Online Schools for Military Spouses :: Flexibility or Frustration

by Niquelle Wright in Military Spouse

Looking for online schools for military spouses because you want something that works with your schedule, more career flexibility, more earning potential, and the satisfaction of finishing what you started?

Looking for  online schools for military spouses because you know that a PCS could wreck your plans to complete the degree at a traditional college?

That’s wicked smart.

Keep reading to see the most important considerations before you enroll and a solid alternative to borrowing tens of thousands of dollars in hopes of starting a career that the next PCS might ruin…

 There is a lot to consider before enrolling…

Military spouse grants, loans, aid, assistance, benefits, discounts, education, financial aid, grants and scholarships, help, money, programs, support, tuition, transfer… It’s a lot to figure out.

But as a military spouse, we have to also consider what happens after completing the program.

online scools for military spouses grants

It is not just about selecting an accredited university with a solid reputation in our field of choice. It is also about how flexible and portable the career choices will be afterwards. Multiple moves ( possibly overseas) during the next 15-20 years present a unique challenge for the military wife. Even with a degree or two.  Trust me, I speak from experience.  See my story…

What should you look for in online schools for military spouses?

Each persons situation is unique but the friendliest online colleges for military spouses will meet a large portion of the criteria outlined below.

They should have legitimate accreditation from an agency that is recognized by either the Council on Higher Education or the U.S. Department of Education. See how to verify accreditation here.  Check the U.S. Department of Education’s Accreditation site as well.  They reveal answers to some FAQs and they have an easy search form for accredited institutions.

Once you verify meaningful accreditation, the schools should also offer some of the following:

  • Offer programs that are 100% online.
  • Provide discounts on tuition or special scholarships for veterans, military active-duty, military spouse and/or dependents.
  • Waive the application fee and/or books for veterans, military active-duty, military spouse and/or dependents.
  • Website contains military spouse and/or dependent specific information.
  • Participate in the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) Program (for associates degrees, licensure and certifications only)
  • Have credits that will easily transfer, if necessary.

For the military service members they should also offer these benefits, services or programs:

  • Have a policy for active-duty or reserve military in case there is a Change of Orders
  • Accepts College Level Examinations Program (CLEP) credits
  • Accepts Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)
  • School has veterans and active duty specialized counselors
  • Website contains military and/or veterans specific information
  • Accepts ACE credit for military training and experience
  • Participates in these Programs*:
    • DANTES external*
    • Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
    • Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
    • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
    • Service members Opportunity Colleges Consortium member (SOC)
    • The Post-9/11 GI Bill
    • VA Approved – Participant of Principles of Excellence Program
    • Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
    • Veterans Retraining Assistance Program
    • Yellow Ribbon Schools Program.  Click Here to search for participants in the Yellow Ribbon program.

    *Learn more about these programs.

Who offers online course for military spouses?

There are a number of colleges that meet the criteria listed above. In fact, I have taught course for several of them in the past 6 years as a college instructor – both on campus and online.  I had students who were actually deployed in war zones.  They really appreciated the flexibility and the ability to continue their studies while fulfilling their commitment.  The same would be true for military spouses.

As a military spouse myself, it was important that I find employment that offered tremendous flexibility and portability. That is how I came to work as on online instructor – and it allowed me to use my Masters degree that I already had.  (But then I was still dependent on someone to give me classes.)

Make sure that any program you select positions you for a portable online career…because you are going to run into many of the same issues in your career search as your college search (flexible schedule, portability, transferability, etc).

Some universities are:

  • Ashworth College
  • Azusa Pacific Online University. See what USNews had to say about them here.
  • Baker College Online
  • California InterContinental University
  • Capella University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Colorado State University – Global Campus
  • Columbia Southern University
  • Devry University
  • Everest University Online
  • Everglades University
  • Florida Tech University Online (Florida Institute of Technology)
  • Fortis Online
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Grantham University
  • Herzing University Online
  • Jones International University
  • Kaplan University Online
  • Keiser University
  • Liberty University
  • Miller-Motte College Online
  • Northcentral University
  • Pace University (ranked #1 in US News inaugural ranking for online programs for military. Read more about Pace here.
  • Penn Foster College
  • Post University
  • Rasmussen College
  • Saint Leo University Online
  • University of Phoenix
  • Walden University
  • Western Governors University

What types of degrees are offered?

Actually the better question is, ” Do they offer the program that fits with your goals, dreams and passions and is their program well respected?

I can’t actually cover every situation here but this is you entire future. Of course you are going to invest the time in finding the program that is right up your alley. Start with the list above and go from there.

How long could it take to complete the program?

Most associate degrees will require between 15-20 classes. If you take 3-4 classes per term, it could take about 2 years . That is a heavy load if you have school age kids, will be enrolled during a deployment or work part-time or full -time.

Factor in one transfer and a little burnout towards the end ( I have seen this a lot with my students) and it could take longer to complete this program.

Most bachelor’s degrees will require between 30-40 classes at 3-4 credit hours each year around enrollment for at least 3 years. No breaks.  That can be very challenging.

What opportunities exist after completing the online degrees for military spouses?

There are a number of fields that are commonly recognized as portable.  I provided an exhaustive list of portable careers here.

In my opinion, it really boils down to how to a few questions.  No one wants to look forward to 20-30-40 years of a job that just pays the bills.  We want challenge and reward, intrigue and creativity, advancement and excitement and the opportunity to really add value to someone’s life.

So the big question is, “Will the online degree give me the security and career you are really looking for?

Are you looking for a degree program that you can complete entirely online in order to get a job that is still in the traditional workplace? Take it from someone who has been there and done that…Don’t do it.

I mean, think about it.

If you are trying to sort through all of these types of questions for a 2 or 3 or 4 year degree program, what’s going to happen when you try to piece together a 15-20 year career.

As a military spouse ( see my Confessions as a Navy Wife here) and as an instructor for 3 of the colleges on the list, I can say that higher education is a noble thing, fun even, but it might not solve any of your career problems beyond a year or two.

You and I both know that the next PCS could take you half way around the world, put you in the middle of nowhere or at a minimum put you in a new job market with no network, no connections and no certifications or licenses. No family, no childcare…

If that happens before you have paid off the student loans, you could end up in a worse position than when you even started…more debt, more stress and more frustration.

online schools for military spouses loans

Consider a program where you have the opportunity to learn as you go and to earn as you actually learn and do…

Studying online is great but what if you could earn online?

No more interviews, state licensing exams or job applications.

No more fretting over the next duty station.

From anywhere in the world, with a computer or laptop and access to the Internet.

And with a mentor who will be with you every step of the way…

 

From frustrated online professor to online marketer,

Niquelle Wright

 

Check out the exact system that I used to earn $4,025 while PCSing across country, (with my husband, 2 kids and 3 cars) enter you email here…

It’s totally free. I just want you to have options before you make up your mind.

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