Other Types Of National Guard College Pay Programs
The Army National Guard has additional financial assistance programs for its members.
The Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarships can help finance your higher learning. There is a wide range of merit-based scholarships and additional funds available through the U.S. Armed Forces.
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Already attended college but still paying back student loans?
The National Guard supports a student loan repayment program known as SLRP. It directly supports soldiers and officers with existing student loan debt at the time of enlistment.
SLRP may pay for up to $50,000 in college debt for certain jobs, which is incredible. There are additional requirements so a local recruiter can help with the details regarding the obligation.
The Guard is particularly kind to those that extend their enlistment contracts for a minimum period of six years. The incentive can help cover previous undergraduate tuition, graduate school, medical school expenses.
Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
Founded in 1916, ROTC is a college program offered at more than 1,700 colleges and universities across the United States that prepares young adults to become officers in the Military. In exchange for a partially or fully paid college education and a guaranteed post-college career, ROTC students commit to serve in the Military after graduation .
It’s also possible to do a year or two of ROTC simply for the great leadership experience but without service commitment . The Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force each offer their own ROTC program. The Coast Guard doesn’t offer ROTC, but they do have a College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative scholarship program for college sophomores and juniors.
Army Advanced Civil Schooling
Advanced Civil Schooling facilitates the professional development of Regular Army Officers by providing them the opportunity to participate in a fully funded graduate degree program. Many officer positions require graduate degrees as a prerequisite for assignment.
The Advanced Civil Schooling program is designed to ensure that officers meet the educational requirements for placement into these positions. The Advanced Civil Schooling program educates selected officers through recommended civilian universities on a full-time, fully funded basis in their basic branch, functional area, or specialty.
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Navy Student Loan Repayment Program
You must serve a minimum of 3 years on active duty during your first enlistment to be eligible for this repayment program. Like with the Army, you can receive 33 % or up to $1,500 toward your principal balance, whichever is greater. You can receive a maximum of $65,000 in loan forgiveness, but your loans cant be in default.
What Loans Qualify for Navy Student Loan Repayment:
- Stafford loans
How to Apply For the Navy Student Loan Repayment Program:
You can visit Navy.com for more information, or contact a Navy recruiter.
Army National Guard Kicker
In addition to the Montgomery GI Bill, the Army National Guard Kicker pays up to $350 per month on living expenses. The kicker can last as long as 36 months and cover as much as $12,600.
It should be noted that you first need to qualify then apply for the Army National Guard Kicker.
Some of the pre-qualification requirements include:
- Must complete Initial Active Duty For Training . You actually cant receive Kicker payments while on active duty.
- Be eligible to receive a basic Montgomery GI bill benefit. This includes having at least a high school diploma, and maintaining selected reserve status.
In order to be eligible to receive the Kicker bonus, here are some of the basic eligibility requirements:
Non-prior service applicants
- Enlist for a minimum of 6 years
- Minimum AFQT score of 50
- Meet the Tier 1 educational requirements. Tier 1 includes those members who are either working on their first bachelors degree, or have earned one without tuition assistance funds and want to get their masters degree.
- Enlist for a critical skill vacancy in the grade of E-4 or below
Prior service applicants
- Minimum AFQT score of 31
- Enlist for a minimum of 6 years
- Enlist into a qualifying vacant position in an MTOE unit only. An MTOE unit is considered a combat ready, deployable force.
There are a wide variety of other stipulations that need to be met as well. For more information you should consult a local recruiter.
Theyll be able to lay out everything for you in an easy-to-understand format.
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Should I Enlist In The Military To Pay For College
Enlisting in the military is a life-defining decision that only you can decide for yourself. Youll need to go through strenuous training as a recruit before you become a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine. After that, you may find yourself enlisted in new locations that are far from home.
Although the military does pay for college, thats certainly not reason enough to join. You can also consider other affordable options for your education. From finding grants and scholarships to minimizing your college expenses, there are plenty of alternative ways to pay for college.
Tuition Assistance Benefits And Restrictions
Tuition assistance will cover the following expenses:
- Course-specific fees such as laboratory fee or online course fee
NOTE: All fees must directly relate to the specific course enrollment of the service member.
Tuition assistance will not cover the following expenses:
- Books and course materials
- Taking the same course twice
- Continuing education units, or CEUs
Keep in mind that TA will not fund your college courses, and you will have to reimburse any funds already paid, if any of the following situations occur:
- Leaving the service before the course ends
- Quitting the course for reasons other than personal illness, military transfer or mission requirements
- Failing the course
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Ways The National Guard Can Help Pay For School
The National Guard is really sought after by some citizens because it allows you to continue to work or go to school, while also serving your country part-time.
The stations are almost always in the United States, or nearby in places like Guam or Puerto Rico, so members also do not need to worry about getting displaced.
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In addition to the traditional benefits of serving your country proudly and being a part of something bigger than yourself, the National Guard college pay programs are exceptional.
In short, the Guard will cover college tuition, room and board , as well as graduate school in certain cases.
The National Guard supports tuition assistance, the Montgomery GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Army National Guard Kicker, and also hosts scholarships related to higher education learning.
The Guard has also helped many receive their GED or high school diploma.
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The organization has always been encouraging and supportive of those that wish to seek higher education.
Here is a quick breakdown of the different methods you can utilize to receive college tuition assistance, room and board, and graduate school or Medical school assistance.
National Defense Student Loan Discharge
The National Defense Student Loan Discharge is for military members who served at least 1 year in an area deemed imminent danger or in direct fire. Your Perkins or Direct Loans would qualify.
How to Apply for National Defense Student Loan Discharge:
Fill out the Department of Defense form and send a letter to your loan servicer explaining why you think you qualify for the discharge. The discharge amount varies, so your servicer is the best point of contact.
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The Air Force Military Tuition Assistance Program
Am I eligible? The US Air Force is a little stricter with its criteria for tuition assistance. Youll need to pass your physical fitness tests and have zero record of performance reports or unfavorable information files.
What does it cover? The Air Force will pay up to $250 per semester hour and $166 per quarter hour . You need to apply for courses in schools that have signed a DoD MoU.
Military Student Loan Repayment Programs
Provided your loans are in good standing, the military may pay off some or all of your student loan debt. Your eligibility depends on which military branch you have enlisted in. Heres a glimpse of the branch-specific programs:
- Active Duty Health Professions Student Loan Repayment Program: Health professionals who are on active duty can qualify for $40,000 per year towards their student loan debt for up to three years. This program applies to those serving in the dental, medical, allied health, nursing, or veterinary corps. If youre in the reserves for these professions, you may also be eligible for up to $50,000 in total loan forgiveness, spread over three years.
- Army Student Loan Repayment: The military pays for college loans if youre in the Army too up to 33.5 percent, or $1,500, towards the unpaid principal balance of your student loans for each year of active duty.
- Navy Student Loan Repayment Program: Members of the Navy who served a minimum of three years on active duty during their first enlistment may be eligible for this program. It offers the same rates as the Army: 33.5 percent, or $1,500, toward your principal balance, whichever is greater. As long as your loans are not in default, you can receive as much as $65,000 in loan forgiveness.
- National Guard Student Loan Repayment Program: This program offers individuals the chance to earn up to $7,500 yearly, with a maximum of $50,000, toward qualifying student loan debts.
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Us Coast Guard Tuition Assistance
The Coast Guard doesnt have quite as much funding as other military branches yet it can still make a significant impact on your higher learning experience.
It covers up to 100% in tuition and fees for active duty and Reserves in AD status.
Coast Guard financial assistance limitations include:
- $250 per semester hour
- $2,250 per fiscal year
The Coast Guard limits TA to just tuition and lab fees.
It doesnt cover some of the other fees that the larger military branches have the funding to support like enrollment costs and computer fees.
Regardless, it is a great way to receive assistance for expensive tuition costs.
The Coast Guard requires TA members to maintain a C or higher in undergraduate courses and B or higher for graduate courses.
Otherwise, you will need to reimburse the Coast Guard for failing to meet grade expectations based on the TA agreement.
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Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Programs
In addition to their service academies, the Air Force, Army, and Navy sponsor Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs at many colleges and universities. ROTC programs provide college scholarships of up to four years to eligible students who apply in high school. Students who are already in college can apply for three- or two-year scholarships, depending on when they expect to graduate.
The scholarships provide full tuition and fees as well as a monthly stipend to cover other expenses. ROTC scholarships require a commitment to participate in training during the school year and for service after graduation.
The Coast Guard doesn’t have an ROTC program, per se, but does offer the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative, which provides full funding for up to two years of college.
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Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness
Anyone serving in the military is eligible for the PSLF Program. The program forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have finished 120 qualifying monthly payments under an eligible repayment plan working full-time for a qualifying employer like a US federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization.
Army Green To Gold Commissioning Program
The Army Green to Gold program provides outstanding enlisted soldiers the opportunity to commission as Army officers. After completing a rigorous application and selection process, qualified soldiers get to complete a bachelors degree or two-year masters degree. Upon successfully completing their degrees and OCS, these soldiers commission as officers.
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Turn To Family And Friends
Are you comfortable asking for help with tuition or accepting monetary help from generous family members or friends? Make sure any benefactors know about qualified transfers.This arrangement allows individuals to pay an unlimited amount of tuition directly to a qualified institution of higher learning on your behalf without being subject to the gift tax. The education exclusion allows the donor to help you out and avoid any tax burden at the same time. You and the one with the checkbook should consult a tax advisor before entering into this arrangement.
- Knowing someone is in your corner can help motivate you in pursuing your degree.
- Your college costs are reduced.
- Sometimes such gifts can come with strings attached. Make sure you’ll maintain autonomy over your course of study and that there are no objectionable expectations before you allow someone to pay your bill for you.
- It can be hard to know whether you can depend on regular tuition payments from this source. A change in the donor’s circumstances or a falling-out can mean you’re on the hook for the tab when you weren’t expecting to be.
Service Academies And Senior Military Colleges
Students who would like to experience a military environment while getting an education should be aware of the opportunities that a Senior Military College or Service academy can offer. They are widely respected and provide first-class instruction.
Service academies offer full four-year scholarships, and SMCs offer financial aid packages for eligible students. Both also offer pay for books, board and medical and dental care. In exchange for such benefits, graduates become commissioned officers and are required to uphold a service obligation of a minimum of five years. Those who attend SMCs can choose whether or not they want to serve, but recipients of ROTC scholarships will be required to serve after graduation.
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Career Opportunities After Military Service
The positions that soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen hold in the military not only allow them to serve their country, but also help them collect years of experience in a trade or service. If they decide to leave the military, their service branchs COOL program can translate their experience into a resume that civilian hiring managers can understand. Veterans can also get a leg up for many public service jobs in federal, state and local positions. Learn more about careers in the military.
% College Tuition Assistance
The National Guard can potentially cover every single dollar of your college tuition.
It does depend on what school you decide upon, however, the National Guard will commit up to $18,000 over four years. It averages approximately $4,500 per year based on the commitment.
When you consider tuition expenses alone, the National Guard college pay program should cover your tuition in full as long as you are not attending an extremely prestigious, and expensive school.
You can learn more about the college tuition assistance program here.
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What Are Some Requirements For Attending A Military Academy
- You must be a US citizen.
- Students must be unmarried, with no dependents.
- Students must have good moral character.
- Student must be at least 17 years old, and cannot be older than twenty-three by July 1 of the year he or she is entering the program.
- Four years of English.
- Four years of College Prep Math.
- Four years of Social Studies.
- Two years of Foreign Language.
- One year of Computer Science
- To be competitive, a student must have an average SAT score of 1300.
Ellies Tip: Check out the individual academy portals to find out about additional requirements.
Keep Up With Military News And Updates
Tailored to each military branch, our Veteran Insiders and Active Duty Insiders keep you current on service-specific headlines and issues. Each week we send you images, stories, and updates on pay, career, benefits, and human interest stories personalized to each service division. to receive updates on all military related news and benefits, delivered directly to your inbox.
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Education Benefits Available To College Graduates
If you have already graduated from college and have outstanding student loan debt, there are programs that can help repay or cancel your loans. Additionally, you may qualify for financial scholarships offered to college graduates who wish to pursue a post-graduate degree in areas such as law and medicine.
Scholarships Grants And Special Loans For Military Spouses And Dependents
There are numerous scholarships, grants, special loans, and other education assistance available to military spouses and children of servicemembers.
Most of these programs are offered by various private organizations and their requirements and information are too varying to list all of them. The following is a brief shortlist of most of the major scholarship programs currently available. If you recognize a program is missing, leave a comment below!
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Everything You Need To Know About Tuition Assistance By Service
Did you know that you can earn a degree in the military without spending a penny of your own money and without using up any of your GI Bill benefits?
Through a benefit called tuition assistance, or TA, active-duty service members can take classes in pursuit of a college degree on the militarys dime.
TA covers $250 per semester hour, with a yearly cap, but each service can set its own requirements, and some rules vary.
Heres everything you need to know about the rules governing TA, as well as some tips for getting the most out of the benefit.