College+Milspouse=Impossible?

In the pursuit of a college degree while being a milspouse at the same time. Is it impossible… can’t be, does it seem like… SURE DOES!!!

 

Because I married young into the military lifestyle I wasn’t able to get my degree before hand so now I am plagued with trying to get it while always being on the move or on the verge of uncertainty with a move. What is it that a milspouse is supposed to do?

I’d definitely LOVE and APPRECIATE any feedback that a milspouse has about trying to go to school and being associated with the military at the same time. But, before you start handing out advice, let me share my dilemma with you!

 

Originally starting out as an architect major, I realized I’m not quite cut out for having no life until graduation and that I just can’t see three and four dimensionally. Thanks to a teacher that I’ll forever be indebted to I realized that I had found my calling… speech pathology and audiology. I finished out the semester at HU and decided to do some prerequisite classes at a local community college before solidifying my decision in pursuing speech pathology. This was all well and good until my husband tells me the boat is being moved and we find out we are expecting our first child.

 

With tears in my eyes, I leave everything behind in the middle of a stormy February and make the journey up to Small Town, USA! Since the move took place during February, there was no way to start classes once we moved so I had no choice but to take a break and learn to adjust to the area. This brings us up to speed and now fall semester is about to start and I feel a void in which I know school will fill. My husband is almost done on the USS Breaks-A-Lot and will be going to another boat that is supposed to be coming here to Small Town, USA sometime early next year. However, the likelihood of that happening when they say it is supposed to happen is about a 50/50 chance.

 

I seem to be running into several obstacles in my quest for a college degree. Outrageous prices colleges have for non-residents is a big one! I am looking into a college that is about 20 minutes away from here that would be a whopping $24,030 per year for non-residents, and that is for people commuting to school. Now, that isn’t as bad as some places, but to fork out that much money and not knowing whether or not the classes I take will transfer is way too much for my liking. It’s like a nightmare trying to pay for out of state tuition because you have to move so much. There are some places like Virginia that will offer in state tuition to military dependants as long as orders state that the duty station is Virginia. However, Virginia is such a huge military area with every branch of military having a duty station somewhere in the state that it seems only fair that colleges offer that.

 

Now, some of you may think… well how stupid is she, why doesn’t she just take classes online and get her degree that way! In response, I wish I could. Speech pathology requires students to be in the classroom for the courses in order to learn the material associated with phonemics and disorders. Once I have my bachelor’s degree I can work towards my masters through online courses… I just have a little ways to go before I get there… 11 classes. Others may further suggest changing my major to a more military friendly degree. My response, great idea… I’ve mulled over the idea for a long time, but I know I wouldn’t be happy doing something else. If I’m going to get up every morning to go to work I want to be able to enjoy it. So many people are unsatisfied with their job and I don’t want to be one of those people. Other people may suggest not moving and staying put in order to get the degree. If we weren’t expecting our first child I would consider that, but with hubby being gone on underways and deployments more often than not, I just don’t like the idea of unnecessary separation. I know my husband chose to join the military, but that doesn’t mean I have to make it harder on him for having to be gone so much.

 

So, I am pleading with anyone… ANYONE out there that has any sort of advice for trying to earn a college degree, please send it my way!! I would greatly appreciate success stories of milspouses who have gotten through school, ideas of what to do, suggestions of how to get out of paying for out of state tuition, etc. I have looked into scholarships that the government offers for milspouses and dependants but for a lot of them you have to be the great great granddaughter of a Seabee who served in a battle that people haven’t heard of and was honored with a purple heart on the only Tuesday that the battle was fought. It seems like you have to meet criteria that only one person out of 6 billion would meet and the chance of that person still being alive is slim to none!!! Yes, that’s over exaggerating but you get the point… it’s not easy trying to get them!

 

So, please, if anyone has any suggestions for what to do, please send them my way!

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2 Responses

  1. Well When I got married to my subby I had no desire to go to school, I never felt like I needed to. Since then (and 3 kids later) I have a need (from some where deep inside) to do something that I really really enjoy and want to do.
    So when I started looking and thinking about it, I finally decided to go get my degree at a ‘tech school’ or what ever it is called; not a “real” college. I am in a 14 month program and even though I am not getting any help because I’m a military spouse I was able to have the finance dept. apply for grants for me that I got to cover a small portion of the cost. The rest I do have to pay.
    Because of my kids I attend night school, and because of the small town we live in I drive 45 min. to school.
    I know this probably isn’t advice, but I thought some part of it may at least make you feel like you arn’t alone in the trying to make this school thing work.
    I guess my only suggestion is to maybe talk to the navy education center on base or FFSC and see if someone could assist you in getting some of the scholarships or tuition assistance.

  2. I don’t know how much this will help you, but I thought I’d share my experience. Maybe it will encourage to get your degree despite what it takes.

    My husband and I have always had a long distance relationship because of the Navy. I finished college back at home for the in-state tuition before getting married.
    Soon after getting married, I found out I was accepted to medical school. Unfortunately, I only got accepted to a school 2 hours away from where my husband is stationed, which he is only gauranteed to be stationed there for 2 years. After talking with my husband about our situation for a long time, we decided that I should continue my career pursuit because I would be bored at home waiting for him to be let off the sub anyways. So far it has worked out. He and I get to see each most weekends.

    I would say go for the college degree. Whatever solution you come up with will have underisable aspects, but if you really want your degree you should just then go for it. For us, it had to be long distance which I don’t like and wouldn’t recommend for most people. It was the only way it would work for me.

    Financially, I’m going the FASA route to fund my education. I didn’t find any scholarships for spouses pursuing graduate degrees. I agree with the above comment about going to the Navy Education Center.

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