A report by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that their department has provided help to 773,000 veterans and family members since the institution of the Post-9/11 GI Bill in 2009. Under this scheme, military spouses pursuing a college degree can get funding of up to $4,000 under the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA.)
However, not all schools fully support or are friendly to this scheme. Add in other problematic factors like the fact that military families have to juggle community, work, and family responsibilities, and often have to relocate, and selecting the right college as a military spouse becomes near impossible.
Situations like this are where an online college comes in quite handy. Online colleges typically offer significantly more time, and presence flexibility and the meager $4,000 aid can often make a sizable dent in their usually lesser tuition costs.
In addition to participating in the government tuition assistance program, the best online colleges for military spouses do not cap the number of students admitted via the Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that allows students to attend high brow private schools at a significantly subsidized cost.
If you are a military spouse seeking career development with more educational qualifications, here are the top army family-friendly online colleges you should consider.
#15: Grantham University, Lenexa, Kansas
Grantham University was founded in 1951 by Donald Grantham, a retired World War II veteran who was an engineer during the war. Hence, it is no surprise that the university has maintained a policy of maximum military-friendliness over the years.
The university is fully compliant with all national military-related programs, creating a welcoming, low-cost environment for military personnel and their families. Plus, when you combine this pro-military policy with the fact that Grantham University offers some of the lowest tuition rates in the country, you discover that military-affiliated students can almost school here for free.
Additionally, the college offers a series of programs to assist active service members and retired veterans further. Military-affiliated students can enjoy all forms of financial aid, scholarships, and corporate programs. Active service members and vets also get reduced Special Hero Tuition that pegs costs at $250 per credit hour for both graduate and undergraduate programs.
Students at Grantham University can join any of 50+ degree and certificate programs in disciplines like healthcare, technology, business, criminal justice, nursing, and computer science.
Plus, all courses at the college adhere to fully flexible coursework schedules with no set login times.
#14: Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky
With Eastern Kentucky University Online, you get the product of over a century of high-end instruction wrapped into convenient, flexible distance education programs. Here, classes follow an 8-week-term setup with adaptable scheduling and start points spread out across the year.
Furthermore, students here are exposed to a wide range of options, including degree and certificate programs in disciplines like police studies, veteran studies, sports management, and homeland security.
Military spouses applying to EKUonline can benefit from various national aid programs, of which the university is an active participant. The college also offers reduced tuition rates to active military personnel on both graduate and undergraduate programs. Also, all military-affiliated students, including veterans, get to finish the undergraduate application process at no cost.
#13: University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
At the University of Kansas, students can join any of several hundred online certificates, undergraduate, and graduate programs in disciplines from almost every niche.
Military spouses looking for career-advancing education will fit right in here too, as the school runs a dedicated career center that provides career help in the form of employer connections and resumes building to military-affiliated students.
Furthermore, another crucial program at KU is the office of graduate military programs. This unit liaises with the department of defense and military academic institutions to develop specialized graduate programs for active service members and veterans.
In addition to facilitating the development of curricula, seminars, and research that aligns with the needs of the nation’s military, this office also takes an active role in promoting and creating new aid and support programs for enrolled military-affiliated students.
#12: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The University of Minnesota runs a digital campus that offers 17 undergraduate programs entirely online that military spouses can enter. Additional flexible programs available here include several hybrid options, with between 50% and 80% of the total coursework available online.
Since the programs follow a design blueprint to match the lives of students with multiple commitments related to work, childcare, or military service, participants can fully optimize the setup of their program around their current schedules.
Furthermore, all University of Minnesota online students get to pay resident tuition rates, and military-affiliated students often get the option of a full refund on individual classes if their schedules mandate withdrawal.
The University of Minnesota’s Digital Campus is fully compliant with all national military assistance programs as well as the workforce innovation and opportunity act, which targets unemployed or underemployed citizens, providing aid with fees and tuition for approved educational programs, degrees, and certificates.
#11: University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma is another excellent university for any military spouse, considering an online degree to enhance their job prospects.
At OU, military-affiliated students get to take advantage of a standing waiver that lets them pay resident tuition irrespective of their current state of residence. This feature provides significant benefits to military families who are often on the move.
Besides, the school is also an active participant in all top national military aid programs, and military-affiliated students here can convert portions of their military service into credit towards their degree program.
With The University of Oklahoma’s Extended Campus online program, you gain access to five career-focused bachelor degree programs in liberal studies, administrative leadership, aviation, criminal justice, and lifespan care administration. The school also runs ten graduate degrees in disciplines like organizational leadership, communication, human relations, and museum studies.
#10: University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
The University of Nebraska Omaha has one of the most prominent online education platforms in the country and is an excellent choice for both military personnel, veterans, and military spouses.
At this college, students can pursue any of a wide selection of bachelor degrees, master degrees, and certificate programs in a wide range of disciplines.
Furthermore, the University of Nebraska Omaha also offers a unique Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies degree exclusively targeted at adult, transfer, and military-affiliated students. Here, students can choose from a selection of career-oriented concentrations like aviation studies, cybersecurity, geography, criminology and criminal justice, gerontology, information technology, and management information systems.
Plus, the school runs a career pathways learning unit that helps by providing career-building services for military-affiliated students.
#9: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
While UAB’s claim to fame is in being one of the renowned traditional universities in the U.S., the college is surprisingly one of the best places for military personnel and spouses seeking online distance education programs.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of the only traditional colleges that run an ancillary online program exclusively for military-affiliated students. It’s UAB Salute program offers service members, veterans and their families with both graduate and undergraduate degree programs with an emphasis on maximizing their utilization of military education benefits.
Besides, the university has a dedicated office of veteran recruitment and student services that offers additional services and consultations to enrolled military personnel, veterans, and families throughout their stay at the school.
Furthermore, with this program, military-affiliated students can also enjoy extended military scholarships as well as the ability to apply up to 24 military credits toward any degree program on the platform.
UAB is also a yellow ribbon school as it does not limit the number of students that can enroll at the college with military aid.
#8: Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana
Indiana University Bloomington is a student-first research institution that places the welfare of its enrolled students at utmost priority, and it is an excellent school for any military spouse.
In addition to their extensive portfolio of student aid and support services, IU runs a dedicated Veterans Support Services unit that offers specialized assistance to veterans, active military personnel, and their dependents. Here, participants can get help with financial aid, deployment options, VA benefits, and program application process to veterans, active military personnel, and their dependents.
IU Online, the university’s online distance education platform, offers 60+ degrees and certificate programs in disciplines like business, labor studies, music, informatics, and mathematics.
Another big plus of studying Indiana University Bloomington is the extensive schedule flexibility available on all their online programs. Students can take classes, projects, work, quizzes, and even exams at any time of the day.
#7: Trident University International, Cypress, California
Trident University International is an online college with a strong reputation for serving military personnel, military spouses, military families, and veterans. Currently, the university has an alumni base of 30,000+ graduates, over 22,000 of which are veterans, active-duty personnel, dependents, or military spouses.
The college proudly emphasizes its servitude to the U.S. military, and it continually optimizes its services and to meet the specific needs of military personnel and their families.
One military-friendly program here is their service for-credit program that lets students convert service time into course credits. The school also hosts a counselor program that targets military-affiliated students explicitly, helping them optimize their degree programs for maximum aid and proper alignment with their career goals.
Degree programs on offer here include two associate degrees, 28 bachelor degrees, 39 master degrees, five doctoral degrees, and 21 certificate programs in disciplines like Business Administration, Homeland security, Education, Educational Leadership, Emergency and Disaster Management, Computerized Accounting, Health Administration, and Health Sciences.
#6: the University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas
Few online colleges offer as much support to military spouses and other military-affiliated students like the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.
In addition to full support for all national aid programs, the school offers several unique perks to military families like accelerated programs, free textbooks, and access to a personal advisor to help maximize aid and optimize their schooling options.
Programs on offer here include a selection of 30+ certificates across multiple educational levels in fields like human resources, leadership studies, criminal justice, healthcare administration, teacher leadership, industrial and organizational psychology, applied arts, applied sciences, and business.
Furthermore, business and management degrees are big at Incarnate Word, with concentration
#5: Columbia Southern University, Orange Beach, Alabama
For military families that relocate more frequently than most, one of the best options for you is Columbia Southern University, a fully online college with zero campus presence required for all its programs.
Furthermore, the university is fully compliant with all significant assistance programs for military families. Also, it provides additional intra-school assistance in the form of a specialized military support unit that provides VA and TA benefits, while helping to ensure that military-affiliate students get the maximum benefits they can out of available programs.
At Columbia Southern University, students can also convert military training and experience into credit towards their degree program, with up to 75% credit transfer possible for undergraduate programs, and 50% applicable towards a graduate program.
Programs on offer here include seven associate degrees, 29 bachelor degrees, 17 master degrees, one doctorate, and 17 certificate programs in disciplines like business, information technology, criminal justice, and business.
#4: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
For military spouses looking to get into engineering and other technical fields, one of the best military-friendly online colleges is the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Here, students can enter comprehensive programs in industrial and systems engineering, petroleum engineering, astronautical engineering, and financial engineering.
Alternatively, you can pick from any of the college’s 84 online degree programs, including disciplines like education and teaching, gerontology, dentistry, and design.
The University of Southern California offers full support for all of the top aid programs for military families. Also, military spouses enrolled here to gain access to the school’s dedicated veterans certification office that helps military-affiliated students find assistance programs that they are qualified to enter.
The school also hosts a unique Military Social Work program that offers training to interested students on how to effectively care for their families in their often unique living situations.
#3: American Public University System, Charles Town, West Virginia
American Public University System is one of the largest military-friendly online colleges in the country because the school has an enrollment of 65,000 military-affiliated students.
In addition to several intra-school programs that give financial, social, and consultative assistance to veterans, service members, and military families, the American Public University System is also a member of the Tuition Assistance Programs that caps tuition for military-affiliated students at $250 per credit hour.
Students here can choose from an online offering of 37 master degrees, 47 bachelor degrees, and 24 associate degrees in a host of disciplines including psychology, disaster management, health sciences, criminal justice, and electrical engineering.
#2: Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia
With Liberty University, you get one of the most military-friendly institutions of higher learning in the country. In addition to maximum support for all standard military family aid programs, LU runs an intra-school program that offers considerably discounted rates to veterans, military students, and military spouses.
Furthermore, at Liberty University, qualified students can gain even more aid with the college’s Heroes Fund Scholarship.
Throughout your program here, as a military spouse, you are also privy to several forms of financial, social, and consultative assistance thanks to LU’s partnerships with organizations like VetSuccess, the Chaplain Candidate Program, and the American Council on Education.
At LU, you can join any of their 250+ faith-based degree programs, all of which offer significant scheduling flexibility.
#1: University of Maryland Global Campus, Adelphi, Maryland
With more than 90,000 students enrolled from locations around the world, the University of Maryland Global Campus is one of the largest distance education platforms in the world, and it’s also extremely military-friendly.
The online college has full support for the Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition assistance program as well as a host of other aid programs for military families. Besides, UMUC has a dedicated military and veterans advising team that works with both the school and students to ensure that military spouses and families get the best plans for their current situations.
Furthermore, the school also offers prior learning and transfer credit programs for military-affiliated students that enables the conversion of experience in the armed forces into credits towards a degree program.
The University of Maryland Global Campus has 120-degree programs on offer, with a 100% acceptance rate across all programs. Hence, all military spouses can get in here irrespective of their level of education or current professional situation.