Making It Work Under Difficult Circumstances
Perseverance and dedication are key characteristics of successful students. Spittler says shes helped hundreds of students, and always loves to hear their stories. A few of them still stand out in her memory.
She recalls advising an online military student who was deployed overseas. He was interested in a masters program at National. She told him itd be a great program for him, but that he needed to take the classes in sequence, without breaks in between. She also told him his options in case he needed to drop a class.
Throughout the program, the student kept in touch with Spittler and, although she knew he was deployed, she didnt know where. Spittler says when a student is on active duty, You cant really discuss where theyre at because of security reasons. I really dont ask.
Wherever he was serving, the time difference was significant, and the student would stay up late in order to call Spittler during her office hours if he needed to speak to her. His ability to focus on difficult coursework while deployed really captured her attention and she praised him for his efforts.
Finally, he arrived at his capstone project, which is the last course in a National University program. Going into the last course, he had all As, but he was upset to receive a B+ in his final class.
She told him not to be so unhappy about the B+, but rather to be proud of what he had accomplished. It was no small thing to transition from one country to another and then to transition home.
Here’s How To Make The Most Of These Programs To Improve Your Family’s Financial Future
Members of the military have a lot of special financial issues that most people dont experience: They have to move frequently — sometimes with very little notice — and they can be deployed to war zones for months or years. But they also have access to some valuable benefits that can help with their familys personal finances.
My husband has been an Army doctor for 17 years, and he recently returned from his third deployment, where he was stationed at a combat-support hospital in southern Afghanistan for seven months. Weve had firsthand experience with the financial challenges that military families face, but weve also been able to take advantage of some special benefits offered to service members. Here are three of the top financial benefits available to members of the military and how to make the most of them to improve your familys financial future.
Low-fee retirement savings. Service members can invest in the Thrift Savings Plan, the retirement-savings program for federal employees. Similar to a 401 plan, the TSP offers a low-cost, tax-advantaged way to save for the future. But surprisingly few members of the military take advantage of this opportunity — perhaps because they think the militarys pension will be all they will need.
For more information, see the Savings Deposit Program page at the Defense Finance and Accounting Web site.
For more information about the GI Bill, see the VAs GI Bill Web site.
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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Are You Ready To Find Your Fit
Active-duty military personnel can prepare for civilian life by earning a college degree. These learners often face unique challenges, such as establishing residency for tuition purposes, transitioning between military and civilian learning styles, and balancing coursework with other responsibilities.
Fortunately, the best online colleges for the military offer numerous degrees and extensive support services. According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, 75% of student veterans attended college full time in 2018. Nearly half of these learners earned a degree while raising children. Many online programs deliver coursework asynchronously and employ advisors who work solely with service members.
The federal government promotes higher education with the GI Bill®. This bill provides significant financial assistance to qualifying degree-seekers. In 2017, revisions to the bill included expanded financial aid to Purple Heart recipients and refunds if a learner’s school closes. Service members can also apply for private and institutional funding.
Does The Military Pay Off Student Loans
Much like joining the military, receiving a diploma from a college or university is a first-class ticket to opportunity. Many point to their college years as some of the best of their lives, where they were able to meet people and go places they never would have otherwise. Upon commencement and receiving their certificates of completion, graduates can leverage it immediately, working in the fields most in line with their capabilities and ambitions.
How does student loan repayment work for service members? What other college loan repayment programs are there?Can the GI Bill pay off student loans?Can military spouses get student loan forgiveness?The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with a financial professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs.
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Scholarships Grants And Special Loans For Military Spouses And Dependents
There are numerous scholarships, grants, special loans, and other education assistance available to military spouses and children of servicemembers.
Most of these programs are offered by various private organizations and their requirements and information are too varying to list all of them. The following is a brief shortlist of most of the major scholarship programs currently available. If you recognize a program is missing, leave a comment below!
Navy Reserve Student Loan Repayment Program
Similar to new enlistees to active duty, entrants to the Navy Reserve can qualify for loan repayment based upon their specific rating and criteria above. One difference is the program only pays 15%, or $1,500, whichever is greater, for each year of service. of the loan balance for up to $10,000 for federal student loans.
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Military And College: 7 Reasons Active
Posted July 12, 2019 by Greg Lindberg
Enlisting in the United States military is often a dream-come-true endeavor for many men and women who go on to admirably serve our nation and protect the many freedoms we take for granted each and every day as Americans.
While there are some who enlist and serve for an entire career, the majority of service members move on to a civilian life with many years worth of time for higher education and working life. This is why active-duty military and college education can make for a great marriage. Check out the reasons an active member of the armed forces should seriously consider attaining a college degree.
Can I Go To College For Free If My Dad Was In The Military
Free college for your kids. The GI Bill pays up to the full cost of in-state tuition and fees for public colleges for up to four academic years, or up to $17,500 per year for private colleges and foreign schools. To qualify for the maximum benefit, you must serve at least 36 months since 9/11.
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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.
Montgomery Gi Billactive Duty
To be eligible for college funding through the Montgomery GI BillActive Duty , veterans must have served at least two years of active duty during certain time periods and meet other criteria listed on the VA website. In most cases, they must also have paid a total of $1,200 into the education program while they were serving.
If they qualify, they can receive up to 36 months of financial assistance toward college. As of October 2020, the maximum monthly benefit was $2,122 a month for full-time students or a total of $76,392 over the three years.
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Army National Guard Kicker
In addition to the Montgomery GI Bill, the Army National Guard Kicker pays up to $350 per month on living expenses. The kicker can last as long as 36 months and cover as much as $12,600.
It should be noted that you first need to qualify then apply for the Army National Guard Kicker.
Some of the pre-qualification requirements include:
- Must complete Initial Active Duty For Training . You actually cant receive Kicker payments while on active duty.
- Be eligible to receive a basic Montgomery GI bill benefit. This includes having at least a high school diploma, and maintaining selected reserve status.
In order to be eligible to receive the Kicker bonus, here are some of the basic eligibility requirements:
Non-prior service applicants
- Enlist for a minimum of 6 years
- Minimum AFQT score of 50
- Meet the Tier 1 educational requirements. Tier 1 includes those members who are either working on their first bachelors degree, or have earned one without tuition assistance funds and want to get their masters degree.
- Enlist for a critical skill vacancy in the grade of E-4 or below
Prior service applicants
- Minimum AFQT score of 31
- Enlist for a minimum of 6 years
- Enlist into a qualifying vacant position in an MTOE unit only. An MTOE unit is considered a combat ready, deployable force.
There are a wide variety of other stipulations that need to be met as well. For more information you should consult a local recruiter.
Theyll be able to lay out everything for you in an easy-to-understand format.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness For Military
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is a little-known benefit that can help you pay off your student loans. You can have your federal student loans forgiven after 120 qualifying payments and there are no limits on the amount that can be forgiven.
Military service qualifies under the qualifying employment guidelines.
How to Apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness:
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Career Opportunities After Military Service
The positions that soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen hold in the military not only allow them to serve their country, but also help them collect years of experience in a trade or service. If they decide to leave the military, their service branchs COOL program can translate their experience into a resume that civilian hiring managers can understand. Veterans can also get a leg up for many public service jobs in federal, state and local positions. Learn more about careers in the military.
Veterans Total And Permanent Disability Discharge
The Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge is available to release veterans of their loans. You need to have a service-related disability thats documented by the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to qualify and be deemed permanently disabled. Most loans are eligible for forgiveness through this program.
How to Apply for Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge:
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What Are Some Requirements For Attending A Military Academy
- You must be a US citizen.
- Students must be unmarried, with no dependents.
- Students must have good moral character.
- Student must be at least 17 years old, and cannot be older than twenty-three by July 1 of the year he or she is entering the program.
- Four years of English.
- Four years of College Prep Math.
- Four years of Social Studies.
- Two years of Foreign Language.
- One year of Computer Science
- To be competitive, a student must have an average SAT score of 1300.
Ellies Tip: Check out the individual academy portals to find out about additional requirements.
Lower Your Payments With Income
Apply for an income-driven repayment plan while youre on active duty so that you wont pay more than necessary in comparison to your income. These plans could bring your payments down to as little as $0 per month.
The Heroes Act Waiver is also there to help, because youre not required to submit proof of income while in active duty. That means you can maintain low payments even if your income increases.
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Online Degrees That Build Work Skills
Through a college education, active-duty students can enhance their existing job skills and even advance in rank as they apply what theyve learned to their positions. Spittler explains that a few of the more common National programs known to help military students advance in their careers include information technology management, cybersecurity, and leadership programs.
Some servicemembers choose programs that closely relate to what they are doing on active duty. For instance, many military medics or corpsmen pursue online or on-campus registered nursing programs. While you can serve as a Navy hospital corpsman without being a registered nurse, this educational experience can help you enter the nursing field after active duty.
Other students decide to pursue degrees that dont relate to their role in the military, opting for something that they might consider to be more marketable when they transition out of service, Spittler says. The variety of programs NU offers, more than 75 in all, gives them a lot of options to choose from and the one-month course format is very attractive to a servicemember who may need to pause for a month and then restart classes again.
Limit Your Interest With The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is for any military members who took out student loans out prior to joining. They provide a cap on interest rates while you serve on active duty and this applies to both federal and private loans.
The loan mustve been disbursed before you started active duty. The interest rate cannot exceed 6% and this can bring significant savings, especially with private loans.
How to apply for SCRA:
Submit a copy of your service orders to have this applied to your loans
- Wait until your loan servicer applies the cap through checks of the military database
This is helpful for anyone who wants to join the military after youve finished your education. It can keep your payments low and cap the amount of interest you need to pay back.
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Survivors’ And Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program
The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.
DEA financial support is intended to be used as supplemental income for dependents seeking degrees, certificate programs, apprenticeships, or on-the-job training. Note that this program is separate from the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Dependents of service members who died in the line of duty or served adequate time to be able to transfer their GI Bill benefits can also be eligible for the DEA program. However, both programs may not be used concurrently.
Currently the DEA monthly payment benefit for full-time training is $1,224 . Children may use benefits between the ages of 18 and 26 while spouses must use it within 10 years from the date VA finds you eligible or from the date of death of the veteran. DEA is a flexible program allowing children of fallen or disabled service members to be married, use the money for colleges or job training programs, and use DEA at varying rates for part-time or full-time schooling.
Army Advanced Civil Schooling
Advanced Civil Schooling facilitates the professional development of Regular Army Officers by providing them the opportunity to participate in a fully funded graduate degree program. Many officer positions require graduate degrees as a prerequisite for assignment.
The Advanced Civil Schooling program is designed to ensure that officers meet the educational requirements for placement into these positions. The Advanced Civil Schooling program educates selected officers through recommended civilian universities on a full-time, fully funded basis in their basic branch, functional area, or specialty.
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