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Educational Assistance Programs for Military Spouse and Dependents

August 20, 2012

The GI Bill is an amazing resource for service members, but it also provides education benefits for their families. In addition to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, there are other programs like Military Spouse Career Advance Accounts, Dependents Educational Assistance program, and scholarships that focus on helping military families get a college education. While transferring your GI Bill benefits to your spouse or children may not be an option if you plan to go to school, there are still other types of assistance to take advantage of when other people in your family are going to college as well.

Transferring GI Bill Benefits

The Post 9/11 GI Bill came with a provision to transfer benefits to spouses and dependents. Only unused portion of the GI Bill can be transferred to family members. In addition, you have to meet certain criteria in order to transfer the benefits. This means having at least six years of service and signing an obligation to serve at least four more. A spouse may start using the benefits immediately but is not eligible for monthly stipend or books and supplies stipend while a service member is on active duty. A child may start using benefits only after the individual making the transfer has completed a minimum of 10 years of service. To read more and to start the process online, go to


The Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) program gives up to $4,000 in financial assistance for military spouses who are pursuing degree programs, credentials, and licenses that will lead to later employment in certain careers. Spouses can go to MilitaryOneSource to get more information about the program, take education counseling sessions and find alternative funding sources. You can reach MilitaryOneSource by calling 1-800-342-9647. In addition, you can go online to read more about the program by clicking here.

Survivors & Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA)

The DEA program has many opportunities for dependents who are related to a veteran who died or is permanently disabled as a result of a service-connected disability. You are also eligible if you are immediately related to a service member who is missing in action or who was captured in the line of duty. If eligible, up to 45 months of education benefits are available, which can be used to pursue job training programs, college degrees and certificates. Spouses can also take correspondence courses with this program. You can read more about eligibility by going to Veterans Affairs website.

Scholarships and Grants

There are also plenty of scholarships available specifically for military families. You can find some of these scholarships by going to places like YourTuition, which have in depth scholarship searches and a daily updated blog of current scholarships. In addition to going online, reach out to your military community and talk to others who may know more about military scholarships that are available to spouses and children.

Programs by Branch

Each branch of the military also has specific programs, such as the Army Family Education Program or the Air Force Aid Society. To get involved in one of these programs, speak to your supervising officer.

Find Post-Military Education

Many schools set up entire veterans communities with transition assistance, tutoring, prep courses and stable support system. Finding a college that provides services for veterans is simple.

Use our FREE custom search tool to find great military-friendly schools:

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