Money for School: Education Benefits

One Hundred Dollar Bill

Military service offers a tremendous array of education benefits that can be used while you are on active duty or after you leave the service. A good education is essential for your career both in uniform and out, so take advantage of the education benefits you've earned.

While in service, members have access to up to $4,500 a year in Tuition Assistance. TA is paid to the school on a per class basis. Servicemembers can also use GI Bill benefits, however, it is seldom a good idea to do so while on active duty.

The centerpiece of armed services educational benefits is the GI Bill which encompasses several Department of Veterans Affairs education programs including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, The Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty and Veterans (MGIB-AD), Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR). Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP), Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP), Spouse and Dependents Education Assistance (DEA), and the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program.

You may be eligible for more than one educational benefit. Knowing when each is best for your situation can save you money and ensure you get the most out of your benefits. Click here to learn more about choosing between GI Bill benefit programs.

Finally, remember that each service has its own tuition assistance programs, college funds and other means that may be able to help you in ways beyond those of the "standard" benefits listed here. Talk with an Education Service Officer, Navy College counselor or military recruiter to find out more.

Summary of Education Benefits

The following table is a brief summary of each of the major education benefits offered to servicemembers, veterans and in some cases their families. Follow the associated links to learn more details about each program.

Program

What is it?

Who is Eligible?

Benefit

Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance is a military benefit that pays the cost of tuition and some fees.

Virtually all military servicemembers are eligible. However criteria for eligibility is determined by each branch.

Tuition Assistance covers up to 100% Tuition and Fees Not to exceed:

  • $250 @ Semester Credit Hour
  • $166 @ Quarter Credit Hour

$4500 @ Fiscal Year
*Navy has a 16 credit hour Annual Limit.

Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months (4 regular school years) of education benefits to eligible servicemembers and veterans for:

  • College, Business
  • Technical or Vocational Courses
  • Correspondence Courses
  • Apprenticeship/Job Training
  • Flight Training
Servicemembers (Active Duty, Guard and Reserve) and Veterans who have served at least 90 days on active duty since 9/10/2001.

Paid Tuition and Fees, Living (Housing) Stipend and Book Stipend.

Benefits are tiered based on number of days on active duty.

Some limitations apply to those currently on active duty.

Benefits can be transferred to SPouse or Family member.

Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty & Veteran

MGIB provides up to 36 months (4 regular school years) of education benefits to eligible veterans for:

  • College, Business
  • Technical or Vocational Courses
  • Correspondence Courses
  • Apprenticeship/Job Training
  • Flight Training

Active Duty members who have served at least two years on active duty.

Veterans - there are four categories of Veteran eligibility depending on when you enlisted and how long you served on active duty.

 

Up to $1564 per month for full-time institutional education.

Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserves

Same as MGIB-AD at reduced rates.

  • Six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve.
  • Officers must agree to serve six years in addition to their original obligation.
  • High school diploma/GED.
  • Maintain Selected Reserve Status.

Up to $356 per month for full-time institutional education.

Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP) Same as MGIB-AD at reduced rates.

At least 90 days on active duty since 9/10/2001.

 

40%, 60%, or 80% of the MGIB payment rate as determined by total length of active duty time.
Loan Repayment (LRP)

Your service may partially or fully repay college loans.

Generally for enlisted members only. Several factors determine your eligibility, including your branch, your MOS, and terms of your contract.

Your loans must be in good standing, i.e. not in default.

About repayment programs:

There are also specialized loan repayment programs for health professional officers.


Tuition Assistance "Top-Up" Program

An additional benefit intended to supplement other tuition assistance programs such as the GI Bill.The benefit is available for all courses that began on or after October 30, 2000.

To be eligible for the Top-up benefit, the person must be approved for federal Tuition Assistance by a military department and be eligible for MGIB-Active Duty benefits.

The amount of the benefit is limited to the amount that the person would receive for the same course if regular MGIB benefits were being paid.

Regular MGIB benefits will be reduced.

Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

Available if you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate. For degree, certificate, correspondence, apprenticeship/on-the-job training programs, and vocational flight training programs. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher training may also be available.

Meet all requirements:

  • Entered service for the first time between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985;
  • Opened a contribution account before April 1, 1987;
  • Contributed $25-$2700;
  • Completed 1st period of service;
  • Discharge/release was not dishonorable.

Your contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the Government.

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

Education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. May be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training.

You must be the son, daughter, or spouse of a servicemember who died, is missing, or was permanently disabled while on duty or as a result of a service-related condition.

DEA reduces your tuition amount - you may pay three months' instead of six months' tuition, for example.

Work-Study Program

If you're a full-time or 3/4-time student in a college degree program, or a vocational or professional program, you can "earn while you learn" with a VA work-study allowance.

The VA work-study allowance is available to persons training under one of the VA benefit programs:

  • GI Bill
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (for Veterans)
  • VEAP
  • DEA
  • Dependents may also be eligible

You'll earn an hourly wage equal to the Federal minimum wage or your State minimum wage, whichever is greater.

Tutorial Assistance Program

Tutorial assistance for programs you are having difficulty with.

If you have questions on this program please contact our toll-free number 1-888-442-4551.

If you are receiving VA benefits at a half-time or more rate, you are eligible.

VA may provide you with a tutor or with information for finding one.

Education Links

Air Force

Army

Navy

Marine Corps

Coast Guard

Related Topics

Tuition Assistance Military Benefits Family Education Spouse Education

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GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill
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