How military spouses can get help paying for college in Arizona

The program is available at ASU, NAU and UArizona
The ASU scholarship covers eight semesters of tuition along with fees. Whitney Clark reports.
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 10:04 AM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Military spouses often spend years traveling the country so their loved ones can serve our country. Now Arizona State University officials want them to know about a new scholarship program that helps them get their degree for the first time.

The Arizona Veteran Spouses Scholarship began just last semester after being approved by the legislature. To qualify, you have to be the spouse of an honorably discharged veteran in Arizona and you have to provide the proper paperwork to prove that. You also need to show a marriage license, fill out a FAFSA, and have exhausted all other financial aid.

It’s not just ASU but also Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona that offer the program. Right now, there are 17 military spouses getting help at ASU, with 42 across the state, according to a spokesperson for the Arizona Board of Regents.

One semester of school can cost thousands of dollars, so this was a huge help for Luther Laycoax, who was laid off from his job last year. While applying for a new job, he noticed many required some college. Days later, he found out about the scholarship program. “It was a blessing in disguise. It was the sign saying your going back to school — literally today,” he said.

Laycoax’s wife served in the Army for eight years. “Afterwards, it’s been an interesting journey in the beginning,” he said. “Because obviously, as veterans, some come out with disabilities. And me, as her husband, I was her caretaker for some time.”

Shawn Banzhaf, the new executive director of the Pat Tillman Veterans Center at ASU, is excited about the program and knows firsthand the challenges military families face. “I can think about my wife personally as I served 21 years in the Army National Guard,” Banzhaf recently told Arizona’s Family. “She was a lot of times stuck at home taking care of the kids, taking care of the home, taking care of the business raising a family. She had a hard time finding the time because I wasn’t around to share that responsibility.”

The financial aid is given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. You have to be seeking a degree for the first time.

Here’s where you can learn more about the scholarship.