Strategy for Going to College as a Military Spouse

I bet when you decided to go back to school as a military spouse you never thought you would have to plan for moving and possibly changing colleges before even finishing a degree. That is just one of the many reality’s military spouses face. It is never too late to go back to school or take steps to improve your career. If you are considering going to college, you need to plan strategically so you don’t waste your time and money.

CHOOSE YOUR CAREER PATH CAREFULLY

Moving every few years is a reality if your military member plans on remaining active duty for the long haul. Strategically pick a career path where your skills and education will be sought after in all sized communities. Picking a transferable career is something most people don’t have to think about, but military spouses need to plan carefully in order to set themselves up for success. Consider careers in the following areas:

  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Dental Assistant
  • Web Designer
  • Pharmacy Tech
  • Mental Health Professional
  • Business Administration
  • Nursing
  • Teaching
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Hospitality Management

With the passing of The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, military spouses are now eligible to receive up to $1,000 in reimbursements for re-licensure and certification costs due to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) across state lines. This makes going to school for a career that requires licensing and certifications maintainable throughout your military journey.

Take Classes in Order of Degree

If you are going for your bachelor’s degree, or even your master’s degree, it is very wise to figure out what classes to take first to get your associate’s degree and work your way up from there.

You never know when you are going to move or have to change schools. Taking classes in order of degree allows credits and degrees to transfer more easily if you have to change schools.

If you can, pick colleges that are online or have online programs so your education can travel with you uninterrupted.  Take in to account the school’s accreditation type as well.  This may help with the transferability of your units.

Online Colleges Are the Way to Go

Picking an online college is going to benefit you in more ways than one. The biggest benefit is that you can learn at your own pace. This allows you to take on more classes if your spouse gets deployed and you find yourself with more time on your hands.

Online colleges are also more affordable and offer more degree options. With the ability to create your own learning schedule you can adapt to whatever life throws your way.

Here Are a Few Military-Friendly Online Schools

Some colleges have paid CollegeRecon for promotional consideration. If you would like to further research school options for online learning, please visit CollegeRecon.com and utilize the search tools.

Take Advantage of Scholarships For Military Spouses

When going to school as a military spouse you have many resources available to you, so take advantage. When applying for scholarships it is important to pay attention to eligibility criteria and deadlines. Don’t forget to start your scholarship search locally by checking with your local Spouses Club to see if they are giving away scholarships and what the requirements are. Here are a few more organizations offering military spouse scholarships:

Getting a degree will help to increase your earning potential during and after your military adventure. With so many resources available to help pay for college and military-friendly colleges willing to support the military community there really is no better time to start your college journey.

 

About the author

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Lori Waddell serves as Co-director of an emergency response COAD in Montana, a freelance writer, and an Air Force Key Spouse. She is passionate about empowering communities and individuals through knowledge and resources. She currently lives in Montana with her husband and two children.