If you've resolved to stop procrastinating this year, there's no time like the present to tackle applications for scholarships geared to the military community, before their looming deadlines arrive.
By getting started before the last minute, you boost your chances of submitting a successful application. Remember that you may need extra time to dig for information, or to write an essay.
Here are some approaching deadlines for popular scholarships in the military community:
National Military Family Association's spouse scholarship:
Jan. 31. Online applications are due at midnight EST. Scholarships of up to $1,000 are awarded in six categories: General (for high school GED, English as a Second Language, post-secondary and graduate); licensing fees; science, technology, engineering or math degrees; spouses of fallen service members; spouses of wounded service members; and vocational or technical certification.
Spouses and survivors of active-duty and reserve troops and retirees are eligible for the scholarship, which is funded by donors. Scholarship funds can be used to help with tuition, fees, and room and board.
Scholarships for Military Children:
Feb. 24. Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business. The program awards at least one $1,500 scholarship to a student at each commissary.
Eligible are unmarried, dependent children of active-duty and reserve troops and retirees, and survivors of a military member who died while on active duty or survivors of retirees. Eligibility is determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants must be no older than 21 (or 23, if enrolled in college full time).
The scholarship also can be used in a program of study designed to transfer directly into a four-year program. This year's question for the 500-word essay is: "Whose four faces would you place on a 21st Century Mount Rushmore type of monument, and why?"
The scholarships are funded by donations from commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public. Applications are available at commissaries or online.
Military relief societies' education assistance programs:
March and April. For specific deadlines, financial assistance offered, eligibility and requirements, visit the websites for Army Emergency Relief, http://www.aerhq.org">www.aerhq.org; Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, http://www.nmcrs.org">www.nmcrs.org; and Air Force Aid Society, http://www.afas.org/">www.afas.org.
firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Question from ArmyTimes.com reader">Karen Jowers is the wife of a Navy retiree.