Tips for Military Spouses Going Back to School

Military spouses face a unique set of circumstances. In addition to moving often, they also run a household and provide family care. They do all this alone when their spouse is deployed for duty. It’s a challenging lifestyle, but military spouses rise to the occasion.

However, they may feel the responsibilities they shoulder hinder them from focusing on personal improvement such as continuing their college education.

Online learning has changed that situation. Now, military spouses can begin or continue earning a college degree anywhere they live. They also enjoy the same benefits offered to servicemembers and veterans.

For military spouses, these factors can make achieving their academic goals that much easier.  For those who aspire to return to college, the following are some tips for military spouses going back to school.

Search for Online Programs

Some schools are new to providing online degree programs, but Touro University Worldwide helped pioneer the field. TUW offers a wealth of online degree programs in business and management, psychology, healthcare, and social work, among others. For military spouses, they offer many advantages.

Accessibility anywhere. Time zones, different states, and even different countries make no difference in online learning. Military spouses can keep up with coursework from anywhere they have an internet connection.

No Need to transfer. For military spouses, moves happen frequently and often suddenly. If they attend classes at a traditional school when their loved one is transferred, they must find a school in their new location and hope to transfer credits. Online degree programs eliminate that issue.

Workforce preparation. Military spouses face the same issue as veterans – once they leave the military, they must make the transition to civilian life. By taking an online course, military spouses prepare themselves to better make that transition.

Check for Discounts

The Department of Defense allows military students and their spouses to spend tuition assistance money only at schools that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the DoD. Touro University Worldwide is on that list.

However, not all these schools offer benefits to military spouses. TUW extends the same tuition discounts to military spouses returning to school that is given to servicemembers and veterans. That translates into a 37% discount on a bachelor’s degree, a 40% discount on a master’s degree, and a 20% discount on a doctorate.

Take Advantage of Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers many benefits to military spouses. Perhaps the best known is the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which will cover much of the educational costs for qualified applicants. The Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) Scholarship also offers up to $4,000 in tuition assistance to military spouses. Anyone interested in pursuing a degree should take the time to go through the federal government’s education benefits eligibility web page.

Ask for Help

Many military spouses are independent by nature. That’s a great trait. However, it’s also important to ask for help when it’s needed, especially in situations where they are deployed to a new location in the middle of the school year. Keep communication lines with fellow classmates and faculty open, so that if the time comes when you need support, you will feel comfortable asking for it. TUW has faculty who are more than willing to offer support if the need arises.

Keeping these issues in mind can help military spouses maximize their benefits for attending college while preparing themselves and their families for life after the military. Military families have already made one of the biggest sacrifices a family can make; they should bring that same level of commitment to planning their own future. These tips for military spouses going back to school ease the journey toward your academic goals.

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