Financial Aid from the Military
The programs outlined below are available to those who enroll in or are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Some programs may also be available to a veteran’s spouse or dependent children.
The Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, also known simply as the Yellow Ribbon Program, is a provision of the Post–9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008. This program is designed to help veterans afford tuition at a college or university whose tuition and fee expenses exceed the highest in-state undergraduate tuition rate (the normal amount paid under the Post–9/11 GI Bill). By entering into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) a participating institution can contribute a specified dollar amount of those additional expenses and the VA will contribute a matching amount not to exceed 50 percent of the difference.
To be eligible for benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program an individual must have served an aggregate period of active duty, after September 11, 2001, of at least 36 months. Benefits are payable for training/enrollment pursued on or after August 1, 2009.
Eligible veterans should note that participating colleges and universities choose the amount of tuition and fees that they will contribute as well as the number of slots available. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Interested military personnel should visit www.benefits.va.gov/gibill or the school in which they are interested for more information.
Post–9/11 GI Bill
This is an education benefit for individuals who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. Personnel who wish to take advantage of this program must have served at least 90 aggregate days of active duty after September 11, 2001, still be on active duty, or honorably discharged or released. Personnel currently receiving benefits under another military education assistance program may elect to enroll in the Post–9/11 GI Bill but will no longer be eligible for the benefits offered by the previous program.
Under the Post–9/11 GI Bill the individual would be eligible to receive the cost of tuition and fees not to exceed the most expensive in-state undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher education, a monthly housing allowance, and a maximum books and supplies allowance of $1,000.
Recipients may receive up to 36 months of entitlement. Eligible individuals should also be aware that if you are a member of the Armed Forces on August 1, 2009 you may be able to transfer your benefits to a spouse or dependent child.
Interested military personnel should visit www.benefits.va.gov/gibill for more information.
Military Loan Repayment
Some students who borrow from one or more of the Federal Loan Programs (Perkins, Stafford, etc.) may have some or all of their loans repaid by the Department of Defense, depending on the specialty enlisted in, and the length of the enlistment.
Full-time military personnel can qualify to have their loans repaid by the military at the rate of one-third of the loan for each year of full-time duty served (maximum loan repayment is $65,000). Each branch of the military sets its own maximum amount.
Individuals interested in the various Military College Loan Repayment Programs are advised to check with their recruiter or visit www.todaysmilitary.com for more information.
The Air Force, Army, and Navy all have scholarship programs to help students who are interested in becoming officers in the service after graduation. Scholarships are awarded to entering college freshmen based on their high school grades, SAT scores, activities, etc. Scholarships are also awarded to college sophomores and juniors based on their performance in the ROTC program and grades in college. These scholarships pay for tuition, fees, books and laboratory expenses. In addition, scholarship holders receive $300–$500 per month during the 10 months of the school year depending on the recipient’s level in the ROTC curriculum. Members of ROTC units who are not scholarship holders receive a monthly allowance for the last two years of college. Of course, all students who are commissioned through ROTC programs must agree to spend a stipulated length of time in the service. For more detailed information, students should contact the recruiting office of the service in which they are interested.
Persons enlisting in the Air Force can take advantage of the educational opportunities offered by The Community College of the Air Force, as well as the Air Force’s 100 percent tuition assistance programs.
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