Penn State

Military spouses eligible for grants at Penn State’s World Campus

For the first time, the spouses of military members will be eligible for grant money from Penn State’s World Campus to reduce their costs of tuition.

Penn State rolled out the initiative for this academic year, and it expands a program that since 2008 had awarded grant-in-aid to only military students from all branches of service, but not their spouses. Penn State had awarded $600,000 each year, the university said.

The grant funding will lower the spouses’ undergraduate tuition rates by more than $200 per credit, from $518 for lower division courses and from $559 from higher level courses, according to Penn State.

“Like the Department of Defense, Penn State recognizes it is the military family that serves, not just the service member,” said Ginny Newman, the assistant director of defense sector education at Penn State, in a news release. “That’s why we wanted to extend this education benefit to military spouses.”

The grant program was part of the Penn State’s agreement with the Department of Defense to offer higher education opportunities to active-duty service members, veterans and their families. The five-year agreement took effect March 1.

In the spring, Penn State reported growth in the number of military members taking World Campus courses.

The university said for the 2012-13 academic year, 2,334 military and veteran students were enrolled in online programs. That’s up from 1,060 service-member students in the 2009-10 academic year.