The following are the Top 5 Education Benefits available to military servicemembers to help eliminate the issues of time and money:
- College Credit for Military Experience and Training.
- Military Tuition Assistance
- The VA GI BIll
- Military Scholarships and Grants
These 5 benefits will help you reach your goals and achieve your full potential, but only if you are smart enough to use them!
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.
Click here to learn more about how to get the credit you have already earned.
Something to consider: 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 Service 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 loose it!
Click here to get more details and learn how to apply for Tuition Assistance.
4. GI Bill and VA Benefits
VA benefits, which include the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery 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:
- College degree programs including Associate, Bachelor, and advanced degree programs
- Vocational/Technical Training including non-college degree programs
- On-the-job/Apprenticeship Training
- Licensing & Certification Reimbursement
- National Testing Programs such as SAT, CLEP, AP, etc
- Flight Training
- Correspondence Training
- Work-study programs
- Tuition Assistance Top-Up
- Tutorial Assistance
Click here to get more details and learn how to apply for the Military Scholarships and Grants, Service Specific Grants, and the Army/Navy College Funds, but the sources covered here should be enough to get you started on the path to higher education, and greater opportunity!
5. Military Scholarships and Grants
There are many other sources of college money including
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 FSA, and to learn how to apply.