The military offers different education opportunities, depending on whether you are active duty, veteran, or serving in the Reserves. The following options can help you achieve your college degree without having to worry about paying all of the tuition on your own, or taking out expensive student loans! The military may even help you repay student loans you already have.
Education Programs for Full-Time Students
Today’s military is one of the nation’s largest providers of full time scholarship funds! These programs allow you to attend
school FULL-TIME while either deferring your military commitment until graduation or by participating in a reserve or National Guard organization while in school.
Active Duty Programs:
Every branch of the service offers some kind of scholarship program. These programs change often and have specific qualification requirements. Check with your recruiter for the details!
By joining any branch of the military you may qualify for a wide range of educational benefits but they all have this is common:
Montgomery G.I. Bill:
Through the Montgomery GI Bill, you can qualify for money for college at any two or four-year college, vocational school, or correspondence course. With Active Duty, you commit to full-time duty (usually for four years but there are also 2, 3 and 6-year programs) with one branch of the military. While serving, you can qualify for college money by contributing $100 per month for 12 months ($1,200 total) through payroll deduction. You are then eligible for $536 a month for 36 months for a total of $19,296! (four year program) You can use this money as a part-time student while serving, or as a full-time student when your duty is completed.
Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC):
The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines offer these programs at select colleges and universities throughout the country. If you qualify, the ROTC program offers a unique college experience! During the first two years you can attend ROTC classes, such as military science, and participate in training activities, all with no obligation!
During the your junior and senior years, you may receive a FULL RIDE SCHOLARSHIP, including tuition, books, board and other expenses! This, of course, requires a commitment to serve AS AN OFFICER for a minimum of three years after graduation.
Service Specific Programs:
There may be many other programs available. The Army offers a College First program and the Coast Guard has the CSPI program, for example. Check with the recruiters for full details!
Education Programs for Part-Time Students
Montgomery GI Bill:
The RESERVE component of the MGIB allows you to serve in the military branch of your choice on a part-time basis (usually two weeks a year and one weekend per month for six years). During that time, you can earn up to $9,180.00 in total benefits. Unlike Active Duty, the Reserve does not require you to contribute any money to your benefits. You become eligible for up to $255 a month for up to 36 months after you complete basic and technical training. And you can attend class full-time while you serve!
The Army and Air National Guard requires the same commitment of time (six years) as the Reserve and provides the same amount of college money (up to $9,180) but may also entitle you to additional state money for college. You may even be eligible for up to full tuition some state schools!
If you qualify for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps of Coast Guard College Fund Programs, You could receive as much as $50,000 when combined with the Montgomery GI Bill!
The Community College of the Air Force, an accredited two-year college, offers more that 70 associate degree programs in scientific and technical fields, free of charge for Air Force enlisted personnel.
Tuition Assistance Programs:
Most branches offer a tuition assistance program in which you may be reimbursed up to 75% of any tuition you pay. This may also apply to your spouse and children!