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College Education

Scholarships available; JBLM scholars need to apply

Northwest Guardian

Published: 03:30PM January 25th, 2018

For military spouses and family members thinking about continuing their education, now is the time to apply for scholarships available through the Lewis Community Spouses’ Club and McChord Spouses’ Club.

The Lewis Community Spouses’ Club’s Fort Lewis Family Scholarship Fund has a March 23 deadline. Applications for the McChord Spouses’ Club scholarships must be postmarked by March 2. It’s best to give plenty of time to complete and return the applications.

The Fort Lewis Family Scholarship Fund provides college education grants to Soldiers’ spouses and children. The scholarship program relies on donations of individuals and local organizations to fund educational goals.

Rikki Goble, chairperson of the Fort Lewis Family Scholarship Fund, said she is a huge advocate of the program and its benefits for military spouses.

“It’s a great opportunity for spouses to kick start their college education, and I never downplay the importance of a good education,” Goble said.

Scholarships are awarded in three categories:

• high school seniors,

• spouses,

• students currently enrolled in college.

In the past 25 years, the Fort Lewis Family Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $600,000 in grants to JBLM service member families in Pierce, Thurston and King counties. Last year, 22 scholarships were awarded for a total of $46,000.

Individual scholarships ranged from $750 to $5,000. The average grade point average of applicants was 3.8.

Typically, the Fort Lewis Family Member Scholarship Fund awards more than $30,000 per year. Applications are judged on a variety of criteria — essay response, grades, community involvement and leadership.

To be eligible, an applicant must be: a family member of a retired Army Soldier residing within a 50 mile radius of JBLM; a surviving family member of an Army Soldier residing within a 50-mile radius of JBLM and last assigned to JBLM; or the immediate family member — child or spouse — of an active-duty Army Soldier assigned to and residing within a 50-mile radius of JBLM.

Family members of active-duty Army Soldiers, retirees and surviving family members are eligible to receive scholarships without regard to the income level of the family or the rank of the service member. The applicant remains anonymous until the process is complete.

Applications can be downloaded from fortlewisscholarship.com. Applicants are encouraged to use the fill-in-form, Goble said, as it is simpler to complete and allows the application to look neat and professional.

For questions about the scholarship, email ftlewisfamilyscholarship@hotmail.com.

Several scholarships with varying criteria are also available through the McChord Spouses’ Club. Those include the outstanding student merit, the Joan Wassersprom award and the spouse scholarship fund. There also is an award for the Running Start program.

Applications for McChord Spouses’ Club scholarships are available during business hours at the McChord Thrift Shop on McChord Field or online on the club’s website: tinyurl.com/ybyx236x.

Applications should be mailed to MSC Scholarship Chairperson McChord Spouses Club, P.O. Box 4164, JBLM 98438.

For more information, email mcchordspousesclubscholarships@gmail.com.