By Karen Jowers
The National Military Family Association has awarded nearly 400 scholarships totaling $392,000 to military spouses for the coming fall semester.
Among those receiving scholarships are 180 spouses of service members killed or disabled in the line of duty, with funding from the new Folds of Honor Foundation.
Of the spouses who received scholarships, 56 percent are married to soldiers, 17 percent are married to sailors, 15 percent are married to airmen, 10 percent are married to Marines, and 2 percent are married to Coast Guard members, according to NMFA.
More than 75 percent of the spouses are married to enlisted service members. A list of winners can be found online, along with more information on the scholarship requirements and application process.
NMFA created its scholarship program to provide financial assistance to military spouses working toward their education goals, often made more difficult by frequent moves and lengthy deployments.
The need for these scholarships was brought into sharp relief two years ago when there were 8,000 applicants for 28 scholarships, said Kathleen Burke, director of development for NMFA. Last year, NMFA provided 63 scholarships. The amount of scholarships was increased to 400 this year with donations from new partners, Fisher House Foundation and Health Net Federal Services, as well as Folds of Honor Foundation. There were 4,832 applicants for the 400 scholarships this year, she said.
The amounts of scholarships range from $500, mostly for those attending vocational schools, to $10,000 each for four spouses of wounded warriors and one spouse of a service member killed in the line of duty.
NMFA likely will start accepting applications for next year's program in December, Burke said. The scholarships are open to spouses with a valid military ID card.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski