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How Much Will the Army Pay for My Wife to Go to College?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: How much will the Army or military programs pay for my wife to go to college?

A: It really depends on which programs we talk about. If you are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the transfer option, you can transfer your remaining education benefits to her. To qualify, you must:

  • served at least six years on active duty, with at least the last three years after September 10, 2001;
  • agree to serve an additional four years;
  • still be on active duty.

If you are close to retirement, the additional required time may be less.

Once the transfer is approved, and your wife has her Post 9/11 GI Bill Certificate of Eligibility, she can go to school. The VA will pay her tuition and eligible fees directly to her school, up to the in-state maximum for the state where her school is located.

If you are discharged at the time she is in school, she will get a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend. Those two items can run as high as $25,000 per academic year. If you are still on active duty when she goes to school, then she won’t get either, because you are getting paid BAH.

Another good program, although it is currently on hold to new students due to an operational review, is the MyCAA program. This program pays a military spouse up to $6,000 to go to school in one of the portable career fields of:

  • teacher
  • nurse
  • medical biller
  • medical coder
  • accountant
  • graphic designer
  • writer/editor
  • photographer
  • Web developer
  • small or home business owner.

Because the MyCAA program is not taking new students now, they have a list of alternate funding resourcesfor military spouses. The list includes financial aid in the form of various scholarships and grants.

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