Get the Answers on Family Education Benefits


Question: Are Military Spouses eligible for any Military Education Benefits?

Answer: Yes - but it depends. There are several Military Education Benefits available to dependents. For example family members are eligible to use the benefits of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Program.

SOC member schools understand the hardships military (family) students face due to frequent transfers, so they have designed credit transfer practices that minimize loss of credit and avoid duplication of course work, and they award credit for tests such as CLEP, ECE, and DSST national testing programs.

In addition each service or designated service aid organization, offers family members special education benefits like tuition assistance, grants, and loans. These benefits are often specific to your current Permanent Duty Station or other criteria.

Visit our Military Family Education Assistance page to get more details on the many programs offered to military family members.

Don't forget to check out Military/Veteran Family Scholarships. Thousands of scholarships specifically designed for military family members go unused each year. The free Scholarship Finder service will help you locate the scholarships that best fits their needs.

In Addition the VA also has a program for Survivor and Dependent Education Assistance (DEA) that provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition.

The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

The Fry Scholarship is an amendment to the Post-9/11 GI Bill  that makes education benefits available to the surviving spouses and children of service members who die in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001.

Like Post-9/11 veterans, eligible surviving spouses and children attending school may receive full tuition coverage at state-operated colleges and universities, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.

Surviving spouses can use the Fry Scholarship for 15 years from the anniversary of the servicemember's death or until they remarry.

Question: Can I transfer my GI Bill benefit to a family member?

Answer: Yes - But like the first answer - it depends. Here is what the VA has to say:

To be eligible, individuals must meet the following criteria plus any additional requirements the service may add.

To qualify the servicemember must be on Active Duty and meet the following criteria: 

  1. Completed six years of service in the Armed Forces;
  2. Either have a critical military skill designated by the appropriate Secretary for purposes of transferability OR is in a military specialty designated by the appropriate Secretary for purposes of transferability as required AND
  3. Enter into an agreement to serve at least four more years as a member of the Armed Forces.

See our Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability page for details.

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