Military Financial Aid for Tuition Assistance
If you are already serving your country, or you are considering enlistment in order to help finance your higher education, you should know that military service confers a number of military tuition assistance benefits, including:
The Montgomery GI Bill
The Montgomery GI Bill is a massive federal assistance program covering services for active duty and veteran members of the military. For veterans, the GI Bill typically covers the majority of cost for in-state college tuition.
For active duty members of the military, the GI Bill has the “Top Up” program, which can be used to cover the remaining balance after military Tuition Assistance (see below).
If you receive GI Bill assistance, you are also still eligible to apply for other forms of federal financial aid, including the federal Pell Grant, Stafford and Perkins student loans and scholarships. For more information about the education benefits of the GI Bill, visit the GI Bill website.
Military Tuition Assistance
In addition to GI Bill assistance, you may also qualify for Tuition Assistance (TA). TA is a federally funded education benefit for active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Each service has its own eligibility criteria and allowable expenses. In general, TA may cover up to 100 percent of your total educational expenses. However, benefits may not exceed $250/semester credit hour. If your expenses exceed your benefit, you can use TA in tandem with the GI Bill’s “top up” program.
Members of the military, veterans and their families may qualify for the more than $300 million in private student military scholarships. Even if the GI Bill, TA or the GI Bill “top up” program covers all of your tuition, you may still be eligible for scholarship assistance to pay for books, fees and living expenses. To look for scholarships you may qualify for, visit military.com.
State Financial Aid
Almost every state in the union offers some form of assistance to veterans and their dependents, especially for children who have lost a parent in service of the country. Some states offer direct tuition assistance, while others provide tuition waiver programs. To learn more about your state’s military financial aid, contact your local Department of Veteran Affairs.