KSC scholarships help lessen costs of college

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Like many high school seniors, for me it was never a question of whether I would go to college, but rather which college or university I would attend.

I knew the degree and major I wanted, and I had found the perfect school for me. I had all of the answers, except one.

I found myself wondering exactly how I was going to pay the $23,280 tuition, not to mention room and board, seeing as how my dream school was 315 miles from home. When the letter came, offering me a $44,000 Presidential Scholarship — $11,000 for each academic school year — toward my bachelor’s degree program, I felt as if my prayers had been answered.

I naively assumed that I would take out student loans for the remaining balance; after all, with a degree from a top-rated business school, I would be able to pay them off in no time.

Unfortunately, world events conspired against my future plans. In 2008, the economy tanked, and student loans were hard to come by for someone my age, with such a short credit history. Because of this, I was forced to move home and leave my dream school during mid-terms of my third semester.

Determined to continue my education, I found a full-time job and enrolled at the local community college. Eight years, three moves and yet another school later, I’m happy to say that I have finally completed my Bachelor of Science degree in communication.

My only regret is not having utilized the resources available to me to help lessen the financial burden of student loans.

If I could offer you a bit of advice, it would be to do your research and find a school that meets your needs, without breaking the bank. Research and apply for every scholarship you can find.

Your education doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. In fact, it shouldn’t.

One option to consider is the Kirtland Spouses’ Club (KSC) College Scholarship program.

“It felt great to be recognized as a military spouse successful in my education and relieve my family of some of the financial burden of college,” said KSC 2015-16 scholarship recipient Nicole Barnett. “It helped me see that I can be successful not only as a wife and mom, but also a student.”

If you are a military dependent high school senior or military spouse pursuing a degree, I encourage you to apply for the 2016-17 KSC scholarship.

Applications are available on the KSC website, KirtlandSC.org, and at the KSC Thrift Shop. All applications must be postmarked or hand delivered to the thrift shop no later than Wednesday, March 15.

Additional eligibility information is included in the application. The thrift shop is at 8150 F Ave., Building 20226, and is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the first Saturday of each month.

Amber Tracy is the vice president of communications for the Kirtland Spouses’ Club. She shares writing duties for “Spouses Community.” For more information about the KSC, visit the KSC Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/KirtlandSpousesClub or email Kirtlandsc@gmail.com.