How to Get a Degree or Certification as a Military Spouse

Being a military spouse, moving constantly can affect your ability to hold a job for a long period of time or stay at one college. This however is why spouses are more inclined to seek higher education to help make themselves more marketable and possibly move into more portable careers. Here are some ideas on how to go about getting more education or marketable skills:

My CAA– This is one of the first options you’ll want to use because it’s only available for spouses of military members E-5 and below. That means once your spouse ranks up, it’s not available anymore. It’s $4,000 you can use on an associates’ degree or certification like a dental technician.

GI Bill-You can talk to your spouse about what their plans are for the GI bill they can use it or they can pass it to you or the children as long as they meet all the requirements to do so. This usually pays for the equivalent of 4 years of schooling if you took summers off.

Various Scholarships– You can get these through different military or private organizations such as spouses clubs or organizations like National Military Family Association Military Spouse Scholarships. This is a great article showcasing some of the military spouse scholarships available.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA)-This is something you would apply for to get financial aid from the federal government to go to school. This is an option for everyone, not just military spouses but you can usually use it in conjunction with other scholarships or grants you’re using. It may reduce the amount you get from FASFA but every little bit helps as college is expensive! Give yourself a good 30 minutes to an hour to fill out the application and make sure you have your latest tax return available.

Military Spouse Discounts-Grand Canyon University, the college I finished my Bachelor’s at, offered military spouse discounts on tuition. There are many other colleges that do this you just have to make sure you ask as you’re going through the application process.

Various Certification Programs-If you’re looking into certifying into a field that requires a skill but not a degree like taxes or coding, look into places that offer the training at low or no cost because you’re a spouse. H & R Block or Operation Code offer free training to military spouses, in their respective areas. My personal experience with the American Board of College Teacher Education (ABCTE) was that they did offer a military discount and they are accepted in over 30 states however, Department of Defense School (DODS) didn’t take my certification at the time because it was not through a state. Make sure you know how that certification will transfer especially if you can possibly move overseas.There are many others, you just have to search out what specific field you’re looking for.

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