Scholarships and grants are not just for college-bound high school students.
Secondary education has become more critical today for many adults as well. Whether an adult is returning to school to broaden his or her education and skills, to change a career or to pursue a dream, more people are looking to scholarships, grants, and other aid to offset educational costs.
All and all, this spells relief for those who wish to return or start school at the college level.
Why do people need to return to school? The answers vary, but in today's economy, for many it's a necessity. Sometimes in order to make a living wage, career paths need to be changed or enhanced. Other times, secondary education helps promise a higher wage or more movement within a company or organization. For some, a current career is no longer the best fit.
Whatever the reason, higher education is expensive.
Navigating the world of scholarships, grants, and other options is not easy. It can be overwhelming, to say the very least. Where does one start?
For members of military and their spouses and dependents, there are some additional and unique places to begin the journey to higher education.
Here are some questions to ask and some places to start the research.
First, consider the goal. What career is of most interest? Why? What will it take to get there? How will pursuing the goal make a life impact (time wise, financially, mentally)?
Next, consider the circumstances. What is special and unique about those circumstances?
Here are a few places for Servicemembers and their dependents to get started.
JBLM Army Education Services (www.lewis.army.mil/eso/). This site has a number of resources. Check out the special section on financial aid right at www.lewis.army.mil/eso/tuition.htm.
The Military.com Education website offers a wealth of information regarding programs for military spouses and dependents. Visit www.military.com/education. Also check out the MyCAA Military Spouse Career Advancements Accounts, Post-9/11 GI Bill information and the spouse and education programs through Veteran's Affairs. There's also a scholarship finder search engine to plug in specific criteria to research at www.military.com/scholarship/search-for-scholarships.do.
Also consider looking at specific schools in the Puget Sound for assistance.
Tacoma Community College, www.tacomacc.edu/catalog/12-13catalog/veterans-active-duty-military-and-reservist-services.htm.
Pierce College, www.pierce.ctc.edu/dist/military/.
The University of Washington Tacoma has a military financial link (www.tacoma.uw.edu/admissions/financial-aid/veterans-active-duty-military. It also has a comprehensive site with general scholarship search vehicles at www.tacoma.uw.edu/admissions/financial-aid/other-resources
For those in the south end, check out South Puget Sound Community College scholarship pages at www.spscc.ctc.edu/alumni-and-donors/foundation/scholarship.
Bates Technical College in Tacoma has special assistance for veterans and active military. Check out the guide at www.bates.ctc.edu/Veterans.