College Bound?

college_graduatesThe kids are all headed back to school, but what about YOU?  Is college right for you?  How will you afford it?  What’s out there to help you reach your dreams?  You may have heard that there is tuition assistance for spouses.  We’re here to give you the skinny on it!

The Post 9/11-GI Bill does contain a special provision to allow transferability of the unused portion to an immediate family member of the servicemember.  You will need to be in the DEERS system and eligible for benefits.  Familiarize yourself with the Post 9/11-GI Bill and the provisions of it to ensure you meet the requirements and plan to complete the degree in the time allotted.

Maybe a certification is more what you are looking for?  There is tuition assistance available for both degree and certification programs.  The Department of Defense offers a program called Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA).  This provides a maximum of $4,000.  Below are eligibility requirements.

  • Be available to spouses of active duty service members in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2. including the spouses of activated Guard and Reserve members within those ranks. Spouses of Guard and Reserve members must be able to start and complete their courses while their sponsor is on Title 10 orders.
  • Require military spouses to finish their program of study within three years from the start date of the first course
  • Be limited to associate degrees, certification and licensures

If you don’t meet the MyCAA requirements, don’t lose heart.  Financial aid is available and may not leave you with towering student loan nightmares.  The Department of Education is able to offer Federal Student Aid with low interest rates.  You can apply at https://fafsa.ed.gov  to see if you qualify.  There are also grants (**ding ding ding, no repayment required**), such as the Pell Grant, that may get you on your way to your education goal.

Don’t be afraid to look for scholarships too.  Many of these go unclaimed because people either don’t look for them or don’t invest the time in applying for them.  Military.com has put together a tool to help you search for scholarships without spending half semester to find them!  http://www.military.com/scholarship/search-for-scholarships.do

So what are you waiting for?  See what you are eligible for, apply for aid if necessary and start going after your dreams!

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