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Scholarships help retiree spouses finish education

Air Force Retiree News Service

WASHINGTON (AFRNS) -- Retiree spouses with an eye on professional certification or a post-secondary education may not have to foot the entire bill, thanks to a National Military Family Association scholarship program.

The group is accepting applications for its annual Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to spouses or surviving spouses of servicemembers on active duty or in the National Guard or reserves and spouses of military retirees.

The $500 to $1,000 scholarships can be used for tuition, fees, and school room and board while the spouse obtains professional certification or attends post-secondary or graduate school.

Funding determines the number of scholarships awarded each year. A partnership with the Fisher House and Folds of Honor foundations has resulted in a larger number of scholarships.

Scholarship selection is based on answers to survey questions used to help the association advocate for education changes on the applicant's behalf.

Applications are accepted online only, through the National Military Family Association Web site, www.nmfa.org, and must be submitted before midnight Feb. 1.

Association officials said they started the scholarship program to recognize that unique challenges, including frequent moves and deployments, can interfere with military spouses' ability to complete their education. The association also has created a Web portal at www.nmfa.org/SpouseEd that is stocked with military spouse education resources and information to help spouses reach their career and educational goals.

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