Your Top 5 Education Benefits

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These 5 benefits will help you reach your goals and achieve your full potential, but only if you are smart enough to use them!

1. Credit-by-Exam

Credit-by-Exam gives you the opportunity to earn college-level credits through a program of exams that are accepted by over 2,900 colleges. These schools grant credit for CLEP (College Level Examination Program), DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests), and ECE (Excelsior College Exam) tests.

Considering an average college course can cost you over $200 per credit, Credit-by-Exam can save you quite a bit. Civilian students pay more than $40 per exam for these tests, but DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) gives you these Credit-by-Exam tests for free. That's a great way to avoid paying for college!

Click here to learn how the DANTES Credit-by-Exam program can save you time and money.

2. College Credit for Military Experience and Training

As a member or veteran of the armed forces you can use the American Council on Education's (ACE) recommendation to claim academic credit for your military experience and training. Thousands of accredited schools throughout the country accept ACE recommendations for academic credit.

By applying your ACE credits and taking CLEP tests you may in fact already have enough credits to earn your Associate in Science degree without ever stepping into a college classroom or lecture hall.

3. Tuition Assistance

Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) Programs are a benefit available to eligible members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and most Ready Reserves. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to $4,500 a year for 100% of your Tuition Expenses.

  • Each branch has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service requirements, application process' and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services.
  • Additionally active duty members may elect to use "GI Bill Top-Up" in addition to their service provided TA to cover high cost courses.
  • TA is not a loan; you should treat it like money you have earned just like your base pay! If you don't use it you lose it!

4. GI Bill and VA Benefits

VA benefits, which include the Post-9/11 GI BillMontgomery GI Bill (MGIB), and the Reserve GI Bill, are available for active duty, reserve, and veterans to help with education costs. The Bill can provide  education benefits for:

There are also Military Scholarships and Grants, Service Specific Grants, and the Army/Navy College Funds.

5. Military Scholarships and Grants

One often overlooked source for grants and loans is the Federal Government, which offers several Financial Student Aid Programs. These programs offer you extremely low interest loans, as well as grants (free money). Like the GI Bill, Federal Student Aid is designed to assist you in meeting the cost of tuition, books, fees, and living expenses while you go to school. That means that once the school has taken its share, the remaining loan or grant balance goes to you.

Click here to get more details on Federal Student Aid, and to learn how to apply.

Remember: Not applying for scholarships is like turning down free money. Get started on your search for scholarships today - visit the Fastweb.com Scholarship Finder.

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits

Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, Military.com can help. Sign up for a free Military.com membership to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.

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