Looking for some options besides going to college right out of high school? Already in school, but looking for some training and job security? The United States Armed Forces might be able to give you the educational, vocational or scholarship boost you need through its recruiting programs.
Recruitment Programs Offered By The U.S. Armed Forces
The military today is one of the country’s largest suppliers of scholarships for full time students. These programs allow you to defer your military commitment until after graduation, or by joining in a Reserve or National Guard while still in school.
There are several branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and every branch offers some version of a scholarship program. By joining any of these branches you will probably qualify for any number of educational benefits specific to each one, but all of them have common educational opportunities.
The Montgomery G.I. Bill is one such opportunity. While serving in Active Duty status, you qualify for college money by contributing a small amount each month for just a year through payroll deduction. You then become eligible for a return of approximately 18 times your contribution, to be used at any two or four-year college, distance learning program or vocational school.
There is a Reserve component of the MGIB for those who would like to earn some benefits through military service, but don’t want to commit to full time service. You can serve in the military branch of your choice part-time (usually two full weeks a year and one weekend a month for six years). It does not require you to contribute any money like Active Duty, and you can become eligible for several hundred dollars a month for up to 36 months after completing basic training.
The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines offer ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps). This recruitment program is available at select colleges and universities across the country. During your freshman and sophomore years, you are obligated to attend ROTC classes – like military science – and participate in training activities. However, there is no obligation at this point
Military Commitment After Graduation
If you decide you wish to commit to serve as an officer for a minimum of three years after graduation, you may receive a full scholarship for college, including board, tuition, books, computers and other expenses.
The Army and Air National Guard require the same six-year commitment as the Reserve and provide the same amount of college money, but can also provide additional money from the state for college. A student in the Reserve may be eligible for full tuition in some state schools.
As noted, each branch offers its own incentives for joining the service in some regard. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and the Coast Guard offer College Fund Programs, which can be substantial, especially when combined with the Montgomery GI Bill. Also, the Community College of the Air Force offers more than 70 associate degree programs in scientific and technical fields. These are free for enlisted Air Force personnel.
Also, most branches offer a tuition assistance program that reimburses students up to 75 percent of their tuition. Best of all, this may also be available to members of your family!