Education is a vital part of military life. It’s a valued component of service and all in the military are encouraged to further their education, both in and out of the service. Good news on this front is the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. Many service members are already thinking about how these benefits will help them, however, it should be said that this is not the only aid that is available for education. There is assistance for personnel while in the service, some that is directed towards their dependents, and still other forms that apply post-service.
Those who are currently in the military need to be making the most use of Tuition Assistance (T/A) right now, saving the Post-9/11 GI Bill for afterwards. There are definitely considerations here, what will work the best for the service member’s current status, however, part of this relates to dependents. If eligibility requirements are met, there is a transfer feature to the GI Bill that allows you to slot benefits for your dependents.
Active duty service members have comprehensive T/A benefits that stop once they leave the military. The services have different rules and procedures for their T/A programs, so it’s always best to check with your installation Education Services Officer (ESO) for details, but generally speaking your benefits include:
(1) Up to 100% tuition and fees, not to exceed $250 per semester credit hour, $166 per quarter credit hour, or $4,500 per fiscal year.
(2) Payment for tuition, enrollment fees, lab fees, computer fees, and special fees.
Tuition assistance will be made available in most cases for programs in a degree that is further advanced than your current level. For instance, if you hold a bachelor’s degree, you can take classes in a program to get your master’s degree. You could not, however, take classes toward an associate’s degree or another bachelor’s degree. Speak with your ESO about certification programs as in some cases T/A can be used for those.
These educational opportunities can be set up to be the most advantageous for the service member. While on active duty, use you tuition assistance for yourself. Then, your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits can be used afterwards. You can retain that benefit for yourself, or pass it on to your family members.
Learning about these benefits on your behalf and the way to utilize them to your advantage is what Education Connection has done. Our free service has discovered, vetted, and has for your use an exceptionally complete listing of military friendly schools and how all benefits play into those. We have admissions counselors available for all your questions, as well as our Finance Center where for information can be obtained.
With some sound planning, and guidance from Education Connection, you may end up financing yours and your family’s education with little or no out of pocket expenses.