After serving in the military, many veterans look to go back to school and continue their education, but the cost can be prohibitive. Thankfully, there are a multitude of options for any educational assistance for military personnel, including scholarships, admissions programs, and appropriations. The G.I. Bill is the best known source of funding, but there are other options. Scholarships and state-run programs are worth considering and are detailed below.
Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008
The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill expanded educational benefits for veterans who served since September 11, 2001. Also occasionally referred to as the “New G.I. Bill,” this law pays for veterans’ college expenses, as well as providing the ability for these benefits to be transferred to a spouse or child. The bill includes four years of tuition. The amount given depends upon time served, with a minimum of 90 days of service entitling veterans to 40% of the benefit.
Additionally, the bill covers a living stipend based on housing costs, funding for supplies and books, and a grant to pay for licensing or certification testing. These benefits are good for 15 years after duty. There are additional options for online learning, international schools, and out of state possibilities. For more information visit this site.
There are hundreds of scholarships available, many of which are directed specifically to veterans. Organizations such as VeteranAid, Veterans Caucus, and Veterans United Foundation, offer scholarship opportunities to veterans and their families. Many of these scholarships are donated by successful veterans and their families and are named in honor of their loved ones. Moreover, many local and state organizations, as well as colleges themselves, offer similar awards, many of which can be found here.
Accelerated payment for MGIB-AD
Veterans pursuing work in a technical field can receive a large portion (up to 60%) of the financial benefit up front as a lump sum payment. This is not any additional money, but it allows veterans to access the funding sooner. To be eligible for these payments, veterans must be working towards a degree in a subject like life science, physical science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, or computer management. Finally, the awardee would need to indicate an intent to eventually work in a similar field, varying from aerospace to weapons, nuclear technology to computer-integrated manufacturing.
Post GI Bill Eligibility
There are other Student Financial Aid Programs offered by the federal government that can frequently benefit veterans. Most of these grants (as well as some loans) are given to eligible citizens with satisfactory academic progress and displayed financial need.
To apply for these funds, eligible hopeful students can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://fafsa.ed.gov. The information from the FAFSA will then be disseminated to any accredited school you wish to attend. Lastly, most states offer some educational assistance to students staying in-state, with many options for veterans and their families. Search military.com for grants, loans, and tuition waivers.