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If My Wife Went to School, Are There Benefits to Help Pay for That?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: If my wife went to school, are there any benefits I can use to help pay for that?

A: If you are still serving , have served for at least six years of which at least three years were after September 10, 2001 and you agree to serve an additional four years, you could transfer part or all of your unused Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlements to her.

If you are already separated, then there isn’t much you can do to help her. However, if you are still serving, in a lower rank and don’t qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer-of-benefits option yet, your wife might be eligible for the MyCAA program.

Under MyCAA, she could take a technical, trades, certification, licensure or AA degree program and get up to $4,000 to pay for school. She is limited to a two-year program and has up to three years to complete it. In addition, there are many service-branch related scholarships under the Spouse Tuition Assistance program and numerous non-service related scholarships. Many colleges offer their own scholarships and some have work-study programs available.

My point is where there is a will, there is a way. Thousands of spouses go to school each year and many of them do not go under Post 9/11 GI Bill transferred benefits. The best place for your wife to start is by first filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). She may be presently surprised at how much financial aid she can get.

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