Stone Education Center

Financial Aid for Military Families

Family members are encouraged to visit and use the advising, testing, colleges, and other services at the Education Center.

Is there any tuition assistance for Army Family Members? That's a common question asked daily at Stone Education Center. Although the Army doesn't pay tuition assistance for spouses of active duty military, the federal and state governments, as well as many other organizations do help fund education.  Very often the first thing we do when we think about attending college is to check out the tuition costs. Then we look at all the extra little fees involved and before we know it, we have given up because it just costs too much.

WRONG! Every year most students attending college are doing so with some type of financial assistance. Some is federal, some is state, and some is from private institutions and organizations as well as what the schools award.

To get started in the hunt for college money, start with the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). This form although lengthy and scary looking, is the key to the financial award system. Once completed most other financial aid is based on the information provided on the FAFSA.  The information you provide on your FAFSA is used to determine your "Expected Family Contribution" or EFC. Your EFC is a measure of your family's ability to pay for college and is based on your income and assets to determine how much you can afford to pay for a college education. This is what the government and schools use to determine your eligibility for financial aid. If your EFC is below a certain number, you will be eligible for a Pell grant. The amount of the Pell Grant will depend on your EFC as well as the cost of attendance, which is determined by the financial aid administrator at the school(s) you wish to attend, and your enrollment status, (full-time, part-time, etc.)

Besides the Pell grant, you may be eligible for many other types of financial aid, to include Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG); Federal Work-study jobs; and Federal Perkins Loans, which are low interest loans. Grants are not paid back, the work-study is on campus for the most part and pays at or above minimum wage, and the loans are very low interest and can be paid back over ten years. Subsidized loans do not begin to accumulate interest until after you graduate or stop attending college.

In addition to the federal funding, most states also fund education assistance for those who have lower income or who are studying to go into hard to fill occupations.  In Washington, there are opportunities for additional grants to be awarded as well as special awards and or scholarships for students studying to enter specific career fields. These include individuals studying for careers in vocational fields, health professions and education.  Many area organizations also offer scholarships to members of the community and the local colleges also offer scholarships to those who are in need of additional money to attend and complete a degree or field of study.

Some useful websites to begin your search include:
www.lib.msu.edu/harris23/grants/3subject.htm www.pierce.ctc.edu/financialaid/scholarships

https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa/default.aspx (My CAA)

For more information about Army Financial Aid and Scholarships available to you and your Family Members here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, come to one of the Education Centers and talk with an Education Counselor.
Servicemembers on active duty and stationed in Washington State, and their Family Members will be considered residents for tuition purposes whenever they enroll in a public university or college within the state of Washington (Senate Bill 5330).

You may request a unit or Family Readiness Group briefing using this form. When completed, please fax or email back to us.     Unit/FRG Briefing Request Form (MS Word)

Customized unit training classes are available at the David L. Stone Education Center and the Multi-use Learning Facilities. Commanders and training personnel interested in providing educational programs, classes and/or educational briefings for personnel should contact the College Coordinator at 253 967-2126, or via e-mail:
College Coordinator

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Page Last Updated: 08 Jun 2017

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