Active Duty Military Education Benefits

Active duty military education benefits offer you rewards that extend beyond a regular paycheck, team spirit and the chance to travel the world.  The education benefits save you hard earned money, many times paying all of your college or university tuition and making it easy for you to continue and/or finish your postsecondary education while you serve your country.

Through programs like the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon Program, Montgomery GI Bill and individual military branch tuition assistance programs, you can get all of you undergraduate tuition paid for.  Tuition assistance programs are administered through the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.  Money from the programs pays the cost of tuition for active duty members. 

Tuition assistance programs pay for up to $250 a semester credit hour or $4,500 a year in education benefits.  After you serve 90 or more days on active duty you can receive financial aid through the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  Money is paid directly to the accredited college or university you attend.  However, tuition cannot exceed the maximum amount of tuition charged to in-state students.  You can take advantage of the military education benefits for up to 36 months.  Another good thing about the Post 9/11 GI Bill is that you can apply for the benefits as late as 15 years after you’re honorably discharged from military service. 

Military Education Benefits Additional Funding and Protections

If you’ve served at least 36 months on active duty you might be eligible to receive up to $17,500 a year in financial aid to attend a private accredited college or university through the Yellow Ribbon Program.  As with other military education benefits, money from the program is paid directly to the postsecondary school you attend.  Another military education benefits program you can participate in is the Montgomery GI Bill.   Through the Montgomery GI Bill, you contribute $100 a month toward your education; your contributions are matched two-to-one by the military branch you serve in.  For instance, for every $100 you contribute, the military may contribute an additional $50.  After you have accumulated sufficient money in the program, you can use the money to offset the cost of tuition.

Military education programs have your best interest at heart.  For example, military education programs have taken additional steps to ensure that you and the military are not taken advantage of by postsecondary schools that might not have your academic and working careers as their number one priority.  Effective January 1, 2012 and according to the United States Department of Defense, all colleges and universities that receive funds from the military tuition assistance programs must sign a memorandum stating that they agree to, “one single tuition rate per Office of Post-Secondary education identification number.”  In other words, accredited colleges and universities must charge the same tuition rate to active duty military members who attend the same college or university class. 

Transfer credits from other colleges as well as credits for military training and work experience you’ve received are also addressed in the new policy, helping to ensure you receive adequate academic credit for your military service and also ensuring that you aren’t required to take duplicate courses to graduate.  Not only does this help you to graduate sooner, it also creates an environment where you gain a quality education, a tool that can help you excel both in and out of the military.

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