Southeastern Council on Military Education


Message from the President

Dear Colleagues and SECOME Members,

As the 2016 SECOME Symposium approaches, I would like to point out that the SECOME Board has been working around the clock to ensure that the content of the agenda for the conference will be filled with unique and valuable professional development opportunities for not just staff, but faculty of institutions, as well as local community leaders and other non-profit organizations who serve the military-affiliated population. With that said, I’d like to point out that SECOME has become much more than just an entity that provides an annual forum.

Under the direction of our 2016-2021 Strategic Plan, we have been focusing on meeting our goals:

  1. Strengthening academic quality responsive to Armed Services’ needs.
  2. Serving the people of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
  3. Increasing student services and scholarship opportunities.
  4. Ensuring a financially stable organization.

We have quickly realized that there is a serious gap in how our member states’ communities care for our servicemembers, veterans and military families. This gap isn’t existent because of the lack of services and programs available to the servicemember, veteran and/or his/her family, but rather due to a lack of coordination and collective tenacity within the communities of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The military-affiliated student’s struggles do not just lie with transition and education. The struggles vary and are multiple; therefore, it is insensible for anyone to think that one organization can meet all of the needs of the servicemember. Let’s help bridge this gap and work together!

Allow me to introduce SECOME’s new referral initiative! We are now accepting recommendations from our colleagues and members to provide local services, programs and organizations within the member states of SECOME that work towards meeting the needs of servicemembers and their families. Please visit our new Info & Referral page to learn more about this initiative and to provide community support recommendations. The idea behind this initiative is to connect the military-affiliated student with h/her community, which in turn allows the community to support them within their backyards.

The Summer 2016 Newsletter is filled with what we think is valuable information to serve our military-affiliated students and our member institutions. As we celebrate our country's Independence, remember the many sacrifices that have been and will be made to maintain that independence!

Warmest regards,


Ashley Adamovage

SECOME President

July 22, 2016      

WEBINAR: The Inside Track on Validating Military Learning Experiences

U.S. military personnel are highly trained as a part of their service to our country, and some of that education may be directly applicable to college credit. Join this free webinar to learn more about ACE reviews of military training for college credit recommendations.

Are you curious about how the military services select the courses and occupations?  Garner a better understanding of the integrity and rigor of the military evaluations process that has recommended credit for thousands of military courses since the early 1940s. Be a part of the conversation to learn the details and join more than 2,200 higher education institutions in maximizing your school’s recognition of ACE course credit recommendations. For more information:

Military Spouse and Family Educational Assistance Programs


There are several education benefits available to dependents of veterans as well as surviving family members of deceased veterans. Ranging from scholarships to totally free school, these benefits are often overlooked.

Department of DefensePost 9/11 GI Bill Transferability

In addition to the very generous education benefits offered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill, there is a special provision of the program that allows career servicemembers to share their remaining GI Bill (education) benefits with immediate family members. The key factor is whether or not the member has used any of his or her GI Bill in the past; only unused benefits can be transferred. This means that if the member has used 12 months of his or her GI Bill, then there is only 24 months of benefit left to share.

Servicemembers must meet specific criteria to be eligible to transfer their GI Bill benefits. This includes having at least six years of service and an obligation to serve at least four more.

Learn more about the rules for transferring GI Bill benefits.

Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) 

The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides up to $4,000 of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are pursuing degree programs, licenses or credentials leading to employment in portable career fields.

Spouses can contact MilitaryOneSource for education counseling and help finding alternative funding sources. Call toll free at: 1.800.342.9647.

Click here to learn more about the MyCAA Career Advancement Accounts program.

Learn more about Spouse Employment opportunities and programs.

Veterans AffairsDependents Education Assistance Program

The Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

Click here to learn more about the Dependents Education Assistance Program.

Marine GySgt John D. Fry Scholarship Program

The Fry Scholarship is an amendment to the Post-9/11 GI Bill that makes education benefits available to the surviving spouses and children of service members who die in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. Like Post-9/11 veterans, eligible surviving spouses and children attending school may receive full tuition coverage at state-operated colleges and universities, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.

Surviving spouses can use the Fry Scholarship for 15 years from the anniversary of the servicemember's death or until they remarry. Eligible children can use the Fry Scholarship between the ages of 18 and 33. Children under age 18 cannot use this benefit even if they have completed high school.  The child's marital status does not affect eligibility for the Fry Scholarship.

Click here to learn more about the Marine GySgt John D. Fry Scholarship Program.

State Provided Education Benefits

Educational benefits for families, particularly the children of deceased, MIA, POW,  and disabled veterans, may be available in some states. has developed an on-line general summary of educational benefits for veterans, surviving spouses and their dependents.

Click here to learn more about State Education Benefits.

Private Scholarships and Grants

While looking for money for school many surviving spouses and their families overlook the over $300 million of military - and veteran - related scholarships and grants. These scholarships often go unclaimed due to the following misconceptions:

  • VA education benefits eliminate the need for scholarships and grants.
    • False - The truth is that the Survivor and Dependent Education Assistance program offers great benefits it may not cover everything. There are hundreds of scholarships and grants specifically designed to help cover education related costs, so you don't have to.
  • Scholarships are too difficult to win and applying requires too much work.
    • It is true that some scholarships require a written essay. But, it is important to remember that scholarship and grant applications vary widely, and some require nothing more than a short application. Besides you should think of it this way: It may be the only essay you ever get paid to write.
  • Scholarships are too difficult to find.
    • False - Many scholarships go unclaimed because students don't know where to look. Fortunately, there is a great online resource to help servicemembers find the scholarship and learn how, where, and when to apply. Visit the's Scholarship Finder today and get started on your way to finding free money for school.

Here are some quick tips to help your search:

  • Do your homework. Take advantage of the free online scholarship search at's Scholarship Finder. The Scholarship Finder lists over 1,000 scholarships from a variety of sources.
  • Don't limit yourself. You qualify for non-military related scholarships too. Visit your local library to find scholarship directories that list awards based on age, state of residence, cultural background, and field of study.
  • Search in your military community. Many service aid organizations and associations, like the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, offer scholarships, grants, and low interest loans to help cover education expenses.
  • It's never too soon to start your scholarship search. Many scholarship application deadlines are as early as a year in advance.

Remember: Not applying for scholarships is like turning down free money. Get started on your search for scholarships today - visit the Scholarship Finder.


Army Emergency Relief (AER)
Army Emergency Relief maintains two scholarship programs – the Spouse Education Assistance Program and the MG James Ursano Scholarship Program for dependent children. Both scholarships provide financial assistance for students who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. 

Visit the Army Emergency Relief site for more details.

Air Force

Air Force Aid Society (AFAS)
The AFAS offers grants, scholarships and loans:

  • General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program - This grant program is competitive in its need-based selection criteria, uniquely tailored to recognize the proper weighing of family income and education cost factors. Grants of at least $2,000 are awarded to selected sons and daughters of Active Duty, Title 10 AGR/Reserve, Title 32 AGR performing full-time active duty, retired, retired reserve and deceased Air Force members; spouses of active duty members and Title 10 AGR/Reservists; and surviving spouses of deceased personnel for their full-time undergraduate studies.
  • AFAS Merit Scholarship - The Society awards a minimum of ten $5,000 merit-based scholarships to incoming freshman who have completed both phases of the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant application, and therefore, have already been reviewed for eligibility and had their GPA verified. Selection is based on cumulative GPA, SAT/ACT scores, transcripts, and an essay on a specified topic.
  • Supplemental Education Loan Program - This loan is open only to dependents of regular Active Duty, Title 10 AGR/Reserve on extended active duty, Title 32 AGR performing full time active duty, regular Retired and Retired Reserve with 20+ years of creditable service who applied for the 2015-2016 General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant, as their eligibility has already been verified through the grant application process, and AFAS has the ability to collect repayment by allotment directly from the members' military/retired pay. Maximum dollar amount for each full-time dependent undergraduate student is $1,000, regardless of whether or not they received the need-based Arnold Grant.

Visit the Air Force Aid Society to learn more.

Navy and Marine Corps

The Navy Maine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS)
The Society’s Education Assistance Program offers interest-free loans and grants for undergraduate/post-secondary education at an accredited 2- or 4-year education, technical or vocational institution in the United States.  This financial assistance is available for children of active duty, retired or deceased Sailors and Marines; and for spouses of active duty and retired Sailors and Marines.

Spouses of active duty Sailors and Marines stationed and living outside the United States are also eligible for the Society’s Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP).  For STAP assistance, contact your nearest overseas NMCRS office.  NMCRS office locations and business hours are located here:

NMCRS Education Assistance Program:
The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society offers interest free loans, grants, and scholarships.

  • Interest free loans and grants range from $500 to $3,000 per academic year
  • Amount to be provided to each applicant will be determined by NMCRS
  • Funds are payable and provided to the student’s academic institution, not the student
  • Funds are to be used only for tuition, books, fees, room, and board
  • Repayment of interest free loans must be by military payroll allotment within 24 months of the loan disbursal (repayment of interest free loans for MECEP/MECP must be within 48 months following receipt of a military commission)
  • Repayment allotments must begin September 1, (or the month following receipt of a military commission for MECEP/MECP students)
  • Students must complete a new application for each academic year

Visit the NMCRS site for more details

Coast Guard

The Coast Guard Foundation
The Coast Guard Foundation offers grants for active duty enlisted members and their spouses, it also offers scholarships to children of active duty, retired, or deceased enlisted members.

  • Grants for enlisted active duty members - These grants are administered by the Coast Guard Institute and range from $250 - $500 per calendar year. For more information see the Coast Guard Institute's website
  • Grants for spouses of active duty enlisted members - These grants are open to spouses of active duty enlisted personnel in pay grades E-3 to E-9. Spouses of Reservists on any type of active duty orders for at least one year in duration in the aforementioned pay grades are also eligible. Grants will be in the amount of $500 and are limited to one payment per calendar year.
  • Scholarships for Coast Guard children - These scholarships are open to unmarried dependent children (under 24 years old) of enlisted men and women on active duty, reservists on extended active duty for 180 days or more, retirees, or deceased members of the U.S. Coast Guard. Applicants must be college bound high school seniors entering an accredited college or technical school for the fall semester or a full-time undergraduate student already enrolled in an accredited four-year undergraduate program or technical school. 

For more information see the Coast Guard Foundation's website.

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA)

  • Supplemental Education Grant - The SEG program reimburses documented educational costs specifically required by a course of study. Multiple grants may be awarded up to the authorized amount throughout the calendar year.
  • CGMA Stafford/PLUS Loan Fee Reimbursement - Assistance for those who finance post-secondary education through the Federal Stafford Loan or Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). CGMA reimburses clients for the loan fee (not to exceed 4% of the loan amount) typically charged borrowers at the time funds are disbursed.
  • CGMA Education Loan - Interest free loan (up to $2,000) to help with postsecondary education expenses. Loan repayment begins a month after receipt of assistance. A new Education Loan will not be provided until any previous Education Loan has been repaid. All CGMA members and their families are eligible.

Visit the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance website to learn more.

SOC Releases New Career and Technical Education (CTE) Resource List


In partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Military Services, Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) has developed a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Resource list that identifies credit-bearing certificate programs in career and technical education fields with bright employment outlooks

The CTE Resource list was developed to assist military education counselors, academic advisers, and servivcemembers with identifying career and technical education pathways to civilian careers with positive growth potential. While the certificates are stand-alone education credentials that can assist servicemembers with employment options upon leaving the military, all selected certificates are stackable and can be fully incorporated in associate or bachelor’s degrees offered by the institution, if the servicemember desires to further his/her education in the career field.

The institutions and certificate programs included on the CTE Resource list have been carefully selected based on the program requirements. The participating degree-granting colleges and universities meet the following criteria:

  • Signatory of DoD MOU (certificate program must be eligible for federal student aid through the Department of Education under Title IV)
  • Cost of tuition does not exceed military Tuition Assistance ($250 per credit hour)
  • Acceptance of evaluated credit for military training and occupational experience, where applicable
  • Program access and proximity to military installations
  • Affirmation of compliance with the SOC Principles and Criteria

The certificate programs, which may build upon military training and experience, are approved by the State Approving Agency for Veterans Affairs education benefits, can be fully incorporated into other college-offered degree programs, and have programmatic accreditation, where applicable. Additionally, the certificate programs reflect the needs of the military, have bright employment outlooks as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor O*NET, and provide marketable, entry level skills. The initial phase of the Career and Technical Education Resource list contains 33 colleges and universities offering 119 certificate programs representing specific career pathways in the following six Career Clusters:

  1. Business Management & Administration
  2. Health Sciences
  3. Information Technology
  4. Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
  5. Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  6. Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

The CTE Resource list and Frequently Asked Questions are located on the SOC Web site.

DoD Announces Pilot Tutor Program for Service Members

Source: DANTES, 

Click the picture on the left for more information.