MILITARY SPOUSE EDUCATION BENEFITS
The Armed Forces, government, private organizations, and schools provide diverse ways for military spouses to obtain an education. These means include tuition assistance, assessment tools, college or school guidance, career exploration, and more. Here are many of the possibilities available to service members or military spouses seeking education assistance.
1) Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA): This financial assistance program offers up to $4,000 of tuition aid for military spouses who are pursuing a certificate, certification, license, or associate’s degree necessary to gain employment in portable career fields and occupation. Run by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program, the MyCAA scholarship offers full career development assistance at no additional cost.
2) Military Discounts: Many armed service-friendly institutions provide military spouse discounts. Discounts vary and can be greater than 50%. Some colleges offer varying discounts based on degree-seeking level and degree program. Ensure you understand your specific needs when finding a college with excellent military discounts
3) Military Spouse Scholarships and Grants: Akin to Military Discounts, the Military Spouse Scholarship and Grants program are offered widely by third-party organizations. This scholarship and grant type gives tuition assistance to foreign-born spouses, minorities, and more.
4) Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer: Military members who have chosen to use a portion or not to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits have the option of transferring this privilege to a spouse or dependent. Active-duty members with at least 6 years of soldierly service before choosing to transfer these benefits are qualified for this program. Once transferred, the military member will serve an additional four years as a prerequisite. Benefits can also be split between multiple family members.
Military Branches with Specific Military Spouse Education Assistance.
Each branch of the United States Armed Forces provides military spouses and its members with numerous educational assistance or benefits.
Air Force/Space Force
General George S. Brown Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP) is a partial tuition aid offered to spouses of active duty airmen, who accompany service members to overseas stations and will be attending educational programs.
The Army Emergency Relief (AER) program is a need-based educational benefit that supports military spouses of active-duty and retired service members who died either on active-duty or in a retired status.
The Navy-Marines Marine Corps Relief Society Loans and Scholarships (NMCRS) provides interest-free grants and loans to retired and active-duty service members. These grants or loans usually range from $500 – $3,000 per academic year.
The Marines have a similar military spouse educational assistance to that of the Navy.
The Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Supplemental Education Grants and loan program (CGMA) is another tuition assistance that comes with unique privileges to military spouses of the Coast Guard division or branch.