PAYING FOR YOUR EDUCATION
Your service to our country is deeply respected, and the government has put in place legislation to help support your transition into a civilian career.
Depending on your specific situation and service history, you may be eligible for a range of education and training benefits under the GI Bill.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs offers free online comparison tools here. http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/comparison_tool.asp These will help you decide which benefits program best suits your needs and help you to ensure you receive your maximum entitlements.
It’s important to note that you may be eligible for more than one education benefits program, and you’ll need to choose carefully because your decision can’t be reversed. So take sufficient time to suitably assess your options.
OPTION 1: Post-9/11 GI Bill
Military personnel who have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty completed after September 10, 2001 and are still on active duty are most likely to be eligible for VA benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
It may also apply to honorably discharged veterans or those discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.
It provides up to 36 months of education benefits with tuition fees paid directly to the education institution, along with a housing stipend and books and supplies allowance paid to the student at the beginning of the term.
Generally, you are eligible to collect benefits up to 15 years after your last day of active duty.
OPTION 2: Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty
Servicemembers who have at least two years of continuous active service may be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill.
Benefits are generally payable for a period of 10 years following your honorable release from active duty and provides for up to 36 months of study.
In this case, tuition payments are made directly to the student, along with a housing stipend and books and supplies allowance.
You can find more information and apply for VA benefits through the US Department of Veteran Affairs here http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/apply.asp
OPTION 3: Federal Student Aid
Depending on your financial situation, you may be eligible for federal student aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Generally, there are three main types of financial aid – grants, work-study funds and low-interest loans. The US Department of Education awards around $150 billion a year in such aid to more than 14 million students to cover various study-associated costs including tuition, accommodation, books and supplies and transportation.
Grants do not require repayment and are most often awarded to students in the greatest financial need.
Federal student loans do require repayment but are often offered to students are a low interest rate and may have more flexible payment options.
Work study programs provide part-time, community service or study-related work for students in exchange for income to cover study expenses.
To apply for all types of federal student aid you’ll need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) here http://studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa.
Azure College school code: OPEID 042166