Final Thoughts On How The Military Pays For College
The military wants to incentivize people to enlist and one way to do that is by helping to pay for education. The variety of options available show that the U.S. government wants to assist its servicemen and women in paying off their student loans or having them forgiven or discharged whenever possible. Its a small, but significant, way to show gratitude for your service.
Servicemembers Opportunity College Branch Specific
SOC is an association of approximately 1,900 colleges and universities that was created to ensure servicemembers are given plentiful educational opportunities through the challenges of the PCS cycle and active duty lifestyle.
The association of schools has agreements in place simplifying credit transfers and reducing the number of credits students needed to earn a degree from a given school. SOC is funded by the Department of Defense and coordinated through Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support . Students can typically choose between traditional in-person classes, distance learning, or learning assessment options to test out of class requirements.;
Each branch has its specific SOC program that coordinates associate and bachelor’s degree programs in a variety of curriculum areas. Due to the existence of the Community College of the Air Force , the Air Force doesn’t have an Air Force-specific SOC program; however, the Air Force is a member of SOC under the general SOC program. SOC also offers a program called ConAP that allows servicemembers the opportunity to select a college concurrently with enlistment in the Army or Army Reserve.
One of the best things about these degree programs is that they take military training and experience as credit towards a degree. The links below provide more specific information about each program from the specific branches.
Us Coast Guard Tuition Assistance
The Coast Guard doesnt have quite as much funding as other military branches yet it can still make a significant impact on your higher learning experience.
It covers up to 100% in tuition and fees for active duty and Reserves in AD status.
Coast Guard financial assistance limitations include:
- $250 per semester hour
- $2,250 per fiscal year
The Coast Guard limits TA to just tuition and lab fees.
It doesnt cover some of the other fees that the larger military branches have the funding to support like enrollment costs and computer fees.
Regardless, it is a great way to receive assistance for expensive tuition costs.
The Coast Guard requires TA members to maintain a C or higher in undergraduate courses and B or higher for graduate courses.
Otherwise, you will need to reimburse the Coast Guard for failing to meet grade expectations based on the TA agreement.
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Coast Guard Student Loan Repayment Program
The Coast Guard currently offers student loan repayment program as a path to become a commissioned officer. Eligibility is focused on students currently enrolled or in a bachelor’s degree program, recent graduate from a bachelors program or enrolled in a graduate program at pre-designated college or institution. Applicants who are accepted are enlisted into the Coast Guard and complete basic training, different operational training, and officer candidate school around their school schedule.;
Upon graduation and commissioning, servicemembers will receive up to $10,000 per year for six years for repayment of student debt. Note that this program only applies to federal student loans, not private loans.
Army Tuition Assistance Benefits How To Pay For Your College Education
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The Army recently updated their Tuition Assistance program with a focus on ensuring their Soldiers are more focused on military readiness and training as opposed to spending more time on college classes.
Soldiers will still have the opportunity to use Tuition Assistance to achieve their educational goals, however, Soldiers must first meet more stringent criteria to be eligible to participate in the TA program. The most recent updates to the Army Tuition Assistance benefits program are effective through September 30, 2021.
While not everyone will be happy with these changes, the Army was compelled to make these changes to meet readiness goals and to help stretch the ever-shrinking budget.
Lets dive in and take a look at what the Army TA program offers, who is eligible, which educational programs are covered, and how to take advantage of this valuable benefit.
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National University Seeks Motivated Students
Advisors at NU look for military students who are motivated, focused, and want to do better in life. These students may not have been successful in the classroom before entering the military. But military service can change all that.
A lot of students go to different schools and dont do well because they dont know how to balance military commitments, Spittler says. But she explains when theyve been in the military for a while, theyve learned discipline and accountability, and have developed the motivation to move up in rank. So all of this makes a difference when they decide to return to the classroom. In the application process, their high school grade point average is not as important as their current level of motivation, according to Spittler.
While a student with a low high school GPA; may be embarrassed when they first approach an advisor, Spittler says she and her colleagues are understanding and will ask: What is different now?
In an interview process, the advisor gathers information and asks questions that help the student determine their reason for seeking more education, and to help understand if they are ready.
She finds that, most often, prospective military students are usually ready and prepared for the challenge of college after serving in the military for a year or two. Additionally, the educational benefits theyve earned help ease the decision.
With all that lined up, Spittler adds, So why shouldnt they go to school?
New York State Veterans And Families Benefits
Military and veterans education benefits may not cover all college expenses. Remember to apply for all the federal and state student aid you are eligible for by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . If you are a New York State resident and plan to attend a college or university in New York, you may be eligible for New Yorks Tuition Assistance Program . Learn more.
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Join The Military & Drastically Cut The Cost Of College
1.) Join the armed forces after high school and work on your college degree while youre on active duty.2.) Start college as a civilian , graduate with your associate or bachelors degree and become a military officer.3.) Serve in a military reserve branch or the National Guard while youre in college.4.) Apply as a student in a military academy.
The Montgomery Gi Billselected Reserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Montgomery GI BillSelected Reserve program offers education and training benefits for members of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine, or Navy Reserve, as well as the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.
In limited instances, service members may also be able to receive benefits after leaving the Selected Reserve.
The maximum benefit is currently $384 a month for up to 36 months of college or other education.
Applying For The Rotc Program And Scholarships
When completing your ROTC application, we encourage you to reach out to the ROTC enrollment officer at the school you plan to attend. They have years of experience in the application process and can help improve your chances of being selected for the scholarship. Click here to find colleges with ROTC programs or to learn more about the ROTC program.
Military Health Professions Scholarship Program
For those interested in launching a medical career, the military offers a variety of programs that can help finance graduate-level professional schooling all the way through residency through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. Requirements and benefits can vary slightly between the branches, but the basic principles are the same.
The scholarships cover full tuition at any accredited medical school in the US and all required fees including textbook reimbursement and supplies. Additionally, the branches award monthly stipends of approximately $2,000 – $2,200 a month to help cover living expenses for up to 4 years of medical school. Based on military manning needs, there may also be signing bonuses that currently are offered at $20,000.
HPSP scholarship participants become an officer in the Individual Ready Reserve which has different requirements and benefits in some respects from servicemembers on Active Duty. They will only receive active-duty pay on training orders and are expected to attend officer training when it can fit it into the academic schedule.
To get details and find out which offer would benefit you most, read through the links below and talk to military medical recruiters about the specific details as offers have many variables.
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College Benefits For Veterans
The original GI Bill of Rights sent millions of World War II veterans off to college in the 1940s and ’50s. Since then, generations of vets have benefited from that program and its successors.;
Today there are multiple versions of the GI Bill:
- The Montgomery GI BillSelected Reserve , described above
- The Montgomery GI BillActive Duty
- The Post-9/11 GI Bill
Still in the process of being implemented is the Forever GI Bill , which further expands many benefits.
Veterans who were honorably discharged may be eligible for either the Montgomery GI BillActive Duty or the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Department of Veterans Affairs states that veterans with multiple periods of service who are eligible for both must choose one or the other and that their decision is irrevocable.
However, a recent court ruling says eligible vets do not have to choose between the two bills. If that decision holds, it could allow a qualifying veteran to receive benefits from one GI bill for the maximum of 36 months and then use the other GI bill to receive additional months of benefits. The decision is pending a possible appeal by the VA, so stay tuned.
Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant
Children and surviving spouses of a servicemember who died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan may be eligible for an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. The grant is similar to a Pell Grant, but is not limited by family income like a Pell Grant is.
Students must meet some eligibility requirements including meeting the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements except family income and must have been under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of their parent’s or guardian’s death.
The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Federal Pell Grant for the award year, but cannot exceed the cost of attendance for that award year. For the 201819 award year , the maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $6,095.
A student must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form to begin the application process. To maintain eligibility for federal student aid including this grant, students must fill out the FAFSA form each subsequent year in school.
Make sure you also pay attention to the FAFSA Deadline.
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Regular Force And Class C Reserve Service
Pay rates for officers of the Regular Force and Reservists on Class C service are listed below by rank, within each occupation groups. These are monthly pay rates and they are the latest rates available as of 2020 unless stated otherwise.;
Within each rank there are a number of pay increments which represent automatic annual increases in pay to recognize advancements in experience, skill and knowledge. Some ranks have several pay levels based on entry plans to the Canadian Armed Forces. See pay overview for information on the factors that determine pay rates.
Coast Guard Ta Rules & Regulations
It is important to remember that the Coast Guard requires service members to submit a complete TA application no less than 14 days before the first class.
The Coast Guard does not make any exceptions or waivers for its deadline, so keep it in mind.
A complete TA application includes a degree plan and command approval.
Additionally, the Coast Guard caps funding at 130 semester hours for undergraduates and 40 semester hours for graduate studies.
Tuition assistance is only available for courses that lead to a first associate, bachelor, or masters degree.
Other important restrictions to keep in mind:
- Must be on active duty or reservist on long-term orders longer than 180 days.
- You must demonstrate satisfactory conduct for six months prior to receiving TA.
- You need to maintain satisfactory progress toward the completion of unit quals, work-station quals, and craft proficiency.
For more information about Coast Guard financial assistance click here.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about military tuition assistance:
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Can I Afford To Go To School While Im On Active Duty
Active-duty servicemembers are eligible for Military Tuition Assistance, the most common form of military financial aid assistance. The program pays up to $4,500 each fiscal year for tuition and other school expenses, aid that can serve as an important motivator for students.
If someone in the military has served long enough, they may become eligible for GI Bill benefits. However, these benefits have a few limitations for those on active-duty. Spittler explains one caveat: the housing allowance isnt available to those still serving.
With the GI Bill, theyre not going to get the housing allowance because theyre already getting that in the military, Spittler says.
The GI Bill is more likely to come into play during active reserve duty when members of the military can use the GI Bill for on-site classes. The GI Bill is also popular among veteran students. In addition, all or part of any unused GI Bill education benefits can be gifted to a spouse as long as the request is completed while the servicemember is an active member of the armed forces.
These financial perks are motivators for active-duty servicemembers to enroll in college, Spittler says. Another financial boost can come from increased rank and pay. For example, Spittler explains if someone is moving closer to a bachelors degree, they do get points toward moving up in the ranks and being promoted to the next rank.
Keep Up With Military News And Updates
Tailored to each military branch, our Veteran Insiders and Active Duty Insiders keep you current on service-specific headlines and issues. Each week we send you images, stories, and updates on pay, career, benefits, and human interest stories personalized to each service division. to receive updates on all military related news and benefits, delivered directly to your inbox.
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A Patriotic Way To Pay For School
Radio.comLooking for more military-related information?Contact a recruiterMilitary.comIf youre a military veteran, check out these Veteran Scholarships that will help you pay for school.Are you a spouse or child to a current or veteran military member?College Scholarships for Military Children & Spouses
Us Army Reserve Minuteman Scholarship
The Minuteman Scholarship gives high school and college students interested in joining the Reserve Officers Training Corps the chance to receive up to full tuition or $10,000 in room and board in return for a service commitment.
This scholarship covers full tuition and fees or $10,000 for room and board in return for a service commitment. Scholarship recipients may also be eligible for a yearly book allowance of up to $1,200 and a monthly $300-$500 living stipend. As part of the Simultaneous Membership Program, Minuteman Scholarship recipients will earn a salary from their Army Reserve unit.
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Use The Gi Bill Program To Help Pay For College
The GI Bill is one of the most powerful benefits available to help pay for college, graduate school, trainings, and certifications. As a Soldier, there are three GI Bill programs available to you: The Post-9/11 GI Bill, The Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, and The Montgomery Bill Selected Reserve.
The Post-9/11 GI BillThe most popular GI Bill program, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides up to full college tuition, as well as money for housing and books. Paid directly to the school, the program covers up to full tuition for public, in-state schools and up to $25,000 per year at private or foreign schools, depending on your length of service.
The Montgomery GI Bill Active DutyThis option uses a combination of your own paycheck contributions and government funding to help pay for education benefits for a maximum of 36 months. Unlike the Post-9/11 GI Bill, benefit payments will be made directly to you.
The Montgomery GI Bill Selected ReserveThis program helps members of the Army Reserve and Army National Guard pay for education benefits for a maximum of 36 months, in return for a six-year service commitment. These benefits must be used while you are serving and end when you stop serving.
In addition to college and university tuition, all GI Bill programs cover training and certifications including:
Learn all of the details about how the three GI Bills can help you pay for college.