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For military spouses and dependents, earning your higher education degree can be a daunting task. While going back to the school does involve costly financial obligations as well as a time commitment, the benefits outweigh the negatives.
Being in the military comes with relocation to new places regularly. While this might cause you to worry about losing your credits when you want to transfer to another college, you won’t have to worry about this if you attend an online degree program that is geared towards military families.
Being a military spouse, you can benefit from online degree programs. Here are five tips for military spouses and dependents who are looking to earn an online degree:
- Attend Class at Anytime
Being in the military often requires you to move often. Sometimes you only stay in one place for a year or two. So going to school through a traditional on-campus college or university won’t work for you. However, online degree programs offer you exactly what you need to succeed.
One of the most attractive features of online programs is that if your family is moving from one city to another, then all you need is access to the internet to complete your assignments. With access to your course work at any time from anywhere, you can get your degree no matter where you move to.
- Variety of Degree Programs
Choosing to get your degree online gives you plenty of program options. Most accredited colleges and universities offer online degree programs for just about every area of study. You will want to take your time to research schools so you can find the best fit for you and what you want to study.
If you have an idea of what career path you are passionate about, then look into an online program that will help you obtain the degree that will help you get the job of your dreams.
- Look Into Financial Support
Attending an online college or university can be costly. However, there are programs that give financial support to military spouses and their dependents.
Post 9/11 GI Bill –
Service members can transfer their education benefits to eligible dependents. The bill expands education benefits for active-duty service members and honorably discharged veterans who served at least 90 days after September 10, 2001. Beneficiaries receive up to 36 months of education benefits.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill pays up to 100 percent of tuition and fees if your spouse served for at least three years. You will also receive an annual stipend of up to $1,000 for books and supplies.
National Military Family Association –
NMFA is one of the nation’s leading non-profit military family advocacy organizations. Twice a year, the organization offers several scholarships that range from $500 for career funding, $1,000 for degrees, and up to $2,500 towards a license in the mental health field.
- Available Special Programs
In addition to financial aid support, there are programs that military spouses and dependents have access to. These programs were put in place to help you gain the help and knowledge to pursue a higher education.
This SECO or Spouse Education & Career Opportunities program typically runs via the Department of Defense. The program assists you as you plan to advance in your career. You will receive career counseling along with different resources to assist you in finding what is required to further your education, such as licensing and training that is needed to meet your career objectives.
The MyCAA (Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts) is a workforce development program that provides you up to $4,000 in financial help when you’re pursuing a license, an associate degree, or certification. MyCAA pays the tuition costs for education, training courses, and exams that help you obtain your associate’s degree.
This scholarship is for spouses of service members on active duty as well as members of the National Guard and reserves. As a MyCAA military spouse, you can opt to continue your education through an online degree program.
- Educational Assistance
There are also educational assistance programs to help you as you earn your degree online.
Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program –
The DEA program offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are disabled due to their service or veterans who died while on active duty. You will receive a monthly payment to help cover the cost of college or graduate degree programs, education and career counseling, career-training certificate courses, on-site training, and apprenticeships.
There are also scholarships for military spouses and dependents. Scholarships that are offered will depend on what branch of the military you are a part of. For instance, the AER or Army Emergency Relief program provides the Spouse Education Assistance Program. It assists military spouses in attempting to get their first undergraduate degree. Also, the NMCRS or Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Education Assistance program offers scholarships to the spouses of retired and on duty sailors and Marines.
If you are the spouse or dependent of someone serving in the military, you can still follow your dream of pursuing higher education through an online institution. Since you are dependent on a member of the military, you have access to discounts, benefits, scholarships, and programs that can assist you as you seek to expand your education and obtain your degree online.