accrediting body.
- Program Offerings: Evaluate the programs and courses offered to determine if they meet your educational needs.
- Location: Consider whether you prefer an on-campus or online program, and if the location suits your lifestyle and preferences.
- Support Services: Look for schools that provide comprehensive support services for military spouses, such as career counseling, academic advising, and networking opportunities.
- Financial Aid: Explore the financial aid options available at the school, in addition to the military spouse scholarships you’re applying for.
By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose a school or program that sets you up for success.
5. Enrolling in a Program
Once you have chosen a school or program, it’s time to begin the enrollment process. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth transition into your educational journey:
- Complete the school’s application for admission. Provide all requested information and submit any required documents, such as transcripts or test scores.
- If applicable, apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or other relevant financial aid applications.
- Review and compare the financial aid packages offered by different schools to make an informed decision.
- Accept the admission offer from your chosen school and follow any additional steps required to secure your spot.
- Once enrolled, familiarize yourself with the school’s resources, including academic support services, student organizations, and campus facilities.
Taking these steps will ensure a seamless enrollment process and help you make the most of your educational experience.
6. Making Changes to Your Application
Need to make changes to your scholarship application after submitting it? No problem. Simply send an email to email@example.com and request to reopen your application. The scholarship program administrators will assist you in making the necessary updates.
To review your submitted application, log in to your account on the scholarship program’s website. Locate the “My Applications” section and click on the “Review your answers” button. This will allow you to revisit and review your application.
7. Application Evaluation
Once you’ve submitted your scholarship application, it will be reviewed and scored by a team of volunteers. These reviewers will only have access to your short answer and essay responses, which will be evaluated based on predetermined criteria. It’s important to provide thoughtful and well-crafted responses that showcase your qualifications and aspirations.
The evaluation process aims to identify deserving candidates who meet the scholarship program’s criteria and demonstrate a strong commitment to their educational pursuits. Make sure to highlight your unique experiences, goals, and achievements to stand out from the competition.
8. Required Forms Application
After submitting your scholarship application, you may be directed to fill out a Required Forms Application. This additional step is necessary to be considered for a scholarship award. The Required Forms Application collects additional documentation, such as your spouse’s LES (Leave and Earnings Statement) or DD214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty).
Ensure that you have all the necessary documents ready for upload during the Required Forms Application process. These documents may vary depending on the scholarship program, so carefully review the instructions and provide the requested information accurately.
9. Submitting Documentation
To complete the Required Forms Application and submit the required documentation, follow these steps:
- Prepare all the necessary documents, such as LES, DD214, or any other supporting materials specified by the scholarship program.
- Scan or digitize the documents to ensure clear and legible copies.
- Log in to your scholarship program account and navigate to the Required Forms Application section.
- Upload the scanned or digitized documents as instructed.
- Double-check that all documents have been uploaded before finalizing your submission.
It’s crucial to submit your documentation before being selected for a scholarship award. Since applications are open year-round, you have the flexibility to submit your documents at your convenience.
10. Scholarship Awards
If you meet the eligibility criteria and stand out among the pool of applicants, you may be awarded a military spouse scholarship. Scholarship awards vary in amount and may cover tuition fees, textbooks, and other educational expenses. The scholarship program administrators will determine the specific details of the award.
Please note that being awarded a scholarship is not guaranteed, as it depends on the availability of funds and the number of qualified applicants. However, by submitting a strong application and providing compelling supporting documentation, you increase your chances of receiving an award.
11. Notification of Awards
If you are awarded a scholarship at any time during the scholarship year, you will receive an email notification. This email will provide details about your award and direct you back to your scholarship program account to accept the award.
Once you receive the award notification, promptly log in to your account and follow the instructions to accept the award. Failure to accept the award within the specified timeframe may result in the scholarship being awarded to another deserving candidate.
Military spouse scholarships provide valuable financial assistance to spouses of service members, enabling them to pursue their educational goals and advance their careers. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and other important details, you can position yourself for success and increase your chances of receiving a scholarship award.
Remember to research and choose the right school or program, submit a well-crafted application, and provide all necessary documentation to support your candidacy. With determination and perseverance, you can overcome financial barriers and achieve your educational aspirations as a military spouse. Good luck!