Educational Assistance Programs for Military Spouses and Families

There are several education benefits available for dependents of active duty members and veterans as well as for the surviving family members of deceased veterans. Ranging from scholarships to school completely free, these benefits are often overlooked.

Department of Defense

Transferability of the GI Bill after September 11

There is a special program provision that allows military members to share their remaining GI Bill (education) benefits with their immediate family members. The key factor is whether or not the member has used their GI Bill in the past; only unused services can be transferred. This means that if they have used 12 months of their GI Bill, they can only transfer the remaining 24 months of benefits.

Service members must meet specific criteria to be eligible to transfer their GI Bill benefits. This includes having at least six years of service and having to serve at least four more years.

Learn more about the GI Bill Benefit Transfer Rules.

Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA)

The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides up to $ 4,000 in financial assistance to military spouses pursuing diploma, license or credential programs. employment in transferable career fields.

Spouses can contact MilitaryOneSource for educational advice and help find alternative sources of funding. Call toll free at: 800.342.9647.

Click here to learn more about the MyCAA Career Advancement Account Program.

Learn more about spousal employment opportunities and programs.

Related: Southern New Hampshire University is offering up to 30% tuition reduction for active duty military personnel and their spouses. Learn more.

Veterans Affairs

Dependent Education Assistance Program

The Dependent Education Assistance (DEA) program provides education and training opportunities for eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 36 months of educational benefits. These benefits can be used for diploma and certificate programs, apprenticeship and on-the-job training. Remedial, disability and refresher courses may be approved in certain circumstances.

Learn more about the Dependent Education Assistance Program.

Marine GySgt John D. Fry Scholarship Program

The Fry Scholarship is a program similar to the Post-9/11 GI Bill that makes education benefits available to surviving spouses and children of service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. As Post- 9/11 veterans, eligible surviving spouses, and school-going children can receive full tuition coverage at state-run colleges and universities, as well as a monthly living allowance and a stipend. books as part of this program.

Surviving spouses can use the Fry scholarship for 15 years from the anniversary of the member’s death or until they remarry. Eligible children can use the Fry scholarship between the ages of 18 and 33. Children under 18 cannot use this benefit even if they have completed high school. The child’s marital status does not affect eligibility for the Fry scholarship.

Learn more about the Marine GySgt John D. Fry Scholarship Program.

State education benefits

Educational benefits for families, especially children of deceased veterans, MIAs, POWs, and disabilities, may be available in some states.

Click here to learn more about the state’s veteran education benefits.

Scholarships and grants

In seeking money for school, many spouses and their families overlook the more than $ 300 million in military and veteran-related scholarships and grants. These scholarships are often not claimed.

Not asking for a scholarship is like refusing free money.

Find scholarships for veterans on

Many organizations also offer scholarships for children and spouses of military personnel.

Army resources

Army Emergency Relief (AER)

Army Emergency Relief operates two scholarship programs: the Spousal Education Assistance Program and the MG James Ursano Scholarship Program for Dependent Children. Both scholarships provide financial assistance to students pursuing their first undergraduate degree.

Visit the Army emergency relief site for more details.

Air Force Resources

Air Force Aid Company (AFAS)

AFAS offers grants, scholarships and loans:

  • General Henry H. Arnold Scholarship Program – This needs-based grant program provides grants of at least $ 2,000 to certain active duty children and spouses, retirees and deceased in active service, and certain members of the Air Force Reserve.
  • AFAS Excellence Scholarship – The Society awards a minimum of ten merit scholarships of $ 5,000 to new first-year students who have completed both phases of the Henry H. Arnold General Education Grant application and have therefore already been considered for their eligibility and cumulative average have been verified. Selection is based on cumulative GPA, SAT / ACT scores, transcripts and an essay on a specified subject.
  • Additional Student Loan Program – This loan is only open to regular active duty dependents, certain Reservists and retired members who have applied for the General Henry H. Arnold Scholarship. The maximum dollar amount is $ 1,000.

Visit the Air Force Aid Society to learn more.

Navy and Marine Corps Resources

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS)

The NMCRS Education Assistance Program offers interest-free loans and grants for colleges or vocational / technical schools in the United States. The program is available to active duty children, retired and deceased Sailors and Marines; and for active duty spouses and retired sailors and navies.

Visit the NMCRS website for more details

Coast Guard Resources

The Coast Guard Foundation

The Coast Guard Foundation provides grants to active duty enlisted members and their spouses, it also offers scholarships to active duty children, retired or deceased enlisted members.

  • Subsidies for spouses of enlisted members on active service – These grants are open to the spouses of military enlisted in active service and to the spouses of certain reservists. Grants are $ 500.
  • Coast Guard scholarships for children – These scholarships are open to unmarried dependent children of enlisted active duty members, reservists on extended active duty for 180 days or more, retirees or deceased members. Applicants must be high school students at the university entering a college or technical school for the fall semester or a full-time undergraduate student already enrolled in an accredited four-year undergraduate program or technical school.

For more information see the Coast Guard Foundation website.

Mutual Coast Guard Assistance (CGMA)

  • Additional scholarship – The SEG program reimburses documented tuition fees specifically required by a program of study. Multiple grants can be awarded up to the authorized amount throughout the calendar year.
  • Refund of loan fees CGMA Stafford / PLUS – Help for those who fund post-secondary education through the Federal Stafford Loan or the Federal Parents Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). CGMA reimburses clients for loan fees (not exceeding 4% of the loan amount) generally charged to borrowers at the time the funds are disbursed.
  • CGMA Education Loan – An interest-free loan loan (up to $ 2,000) to help cover expenses related to post-secondary education.

Visit the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance website to learn more.

Find more scholarships for the military

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