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Do Your Homework Before You Go Back to School

It’s no secret that an education opens doors for everyone and (literally) pays off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 workers with a bachelor’s degree had median weekly earnings of $1,066—63 percent more than the $652 earned by workers with just a high school diploma. Even an associate degree boosted median earnings to $785—a 20 percent increase over the median income of high school graduates.

If you’re considering hitting the books again, or you know someone who is, make sure you check out the resources provided by the Military Spouse Education Initiative (MSEI). MSEI was founded by Bianca Strzalkowski, a Marine spouse and MFAN advisor who knows firsthand that earning a degree can be difficult. And with the added complexities of frequent moves and spouses deploying, earning that diploma can feel impossible.

“The Military Spouse Education Initiative aims to empower spouses by informing them on topics such as accreditation and financial support,” Strzalkowski says. “We also work with academia to help colleges and universities understand military life and create policy that is conducive and supportive of military spouses. Overall, we urge our peers to find one thing that they are passionate about and go all in—when they identify that one thing, we are here to support them on that journey to graduation day.”

On the MSEI website you’ll find resources with information spouses need to know before and while pursuing a degree, lists of scholarships open to military spouses, and information on programs like the My Career Advancement Account program and the GI Bill.

If you are thinking about going back to school, or know someone who is, check out MSEI.

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