If you are the spouse of a member of the active duty military or the widow of an active duty soldier, you may qualify for a number of military spouse scholarships. A large number of military spouses actually qualify for a full or partial scholarship to provide financial aid for the expense of attending college. There are a number of different scholarship offerings, with the most popular being the DoD Military Spouse Career Advancement Program, or MyCAA.
MyCAA Military Spouse Scholarships – What Are They?
The Military Spouse Career Advancement Program is one of the most popular military spouse scholarships. Created by the Department of Defense, this program offers up to a total of $4,000 to help with education expenses, with a cap of $2,000 per fiscal year. In order to be eligible for the MyCAA, you must be the spouse of an active duty service member in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W1, and O1-O2. You must also finish your studies within three years from the start date and be working towards an associate’s degree, certification, or licensure in order to qualify for these military spouse scholarships.
The goal of MyCAA military spouse scholarships is to help military spouses receive the training needed to take portable jobs. The program is a unique way of recognizing the personal sacrifice made by military spouses when they choose to marry someone and be willing to relocate with little or no notice. Military spouses make less on average than other employees, and these military spouse scholarships help open more career doors. With Army spouses more than three times more likely to be unemployed than a civilian spouse, these scholarships are necessary. Research like this is what led the military and the US government to create these military spouse scholarships.
Other Military Spouse Scholarships
There are also other military spouse scholarships available to qualifying spouses. The Department of Defense has created a provision within the GI Bill that allows career service members to allocate any remaining benefits on their GI Bill to their immediate family members. Only unused benefits may be shared, however, and service members must have six years of service and four years of commitment to qualify. Veterans Affairs also offers military spouse scholarships for eligible dependents of certain veterans, including up to 45 months of education benefits for degree and certificate programs, on the job training, and correspondence courses.
Where Should I Look for Military Spouse Scholarships
If you are interested in learning more about military spouse scholarships, websites such as military.com/spouse and other specific program sites. You will also find that many states offer specific military spouse scholarships. VA Education benefits should always be one of the first resources you turn to, but you will also find that with a little research, you can find many private military spouse scholarships and grants. There are many excellent programs available, and if you are willing to put in some research and effort, you may just find that your state or other organizations can provide military spouse scholarships.