The United States Armed Forces offer a variety of benefits to military personnel, veterans and their dependents as they face the challenge of financing an education. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for the following:
Military Tuition Assistance
This is not a loan, but the money that is to be considered earned as base pay. The Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard each have their own unique set of service requirements. Congress has given each service the right to pay up to 100 percent of tuition expenses for selected students enrolled in off-duty hours classes.
The Montgomery GI Bill
This bill offers benefits to Active Duty, Selected Reserve and National Guard service members to help cover the costs of education or training. Depending on status and specifics of eligibility, the GI Bill contains several programs, administered differently. Military.com covers the following options as they apply to all service members:
- Bill Eligibility Details
- Additional GI Bill Features and Details
- VA Form 22-1990
- GI Bill Payment Rates
- Tutorial Assistance Program
- Work Study Program
- Apprentice and On-The-Job Training Program
- GI Bill Top-Up
- GI Bill Licensing and Certification Benefits
- Veterans Education Assistance Program – VEAP
- Reserve Education Assistance Program - REAP
- GI Bill FAQ
A portion of the $300 million dollar military and veteran related educational scholarships tends to go unclaimed due to a few common misconceptions:
- Tuition Assistance and other education benefits eliminate the possibility/need for scholarships and grants- Tuition Assistance tends to have a limit of $750 a class and does not cover all fees, books or related necessary items. There are hundreds of grants and scholarships specifically designed to supplement these particular costs.
- Applying for Scholarships is too much work and the chance of winning is too low–applications vary widely depending on the program. Some require only a short application. You may be asked to write an essay, but the benefits earned are well worth the time it takes to do so.
- Scholarships are too hard to find- Many students simply do not know where to look for scholarship information. But the process is easier than ever thanks to online resources that simplify the search process immensely. For example, on Military.coms Scholarship Finder, you have access to information about programs, how to apply and when to apply.
To help with your search, here are some extra tips:
Do your research
Be sure to make use of online resources, and youll have all the information you need right in front of you. Thousands of scholarships from a variety of sources are listed with all of the pertinent information.
Dont limit your options
Just because you are in the military doesn't mean you're not eligible non-military scholarships as well. Visit your library or search online resources for lists of awards based on state of residence, field of study, cultural/ethnic background and age. Its worth checking into any available assistance.
Conduct searches in your military community
There are a number of service aid organizations and associations that offer grants, scholarships and low interest loans such as the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. Make sure you explore relevant service aids that may offer educational assistance programs.
Make use of online service finders
There are websites that simplify the search process a great deal by generating a list of opportunities after you input the following:
- Current education level
- Preferred start date
- Educational goal
- Date of Birth
- Service affiliation
- Military status
- Zip code
Plus optional areas to specify type of financial assistance, ethnicity and disabilities.
Remember that some scholarship applications have deadlines as early as a year in advance, so start your searches with plenty of time to consider your options thoroughly.