Military Spouse and Family Educational Assistance Programs
There are several education benefits available to dependents of active duty members and veterans as well as surviving family members of deceased veterans. Ranging from scholarships to totally free school, these benefits are often overlooked.
There is a special provision of the program that allows military members to share their remaining GI Bill (education) benefits with immediate family members. The key factor is whether or not the member has used any of their GI Bill in the past; only unused benefits can be transferred. This means that if they used 12 months of their GI Bill, then 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 an obligation to serve at least four more.
The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides up to $4,000 of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are pursuing degree programs, licenses or credentials leading to employment in portable career fields.
Spouses can contact MilitaryOneSource for education counseling and help to find alternative funding sources. Call toll free at: 800.342.9647.
The Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 36 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship and on-the-job training. Remedial, deficiency and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
The Fry Scholarship is a program similar to the Post-9/11 GI Bill that makes education benefits available to the surviving spouses and children of service members who die in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. Like Post-9/11 veterans, eligible surviving spouses and children attending school may receive full tuition coverage at state-operated colleges and universities, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.
Surviving spouses can use the Fry Scholarship for 15 years from the anniversary of the service member’s death or until they remarry. Eligible children can use the Fry Scholarship between the ages of 18 and 33. Children under age 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.
While looking for money for school many spouses and their families overlook the over $300 million of military – and veteran – related scholarships and grants. These scholarships often go unclaimed.
Not applying for scholarships is like turning down free money. Fastweb.com is a free scholarship search platform that connects students to scholarships and financial aid tools – and it has tools and sections specific to veterans and their families.
Army Emergency Relief maintains two scholarship programs – the Spouse Education Assistance Program and the MG James Ursano Scholarship Program for dependent children. Both scholarships provide financial assistance for students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree.
Visit the Army Emergency Relief site for more details.
The AFAS offers grants, scholarships and loans:
The NMCRS Education Assistance Program offers interest-free loans and grants for colleges or voc/tech schools in the US. The program is available for children of active duty, retired or deceased sailors and marines; and for spouses of active duty and retired sailors and marines.
The Coast Guard Foundation offers grants for active duty enlisted members and their spouses, it also offers scholarships to children of active duty, retired or deceased enlisted members.
For more info visit the CG Foundation’s website –coastguardfoundation.org/scholarships
Visit the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance website to learn more – CGMaHq.org
Find more cash for school or get the lowdown on scholarships and education help available for your family. FastWeb can help. Visit FastWeb.com to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.
Thanks for Military.com for this information and all the support they offer to those that have served and their families.
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