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Top 3 Online Colleges for Military Spouses

written by: TanyaM•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 5/16/2009

Military wives and spouses make tremendous sacrifices for their families and this country, and frequent moves and deployments make it difficult for military spouses to focus on their own careers and education. Several online colleges make a concerted effort to meet the needs of military spouses.

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    How to Evaluate a Potential Online College

    There are a number of criteria that military spouses should look for in an online college. First of all, the college should be military spouse friendly. It should allow you to transfer credits that you have already completed. Many military spouses may start their degree at a brick-and-mortar institution, but they may move before they have a chance to complete their degree. If possible, pick an online university that allows you to transfer these credits.

    Look for an online college that works with military students and knows how to handle tuition assistance and financial aid from the military. Most online colleges will have a dedicated financial aid office, and ask if they are familiar with military tuition assistance.

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    American Military University

    As its name suggests, American Military University caters to military students (and their spouses). They are intimately familiar with Military Tuition Assistance, and military spouses will have plenty of degrees to choose from, including online bachelors and masters degrees in criminal justice, business administration, education, marketing and political science.

    The courses are completed entirely online and the tuition is cheaper than many other online colleges -- $250 per credit hour for undergraduates and $275 per credit hour for graduate students. The professors are very flexible and will work with you to create fair deadlines if you are in the middle of a move or if your spouse deploys.

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    Central Michigan University

    Central Michigan University (CMU) also knows what life is like for those in the military and their spouses, and their online degrees reflect that understanding. CMU was featured on the list of Top 20 Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities, and military spouses will appreciate the discounted tuition for military families of $250 per credit hour. CMU offers online bachelor’s, masters and certificate programs, including some interesting degree programs in nutrition, education and health administration.

    While most online degrees can be completed entirely online, Central Michigan University also has a presence on a number of military bases so spouses can take some in-person classes in addition to their online studies. Currently, CMU has a campus on 23 military installations.

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    Kaplan University

    Kaplan University is one of the largest online education providers in the country, and they offer a 10 percent tuition discount for active-duty military spouses. Not only can military spouses benefit from this discounted tuition, but the numerous online degrees offered at Kaplan Online make this school hard to beat. Masters, bachelors, associates degrees and certificate programs are all available.

    Most degrees are completed online, giving military spouses the flexibility to complete their online degree on their schedule. And, Kaplan is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.