Under the 9/11 GI Bill, military members can transfer their benefits to dependents including spouses. Yet, according to the 2014 Military Spouse Employment Report from MOAA, more than half of all spouses reported that their educational opportunities have suffered due to the demands of military life.
As a military spouse I took advantage of this benefit, but quickly realized that going full-time means making a sacrifice financially. The GI Bill only assists in tuition payments. For families that rely on the second income from the spouse, this can be quite a commitment.
At the time of the post 9/11 GI Bill debates, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) was concerned about making benefits transferable because he did not believe that individuals would make use of the provision.
How many spouses are really taking advantage of this benefit of education now? Is more change needed before we can see the bill complete its mission?
And how can we expect military spouses to use the GI Bill when it will force many of them to endure the non-tuition expenses that come with being full-time students?
Military spouses should not have to put their own educational or professional goals on hold for the duration of their military life. Many spouses have had challenges in going back to school due to the moving, having a spouse constantly deployed, financial issues, and not being able to find daycare services.
Are the demands of your family keeping you from using your GI Bill benefits? Or is something else at stake? Please share your comments, take our poll and check out the results below.
%embed1% Kristen Holmes is a Navy wife currently taking her Master’s degree in Educational Policy and Reform.