By Angelica Kang

Now that the chaos of the holiNational-Military-Family-Association-300x145days is over, the time has come to think about the National Military Family Association (NMFA) Spouse Scholarships. Applications are currently being accepted, but only until January 31. The NMFA Spouse Scholarship is a one-time payment that can be used to fund a military spouse’s schooling, professional certification, or licensing. It is an amazing scholarship and education opportunity that you must take advantage of.

As a 2015-2016 NMFA scholarship recipient, I cannot recommend this scholarship more. I’m currently a 4L evening student at Fordham University School of Law. I could easily have been a 2014-2015 recipient but I let excuses get in the way and failed to submit my application on time. I regretted it immediately. Here is a scholarship that is specifically made for us: military spouses who are pursuing careers of our own! In 2014 I was determined not to make the same mistake, applied on time, and was awarded a scholarship!

Tuition is steep — so anything helps! I was awarded $500 in scholarship funds and they were sent directly to Fordham Law School. I figured that covered the expense for books, supplies, and my technology fee. I was pleasantly surprised late last semester with an email from NMFA awarding me an additional $1,000!

The application is simple and straightforward. I seriously still kick myself in the pants for the time I started and then failed to finish the application in 2013 because I was too busy being lazy during winter break. The application is online, involving a few short essays. I would recommend looking over the application, copying the questions, and writing your answers out in a separate document. This makes it easier to simply copy and paste your essays when you are ready to fill out the entire application. Communication with NMFA is also very easy and seamless; the administrators of the scholarship are helpful and available.

All military spouses are able to apply – it is not limited by your partners’ rank or your income. The scholarship funds can be used towards tuition for undergraduate and graduate school or the fees for exams. That means you can use the funds for bar exam fees (Hey, July bar exam, I’m lookin’ at you!)! And, there are currently no restrictions on the number of times a recipient can win the scholarship, so you can apply every year so long as you are still taking classes, working on certification, licensure, or renewal, etc. This is clearly a scholarship that has us in mind.

On top of being a great opportunity to fund your education or licensure, the scholarship is incredibly affirming for the military spouse. While I value my role as partner of a Marine, marrying him did not diminish my personal dreams and ambitions. Supporting my husband in his military career is a duty I happily and proudly fulfill, but it does not make up my entire identity. Before he and I met, I was sure I wanted a career that was solely my own — marrying him certainly didn’t change that! The NMFA spouse scholarship speaks to this very issue and encourages spouses to think of themselves as more than just a military spouse, but an individual with potential and purpose.

Don’t waste anymore time. If you are still taking classes, working on certification, licensure, or renewal, etc. go to this link and apply now!