Professionals who choose to serve in the military often render a great and selfless service to their country. The sacrifices they make to serve and protect their nation are times at the expense of their families particularly the spouses. So, if you have a military spouse and you are wondering what you can do while your other half is away, there are a ton of educational opportunities that you can explore to develop yourself. Given that at times you have to move around a lot, online learning would provide you a chance to get that certificate that you need to find better employment. Some of the learning opportunities that you could look into to fund your studies include:
1. MyCAA grant
The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program can offer you approximately $4,000 financial assistance over two years. The grant is for you to pursue your education, get a certification, license or associate degree that you need to develop your skills and advance your career. You can benefit from MyCAA programs when your spouse is an active service duty officer with a pay grade of E1 to E5, W1 to W2, or O1 to O2. Additionally, if your spouse is part of the Guard and Reserve members with the same pay grades as that of the active service duty members above, you are also eligible to benefit from this program. The benefits from this program range from payment of tuition fees for short training and education courses. They also cater for Continuing Education Unit (CEU) classes, degree courses that would enable you to get a job in a portable field and for English as a Second Language course. Suppose you did not get a chance to complete your high school studies, you could apply for this grant to complete your studies and get your diploma. The application process is simple as you only require to set up a MyCAA account and follow the simple instructions that follow.
2. Marine GySgt John D. Fry Scholarship
Also known as the Fry Scholarship, this learning opportunity offers to pay education benefits to spouses of service members who lost their lives in the line of duty. This opportunity was created in honor of Marine Gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry who was killed in 2006 while defusing a bomb in Anbar province in Iraq. So, if you, unfortunately, lost your partner after 10th September 2001, you automatically qualify for this opportunity for up to fifteen years from the time your spouse died. However, if you remarry, you will not benefit from this opportunity. Under this scholarship, you will get full tuition fees, a house allowance (monthly), and a stipend for books and other supplies. This scholarship ensures that you do not stress over expensive tuition fees long after your better half is gone.
3. GI Bill Transfer
The Post-9/11 GI Bill also offers higher education funding for spouses. This program allows your spouse who is in active duty to transfer some of their GI Bill that they have not used or all of their 36 monthly benefits to you so that you have money to pay for your educational expenses. However, there are a ton of rules regarding this transfer. For you to benefit from this, you have first must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) so that you are eligible at the time of the transfer. For your spouse to transfer these benefits, they must have served for at least six or ten years in the active duty or selected reserve on the approval date. The transfer will only be approved when the officer is still a member of the armed forces. It is only when the request is approved that you can apply for the transfer.
It is not easy to be a military spouse because at times you have to live alone for a long time when your partner is shipped overseas for work. Although, you can make the most of it by taking advantage of the opportunities available to get some education and make something meaningful out of your life. Even if you have lost your partner, the military has opportunities to take care of their own. So, rather than lamenting how challenging it is to be a military spouse, you better make the most of what life throws at you!