SAN FRANCISCO – The educational benefit provided by the GI Bill is increasing on Oct. 1, 2005, and servicemembers and veterans are using the resources of www.Military.com to help them understand and use the valuable benefits they've earned.
Education benefits are one of the top reasons for joining the military. With the GI Bill basic payment rate increase, the total benefit will now be over $37,000. Add to that the thousands of dollars in tuition assistance, scholarships and grants that servicemembers and veterans have earned, and paying for school has never been easier. In fact, the majority of these benefits can be applied to undergraduate, graduate and vocational training and certification programs.
“Five years ago, 45% of these hard earned education benefits went unclaimed,” said Christopher Michel, president of Military.com. “By making it easy to understand and access these important benefits, we believe we've played an important role in helping to drive significant usage of these programs among the military and veteran community.”
With the majority of returning servicemembers between the ages of 20 and 27, finishing a degree or earning a certification is a logical step in transitioning into civilian life.
In addition to providing free, detailed information on the GI Bill, including eligibility, step-by-step application instructions and payment tables, Military.com also has a School Finder highlighting the military-friendly aspects of 4,000 schools, such as:
- College credit for military service
- Military discounts (free books, reduced tuition)
- State veterans benefits
- Programs with flexible scheduling
Additionally, with Military.com's Scholarship Finder, members have access to over $300 million in scholarships for servicemembers and veterans.
“I used the GI Bill,” said Michel, “and so have over 25 million other veterans since the program's inception in 1944. This program transformed America and continues to do so.”
Servicemembers Hit the Books
A growing number of servicemembers are using their education benefits while on duty. Distance learning programs offer military personnel the flexibility to take classes during off hours. Classes have been held in desert barracks, on aircraft carriers and aboard Coast Guard cutters. Online courses and degree programs have been specifically developed to fit the operating tempo and duty schedules of servicemembers. Thousands of servicemembers earn their degrees each year through online education.
In addition to earning a degree or certification, these education opportunities often allow servicemembers to earn points toward promotion.
Use It or Lose It
Military.com helps over 500,000 servicemembers and veterans with education and career services each month. Nearly 48% of servicemembers and veterans say they will work toward bachelor's degrees; 16% are focused on obtaining master's degrees. The GI Bill benefit generally expires 10 years after separation from duty, so servicemembers and veterans are urged to take full advantage of the benefits they've earned as soon as possible. To learn more, visit www.Military.com/Education.
“I really appreciate the help in finding a good college. I enjoy school and my family is happy for me. I'm finishing my business degree and will use it in landing a better job. I wouldn't have gone back to college without the help of Military.com.” – Theresa B., Florida