Military spouses may find college prohibitively expensive, but, Pell grants for military spouses can help you keep that college dream alive!
In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about Pell Grants for military spouses. Also, we will discuss eligibility requirements, how to apply for Pell grants for military spouses, as well as what to do if your application is denied.
So, whether you are just starting your college journey or are already in school, read on to learn everything you need to know about Pell Grants for military spouses.
When your spouse is called to serve our country, you may end becoming another Sarah!
Are you wondering who Sarah is? Well, Sarah was a military spouse out of Boise, Idaho, who happened to be in college at the time of her husband’s deployment.
When her husband, Tom, was on his second tour of duty in the Middle East, Sarah found it difficult to manage the family finances on top of everything else. So, while her spouse was away, she took on a second job and also took loans in order to make ends meet.
What Sarah did not know, though, was that there are grants available specifically for military spouses? The opportunity was right there in front of her, but, she just didn’t see it.
This is where we come in for you! With the help of this guide, you should see the opportunities more clearly. That way, you may be able to get the education you need without putting a strain on your family’s finances, and what better way to do it than through Pell grants for military spouses.
Sounds like a great deal, eh?
Let’s get right into it then!
What Are Pell Grants For Military Spouses?
So, what is a Pell grant? A Pell grant is a form of financial aid that helps students pay for their education. The grant is provided by the federal government and does not need to be repaid.
Pell grants are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. In order to qualify for Pell grants for military spouses, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, which vary depending on your situation.
For example, requirements may require that you demonstrate financial need. Also, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, having a valid Social Security number, and must enrol in an eligible degree or certificate program.
There will be some other requirements too, and you must meet those requirements.
Are Pell Grants Just For Military Spouses?
No! Pell grants are not the exclusive reserve of military spouses. The grant is open to everyone, regardless of their family affiliations or background. Undergraduates who are American citizens, or non-citizens who meets the eligibility criteria, are all eligible for Pell grants.
But, what eligibility requirements apply to military spouses? Military spouses are eligible for Pell grants as long as they fulfill the same requirements as other students. The good news here, though, is that military spouses might get some preferential treatment when it comes to the selection process.
In fact, they may find themselves more eligible than other students! This is because the Department of Defense has made it a priority to help military spouses continue their education.
Are Pell Grants Awarded Through Regular Schools Or Through Military Channels?
Pell grants for military spouses are awarded through the regular school system. As a military spouse, you would need to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) just as any other student would. The school will then determine your eligibility and take the necessary action. However, if you have any questions or inquiries, the Department of Defense has a liaison officer who can answer any questions and help with the application process.
Who Qualifies For Pell Grants?
To qualify for a Pell Grant, you must meet certain requirements. The most important one is being a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. You must also be enrolled in an undergraduate program, have not already received a Pell Grant for the same academic year, and be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
There are other criteria you must meet as well, so make sure to read the guidelines carefully. If you think you might qualify, it’s best to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible.
Keep in mind, though, that there is an alternative to Pell grants for military spouses, which is Stafford loans. So, depending on the level at which your study program is, you will need to choose one of the two. This is because Pell grants for military spouses only caters to the needs of undergraduates, while Stafford loans work at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
After you send in your FAFSA, the financial aid office in your institution will let you know which award has been approved or you. That is, you could end up getting a Stafford loan offer instead of a Pell grant, and you could still get a Pell grant.
How To Apply For Pell Grants
Applying for a Pell grant is a fairly simple process. Application can be done online or you download the application form and submit it by mail. Also, providing your Social Security number, date of birth, address and other basic information is a must.
Remember that, in order to receive a Pell grant, you’ll need to be enrolled in an accredited school as a full-time student. You can also find detailed information about Pell grants—and other grant opportunities—on the Federal Student Aid website or check any of the following:
Are There Alternatives To Pell Grants
It is important to note that, as a military spouse, Pell grants are not the only student aid benefits open to you. There are a number of student financial aid designed specifically for you, and you need to know them.
Because, it is only when you know them that you can take full advantage of them. Some other categories available are:
Military Spouse Scholarships
When it comes to financial aid for military spouses, the military has made some provisions just for you, to make life easier. Remember though, that these offers are active at certain times of the year. Examples of such programs include:
1. The American Military Partner Association (AMPA) Scholarships
If you meet their basic eligibility requirement as a military spouse, you will be open to receiving their scholarships regardless of your natural origin or background.
This organization offers military spouse scholarships annually. They are driven by a mission to provide education scholarships for children and spouses of military men.
This non-profit organization’s scholarship aims to help the educational endeavors of military spouses.
Military spouses may receive financial aid from the VA, provided that the service member elects to transfer such benefits.
5. My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)
is a program designed to provide financial aid for military spouses (who are eligible) pursuing portable career fields. To achieve this, MyCAA provides up to $4000 in tuition assistance for military spouses, though not all military spouse will be considred as eligible.
This program provides grants to military spouses who meets their eligibility criteria. Kindly check to confirm if you are eligibile for this scholarship.
– Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program (OSEAP)
This is another program providing grants to Army spouses. Such spouses must be living with a soldier who is on active duty in Europe, Korea, Japan and Okinawa Commands.
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) caters to the financial needs of the family members of active duty and retired Navy and Marine Corp members.
This program provides from $500 to $3,000 every year to children and spouses of active duty and retired Navy and Marine Corps personnel.
The program provides s much as $2,000 per year in grants to spouses living with any member who is in on active duty outside the US.
When you hear about Pell grants for military spouses, you now know everything it entails. Moreover, you have seen that there are a lot of other options open to you besides Pell grants. Do well to take advantage of them!
So, what are you waiting for?
Start an application today!