3 Tuition Assistance Programs for Military Spouses

Military Spouses make great sacrifices to be a spouse and support our soldiers. Because of that, the military has established programs to try to help ease the burden. Tuition Assistance programs are available for military spouses to continue their education without all the financial pressures that come with paying for it. This post is designed to share some of the opportunities available to us.

Although every program is different from one another however, they have similar goals. The intended goal is to provide each spouse member with economic help so that they can have good opportunities for career through education.

If you’re a Military Spouse or connected with one, this post is for you:

  • Financial support for Marine and Navy Corps spouses program:

STAP the Navy’s Spouse Tuition Aid Program offers both Maine and Navy spouses who are living abroad with their military member they are granted with the facility i.e. up to 50% of discount on the tuition for education programs. Moreover, it has a limit of 300 dollars per term plus does not exceed 1500 dollars per year. There is no need to attend classes for full day.

Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Administered covers full graduate program at high per term rate/per-year at the max.

The Air Force has their edition of Navy’s Spouse Tuition Aid Program. While alike to the Marine /Navy program, because it has a limit of $1500 per academic year. It has a dissimilar twist. Its main aim is to provide partial tuition help through granting up to 50 percentages of the charges for tuition.

· Army Tuition Assistance program:

As the Army has 2 spouse’s assistance program for tuition. Where one is for the spouse’s member who is stationed abroad and another one for those in the state. It totally depends on your need, the Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program (OSEAP) funded education should be finished whilst the spouse is living abroad with her or his military member. Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program always gives half of the tuition fee i.e. up to $540 per term or $2700 per year.

The Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program (SEAP) is just like OSEAP program because it also depends on your need. The dissimilarity, nevertheless, is that it is only available to the spouses who are:

1. Soldiers who died on duty.

2. Retired soldiers.

3. Active duty personnel stationed stateside.

4. Retired soldiers who have died.

Both programs are administered by AER (Army Emergency Relief) plus cover vocational training programs or undergraduate. Army Emergency Relief has consolidated the SEAP and OSEAP starting with the 2012-2013 school year. You can read more about the consolidation here.

  • Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA):

This program is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), and offers tuition assistance for a military spouse pursuing a career – usually in education, business administration & health services, since these jobs are generally found at just about every military installation. Active duty spouses could apply for an award $3,000 for two year of college.

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Ways to Cut Online Degree Tuition Costs

College tuition costs go up every year, usually averaging a 5% increase. Some private online schools raise tuition twice a year. Then, there are the expensive books, averaging $100 each. An online student, starting at a private, accredited online college, can pay $35000 – $65000 for an undergraduate degree. There are several ways to cut these costs. Here are a few school options to consider:

o Using the Community College for some courses is the best way to save money off a degree plan. Why spend $1000/class for English, Algebra, Humanities or Psychology at the private, online school when community college classes run between $100 – $300/each. There are more fees at community college, but students still see big savings. Want an online class? Most community college offer online classes and some schools such as Foothill College Online and Rio Salado College offer entire Associate degrees.

o Military classes can gain college credit and cut costs. Send your SMART Report, AARTS report or DD 214 to your college advisor and push for the credits listed on the military report. The classes might come in as electives, but this still waives some classes and saves tuition dollars.

o Life/Work Experience Credits can be in 2 forms-direct credit and indirect credit. Some online schools have evaluated companies’ training classes and have listed the credits given for those courses. Or, credits can be earned by writing and documenting the experience from your life or your work (known as Assessment of Prior Learning or Portfolio).

o Certificates, Licenses and Training Programs may be given recommended college credits by the American Council on Education (ACE). From the main ACE website, click on “Programs and Services”. Search the National Guide to find your corporate classes, certificates, licenses or training program and see if ACE recommends college credit for these. Most online schools will allow ACE recommended credits. (Military courses can also be found on this website by clicking on Military Guide Online).

There are so many ways to cut tuition costs. Don’t look for tuition help at the online school, however. The college wants your “warm, tuition-paying body” in their degree plan, taking all classes at their school. The school may advertise “life and work experience credits” but after you are enrolled, the adviser may not tell you about these options and you may have to fight for them.

 

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