Available Dollars for Degrees
Your service in the U.S. Armed Forces may help you reduce the cost of getting an education. Eligibility and benefits vary, but here are a number of programs that are available to help you plan and achieve your educational goals. Visit their links for more detailed information.
- The Montgomery GI Bill
The MGIB Active Duty provides up to 36 months of educational benefits to active-duty veterans. Reservists may be eligible for the MGIB-Selected Reserve.
- Post 9/11 GI Bill
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months of support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after 9/11/01, or individuals discharged with a service-oriented disability after at least 30 days. https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_gibill.asp
The Veterans Educational Assistance Program and the Reserve Educational Assistance Program are each contribution-based platforms that provide service members with educational funding. https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/veap.asp and https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/reap.asp
- Loans and Grants
There are three kinds of federal aid: grants, work-study, and student loans. Federal student aid is need-based. To find out if you are eligible, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. https://fafsa.ed.gov/
Some states offer additional educational benefits to members of the military or their family members. https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal?_nfpb=true&_nfxr=false&_pageLabel=BenefitsByState
There are also private loans, which are usually at a higher interest rate than the government loans. These loans do not have the same terms as federal student loans and the repayment terms may be significantly different.
Scholarships for military personnel and family members are available from a variety of sources, such as military professional organizations and veterans service organizations. Some are need-based; others are awarded on merit. The National Resource Directory lists a wide variety of scholarships available. https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/nrd
The American Legion’s Need A Lift publication also lists a wealth of other resources to help further your education.
This content was developed using advice from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. For further information, visit the U.S. government agency’s website at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/servicemembers/planning/