Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Table of contents
- Military Spouse Education
- 1. MyCAA
- 2. Post 9/11 and Forever G.I. Bill®
- 3. Military Spouse Assistance Programs
- 4. Military Spouse Scholarship Programs
- 5. Other Options for Education Assistance
- Pursuing Education
Are you a spouse in the military and considering going to school for higher education? If you are and you’re wondering about the benefits of military spouse education then you’ve come to the right page.
We are going to take a look at some of the education benefits you can take advantage of to achieve your education goals!
Military Spouse Education
The military, governments, and schools offer many different ways for you to obtain an education. Whether you need help with financial assistance, career guidance, or tools to help you along the way, you can get the help you need.
You don’t have to let military life stop you from achieving your dreams. There are plenty of resources and ways you can gain assistance. Here are 5 education benefits that are for all military spouses to utilize and achieve their education goals.
Let’s take a look!
My Career Advancement Account is a program that was designed to assist in financial aid, for all eligible military spouses, who are pursuing portable careers. The assistance program provides up to $4000 in financial aid for over 2 years.
Not all military spouses will be eligible for MyCAA. Spouses of active military members in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, and O-1 to 0-2 can be eligible. You must have also completed high school and be on title 10 military orders. National Guard and their reserves are also eligible.
If you are legally separated or are under a court order are not eligible. If National Guard or reserve spouses are under warning orders, alert status, or post-deployment you may not be eligible. To find out more about eligibility requirements, check out the MyCAA fact sheet.
This is for any military spouse that is looking into careers that need licenses, certifications, or an associate’s degree. For more information about MyCAA, head over to their website, and look into it!
2. Post 9/11 and Forever G.I. Bill®
For military members that have served and choose not to use their eligible Post 9/11 or Forever G.I. Bill®, they may transfer it. Military members can choose to transfer all of or just part of their VA financial aid to their spouse.
The assistance they receive from these bills will be determined by the amount of time they have served as military personnel. With a minimum of 10 years total of service, you can transfers up to 36 months’ worth of education benefits to their eligible spouse or dependant.
Post 9/11 Bill Eligibility
For the Post 9/11 Bill, you must have completed 6 years of military service and then agree to another four years of service to make a total of 10 years. The person receiving the benefits must first enroll in DEERS, Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.
Once enrolled and approved, a military spouse can receive up to 36 months of benefits that can be used for housing, tuition, and books or supplies.
For more information about the G.I. Bill®, eligibility, and transferring it over to a spouse, you can visit the Veterans Affairs website.
3. Military Spouse Assistance Programs
Another way that military spouses can receive educational benefits is through assistance programs. Every branch of the military has its own assistance programs so you will need to look into the one specifically for your branch.
Here are a few of the programs that are great for education assistance.
Army Emergency Relief Spouse Education Assistance Program
The AER program can help military spouses to obtain their education on a need-based scholarship. The program can help you revive four years of full-time schooling and eight years of part-time academics. As long as you are eligible, it can be used to get your first undergraduate degree.
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Education Assistance Program
The NMCRS program can be used by a navy spouse pursuing higher education. For education assistance, the program offers loans and grants that are completely interest-free. The grants or loans can range anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per year of academics. This can be used for either active duty or retired navy service members.
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Supplemental Education Grant
The CGMA program is designed for coast guard spouses seeking a college degree, technical training certificate, or vocational degree. The assistance programs offer financial assistance by reimbursing spouses rather than paying upfront for their education.
Let’s move on and go over some scholarship programs that are designed specifically for helping military spouses’ education.
4. Military Spouse Scholarship Programs
Through scholarships, military spouses are able to apply for financial aid from different organizations. There are quite a few programs to go over, so we will cover a couple of the best and more popular ones to use.
Offering annual scholarships to military spouses, ThanksUSA has been awarded over 4,700 since 2006. They partner up with schools and programs to help you achieve your education goals. They offer assistance for either vocational or technical schools and even provide employment for spouses as well!
This program is typically on a need-based selection, so make sure you meet their eligibility requirements.
The National Military Family Association Scholarship
Military spouses can use the NMFA scholarship for both education assistance and employment purposes. The NMFA awards selected individuals with an average of $500 to $1,000 to achieve their education goals. You can use the award for any education, from degrees, certifications, and licenses, to technical degrees.
This program typically offers applications to spouses twice a year – so make sure to look both at the beginning of the year and the end.
The American Military Partner Association
One of the largest support systems for military members and their spouses, AMPA can help you obtain a higher education. This scholarship is designed for not just military spouses but also their families and LGBTQ service members. AMPA supports all education goals and can help you gain a higher education. The award generally offers $1,000 to $2,500 for your education assistance.
Another great thing about this scholarship is they don’t require you to answer personal questions. When you apply for the scholarship, you don’t have to identify as LGBTQ or any sexual orientation.
There are many other scholarships out there for military spouses to apply for, so make sure you search for them all and apply for the ones you are eligible for! Let’s talk about a few other options for military spouse education assistance.
5. Other Options for Education Assistance
When looking for any kind of assistance for higher education, as a military spouse, you have many different options. Here are a few other ways to pay or save while going to school.
Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance
DEA is a VA benefit that either dependent spouses or children can apply for. It provides opportunities to reach higher education or training for eligible military spouses. The program offers a number of benefits that range from a housing allowance, books, and supplies, to tuition assistance.
Military Discounts for College
Many colleges are military friendly and some even offer a discount while attending there. The discounts can range from a small percentage of your tuition to a discount that depends on your degree choice. So make sure to check with the school you are planning on attending and ask them if they have an eligible discount for you.
National Defense Authorization Act
The military life can cause you to move quite often and sometimes you will need to be recertified or gain a new license due to being in a new state. Through the NDAA, military spouses can apply for up to $1000 to help in the re-license or certification due to PCS moves or relocation across the country.
This applies for anywhere in the United States or Oconus stateside.
That sums up the top benefits for military spouses pursuing an education. There are many educational benefits to look over, you just need to find the right program for you.
Although you may not be eligible or have the ability to use all of these assistance programs for your education, there are some right for you. Search through each one and find out which ones you are eligible for and then go from there.
Finding the right military spouse education assistance doesn’t have to be hard. Once you have a list of eligible programs, it’s as easy as applying for them! Complete your dreams and passions by gaining a higher education.
If you have questions about schooling and military assistance, head over to our contact page and send us a message!