Founder of the Military Spouse Education Initiative
The abundance of aid that exists for Undergraduate students becomes scarce once you reach Graduate level programs, but there are some resourceful ways that you can fund your education.
1. Always, always, always fill out your FAFSA through the Department of Education: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
– The sooner, the better.
– Check with your school first; most schools have a section of their financial aid page dedicated to current scholarships.
3. Professional Associations: Most majors have an equivalent professional association that either offers scholarships or is current on funding available for your desired career field. For example, if you are majoring in Human Resources check out SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) for potential financial aid incentives.
4. Spouse Clubs: Annually, in the beginning of the year, Spouse Clubs around the globe open up scholarships for all levels of education.
6. Branch Aid Societies: Annually, in the beginning of the year, the Aid Societies for the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy offer various types of grants, scholarships or interest free student loans.
7. Private Organizations
– National Military Family Association (usually opens in January): http://www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/military-spouse-scholarships/
– Pat Tillman Foundation (usually opens in February): http://www.pattillmanfoundation.org/
– Thanks USA (usually opens Feb-April): http://www.thanksusa.org/main/index.html
– Veterans United (offers a Fall and Spring scholarship program): http://www.enhancelives.com/scholarships
8. Employer Incentive Programs: If you are employed, check with your supervisors to see if they have any tuition assistance programs for courses relevant to your position.
9. Loans (http://www.direct.ed.gov/)
– Subsidized: As per U.S. News “As of July 1, 2012, graduate school students were no longer eligible to take subsidized Stafford loans, a popular federal loan with interest paid by the government until after graduation.”
– Unsubsidized: 6.8 % interest rate; Interest does accrue from the time the loan is disbursed to the school.
– Graduate PLUS loans: 7.9 % interest rate