As an Army spouse, you can expect to move several times during your husband or wife’s enlistment or career. In the past, this made getting a post-secondary education difficult at best. Moving meant you had to transfer from school to school, many times having to take the same classes over again, because the credits would not transfer to your new school.
All has changed. The Army recognizes it is important for spouses to have the opportunity to train and have a career of their own. To assist you with reaching your education and career goal, the Army has created some programs making the process easier while still frequently moving.
The Department of Defense (DOD) completely “reworked” the MyCAA Program awhile back. Now, for new spouses to be eligible for the program, they must have a servicemember on Title 10 orders and in the lower enlisted, warrant and officer grades. Specifically, the eligible grades are:
E1 through E5;
W1 and W2;
O1 and O2.
The MyCAA program also limits career plan categories. Spouses may only choose from:
Funding for each MyCAA spouse is capped at $2,000 per year with a program cap at $4,000, however, spouses have up to three years to complete an approved career plan. For spouses wanting to continue on to a four year degree, they may use Spouse Tuition Assistance Program or apply for other funding sources.
Spouse Education Assistance Program (SEAP)
The Army has two spouse education assistance programs - one if you are stationed overseas; the other one if you are stateside.
Spouses using the Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program must complete the program while stationed overseas with the servicemember. In the past, it paid up to 50% of tuition costs with a maximum of $500 per term or up to $2,500 per academic year. However, the program started undergoing changes in December 2011, so be sure to watch their website for the latest changes applicable to the upcoming semesters.
While also need-based, the Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program applies to active duty stateside-stationed spouses along with widows(ers) of both active duty and retired soldiers. There is only one application window, which closes in April.
Each education assistance program may only be used up through the first undergraduate degree, therefore funding for a second undergraduate or first graduate degree is not authorized.
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Army Degree (SOCAD)
SOCAD is a large network of Army selected accredited colleges providing spouses the opportunity to earn up to a bachelor degree regardless of stationing.
The military-friendly colleges in the network offer flexible programs making it easy to transfer from one college to another. Many of the colleges offer both online and traditional resident courses, with some courses taught right on post. And SOCAD guarantees college credits earned through the DANTES program and from other Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) will transfer without further evaluation. No more lost credits due to transferring.
One or more of these programs will fit your educational need. Use the links to get more information about each program or see your Post’s Education Office. Start learning today and have your own great career tomorrow!