For 1,909 college and career education students, paying for college got a bit easier this July.
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation awarded more than $6 million in scholarships for the upcoming school year to children of Marine Corps members, a feat celebrated at an event Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
The scholarships vary in amounts awarded, and are given to students who will be attending undergraduate universities or vocational and technical programs, all thanks to private donations. More than 40 percent of the student recipients major in STEM fields.
[Find other STEM scholarships.]
In addition to the scholarships, the foundation provides year-round activities, such as the event Tuesday in Washington, where children with parents in the Marine Corps can network and receive support.
It's an increasingly attractive way to help pay for college, notes Margaret Davis, president and CEO of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. This year, scholarship applications and awards given increased, up 25 percent and 17 percent, respectively. The spike, Davis says, can be attributed to the rising costs of college, more word of mouth for the foundation, and "lots of sacrifices on the home front."
"The need is significant," Davis says, "and it's only going to get more significant."
[Explore other scholarships for vets and their families.]
The scholarship Kristen Trout, a sophomore at Gettysburg College, received is just one of a variety of means she uses to pay for college. But between the extra funds and the personal support she's received through the foundation, she says it's made a big difference in her college experience.
"It's so much more than just a financial reward," says Trout, who's studying public history at the private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. "It relieves the stress of financial issues, and takes all the pressure off of my parents."
Trout, whose father served in the Marine Corps, also serves as a resident adviser and has student loans, which she says the foundation has helped her realize "is OK—you can get through the loans," she notes. "It's support to keep doing what I'm doing."
[Read about student loan changes for 2012.]
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation awards have a variety of eligibility criteria, both for parents and the students themselves. Each year, a scholarship recipient must show proof of classes taken and grades earned; a GPA less than 2.0 bumps a student out of eligibility.
Students interested in and eligible for a Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation award can apply for 2013-2014 funding starting January 1, 2013.
Trying to fund your education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for College center.