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Military Spouse Education Benefits: Why, How & Where

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It's been said that knowledge is power, and with knowledge comes the opportunity to make a difference. Whether you dream of starting or advancing your career or simply expanding your knowledge about subjects that intrigue you, pursuing a degree is not only empowering, but it can also yield real benefits for you and your family.

No doubt military spouse education is challenging, given the array of potential roadblocks such as a demanding lifestyle, PCS orders, deployments and occasional periods of single parenthood. It's easy to put your own needs last, but it's also important to look at the big picture. Many military spouses have found the means and motivation to earn their college degree, and there is ample help available to help you succeed.

According to a recent report by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, there are more than 725,000 spouses of active-duty servicemembers, 95 percent of whom are female, and an additional 413,000-plus spouses married to Reserve or National Guard members.1 Nearly 60% of these have a bachelor's or master's degree, the report says, with more than 96% having some college credit.2 Among those who were currently students, the top reported reasons for pursuing additional education was "to advance my career" and "to increase my earning potential."3

You may be thinking that a college education to start or further a career will mean a big investment of both time and money, but you can also consider it an investment in yourself and your family. Education can enrich your life and start you on a career path than can last long after you leave the military life. Below, we address three common questions about education for military spouses.

  1. When Will I Find Time? Look for a university that's dedicated to providing military spouse education options. At American InterContinental University (AIU), we understand it can be a challenge finding the time to complete your degree. Our online education options offer you the opportunity to make school work around your schedule no matter where you live. You can carve out your own time to study, complete projects and exchange questions and ideas with instructors and fellow students, all via a computer with Internet access. AIU offers pacing options that work around you and a specialized curriculum with more of your courses devoted to your field of interest to help you get you where you want to be.
  2. How Can I Pay for School? Just like military members, military spouses have options available to help pay for their education. Military spouse tuition assistance is available through the government and through schools. AIU Online has also established a 10% tuition grant for all spouses of active duty, Reserve and National Guard members to assist you in financing your education.
  3. How Will I Choose A School? As a military spouse, it's important for you to choose a school like AIU that is recognized as military friendly and that places a priority on military and spouse education. This means benefits such as tuition grants and other support services, such as dedicated military admissions advisors and career assistance in areas such as interview preparation, resume writing, networking and more.

It is true that starting or returning to school to further your education is an investment of time and money, but it's an investment in you that can yield benefits throughout your life and career.

Ready to learn more? Explore military education at AIU.

1 The Institute for Veterans and Military Families, "Military Spouse Employment Report," p. 4, on the Internet at (visited 5/20/15)

2 The Institute for Veterans and Military Families, "Military Spouse Employment Report," p. 16, on the Internet at (visited 5/20/15)

3 The Institute for Veterans and Military Families, "Military Spouse Employment Report," p. 66, on the Internet at (visited 5/20/15)