Military Tuition Assistance

Military Tuition Assistance

Military Tuition Assistance

Life in the military has its share of sacrifices and challenges. But being a hero for the country also has numerous benefits, including financial assistance for a college education. Whether you are in active service or a veteran, there are different educational benefits that can help you obtain a college degree.

Tuition Assistance (TA) program - Each branch of the military has a Tuition Assistance (TA) program. Service members in active duty status who want to earn a college education while on off-duty can apply for this financial assistance. TA allows you to get $250 per semester credit hour and most branches have a $4,500 ceiling per fiscal year. The TA program is available either for classroom or online courses as long as it is offered by accredited schools.

GI Bill - The GI Bill is another great benefit from the military. The main purpose of this bill is to help the military servicemen adapt to civilian life after military duty. The GI Bill can aid in funding your college education and propel you into a new career. Depending on when you served, there are a few different GI Bill options.

o Montgomery GI Bill - If you served before September 11, 2001, you can utilize the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) to help pursue your educational goals. There’s two different programs that fall under MGIB: Active Duty and Selected Reserve. Each has its own requirements. In general, the MGIB can help you fund your tuition for up to 36 months and can be used within 10 years after discharge from service.

o Post 9/11 GI Bill - The Post 9/11 GI Bill is available for those who served after September 10, 2001 and discharged honorably with at least 90 days of cumulative service or at least 30 days with a disability discharge. The Post 9/11 GI Bill can cover your full tuition in fees if you are an in-state student in a public school. If you are an out-of-state student, you can receive the amount equivalent to the in-state tuition and fees at that school. However, if you are attending a private college, you can receive a maximum of $18,077.50 per academic year.

In general, eligibility spans 15 years from your last period of active duty — of which you must have served at least 90 consecutive days. You may receive up to 36 months of entitlement. In addition, what’s unique about this program is that unused educational benefits under the Post 9/11 bill can be transferred to the spouse or children of service members. Those qualified applicants can also take advantage of the Yellow Ribbon Program.

o Forever GI Bill – The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the “Forever GI Bill,” is the latest program that will be available to veterans enlisting after January 2018. The biggest thing to know? It eliminates the 15-year time limit on the use of education benefits. So, if you’re seeking higher education after three years of active duty service, there are no use-it-or-lose-it limits. In general, the new GI Bill takes a looser approach to eligibility than its counterparts and further supports recipients enrolling in STEM-based degree programs, as you can receive additional funds.

o Yellow Ribbon Program – This program is in connection with the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Forever GI Bill. If you are an out-of-state student or studying in a private school, you can use the Yellow Ribbon Program to pay for the difference between your tuition and the financial aid you received from the GI Bill. To utilize this benefit, it’s important to be enrolled in a participating school.

Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) - The military also offers educational assistance for the military spouse. One of these benefits is the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA). Many spouses of service members on active duty qualify for this benefit. MyCAA allows you to receive up to $4000 in total for the duration of your educational program. You can utilize MyCAA to fund many associates degrees, certification courses or licensure courses. It is not available for higher-level degrees.