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Maximizing Military Spouse Education Benefits: Support, Scholarships, and More

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There are a range of resources available to the military community designed specifically to support the educational aspirations and professional development of military spouses. Online graduate programs, scholarships, and financial aid are available to meet the specific needs of military families. 

The complexities of higher education for military spouses

Military spouses face unique challenges due to the demands of military life. Frequent moves and deployments can make pursuing higher education seem daunting. These factors often disrupt educational pursuits and make it challenging to commit to long-term goals like pursuing a graduate degree.

The responsibilities of supporting a service member or veteran further compound these challenges. Military spouses often take on various roles such as managing household affairs while working. Balancing these responsibilities while pursuing higher education requires resilience and determination. 

Despite these obstacles, many military spouses are eager to further their education and advance their careers. They recognize the importance of professional and personal development. And, a graduate degree can offer a pathway to greater economic stability and increased job opportunities.

Navigating the complexities of higher education as a military spouse can feel overwhelming without the right support systems in place. Organizations, both inside and outside of the military community, are stepping up to provide resources and assistance tailored specifically to the needs of military spouses. Solutions like flexible online programs and financial aid opportunities aim to remove barriers to education so they can achieve their academic and professional aspirations.

Military spouse scholarships and financial aid

One of the most valuable resources available to military spouses is the array of scholarship programs. At USC, these scholarships can cover a variety of expenses, including tuition, books, and other educational fees. 

Additional financial aid opportunities are available through the GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, and other VA Benefits. USC supports our veterans and military community financially – largely through its commitment to contributing to the Yellow Ribbon Program, which supplements the GI Bill at private institutions. More information including FAQs and contact information for the USC Veterans Certification Office can be found on the USC Military and Veterans Initiatives site

There are many other resources in addition to those listed on USC’s website. By researching and applying for military spouse scholarships and other forms of financial aid, prospective students can receive additional funds to support their educational goals.

Online education: flexibility and accessibility

Online graduate programs are flexible options that can accommodate the unique needs and schedules of a military family, providing spouses of active duty military and veterans with the flexibility to study at their own pace and balance their education with their other responsibilities.

At USC Price, the Master of Public Administration online is often chosen by active duty military veterans and their families, due to its flexible nature and a curriculum focused on public service and leadership. The program covers a wide range of topics, including public administration, policy analysis, budgeting, and organizational leadership. Military spouses who enroll in the program gain valuable skills and knowledge that can be applied to a variety of careers in the public and private sectors, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.

One of the key benefits of the USC Price MPA program online is its emphasis on practical, real-world learning experiences. Students have the opportunity to engage with faculty who are experts in their field and to collaborate with classmates from diverse backgrounds. Through case studies, simulations, and hands-on projects, students develop the critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills that are essential for success in public service careers.
The MPA online offers ultimate flexibility with evening classes and asynchronous work. It also focuses on community by bringing together students during two in-person campus residencies – one at the beginning and one at the end of the program. 

  • The Professional Residency is an onboarding experience which includes a brief orientation to our MPA online program and services available to you throughout. The long weekend also includes educational seminars focused on digital literacy, communications and writing techniques, research, quantitative methods, and more. These seminars are delivered by the faculty who teach our courses. Beyond meeting your fellow students, local alumni, key faculty, and your individual cohort coach, you can use this opportunity to tour the USC campus and stop by the bookstore for Trojan gear.
  • The Capstone Residency takes place the week before graduation and includes a capstone event where you will share your best work focused on a current problem for a real-world client. Clients are chosen by USC Price faculty and are made up of senior decision-makers from local and state government, nonprofit organizations, criminal justice, federal agencies, private sector firms and key public sector service providers. At the end of the residency, you and your team will produce a project report and communications briefing for your client, evaluated by your peers and expert judges. Many clients actually implement the recommendations in their customized briefing. 

    The experience not only includes testing your knowledge for an actual problem facing an organization but is a final opportunity to develop and solidify relationships with fellow students and alumni, reinforcing the USC professional network that you can leverage long after graduation. 

The residencies take place on USC’s campus in Los Angeles and include intensive class sessions during which you will participate with faculty, peers and alumni. Residencies also include social events and networking opportunities to connect colleagues, members of the Trojan Family and our campus community.

The USC Price Master of Public Administration online program offers military spouses a flexible and competitive option for advancing their education and pursuing rewarding careers in public service.

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Fill out the form or give us a call at (213) 764-5999 to learn more about our online programs.

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