Military News

Monday, June 17, 2013

Scholarships for the Military Dependent

Going to a civilian college prep workshop can be disheartening for military parents who seek to further the dependent child's education. Information provided at these meetings can be aimed at less mobile families. The military parent may think that a scholarship for their dependent is beyond their reach. It is not that the scholarships do not exist. The presenter may not be aware of the grant and loan opportunities available to military children.

All branches of service offer dependent scholarships and educational loan opportunities specific to military service. Qualifications for these opportunities include military support organizations like the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and Air Force Aid Society. Some, such as the Scholarship for Air Force Enlisted Member's Dependent Children requires academic achievement, community service, character and writing ability. For children whose parents have made the ultimate sacrifice, each branch offers a scholarship. In addition to these military scholarships, many states offer financial aid and grant programs specific to the military dependent.

Information Shortfall
Civilian school counselors may not have knowledge of the many financial aid venues that are only available to military personnel. Locating these, loans, grants and scholarships can be a dizzying experience. There is help available. Every base has an educational counselor who is an expert at locating financial assistance for the college bound dependent. Like the civilian counterpart, this counselor will know about financial aid available to all students. Unlike the civilian counterpart, they will also be an expert on the
available financial opportunities open only to military dependents.

Military Friendly College
Another solid source of information is the financial aid office of a
military friendly college. To facilitate the overseas and deployed student, these colleges offer online programs. By selecting a college that understands the military environment, the dependent child can start their education while still living abroad.

Get An Early Start
The best method for obtaining financial assistance through grants, loans and scholarships for military dependents is to start early. Talk to the base educational counselor before the child enters high school to begin work toward these opportunities. This is also a good time to identify colleges that will support the distance learner. The educational counselor working with military friendly colleges can help create a plan of attack that will result in a college degree for the military dependent.

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