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
If you’re a military spouse considering furthering your education, you’re lucky! There are several education benefits available specifically for military spouses. Read on to discover five essential military spouse education benefits you might be eligible for.
Military Spouse Education
The military, governments, and schools offer many different ways 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 for all military spouses to utilize and achieve their education goals.
Let’s take a look!
My Career Advancement Account is a program designed to assist in financial aid for all eligible military spouses 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.
You are not eligible if you are legally separated or under a court order. You may not be eligible if National Guard or reserve spouses are under warning orders, alert status, or post-deployment. Check out the MyCAA fact sheet to learn more about eligibility requirements.
This is for any military spouse looking into careers needing licenses, certifications, or an associate’s degree. For more information about MyCAA, head 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 transfer all or just part of their VA financial aid to their spouse.
The assistance they receive from these bills will be determined by how long they have served as military personnel. With a minimum of 10 years total of service, you can transfer 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.
You can visit the Veterans Affairs website for more information about the G.I. Bill®, eligibility, and transferring it over to a spouse.
3. Military Spouse Assistance Programs
Another way that military spouses can receive educational benefits is through assistance programs. Every military branch 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 obtain 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 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 to help 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 review, so we will cover a couple of the best and more popular ones to use.
Offering annual scholarships to military spouses, ThanksUSA has awarded over 4,700 since 2006. They partner 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!
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 military spouses, 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 that it doesn’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 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
As a military spouse, you have many different options when looking for any kind of assistance for higher education. Here are a few other ways to pay or save while attending 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 several benefits ranging 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
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 can use all of these assistance programs for your education, there is some right for you. Search each one, 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 to our contact page and message us!