The adventures of an Air Force spouse

The hunt for scholarships

Graduation from college

When our daughters picked a college to attend, they both chose the same private school in Illinois. I was happy they would be together, but private school tuition times two? Could we swing that?

The Good Chaplain sat down to work the numbers. We could do it, but they were going to have to help by getting scholarships and working summer jobs. As the Good Chaplain told the girls, if they work 10 hours and get a $1,500 scholarship, that’s $150 an hour – much more than they would make at a job.

Now is the time for your college-bound senior to look for scholarships. Rules are often different for military children. For instance, in-state tuition rules varied between states until 2009 when Congress passed the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The law makes it easier for students to get in-state tuition where their military parent is stationed. They also keep that rate even if the service member moves to another state.

Many scholarship sources exist specifically for military children. First, check with your spouses’ club. Most raise money all year just to give to military children.
The second source is the school guidance counselor. Counselors have lists of scholarship opportunities in the area.

The Internet is full of scholarship opportunities. Anything from nationality, to sports, to special interests and majors. Sure it takes time to scour all opportunities but it is worth the effort.

Another source is military associations. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and other veterans’ groups as well as military associations offer scholarships. So do most commissaries.

And finally, don’t forget the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Make sure you follow the rules of the bill because it does obligate the military member to more time in the service

This link lists several scholarships. Scholarship Owl is another site.

Plenty of scholarships exist. You just have to know where to look. Our daughters got several scholarships, a grant from the university they attended and each took out a small student loan to make up the rest. They are both happily working in their chosen field of study now.

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