Home  »  Getting Your Degree   »   Army College Education Programs and Benefits

Army College Education Programs and Benefits

Army Education Programs

Army Education Programs

If you serve in the United States Army or would like to serve in the army, you might be interested in Army Education Programs and how they can help you with your educational plans.

Here are some of the programs or schools you can take part in, to move forward in your career, and work towards your goals.

Early Commissioning Program

  • The Early Commissioning Program is a US Army ROTC program that will allow graduates of one of the nation’s four Military Junior colleges to become a commissioned officer in the Reserve component, which means either serving in the National Guard or the Army Reserves, in 2 years instead of 4.
  • After completing at the college, the Lieutenants must go and finish their Bachelor’s degrees before serving as active duty officers or continuing in the Reserve component.
  • They must graduate within 24 months after receiving their early commissions although waivers are sometimes available.
  • They will be on non-deployable status while they attend their four-year program.
  • Here are the four Military Junior colleges:

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)

  • You can do the Army ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) at an affiliated college or university, senior military college, or a military junior college.
  • You can then choose any major you wish and commission as an officer into active duty, Army Reserve, or the Army National Guard.
  • Two, three, and four-year scholarships are available for qualified students.
  • ROTC will cover the cost of tuition and fees, a $600 book allowance per semester, a monthly stipend of $300 a month as a freshman to be increased to $500 a month as a senior.


GoArmyEd is now ArmyIgnitED!

ArmyIgnitED is there to help active and guard and reserve soldiers through the Army Continuing Education System (ACES.) It is a one-stop website to help soldiers receive the education they want.

  • ArmyIgnitED can help with:
    • ArmyIgnitED can also help with Army Tuition Assistance (TA) will pay for up to $250 per semester hour, 16 semester hours per year.
    • A soldier must receive a passing grade on any Tuition Assistance-funded class, or they must repay the army for the class.
    • Officers will incur a continuing service obligation each time they use their TA benefits. Failing to fulfill their obligation would mean having to repay the benefit.
    • A soldier can only take courses with TA that help advance them toward their approved degree plan.

To get started with ArmyIgnitED, a soldier will need to register for an account. Once they do, they can start getting help from the ArmyIgnitED Assistance Center.

RELATED: For more information on the Army Tuition Assistance program, please visit Army Tuition Assistance

College of the American Soldier

  • The College of the American Soldier is a partnership between the Army and participating colleges and universities. The goal is to improve professional development by providing an optimum balance of training as well as education.
  • There are two education pathways, The Career NCO Degree Program and the Enlisted Education Program. They both provide soldiers with flexibility in degree completion time, maximize credit transfer between colleges, maximize college credit for military training and education, minimize academic residency requirements, and provide business and management-related degrees.

Professional Trade Certificates

With professional trade certificates, a soldier can earn professional and trade certifications. The army offers training in, more than 150 different career paths. Active duty soldiers have access to all of them.

Here are the different categories of certificates:

    • Administrative support
    • Intelligence and Combat
    • Arts and Media
    • Legal and Law Enforcement
    • Combat
    • Mechanics
    • Computers and Technology
    • Medical and Emergency
    • Construction and Engineering
    • Transportation and Aviation

Officer Candidate School (OCS)

Officer Candidate School is the army’s main training academy for prospective army officers. The school is open to qualified enlisted non commissioned officers or civilians who hold at least a four-year degree.

For active duty and Army Reserve, you will need to:

    • Have a 4-year degree
    • Have no more than 6 years of Active Federal Service (AFS) upon arrival
    • Be between the ages of 19-32, entering active duty or shipping to training by age 33, and accepting your commission before your turn 34
    • Be eligible for a secret security clearance

For civilians you would need to:

    • Be a US citizen
    • Have a 4-year degree
    • Be between the ages of 19-32, entering active duty or shipping to training by age 33, and accepting your commission before your turn 34
    • Be eligible for a secret security clearance

OCS is located at Fort Benning and is 12 weeks of intense tactical and leadership training.

West Point – United States Military Academy (USMA)

The United States Military Academy is located in West Point, NY, and was founded in 1802, making it the oldest of the five service academies.

Cadets at West Point will be immersed in a military environment with a tradition of leadership training and a rigorous curriculum to learn firsthand how to be an officer in the US Army.

To attend the school, you will need to be at least 17 years old and not be older than 22 on July first of the year you enter the academy.  In addition you:

  • May not be married, pregnant, or legally responsible for support of any children
  • Must be in good mental and physical health
  • Have above average strength, agility, and endurance
  • Must perform strongly on the West Point Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA)

You will also need to have been nominated to the academy by one of the following:

  • US Senator
  • US Representative
  • The Vice President of the United States

Postgraduate Scholarships

The army also has postgraduate scholarships for veterans for those going into medicine, law, or those who want to become a Chaplain.

  • Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) – The US Army healthcare team will pay for 100% of your tuition for a graduate-level healthcare degree. You must attend an accredited medical, dental, veterinary, psychology, or optometry program.
  • Funded Legal Education Program – This program authorizes the selection of 25 active duty army officers each year to obtain a legal education and the government’s expense.
  • Chaplain Candidate Scholarship Partnership – This program is between leading graduate institutes and the US Army to provide financial assistance to prospective candidates for chaplaincy.


RELATED: Info about the Army’s Green to Gold program for Active Duty Enlisted Soldiers


Whether you are in the army or want to join, different programs can help you reach your goals. Make sure to look at your options to find out the best way to pursue your educational goals.







About the author

+ posts

Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.