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How Much Does The Air Force Pay For College

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When you enlist straight out of high school, the Air Force offers exclusive programs and hands-on experience to help you develop your skills and advance in your career. With financial assistance available every step of the way, we provide you with the opportunity to take your training and education as far as you strive to go.


    The Montgomery Gi Bill

    The VA’s 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.

    National Defense Student Loan Discharge

    The National Defense Student Loan Discharge is for military members who served at least 1 year in an area deemed imminent danger or in direct fire. Your Perkins or Direct Loans would qualify.

    How to Apply for National Defense Student Loan Discharge:

    Fill out the Department of Defense form and send a letter to your loan servicer explaining why you think you qualify for the discharge. The discharge amount varies, so your servicer is the best point of contact.

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    Qualifying Loans For Clrp

    To qualify for CLRP, a loan must be entered into before joining the military. The following loans qualify for the College Loan Repayment Program:

    • Auxiliary Loan Assistance for Students
    • Stafford Student Loan, formerly known as the Guaranteed Student Loan
    • Parents Loans for Undergraduate Students . Must be incurred for the use of the individual contracting for the program
    • Consolidated Loan Program. Only covers the member’s education expenses
    • Federally Insured Student Loans
    • Perkins Loan, formerly known as the National Direct Student Loan
    • Supplemental Loans for Students

    Who Is Eligible To Use Military Tuition Assistance

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    The policies pertaining to the use to Military Tuition Assistance vary a bit from branch to branch, but all active duty, National Guard, and reserve service members are eligible to utilize the program. More often than not, however, guard and reserve component members will need to be on active duty operational support orders in order to utilize the program.

    In some branches, you can utilize Military Tuition Assistance as soon as you have the time to enroll in courses. Service members with a bachelors degree can even use Military Tuition Assistance to pursue graduate degrees, provided they meet their branchs criteria for eligibility.

    Each branch has its own rules about eligibility and usage, and well explore each in this piece.


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    Air Force Tuition Assistance Benefits

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    The military is well-known for offering its troops the opportunity to go to school. Education is often among the top reasons many people choose to enlist in the military. Thankfully, each branch of the military offers Tuition Assistance benefits to help members pay for college courses or other approved training, the Air Force is no exception.

    Education benefits were certainly one of the reasons I chose to enlist in the Air Force, and I used the Tuition Assistance program to get my degree while on active duty. I also tested out of many classes en route to achieving my degree.

    Being able to achieve my Bachelors Degree while serving on active duty was huge for me because it gave me options when my enlistment was up. I had the choice to reenlist, try to go for Officer Training School , or I could separate from active duty, knowing that I had a four-year degree and real-world experience.

    Each persons situation is unique, but at that point in my life, I decided to separate from the military so I could start my life in the civilian world.

    Because I used Tuition Assistance benefits to obtain my degree, I still have the Post 9/11 G Bill if I want to go back to school to get a different degree, or if I want to go for a Masters Degree.

    Can I Take Afrotc And Still Participate In Other Activities On Campus

    Yes, you may play sports, join a fraternity or sorority, play in the marching band, work, and generally fill your spare time as you desire. We encourage cadets to be well-rounded and involved on campus. The total time commitment for AFROTC is about three to six hours a week for freshmen and sophomores. For juniors and seniors who assume leadership roles in the corps, the commitment is approximately five to eight hours a week.

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    College Costs For Medical Professionals

    Some of the best financial incentives to joining the military exist for healthcare professionals.

    With 4-year medical school costs ranging from $150,000 to almost $400,000, it is no surprise that newly graduated medical professionals are looking for programs the help pay their medical school loans while providing rewarding and challenging experiences.

    Applying For Tuition Assistance Benefits

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    You will need to visit your Education Center or apply online through the Air Force Virtual Education Center in the Air Force Portal.

    There are certain instances when you may not be able to apply for TA benefits online. These include:

    • missing personal data in your education record,
    • not having a degree plan on record,
    • requesting Tuition Assistance for courses that have already started or are more than 30 days in the future,
    • missing grades for courses you completed over 60 days ago,
    • or requesting Tuition Assistance for coursework in a degree plan lower than your highest awarded degree .

    All Tuition Assistance Funding Requests must be approved by supervisors, via the Air Force Virtual Education Center , and fall within the TA application window of 45 calendar days prior to, and no later than 7 calendar days before, the term start date. Any TA not supervisor approved by prescribed start dates will be auto-deleted and a notification sent to the prospective student.

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    The Air Force Technical Degree Sponsorship Program

    The Air Force designed this program for college students studying engineering or meteorology. Students studying either of these subjects who are within 24 months of graduation can apply to this program to receive a monthly stipend and housing allowance. Upon graduating, these students commission as Air Force officers and begin working towards careers tailored around their specific technical degrees.

    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:

    You can fill out the employment certification formor access our free assessment to see if you qualify.

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    An Expert Guide To Collegiate Rotc Programs

    Starting with the National Defense Act of 1916, the Reserve Officer Training Corps continues to offer quality leadership training in addition to helping finance college educations in return for serving a commitment of time in a branch of the United States Armed Forces. ROTC can pave the way for students to earn a college degree who otherwise would be unable to afford one. In this guide, we cover the various types of ROTC programs available, merit-based scholarships associated with each type of program, and the resulting service obligation that starts upon college graduation.

    Do you know that ROTC cadets can get full scholarships plus a monthly living stipend? Two-, three- and four-year scholarships are available in many of the programs. The monthly living stipend varies by type of ROTC and according to the number of years in the program. For example, the yearly living stipend from the Air Force ROTC begins at $300/month during the first year, and increases yearly to $500/month at year four.

    Air Force Reserve Pay For A Person With 24 Years Of Service

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    After 24 years of service, you would be much closer to the top of the enlisted military drill pay scale. Here is a list of payments according to rank:

    • Airman E-2: $251 per month

    • Airman First Class E-3: $298 per month

    • Senior Airman E-4: $355 per month

    • Staff Sergeant E-5: $453 per month

    • Technical Sergeant E-6: $540 per month

    • Master Sergeant E-7: $676 per month

    • Senior Master Sergeant E-8: $766 per month

    • Chief Master Sergeant E-9: $897 per month

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    Air Force Voluntary Education Programs

    Next, the Air Force offers voluntary education programs. These benefits include the options available to airmen to pursue education in their free time. In other words, the benefits in this category must be completed concurrent with primary military assignments.

    Prior to using most of these programs, airmen should conduct an education counseling via the Air Force Virtual Education Center . These counselors will help develop a concrete academic plan, helping to ensure that all college credits earned via these programs work towards a degree.

    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 VA 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.

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    Does Air Force Pay For Your College

    Yes. Once you join the Air Force, the Air Force Tuition Assistance program pays tuition costs for college classes you take in your off-duty time. This is not a loan and is at no cost to the Air Force member. Using the Tuition Assistance program will not have any effect on the availability of Post-9/11 GI Bill funds.

    Limit Your Interest With The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

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    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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    Eligibility Requirement For Air Force Tuition Assistance Program

    The benefits are open to officers and enlisted members. However, there are requirements for you to receive the benefits:

    • If you are an officer, you must commit to a two-year active duty service from the day you completed your last course, which was paid by the Tuition Assistance benefits.
    • For enlisted members, you must commit to serve in active duty after completing courses that were paid by TA benefits. In other words, your commitment must extend the class you last attended. And the course must be TA funded.

    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.

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    Full Time Air National Guard Pay Scales

    Air National Guard service members are paid along varying scales. At the lowest pay grade, E-1, service members with less than two years experience receive $218 in monthly drill pay as of 2018. They give one weekend of drill service per month, and two weeks of active duty training at some point during the year for at least six years. Their pay grade is higher during the two weeks they’re on active duty training. As of 2018, officers’ pay starts at $414 per month at the lowest pay grade and experience level. Members usually receive promotions with experience, and their pay increases automatically with each year they serve. Service members who are deployed into active duty are paid on the same pay grade as active duty personnel.

    Health Professions Scholarship Program

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    Those interested in joining the Army, Navy, or Air Force can take advantage of a scholarship to attend medical or dental school.

    The scholarship includes full tuition and fees, health insurance reimbursement, other school-related expenses, and even a monthly living stipend.

    If you want to pursue a career in medicine and join the military, this is a great option to take full advantage of the financial incentives that come with that path.

    The program is open to those with an undergraduate degree who are applying for medical or dental school, as well as those currently enrolled in medical or dental school.

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    Eligibility Requirement For Air Force Student Loan Repayment Program

    The first step that qualifies you for the Air Force SLRP program is to sign up when you initially join the Air Force. You have to make sure the sign up is documented in the contract. If not, youll not be allowed to benefit from the program.

    Also, other criteria qualify you for the Air Force student loan repayment:

  • You have to agree to enlist in the Air Force for a minimum of four years
  • You should not have any previous military service
  • Agree to forgo your eligibility requirements for the post 911 GI bill benefits.
  • National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program

    If you sign up to serve, you also need to meet other criteria for this program:

    • You must enlist for a minimum of six years
    • Enlist for a critical skills vacancy in the grade of E-4 or below
    • Enlist in a qualifying position in an MTO or medical TDA unit only
    • Score a minimum score of 50 on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test
    • You cannot also be enlisting as a 09R SMP cadet, RFP, or Active First Program
    • You must not be enlisted as a glossary non-prior service soldier .

    If you are eligible, you can earn up to $7,500 annually, with a maximum of $50,000, toward your qualifying student loan debts.

    What Lons Qualify For National Guard Student Loan Repayment:

    • Stafford loans

    For more information, visit the National Guard Student Loan Forgiveness website.

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    Are You Willing To Trade Military Service In Exchange For A Free Education

    Depending on the ROTC program chosen, you’ll be required to serve anywhere from three to 12 years , some of which will be spent in active duty. However, many ROTC graduates decide to stay in for the long haul, and pursue a military career. Others get out after completing their ROTC obligation and get into the Reserves or National Guard to finish out their eight-year military obligation.

    How Much Of My Student Loan Will The Military Repay

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    Currently, the Army and Navy will repay up to $65,000 of your student loans, the Coast Guard will repay up to $30,000 with yearly limits and the National Guard will repay up to $50,000. Remember that these are maximum amounts and may be limited only to very specific military specialties.

    After each completed year of active duty your service branch will make a payment of 1/3 or $1,500 on the total remaining original unpaid principal balance. They make the payment directly to the loan servicer.

    Payments are subject to taxes in the year it is paid. DFAS will send you a W-2 Form separate from the W-2 Form received for military pay. A percentage of the payment will be withheld therefore, it is important that you file income taxes with this W-2. Since payments are considered income, this withholding will deter a large tax bill at the end of the year. In general you will receive a refund from the IRS.

    FOR EXAMPLE: $2,500 would be withheld from a $10,000. Potentially, you could get all the money back from the IRS and use the refund to make a payment on your student loans.

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