The GI Bill Isn’t the Only Education Funding
Reserves pay for school too.
an education is the main reason many people decide to enlist in the military.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill seems to be getting most of the attention, but not
everybody will be called to serve on active duty and meet the eligibility
requirements. But don’t worry. Service members who join Reserve and National
Guard units can earn some valuable benefits too. And, some programs at the
state and federal levels are designed to provide funding in addition to GI Bill
benefits, if you are eligible.
Guard tuition assistance programs differ widely from state to state. Programs
range from reimbursement programs, payment up-front, and in some cases outright
exemption from tuition.
example, Washington National Guardsmen may qualify for the Conditional
Scholarship Program, which offers loan forgiveness for recipients who complete
a contracted term of service and receive priority for scholarships if attending
accredited Washington institutions.
state program has specific stipulations and qualifications to receive benefits
as well. Individual states establish and monitor the programs. In Utah,
National Guard members may receive 100 percent of tuition fees.
contrast, qualifying Guardsmen in Pennsylvania may receive payments up to
$5,038 per calendar year. To be eligible, Pennsylvania Guardsmen must also give
a six-year service obligation.
important aspect of most programs is academic level. Many programs only provide
benefits for undergraduate students to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Illinois represents an exception where the National Guard Grant Program
provides 100 percent of college tuition at any state supported college and may
be used for any level of undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate education.
benefit programs change based on military rank as well. It is important to
fully understand how each program works as well as the eligibility requirements.
For a complete list of tuition assistance programs and other benefits provided
by each state, visit www.1800goguard.com/benefits/state.php.
to National Guard programs, Reserve programs vary between military branches.
Reserve units offer
the Education Career Stabilization (ECS) program to ensure that students will
not be deployed while they are in school. Reserve tuition assistance, Selected
Reserve GI Bill and kicker programs entitle students to anywhere from $11,000
to $24,000, depending on service commitment, rank and other factors. To learn
more about the Army Reserve educational benefits visit www.goarmy.com/reserve/nps/education.jsp.
Force Reserve offers
tuition assistance up to $250 per semester hour ($166.67 per quarter hour) not
to exceed $4,500 annually per service member pursuing either an associate or
bachelor’s degree. Air Force Reservists seeking a master’s degree may receive
up to $187.50 per semester hour ($125 per quarter hour) not to exceed $3,500
annually. To learn more about the Air Force Reserve education benefits visit www.arpc.afrc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=8487
Guard Reserve offers
tuition assistance up to $250 per semester hour, ($166.67 per quarter hour) not
to exceed $4,500 annually per service member. Visit www.uscg.mil/reserve/entitlements.htm.
reimbursement of up to 100 percent of tuition costs for Selected Reservists on
active duty for 120 continuous days. To learn more about the Navy Reserve visit
does not offer tuition assistance programs at this time, but Reservists may be
eligible for other benefit programs, including the Marine Corps Tuition
Assistance Program. To learn more visit www.usmc-mccs.org/education/mta.cfm.