Best Colleges for Military Spouses

There are a number of excellent options for military spouses who wish to complete their college degree. The following institutions were top-ranked by the Military Friendly website in 2017 based on the range of support services they provide, including financial aid, career guidance, and community life for military members and their families.

School Comparison

School Name Institution Type Location Tuition 2016-2017 (in-state)* Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits
University of Central Missouri 4-Year Public University Warrensburg, MO $7,342 Military Tuition Package; MyCAA
University of North Alabama 4-Year Public University Florence, AL $8,114 Federal Tuition Assistance; Alabama GI Dependents Scholarship
Columbia College Missouri 4-Year Private College Columbia, MO $20,936 Spouse Opportunity Grant; Military Family Member's Opportunity Grant; Military Spouse Tuition Grant; MyCAA; Coast Guard Spouse Grant; Two-in-Family Grant
Savannah Technical College 2-Year Public Community College Savannah, GA $2,704 MyCAA; scholarship fund for military spouses
Drexel Online University Online University Philadelphia, PA approx. $756-846 per credit hour** 10-40% discount per credit hour; fee waivers
University of California - Davis 4-Year Public University Davis, CA $14,046 Military Spouse Scholarship and numerous others; application fee waiver; tuition awards and tuition matching for students in the MSBA program; merit scholarship and financial aid options
The University of New Mexico 4-Year Public University Albuquerque, NM $7,340 Billed at in-state tuition rates while stationed in New Mexico; accepts federal veterans' benefits; provides a range of scholarship options

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website

School Overview

According to the Military Friendly website, the following colleges and universities value their military members, spouses and families, offering special advising programs and financial incentives. These particular schools were selected based on objective measures, including regional representation, financial aid options, advising and career services, and a supportive military-friendly community.

University of Central Missouri

At the University of Central Missouri, tuition rates will vary depending on whether a student is in-state, receives a scholarship, or qualifies for federal tuition assistance, like the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA). UCM is also winner of the Gold-level Military Friendly School Award. UCM's Office of Military and Veteran Services provides extensive information online, as well as personal support through academic advising, transfer student advising, and career exploration services.

University of North Alabama

Ranked No. 1 in the category for smaller universities for Military Spouse Friendly Schools, the University of North Alabama has a strong Military and Veterans Service Center. Staff assist military spouses to determine their eligibility for financial assistance and help them transfer credits. In addition, Alabama has a special GI Dependents Scholarship. UNA veteran support services extend to a full range of life skills, including computer stations with free printing, a book-lend program, and places to connect with other student veterans and their families.

Columbia College Missouri

Columbia College in Missouri has a culture of personal support and financial assistance for military students and spouses, with many scholarship and tuition aid options. The Ousley Family Veterans Service Center provides holistic services, including social groups like the Columbia College Student Veterans and SALUTE Veterans Honor Society. A campus 'green zone' offers a safe space where veterans and their families can speak with specially trained staff.

Savannah Technical College

A community college with a 1 to 4 ratio of veteran and military students, Savannah Technical College promotes respect and support for military members and their families. According to U.S. News & World Report, the school offers 14 fields of study for degree-earners, including health and business degrees. In 2015, Savannah Technical College received money to create a new scholarship fund for military spouses.

Drexel University

Ranked one of the top online universities by U.S. News & World Report, Drexel University offers students the flexibility to complete their studies from anywhere, which is particularly useful for military families. The University provides insight and guidance on transitioning to college for military spouses via dedicated military enrollment counselors. In addition, Drexel prides itself on being a 'military-friendly' institution, which includes reduced tuition rates for military spouses, ranging from a 10-40% reduction. Some fees are also waived for military members and their families.

University of California - Davis

UC Davis is a campus committed to healthy relations with its military students and their families. The Veterans Success Center focuses on the whole student, including tuition assistance, personal advising and social life. Tutoring and workshops are also available on topics from scholarships to financial literacy. This school was particularly recognized for its graduate management programs for military spouses, and the graduate tuition for 2016-2017 was $11,220 for in-state students. Tuition awards of up to $6,000 are available for two students in the MSBA program, along with matching funds from the VA. At the Graduate School of Management, the admissions team is looking for students from diverse personal backgrounds, with entry-level and more experienced applicants encouraged to apply.

The University of New Mexico

For military spouses in search of graduate and post-graduate coursework, the Main Campus of the University of New Mexico is designated a Tier 1 Research Institution. The Women's Resource Center provides mentorship and leadership training, while the Veterans Resource Center offers financial aid and career information. It places among the top ten schools, based on the Military Friendly rankings.

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