US Armed Forces Recruiting Programs
The U.S. Armed Forces offer several programs to provide students with money
for school. Several key programs are listed in this section of FinAid.
Detailed information about these and other programs can be found in the
Free Military Education
and Career Resources
Montgomery G.I. Bill
Under the Montgomery GI Bill, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps
and Coast Guard (and their Reserves and the National Guard) provide a
cash education incentive to encourage you to join and serve a tour of duty.
The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) provides up to 36 months of education
benefits to eligible veterans for college, business, technical or
vocational courses, correspondence courses, apprenticeship/job
training and flight training. MGIB benefits may be used while on
active duty or after a fully honorable discharge from active duty.
The Montgomery GI Bill benefit amounts are adjusted each year
according to changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Find current
education benefit rates on the US Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill web page.
To qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill, recruits must agree to have
$100 deducted from their pay each month. Currently, only 57% of
soldiers making these payments eventually use their GI Bill benefits.
In addition to the MGIB, there may be additional funds available from
the College Fund and
Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
"kicker". If you are receiving Tuition
Assistance (TA) from your branch of service, you may be eligible to use
MGIB to supplement or "top up" your tuition assistance.
Benefits end 10 years from the date of your last discharge or release
from active duty. You may be able to transfer your MGIB entitlement to
basic educational assistance to one or more of your dependents,
including your spouse and/or children.
To apply, file VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits.
For more information, call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or visit
GI Bill Education Benefits web site.
Tuition Assistance (TA)
The Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Program allows enlisted servicemembers and offers to enroll
in courses at accredited colleges, universities, junior colleges, high
schools, and vocational-technical schools. TA will pay up to 100% of
the cost of the course and up to 100% of the cost of obtaining a high
school degree, with a limit of $250 per credit hour and
an aggregate annual limit of $4,500. MGIB benefits may be used to "top
up" TA benefits, paying the difference between tuition and the TA
benefits. Military.com provides a good
of the tuition assistance program.
Army/Navy/Air Force/Marine Corps College Funds
The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps each provide tuition assistance (a
"kicker") in addition to what you earn through the Montgomery GI
Bill. Each service controls the amount of extra money it provides.
The Army fund increases the amount of support to as much as $70,000,
the Navy fund increases the amount of support to as much as $50,000 and
the Marine Corps fund increases the amount of support to as much as
$30,000. College Funds are awarded on a competitive basis according to
academic merit (i.e., scoring in the top half of the Armed Services
Vocational Aptitude Battery). To qualify one must also agree to serve
Community College of the Air Force
The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is a two-year college
open only to enlisted men and women. It offers a variety of programs
leading to an Associate's Degree, in more than 70 scientific and
technical fields. The Air Force pays for up to 100% of the cost of the
college courses through its Tuition Assistance Program.
Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
Under the Student Loan Repayment Program, when you enlist the Army
will pay back up to $65,000 in qualified education loans (up to
$20,000 for reservists), the Navy up to
$65,000 and the Air Force up to $10,000. Each year 15% of the loan balance or $500,
greater, will be repaid by SLRP. There may also be annual and
cumulative caps on the amount repaid.
Participants must score 50 or higher on the Armed Forces
Qualifications Test (AFQT). SLRP must be requested at the time of
enlistment or reenlistment.
Qualified education loans include
federal education loans such as the Perkins, Stafford, PLUS, or
Consolidation loans, but not private alternative loans. Defaulted
loans are not eligible.
Payments made under the SLRP are considered taxable income.
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC)
SOC is a consortium of more than 1550 colleges and universities that
provide educational opportunities for servicemembers and their
families. It is co-sponsored by the
American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
and managed for the DoD by the
Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES).
Course work can be done on campus, at military installations and
armories, and at a distance by computer or correspondence. Associate,
bachelor, and graduate-level degree programs are available.
Special curriculum areas include
SOCGuard (Army National Guard).
In addition, SOC operates
ConAP (Concurrent Admissions Program)
to increase college enrollment of Army enlistees (Army and Army
Reserves). ConAP allows you to enlist in the Army at the same time as
you apply for college.
DANTES also operates its own
Distance Learning Program.
For more information, contact:
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges
1307 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4701
Phone: 1-202-667-0079 or 1-800-368-5622
In exchange for a service commitment, the Reserve Officers' Training
Corps (ROTC) program provides you with money for college while you're
in school. You must take one military science course along with your
other college courses and, upon
graduation, enter the service as a commissioned officer. (There
is no military commitment for the first year in ROTC, allowing you to
pursue ROTC on a trial basis to see if ROTC is for you.) Full ROTC scholarships
pay for almost all tuition, fees and books charges for four years of college.
ROTC scholarships also come in one, two and three-year lengths. For more
1-866-423-7682 (Air Force) and
The Coast Guard has a similar program called
College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI).
For more information, call 1-877-NOW-USCG.
US Service Academies
Each branch of the service operates its own Service Academy as a four-year
institution of higher education. All students receive a full scholarship with a
small monthly stipend. Upon graduation, you're commissioned as a second
lieutenant in the Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps or as an ensign in the Navy or
Coast Guard. Appointment to a service academy is extremely competitive. For more
1-800-822-8762 (US Military Academy in
West Point, New York),
1-800-638-9156 (US Naval
Academy in Annapolis, Maryland), 1-800-443-9266 (US Air
Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado), 1-800-883-8724
(US Coast Guard Academy in New
(United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York).
Other Sources of Information