Post 9/11 GI Bill Eligibility Percentages Explained

Post 9/11 GI Bill

How does the VA determine whether you are eligible for 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement or not? This is an important question since those who do not qualify for 100% of the GI Bill may still attend college using this VA education benefit but may need to pay some of the expenses out-of-pocket because they don’t have full entitlement.

How the VA Determines Your GI Bill Benefits Percentage

The Department of Veterans Affairs bases your GI Bill benefit percentage on how long you may have served on active duty.

There are “other factors” also mentioned at the VA official site. In today’s military, new recruits may typically be allowed to apply for GI Bill benefits after having served on active duty for 90 days or more. If you aren’t sure whether you have served long enough to qualify you can always check your Statement of Benefits by logging in at VA.gov.

Who is Eligible for 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits

You may be eligible for the full 100% GI Bill benefit if you meet at least one of these requirements:

  • You served on active duty and were awarded a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001;
  • You served on active duty for at least 30 continuous days and were discharged because of a service-connected disability;
  • You served on active duty for at least 36 months.

Who Is Eligible for a Percentage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Service members who were on active duty for less than 36 months are not eligible for the full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit. They may be entitled to a portion of the benefit based on time served:

  • Between 30 months and 36 months: 90% of the full benefit
  • Between 24 months and 30 months: 80% of the full benefit
  • Between 18 months and 24 months: 70% of the full benefit
  • Between 6 months and 18 months: 60% of the full benefit
  • Between 90 days and 6 months: 50% of the full benefit

What The Post 9/11 GI Bill Covers Based On Percentage

The VA determines your Post 9/11 GI Bill coverage based on a variety of factors including the percentage of the benefit you qualify for. Typically the VA needs the following information to process your application:

  • How much the school charges for in-state tuition/fees;
  • Whether the school is willing to charge you at the in-state rate;
  • What percentage of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits you have.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Rates For In-State Public School Tuition

Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits will cover you at the percentage you’re eligible for at the in-state rate. VA.gov provides an example using an arbitrary amount that may or may not accurately reflect the cost of attending a given school.

In the example, if your in-state tuition is $22,000 and you qualify for the GI Bill at 100% of the rate, your tuition will be fully covered. Those entitled to 70% of the GI Bill would have some $15,400 covered with the student paying the remainder.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Rates For Out-of-State Students

Thanks to the Veterans Choice Act, those who want to attend an out-of-state public school with VA-approved programs must be offered the in-state rate. Your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits will cover you at the percentage you’re eligible for such as in the example above.

You may be eligible for in-state tuition under the Act if you meet all of these requirements:

  • You’re receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD), or Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E).
  • You’re a “covered individual” meaning you served on active duty for at least 90 days since September 10, 2001.
  • When you start school, you live in the state where the school is located

Covered individuals can also be spouses or dependents. As a spouse or child of a veteran, the Department of Veterans Affairs says you’re a “covered individual” if:

  • You’re using education benefits transferred from a veteran, or
  • You’re using benefits under the Fry Scholarship and the veteran had served a period of active-duty service of at least 90 days before their death.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Out-of-State Tuition

If you want to attend an out-of-state public school, but that institution does not provide in-state rates for veterans,  the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay the out-of-state rate at the percentage you qualify for, but only at the in-state rate. You will pay the remainder. In such cases the Yellow Ribbon program may help offset the remaining amount.

Post-9/11 GI Bill For Private Schools

The Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover costs at a private school up to a certain amount and the Yellow Ribbon program may be able to help offset the cost for those who qualify. To determine your GI Bill rate for a private school, you need the following information:

  • The current national maximum amount that the Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover at a private or foreign school;
  • The percentage of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits you’re eligible for.

Multiply the percentage of benefits you’re eligible for by the current national maximum amount. This is how much the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits will cover.

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a centralized list of GI Bill rates and other important VA Education benefits information; you can check the rates for your current school year for a variety of VA education programs including the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Fry Scholarship, DEA/Chapter 35 benefits and more. When checking these rates, know that in cases where a class begins before the date on the benefits chart, that class is paid in full using the previous year’s rate.

SVA & Raytheon Scholarship for Navy Veterans

SVA & Raytheon Scholarship for Navy Veterans

Are you a Navy veteran and college student looking for scholarships?

The Student Veterans of America (SVA) and Raytheon have partnered to bring two (2) scholarships to Navy veteran personnel. Their goal is to set you up for career success after your time in the service.

The Raytheon Scholarship

The Raytheon Missiles & Defense SPY-6 Scholarships will be awarded to sailors working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree and “who demonstrate leadership in their local community.

There are two $10,000 scholarships up for grabs, and the application window closes on April 1, 2022. Are you eligible?

SEE ALSO: Military and Veteran Scholarships

Scholarship Eligibility

As a student veteran, you must meet the following criteria to apply for Raytheon’s scholarship:

  • Navy or Navy Reserve Veteran
  • Current full-time student at an accredited college or university
  • Entering the Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year of your bachelor’s degree, OR enrolled in a graduate program for the 2021-2022 school year
  • Honorable discharge
  • Make a video (2 minutes or less) explaining the following:
    • Why you’re passionate about your field of study
    • How you’ve led and engaged with your community

Ensure that you follow the Raytheon Scholarship Video Instructions before submitting it.

Application Deadline

Remember, the deadline for this awesome scholarship is April 1, 2022, by 11:59pm Eastern time. So do not delay in getting your application in.

Apply Now by logging into the Student Veterans of America Portal. If you’re not registered, you can always create an account at the time you begin applying.  For more info, please go here.

 

Find Scholarships and more for Military and Veterans!

 

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SVA & NBC Universal Scholarships for Veterans

Scholarships for Veterans in Entertainment

The Student Veterans of America (SVA) and NBC Universal have teamed up to offer scholarships to veterans who are moving into the entertainment industry.

The Comcast NBC Universal-SVA Scholarship

The Comcast NBC Universal-SVA Scholarship will award two (2) $12,000 scholarships to student veterans interested in pursuing careers in the entertainment industry.

See Also: Military Veteran Scholarships

Scholarship Eligibility

The deadline to apply is April 1, 2022. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Current graduate or undergraduate student at an accredited college or university
  • Enrolled in the 2021/2022 school year
  • Submit proof of military service
  • Send a resume
  • Upload transcript from current school showing 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Submit application with short essay

Additionally, for the proof of military service, submit a copy of your DD-214 with the Social Security Number redacted for privacy purposes. See example here.

For the essay, you will need to answer the following questions:

  1. How have you carried your leadership experiences from your military service over into the classroom or other university activities?
  2. Why are you interested in NBC Universal and a career in the entertainment industry?
  3. If you had to pick a specific function (marketing, business development, production, etc.), which one are you most interested in and why?

Moreover, there is no minimum or maximum word count listed on the NBC Universal-SVA Scholarship page.

Applying for this Veteran Scholarship

So, if you meet the above criteria and are interested in this scholarship, apply on the Student Veterans of America website. You will need to login to the SVA Portal. But, if you don’t already have an account, you can create one by following the link above.

Remember, the application deadline is April 1, 2022, so don’t delay! We’re talking $12K for school, and there are sure to be lots of applicants.

Also, be sure to check out CollegeRecon’s Scholarship Finder Tool to help you find ways to pay for college.

 

Find Scholarships for Military, Veterans, Spouses, Dependents Today!

 

 

Vet Success on Campus

Vet Success on Campus

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has created the Vet Success on Campus (VSOC) program to help veterans, servicemembers, and their qualified dependents. VSOC aims to help their target populations successfully transition into college life. The ultimate goal is to have VSOC students successfully complete their education and enter into the labor market fully prepared for viable careers.

The VSOC program is designed to help all qualified participants, and especially veterans, achieve success by providing outreach and transition services.

What is the VSOC Program?

Vet Success On Campus is designed to help its students succeed during their time as college students through a variety of on-campus benefits assistance and counseling. The VSOC program provides a VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) to each school that offers the program. A VA Vet Center Outreach Coordinator is also provided to provide peer counseling and referral services. Recognizing that college life is vastly different from serving in the military, VSOC Counselors help to ensure that veterans receive the support and assistance needed to pursue their educational and employment goals.

VSOC Counselors are easily accessible on campuses with the aim to quickly resolve any problems that could potentially interfere with a student’s educational success. From health concerns, to educational hurdles, to disability accommodations, VSOC aims to assist and empower their students in every way possible. The VSOC program began as a pilot program in 2009 at the University of South Florida. Since then, the program has expanded and currently supports 104 schools across the country. These schools are served by 87 VSOC Counselors. Please see below for a list of current VSOC locations and contact information.

List of Vet Success on Campus Counselors

ALABAMA

Troy University – Arika Dolman, Arika.Dolman@va.gov
University of Alabama – Lisa Fells, Lisa.Fells@va.gov

ALASKA

University of Alaska, Anchorage – Gwendolyn Hoskins, Gwendolyn.Hoskins@va.gov

ARIZONA

Arizona State University- Troy Rundle, Troy.Rundle@va.gov

ARKANSAS

University of Arkansas – open
Northwest Arkansas Community College – open

CALIFORNIA

California State University, Long Beach- Lois Daz, Lois.Daz@va.gov
Long Beach City College- Lois Daz, Lois.Daz@va.gov
Mt. San Antonio College- Maura Kazden, Maura.Kazden@va.gov
Citrus College- Maura Kazden, Maura.Kazden@va.gov
Saddleback College- Kelandra Anthony Kelandra.Anthony@va.gov
Irvine Valley College- Kelandra Anthony, Kelandra.Anthony@va.gov
Pasadena City College- David Fierro, David.Fierro@va.gov
Los Angeles City College- David Fierro, David.Fierro@va.gov
California State University, Los Angeles- David Fierro, David.Fierro@va.gov
University of California, Los Angeles- Deana Garay, Deana.Garay@va.gov
Santa Monica Community College- Deana Garay, Deana.Garay@va.gov
American River College- open
San Diego State University- Ryan Morris, Ryan.Morris377@va.gov
Mira Costa College- Alizabeth Dang, Alizabeth.Dang@va.gov

COLORADO

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs- Julie Zook,   Julie.Zook@va.gov 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

George Washington University- Glenn Cassis, Glenn.Cassis@va.gov

FLORIDA

Northwest Florida State College- Maronda Clark, Maronda.Clark@va.gov
University of West Florida- Becky Baisden, Rebecca.Baisden@va.gov
University of South Florida- Jeanine Frederick, Jeanine.Frederick@va.gov
Florida State University- Jenn Stovall, Jennifer.Stovall@va.gov
Tallahassee Community College- Jenn Stovall, Jennifer.Stovall@va.gov
Florida International University- Marquay Smith, Marquay.Smith@va.gov
University of Florida- Patricia Carswell, Patricia.Carswell@va.gov
Santa Fe College- Patricia Carswell, Patricia.Carswell@va.gov
Florida State College at Jacksonville- Brittany Beimourtrusting, Brittany.Beimourtrusting@va.gov

GEORGIA

Kennesaw State University- Margo Thompson, Margo.Thompson@va.gov

HAWAII

Hawaii Pacific University- Gwen Dang, Gwen.Dang@va.gov
Leeward Community College- Selina Higa, Selina.Higa@va.gov
University of Hawaii, Manoa- Selina Higa ,Selina.Higa@va.gov

IDAHO

Boise State University- Sean Burlile, Sean.Burlile@va.gov

ILLINOIS

Southwestern Illinois College- open
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign- Delmar Rhodes, Delmar.Rhodes1@va.gov

KANSAS

Johnson County Community College- Jonathan Grant,  Jonathan.Grant@va.gov
University of Kansas- Angela Brazil, Angela.Brazil@va.gov

KENTUCKY

Eastern Kentucky University- Steven Johnson, Steven.C.Johnson@va.gov
Elizabethtown Community & Technical College- Shannon Francis,   Shannon.Francis@va.gov
University of Kentucky- Joel Andrade, Joel.Andrade@va.gov
Bluegrass Community & Technical College- Joel Andrade, Joel.Andrade@va.gov

MARYLAND

University of Maryland, Global Campus- Diane Wilson, Diane.Wilson2@va.gov

MICHIGAN

Kalamazoo Valley Community College- Brent Haddow, Brent.Haddow@va.gov
Kellogg Community College- Brent Haddow, Brent.Haddow@va.gov
Western Michigan University- Brent Haddow, Brent.Haddow@va.gov
Eastern Michigan University- Jonathan Cugini, Jonathan.Cugini@va.gov
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor- Jonathan Cugini, Jonathan.Cugini@va.gov
Washtenaw Community College- Jonathan Cugini, Jonathan.Cugini@va.gov

MISSISSIPPI

University of Southern Mississippi- Steven Welch,  Steven.Welch@va.gov

MISSOURI

Webster University, St. Louis- Jason Blakemore, Jason.Blakemore@va.gov

NEBRASKA

Bellevue University- Melvin Neail, Melvin.Neail@va.gov
University of Nebraska, Omaha- Melvin Neail, Melvin.Neail@va.gov

NEVADA

University of Nevada, Las Vegas- Justin Whipple, Justin.Whipple@va.gov

NEW JERSEY

Rutgers University- Valerie Williams, Valerie.Williams1@va.gov
Middlesex County College- Valerie Williams, Valerie.Williams1@va.gov

NEW MEXICO

University of New Mexico- Philip Maranon, Philip.Maranon@va.gov

NEW YORK

Syracuse University- Philip Maranon, Philip.Maranon@va.gov
Nassau Community College- Leslie Monsen, Leslie.Monsen@va.gov
Suffolk County Community College- Leslie Monsen, Leslie.Monsen@va.gov

NORTH CAROLINA

East Carolina University- Jaqueline Henry, Jaqueline.Henry@va.gov
Fayetteville Technical Community College- April C. Riley,   April.Riley@va.gov

OHIO

Cleveland State University-George Ackerman, George.Ackerman@va.gov
The Ohio State University- Edward Mathews, Edward.Mathews2@va.gov
University of Cincinnati- Jill Cochran, Jill.Cochran@va.gov

OKLAHOMA

Cameron University- Alfred Finch,  Alfred.Finch@va.gov

OREGON

Portland State University- Alexandra Birmingham, Alexandra.Birmingham@va.gov

PENNSYLVANIA

Harrisburg Area Community College- Gail Hrobuchak, Gail.Hrobuchak@va.gov

RHODE ISLAND

Community College of Rhode Island- Micaela Black-Estrella, Micaela.Black@va.gov
Rhode Island College- Micaela Black-Estrella, Micaela.Black@va.gov

SOUTH CAROLINA

Midlands Technical College- Catina Booker, Catina.Booker@va.gov

TENNESSEE

Middle Tennessee State University- Heather Conrad, Heather.Conrad@va.gov
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville- Christina Hicks, Christina.Hicks2@va.gov

TEXAS

University of Texas, San Antonio- Wendy Foster, Wendy.Foster@va.gov
Sam Houston State University- Roberta Ardoin, Roberta.Ardoin@va.gov
San Antonio College- Sylvia Rodriguez, Sylvia.Rodriguez1@va.gov
Lone Star College System, University Park- open
Houston Community College- Chandra Arceneaux, Chandra.Arceneaux@va.gov 
University of Houston- Ralph Harrison, Ralph.Harrison@va.gov
Texas A&M University, Central Texas- Greg Primas, Gregory.Primas@va.gov
Tarrant County College, South- Ronald Christy, Ronald.Christy@va.gov
Tarrant County College, Northeast- Denise Edwards, Denise.Edwards@va.gov
Central Texas College- James Morgan, James.Morgan3@va.gov
Texas A&M University, College Station- Jimmy Rogers, Jim.Rogers2@va.gov
Austin Community College- Brad Robichaux, Brad.Robichaux@va.gov
University of Texas, Arlington- Tyrrell Biggers, Tyrrell.Biggers@va.gov

UTAH

Salt Lake Community College- Mike Foster, Michael.Foster@va.gov
University of Utah- Jason Carter, Jason.Carter2@va.gov
Weber State University- Drew Bickel, Drew.Bickel@va.gov

VIRGINIA

George Mason University- Valerie Smith Valerie.Smith11@va.gov
Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria- Johnathan.Keefe, Johnathan.Keefe@va.gov
Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale- Johnathan.Keefe, Johnathan.Keefe@va.gov
Norfolk State University- Robbyn.Spencer-Bennett, Robbyn.Spencer-Bennett@va.gov
Tidewater Community College, Norfolk- Robbyn.Spencer-Bennett, Robbyn.Spencer-Bennett@va.gov
Tidewater Community College, Chesapeake- Latwice Foster, Latwice.Foster@va.gov
Tidewater Community College, Portsmouth- Latwice Foster, Latwice.Foster@va.gov
Tidewater Community College, Virginia Beach- open
Old Dominion University – Jerry Roth, Jerry.Roth@va.gov
ECPI University – open
Liberty University – Lora Nichols, Lora.Nichols@va.gov
St. Leo University, South Hampton – open

WISCONSIN

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee – Patrick Grube,  Patrick.Grube@va.gov

 

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Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) & Dependent Payments Increase Oct 2021

For Veterans using the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), on October 1, 2021, your benefit payments are set to increase by an average of 2.6% over the previous year’s rates.

MGIB Active Duty – Chapter 30

In 2020, the rate for a full-time student was $2,122, while a half-time student received $1061. The new rates for 2021 are $2150 for full-time students, and $1075 for those veterans attending half-time training. That’s an additional $28 and $14, respectively.

View the full 2022 Active Duty MGIB rates. The rates listed above apply to students attending institutes of higher learning. If your training takes another format, review the chart for more information.

 

MGIB Selected Reserves – Chapter 1606

Beginning 1 October, those full-time student veterans using the MGIB Selected Reserves will see an increase in your monthly benefit to $407, a $10 increase. Half-time students will see their benefits move up to $203.

View the full 2022 Selected Reserve MGIB rates. Again, the rates highlighted above are for students attending colleges or universities. The rate charts will also show other training formats and their respective increases, if any.

 

Survivors and Dependents Under Chapter 35

For those of you who may be using the Survivors’ and Dependents’ benefits given under Chapter 35, your full-time institutional rate will be $1298 beginning 1 October. That’s a bump of $33 per month. Half-time rates will be $753 per month.

View the full 2022 Chapter 35 chart for survivors and dependents.

RELATED: VA Benefits for Family Members, Survivors, and Caretakers

MGIB Buy-up & REAP Rates

If you participated in the MGIB $600 Buy-up program, check out the $600 buy-up rate table to see any changes that may apply to your monthly benefit payments.

RELATED: Military Benefits Changes for 2021

Additional Information

If you’re looking for specific information on your current or future rates, or even your eligibility for education benefits, contact the Department of Veterans Affairs by calling 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551), between the hours of 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday thru Friday.

If you’re calling from overseas, use 001-918-781-5678 to get connected to a customer service representative.

RELATED: 2021 Military Retiree and VA Disability Pay Increase

(Image courtesy of Monkey Business Images via Shutterstock.com)

 

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Best Online Colleges for Veterans

Top Online Colleges for Military Veterans

Earn a fantastic degree without the commute! Get a great education and a wonderful degree at one of the Best Online Colleges for Veterans.

List of Top Online Colleges for Veterans

Top Ranked for Veterans: University of Virginia

The University of Virginia has an astounding 85% graduation rate. It consistently ranks high in national “Best of” lists including

  • #10 in Best Colleges for Veterans (US News)
  • #10 in Online Graduate Programs (US News)
  • #3 Top Public Universities in America (Niche)
  • #26 in National Universities (US News)
  • #32 in Best Value Schools (US News)
  • #4 in Top Public Schools (US News)
  • #7 in Business Schools (US News)

The University of Virginia is a GI Bill-approved school and participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Best Online Master’s Degree Programs: Pennsylvania State University World Campus

Pennsylvania State University World Campus offers over 120 Master’s degrees and graduate certificates. As one of the Best Online Colleges for Veterans, Penn State World consistently ranks high in national “Best of” lists including:

Penn State World Campus is a GI Bill-approved school and participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs: University of Florida

As one of the Best Online Colleges for Veterans, UF has been offering online degrees since 2001 and boasts a 60% graduation rate for its undergraduate degree seeking programs. UF is consistently ranked as one of the best public universities and ranks high on “Best of” lists including:

  • #3 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs (US News)
  • #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans (US News)
  • #1 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs (US News)
  • #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs (US News)
  • #1 Best Colleges in Florida (Niche)

Along with being a GI Bill-approved school, UF participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

A Leader in Online Education: University of Central Florida

Offering online degrees since 1997, the University of Central Florida has been a leader in online education for a quarter-century. As one of the Best Online Colleges for Veterans, UCF consistently ranks high on “Best of” lists including:

  • #12 in Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs (US News)
  • #14 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs (US News)
  • #6 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs (US News)
  • #27 in Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs (US News)
  • #8 in Best Online Master’s in Nursing Education Programs (US News)
  • Best Hispanic-Serving Institutions in America (Niche)

The University of Central Florida is a GI Bill-approved school and participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Best Overall: Arizona State University

One of the best campus-based schools is also one of the Best Online Colleges for Veterans. ASU has a 60% graduation rate, and offers over 80 online bachelor’s degree programs and nearly as many master’s programs. ASU offers the same excellent curriculum and instruction on campus and online. Arizona State University consistently receives top national accolades including:

  • America’s Best Value College (Forbes)
  • #3 in Best Online Master’s in Business Programs (US News)
  • #6 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs (US News)
  • #1 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs (US News)
  • #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs (US News)
  • #7 in Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs (US News)
  • #10 in Best Online Master’s in Engineering Programs (US News)
  • #1 in Best Online Master’s in Educational Administration Programs (US News)

ASU is a GI Bill-approved school and participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Best Kept Secret: Norwich University

One of the Best Online Schools for Veterans is Norwich University. Norwich is the nation’s oldest private military college and the birthplace of ROTC. Offering a smaller but wide variety of online degrees, Norwich has offered distance learning since 1997. Norwich has a fantastic 45% graduation rate and is ranked #62 in Regional Universities North by US News.

Norwich is a GI Bill-approved school and participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Top Ranked: Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers over 85 online programs. As one of the Best Online Schools for Veterans, Oregon State consistently receives top national accolades including:

  • #3 Best Online Colleges in America (Niche)
  • #4 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs (US News)
  • #3 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs (US News)
  • #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs (US News)
  • #16 in Best Online Master’s in Engineering Programs (US News)

Oregon State University is a GI Bill-approved school and participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Best Liberal College: American University

American University offers a smaller but diverse variety of online degrees with an astounding 75% graduation rate.

  • #1 Most Liberal Colleges in America (Niche)
  • #16 Best Colleges for International Relations in America (Niche)
  • #17 Best Colleges for Criminal Justice in America (Niche)

American University is a GI Bill-approved school and participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

 

How We Determine the Best Online Colleges for Veterans

The following features are common practices among the Best Online Colleges for Veterans:

  • Accreditation
  • GI Bill Acceptance
  • Additional Tuition Assistance
  • Graduation Rates
  • Job Placement

 

 

How to Pay for College as a Veteran

In America today, there are more opportunities for veterans seeking college education than at any time in history.  From education benefits earned through your service, to tuition assistance offered through some states, achieving your education goals is within your reach.  Read on to learn more about what is available to you.

Veterans Affairs Education and Training Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers education benefits to veterans, service members, and their qualified family members. These benefits include paying for tuition, assistance in finding a training program, or even career counseling.

The GI Bill

The GI Bill is one of the most cherished benefits that veterans have when leaving the service. Since 1944, the GI Bill has helped veterans pay for most or all of their education expenses. There are a few different versions of the GI Bill, and you may fall under more than one of them.

The Montgomery GI Bill

When I joined the Army in the mid-1990s, the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) was the education benefit most soldiers selected. It required a deduction of $100 per month for the first 12 months of service, and then continued service for at least two years to confirm your eligibility.

This version of the GI Bill is being phased out and replaced by another one, but it is still an option available to you if you had your pay reduced during your first year of service.

There are four categories within which you could qualify for this education benefit.

You may get up to 36 months of education benefits under the MGIB. The amount you get depends on the length of your service, the type of program you’re enrolled in, and your eligibility category.

The MGIB Selected Reserve

This program offers up to 36 months of education and training benefits. It was designed for members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard Reserve, the Army National Guard, and the Air National Guard.

There are a few eligibility requirements for those veterans seeking to take advantage of this benefit.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill helps a new generation of veterans pay for school or job training. It covers tuition and fees and provides money for housing, books and supplies. Unlike other education benefits, the Post-9/11 GI Bill does not expire if your service ended after January 1, 2013.

It is possible that you may be eligible for the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bills. When I joined the service, the MGIB was the only option, so I had my pay reduced each month for the first year.

In 2012, I received word from my command that I had to pick either the MGIB or transfer my benefit to the newer Post-9/11 version. I opted to hold onto the MGIB because I’d already paid into it. I’d also participated in the $600 Buy-Up Program, which was designed to give me more money each month through the GI Bill payments.

Shortly after retiring in 2014, I found out that I was eligible for both benefits, but I was only able to use one at a time. Since the MGIB only granted 36 months of benefit, an additional year under the Post-9/11 GI Bill was authorized to me. Using them together, I was able to complete my degree program.

RELATED: Forever GI Bill

Other Opportunities to Pay for College

Yellow Ribbon Schools

If you have the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the If you have the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon Program may help pay tuition for a degree or training program. The amount available to you depends on the school, the degree type, and the academic program you’re considering.

This is one program that can make your education benefit last longer, go further, and get you more training.

Please go here for a list of Yellow Ribbon Schools which may help pay tuition for a degree or training program. The amount available to you depends on the school, as well as the degree type.

Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship

This scholarship allows some Veterans and dependents in high-demand fields to extend their Post-9/11 benefit. The Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship could net you up to 9 months, or $30,000, of added benefits.

Some of the high-demand fields covered by this scholarship include:

  • Biological or biomedical science
  • Computer science and IT programs
  • Various Engineering fields
  • Health care or related field
  • Mathematics or Statistics
  • Medical Residency (undergraduate only)

If you’re enrolled in one of these or other high-demand career fields, do not pass up this opportunity. Here’s a PDF of the full list eligible STEM degree programs.

Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC)

If you seek computer experience to start or advance your career in the IT industry, the VET TEC program could be your best bet.

If you meet the VET TEC eligibility requirements, you could get training in one of the following exciting career fields:

  • Computer software development
  • Data Processing
  • Information Science
  • Media Applications

Veteran Readiness and Employment

If you have a service-connected disability that limits your ability to work, or even one that prevents you from working, the Veteran Readiness and Employment may benefit you.

This program helps you explore employment options and address your training needs to ready yourself for employment.

This program has multiple tracks based on your future goals, but one of them does offer assistance with training and education.

The Employment Through Long-Term Services track can help you find training and education that can help you transition into a different field of employment.

Determine your eligibility, then apply for VR&E benefits.

National Call to Service Program

You may qualify for the National Call to Service program if you performed a period of national service. This program allows you to choose an education benefit as an alternative to the Montgomery GI Bill.

The eligibility requirements are very specific:

  • You completed Initial Entry Training
  • You served for 15 months in a military occupational specialty
  • Without a break in service, you served a period of active duty as determined by the Secretary of Defense, OR
  • You served a period of 24 months in active status while in the Selected Reserve
  • AND, without a break in service, you served the remainder of your obligated service on active duty, in the reserves, in the Individual Ready Reserves, or in AmeriCorps

If you meet the eligibility requirements, then you could receive:

  • A cash bonus of $5,000, OR
  • Repayment of qualifying student loans not more than $18,000, OR
  • Educational assistance equal to the 3-year monthly MGIB rate for 12 months, OR
  • Educational assistance equal to 50% of the less-than 3-year MGIB rate for 36 months

The Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

Under this program, you may be able to continue your education by using part of your military pay to help cover school costs.

If you meet the eligibility requirements for VEAP, then you could secure money for tuition at VA approved schools.

Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program

The Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) offers education and training for high-demand jobs to veterans who are unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

VRRAP covers education programs which are approved under the GI Bill and VET TEC programs that lead to high-demand jobs. These programs could include associate degrees, non-college degrees, and certificate programs.

For the purposes of this program, the Department of Labor (DOL) determines which jobs are considered high-demand.

If you’re eligible for VRRAP, you can get:

  • Up to 12 months of tuition and fees, AND
  • A monthly housing allowance based on Post-9/11 rates

Please note, at the time that you apply for VRRAP, you can NOT be eligible for any of the following benefits:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • MGIB
  • Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA)
  • Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

States Offering Education Benefits for Veterans

In addition to the federal benefits covered above, many states offer education benefits to veterans. Some even cover the cost of tuition if certain criterion are met.

Conclusion

If you are a veteran and you are looking for ways to pay for education and training, there are so many programs out there to assist you.

Please look into any and all of these programs to get your journey started.

 

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Battlefields to Ballfields Scholarships for Veterans

Over the last ten years or so, social and political pressure elevated veteran issues into the national conversation. Veterans were returning from war, leaving the service, and facing the unparalleled challenge of reintegrating into society.

Battlefields to Ballfields

However, organizations are stepping up to the plate and offering assistance to the veteran community. One such non-profit is Battlefields to Ballfields.

This awesome organization provides scholarships to returning veterans and assists them in obtaining employment in Officiating. By tapping into teamwork, a common bond between sports and military service, B2B hopes to elevate members of our veteran community into the arena of professional sports.

RELATED: Sports Management Degrees

Eligibility & Details

Here are the eligibility requirements for the scholarship. A veteran must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Currently serving or a veteran of the United States military
  • Living in the US
  • A first-year official, meaning they have never officiated before.

To take advantage of the Battlefields to Ballfields scholarship, here is some important information to remember when applying:

  1. You must register with your local sports officiating association before or at the time of applying for the scholarship. Keep your receipts as B2B will reimburse you!
  2. DO NOT purchase your uniforms before receiving notification from B2B.
  3. When you fill out the application, if it’s done correctly, you will receive a confirmation screen with the word “Submit”.

Scholarship Details

The B2B scholarship lasts for three (3) seasons. Here’s a breakdown of what’s included:

1st Season:

  • Starter Kit – Contains uniform items for the sport for which you receive a scholarship, and it has an estimated value of $300. These items come from B2B’s authorized supplier.
  • Local officiating dues
  • National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) membership, to include liability insurance coverage, a subscription to Referee Magazine, discounts at hotels, and special discounts from 3rd party uniform suppliers.
  • US Veteran sew on patch

 

2nd & 3rd Seasons:

  • Local dues
  • NASO membership renewal

 

It is important to note here that Battlefields to Ballfields does not directly provide officiating training. That training will be provided by your local association.

Also, B2B uses ID.me to verify an applicant’s military status. If you are a veteran and have not done so already, please register with ID.me today.

Step Onto the Field

Battlefields to Ballfields is one of those nonprofits that makes you proud to be an American. They support veteran reemployment into officiating, thereby strengthening the sports programs in communities around the country.

Once you’ve established an ID.me account, head over to the Battlefields to Ballfields website and submit your application.

This opportunity is a home run for veterans!

 

(Image courtesy of Mike Flippo via Shutterstock.com.)

 

This VA GI Bill Upgrade Will Make Life a Bit Easier

Modernizing the VA’s GI Bill Platform to Go Digital

Ever get frustrated with the VA’s GI Bill platform? You aren’t alone. 

The US Department of Veterans Affairs was awarded a contract in March to transform the GI Bill digital platform. This upgrade will improve education benefits and customer service delivery to the nearly one million students it serves each year. 

This new platform will be called the Digital GI Bill and will enable the VA to call, email, text, and chat with GI Beneficiaries. The platform will also grant the VBA (Veterans Benefits Administration) to have immediate access to beneficiary records and respond to questions from colleges and universities. 

This sounds like this change will make the VA’s GI Bill process easier and keep up with modern technology. 

The VA is using $243 million that they received under the CARES Act to support this overhaul. The process will take a few years and the VA will be seeking feedback from students, schools, and partners to make sure the correct needs are met when pursuing their academic and vocational goals. You can read more about this on the VA website.

 

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GI Bill and Veteran Education Benefits Changes in 2021

2021 Changes to Post-911 GI Bill® and VA Education Benefits

In December, Congress delivered recently-passed legislation to President Trump’s desk which, when signed into law, brings changes to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) GI Bill and other benefits.  This legislation, known as the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvements Act of 2020, or H.R. 7105 for short, will make several significant changes to your existing benefits programs. It was signed into law on January 5th, 2021.  Here are the 2021 GI Bill and veterans education benefits changes.

Changes to Education Benefits

The following list highlights some of the changes to education benefits you can expect from H.R. 7105:

  • Improvements to the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship program offered through the VA
  • Expansion of eligibility for the Fry Scholarship to children and spouses of certain deceased members of the Armed Forces
  • Requirements relating to in-state tuition for veterans
  • Verification of enrollment for those receiving Post-9/11 Educational Assistance benefits
  • Improvements to limitation on certain advertising, sales, and enrollment practices

 

RELATED: Multiple Degrees Possible with New VA Rules

Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship

For the VA’s STEM Scholarship, the legislation identifies priorities of benefits in the case that funding should be exhausted due to a large number of applicants. The priorities are determined by the subject are of the undergraduate degree program, those programs leading to a teaching certificate, dual-degree programs leading to an undergraduate and graduate degree in a high-priority field of study, and programs for those in the health field who have earned degrees and are participating in covered clinical training.

>> Find scholarships for military, veterans, dependents and spouses with the CollegeRecon Scholarship Finder!

Fry Scholarship

The Fry Scholarship’s eligibility has been amended and is available to “an individual who is the child or spouse of a person who, on or after September 11, 2001, dies in line of duty while serving on duty other than active duty as a member of the Armed Forces.”

The key change here is expanding the scholarship to families whose service members were not on active duty.

In-State Tuition

There has been a growing call for institutes of higher learning to offer active military and their families the in-state tuition rates afforded to each state’s residents. 

One primary reason for this is that many military families are not residents of the states in which they live, having moved with their service members to locations required by their service. For example, I am a Texas resident, but I live in Virginia after the Army moved my spouse to a new assignment.

The new law charges the VA Secretary to create a publicly available database of public institutions of higher learning that explains their tuition and fees, along with the tuition rate that would be charged to members of the armed forces and their families. The VA would also have the authority to disapprove any course of education that does not provide this information to the VA in a timely manner.

Pay attention to the wording. The verbiage of the law applies to “public” institutions, so that means those universities and schools considered “private” are not required to comply. 

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Verification of Enrollment for Post 9/11 GI Bill

If you are an older veteran like me, you may have received the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) as an education benefit for your service. It was the predecessor to the newer Post-9/11 GI Bill that is offered to our younger generations of service members.

While using the MGIB during my retirement, I was required to submit a monthly verification of enrollment, either online or by calling the VA. It was kind of a nuisance because I often forgot to verify my enrollment during the first year. 

Until recently, the Post-9/11 benefit only required the school to verify your enrollment, and even then it was only done at the start of each semester. The new law will change that requirement.

Now, each institution is required to submit a verification of each individual who is enrolled in a course or program of education who is receiving educational assistance from the VA. 

Additionally, each individual who is enrolled in a course or program is required to submit a verification of such enrollment for each month that an individual is enrolled and receiving VA education benefits. If a student fails to submit the required verification for two consecutive months, the VA Secretary may stop any monthly stipend until the verifications are submitted.

During the MGIB years, we used a web application called WAVE, or Web Automated Verification of Enrollment, to submit our verifications. Since the website is still active, I would expect that the VA will use it to carry out this new requirement.

Expanded Prohibition to Predatory Practices

Let’s face it, members of the military, their families, and veterans, are a valuable asset to their communities, their places of employment, and especially to institutes of higher learning.

Last summer, I reported that the state of Maryland was the first to pass legislation aimed at protecting veterans from the sometimes misleading and predatory practices of some institutions. These institutions view students with VA benefits as guaranteed money and will misrepresent the institution and its programs with the sole purpose of receiving the VA’s funding.

Now, it seems that what started in Maryland has spread to federal legislation. Under H.R. 7105, extensive enforcement procedures have been approved to prevent questionable institutions from preying on our veteran students and their families.

One measure requires “flagging” such institutions on the GI Bill Comparison Tool, which would alert potential students to these issues at the institution. Ouch.

Other actions under the VA’s authority include:

  • Suspension of approval for courses and programs at the institution in question
  • Revocation the approval for courses and programs offered by the institution

Either of these actions would crush enrollments and funding for any institution that engages in questionable and deceptive practices, and I applaud their implementation.

Conclusion

The education benefits covered above are just a small portion of legislation. There are other sections that expand or correct benefits to specific demographics within the veteran community, and I will push out information that covers those topics.

For now, just be aware that H.R. 7105 has been signed into law, and there are some specific and immediate changes that impact you as a student and veteran. 

More to follow.

(Image courtesy of dennizn via Shutterstock)

 

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Ensuring Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans

Ensuring Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans

On November 12th, 2020, U.S. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) introduced legislation seeking to improve the requirements for America’s disabled service members attempting to receive federal financial aid.

The Honor Our Nation’s Oath to Remember (HONOR) Our Veterans’ Sacrifice Act, or H.R. 8748, seeks to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 by updating the definition of untaxed income and benefits by excluding veterans benefits, to include VA Disability Compensation, from the list of benefits required by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

 

>> Have a question about your or your spouse’s military benefits? We’ve partnered with the Veterans Education Project to help find the answers you need. Find the answers to your benefits questions today!

 

Currently, any disability compensation received from the VA must be reported in the FAFSA application, which is then considered when calculating an applicant’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). For veterans and their families who send their children to college, the additional reporting requirements may cause more of a financial burden for these families, presumably since it could reduce the amount of federal aid the student receives.

“We need to be doing everything we can to help our veterans. Our disabled veterans put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms, and deserve full access to educational opportunities when they return home,” said Fitzpatrick in a statement this past November. The HONOR Our Veterans’ Sacrifice Act “will amend existing law to ensure that VA Disability Compensation is not factored in to FAFSA allocation, to help our veterans receive as much tuition assistance as they are eligible for. We should be making it easier for our veterans to get an education after serving, not harder,” he concluded.

From US Representative Spanberger, “Our nation’s veterans and their families deserve the strongest possible benefits we can provide – and current FAFSA rules unfairly put these families at a financial disadvantage.”

Representative Fitzpatrick has claimed on his website that the Student Veterans of America (SVA), one of the largest advocates for student veterans and military-connected students, supports and endorses H.R. 8748.

“SVA supports the HONOR Our Veterans’ Sacrifice Act because it will remove these benefits from federal student aid calculations to ensure military affiliated students are honored for their sacrifices, and we commend Representatives Spanberger and Fitzpatrick for their leadership on this issue.” This statement was credited to Justin Hauschild, a Legal Fellow at SVA, but the statement was not found on SVA’s website.

From here, the legislation will likely be referred to a congressional committee for evaluation. If it is found that the act has merit, a vote will be scheduled in the House of Representatives. If it is then passed, it will be sent over to the Senate, and ultimately the President’s desk. 

We will continue to monitor this legislation and provide updates as they arise.

(Image courtesy of Fotocitizen via Pixabay)

 

>> Have a question about your or your spouse’s military benefits? We’ve partnered with the Veterans Education Project to help find the answers you need. Find the answers to your benefits questions today!

 

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12 States With the Most Unclaimed Veterans Education Benefits

Don’t Forget These Veterans Education Benefits in These 12 States

Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs published information about the most underused benefits, as reported by each state’s veterans department. The following states reported that these education benefits were the most underused by veterans.

Florida

The Deputy Executive Director of Florida’s Department of Veterans Affairs, James S. Hartsell, explained that, “Florida waives undergraduate-level tuition at state universities and community colleges for Florida recipients of the Purple Heart and other combat-related decorations superior in precedence to the Purple Heart.” This benefit also applied to the state’s career and technical training facilities. Learn more about Florida’s education benefits for veterans.

For more info, please go here.

Iowa

The Brandstead-Reynolds Scholarship Program receives the least applications each year from this state. This program provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children of deceased military service members who died on active duty after September 11th, 2001. Another underused program is the War Orphan Tuition Assistance Program.

For more info, please go here.

Maine

The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services reported that the most underused benefit offered by their state is the Veterans Dependent Education Benefit, which is only offered to those veterans who have received a 100% Permanent and Total Disability rating. David Richmond, director of Maine’s Bureau of Veterans’ Services, explained that “dependents and spouses of qualifying veterans are provided 100% waiver of tuition and all mandatory fees for spouses and dependents of veterans at all University of Maine System Schools, Maine Community Colleges, and Maine Maritime Academy.” He laments that many veterans who qualify do not use the benefit.

For more info, please go here.

Michigan

The Children of Veterans Tuition Grant, which provides undergraduate tuition assistance to students aged 17-25 who are the natural or adopted child of a Michigan veteran, is this state’s most underused benefit. The director of Michigan’s Veterans Affairs Agency, Zaneta Adams,  explained that a veteran must have died or have become permanently disabled as a result of their military service. “The families of our veterans are just as important to us as our veterans, which is why we want to ensure that they take advantage of all their benefits,” she said.

For more info, please go here.

Minnesota

Larry Herke, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs reported that the Minnesota GI Bill was among the least used benefits by veterans in his state. The program provides a maximum benefit of $10,000, up to age 62, for any eligible Minnesota veterans, currently serving military, National Guard and Reserve members who served after September 11, 2001, and eligible spouses and children. Participants can use the benefit at institutes of higher education, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or licensing and certification.

For more info, please go here.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs reported that their most underused state benefit is the Reservist Tuition Credit. Under this program, Nebraska residents who are enlisted members of the Nebraska-based unit of the Active Selected Reserve may be eligible for a 50% tuition credit to the University of Nebraska campuses, state colleges and community colleges.

For more info, please go here.

Ohio

Sean McCarthy, assistant director of Ohio’s Department of Veterans Services, explained that “[t]he Ohio National Guard offers tuition assistance at over 150 Ohio colleges and universities for Veterans who serve in an enlisted drilling status with the Guard – up to four semesters of full time tuition for a three year commitment, and up to eight semesters for a six-year commitment. If you’re transitioning out of the active service and join the Ohio National Guard, this benefit would net you some excellent college time!

For more info, please go here.

Rhode Island

This state’s Office of Veterans Services reported that the most underused benefit is for eligible active duty military and veterans to receive in-state tuition rates at University of Rhode Island, Community College of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College “immediately upon establishing residence in Rhode Island.” Wow! No waiting period. That’s fantastic!

For more info, please go here.

South Carolina

South Carolina provides free tuition or education assistance for qualified children of certain military veterans applying to or enrolled in a South Carolina state supported college, university, or post-secondary technical education program. This waiver can also apply to acceptance into dual enrollment/early college credit programs prior to graduating high school. Certain residency requirements must be met.

For more info, please go here.

South Dakota

Education benefits are the most underused portion of South Dakota’s suite of veterans benefits. Greg Whitlock, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, encourages all veterans of the state to contact their local county or tribal veterans service officers, or the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs office (605-773-3269) to learn more about their benefits, or visit the link above to visit their benefits website.

For more info, please go here.

Tennessee

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has a goal of becoming the “most veteran friendly higher education system in the nation”. They believe that the military training you have endured should be appropriately recognized at the college level. Using their TN-SOP tool, Tennessee is providing a head start to veterans on obtaining college credentials.

This tool is actually pretty cool. First, I selected my branch of service. Then, I entered my MOS (11B Infantryman), then my highest pay grade, and finally the date of my initial training. With that information, the SOP tool populated a list of Tennessee colleges and universities with the amount of transfer credits I’d be eligible to receive. For example, Middle Tennessee University would grant me 18 credit hours with just my MOS. That six less classes I would need to take for a degree program. Please check this tool out!

For more info, please go here.

Wyoming

Tim Sheppard, executive director of the Wyoming Veterans Commission, said that the most underused benefit for his state is the honorary high school diploma. “We haven’t had a request in over three years.”

Here’s how it works: “The following personnel who have attended a Wyoming high school, entered military service on these specified dates (shown below) prior to completing necessary high school graduation requirements, and who did not receive a high school diploma, may apply to the state superintendent of public instruction for an honorary high school diploma.”

An honorably discharged veteran of:

  • World War II who served in the U.S. military between December 8, 1941 and August 14, 1945.
  • The Korean War, who served in the U.S. military between June 27, 1950 and July 28, 1953.
  • The Vietnam War, who served in the U.S. military between February 28, 1961 and August 15, 1973.

While this is not the typical education benefit, it is one of my favorites. It reminds us that there are citizens among us who stopped their whole lives to fight for our country. Some of them were only in high school when they made that choice. I commend Wyoming for this benefit.

Importance of Education Benefits

To sum up this piece, I want to make it clear that most states have tremendous benefits available to their veterans and service members. The ones listed above reported an underuse of their state’s education benefits. So, if you are veteran of any of these states, please take advantage of these amazing opportunities!

(Image courtesy of Hong Qi Zhang via 123rf.com)

 

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Hands-On Job Experience For Student Veterans

6 Ways for Veterans to Get Hands-on Job Experience While Still in School

You’ve got lots of book learning, right? You’ve had plenty of lectures, theories, papers and more. But what about hands-on learning, the kind that proves to potential employers that you’re more than just book-smart.

Here are 6 hands-on ways to develop knowledge, skills and experience in your academic field or career interest area.

  • Co-Op
  • Fellowship
  • Internship
  • Job Shadow
  • Volunteer
  • Work-Study

If you are using veteran education benefits, you may be able to receive funding for housing, tuition and books with some of them.

Co-Op

Co-Op is short for Cooperative Education. They are set up between a schools and businesses. Co-Ops allow students to attend school and get paid to work at a company, non-profit or government agency on a long term basis. Most Co-Op programs are between 3 and 12 months long. They can be part or full-time paid jobs.

Some Co-Op programs alternate work periods with your school terms.  Others allow you to study part-time and work part-time. Depending on the program, it is possible to also receive academic credit for the Co-Op experience. Contact your academic advisor or program coordinator for more information on Co-Op programs.

According to the VA, you may be able to get money for housing, tuition and books during a Co-Op. Your benefits advisor will be able to tell you if a program is eligible.

Fellowship

Fellowships have unique characteristics. According to the website, ProFellow, they usually target graduate and post-graduate students. They are designed for professional development or have a focus on academic research. They are tied to special projects or research topics of interest to the organization offering them. The pay structure of most fellowships is stipend based, not an hourly wage.

There are many fellowships especially for veterans. Fellowships are available in fields such as medicine, security and communications.  They are offered by service support organizations like the  VFW, non-profits, corporations and even the federal government.

You can find fellowships with an internet search and talking to your academic advisor.

RELATED: New Virtual Paid Fellowship

Internship

An internship is a paid or unpaid short term, temporary position with a business or organization that gives experience in a career field or job. Every industry has internship options. There are internships with corporations, non-profits, all levels of government, and businesses of all sizes.

You may be able to receive VA education benefits for housing, tuition and books during an internship. It will depend on if you are attending an accredited school, already using VA education benefits and whether the internship is required by your educational program.

Contact your academic advisor or training program coordinator and your VA benefits office for more information.

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Job Shadow

A job shadow is spending a day or two with someone actually doing the job you are interested in.

Doing a few job shadows may be the most important thing you can do before committing to a school or training program. The discoveries you make can save you time and money.  They can also open the door to internship and employment opportunities later.

You can set up job shadows by asking folks in your network or contacting veteran friendly companies you are interested in.

Volunteer

Volunteering doesn’t just give you hands-on learning in a field you are interested in.

You may not be actively job hunting yet, but if you are…a study from the Corporation for National and Community Service found that people who volunteer are 27% more likely to get a job.

It turns out, volunteers “demonstrate higher levels of capacity, potentially making the volunteer more attractive to and productive for employers.”

You can find volunteer opportunities with an internet search, by asking folks in your network and contacting veteran friendly companies and non-profits.

Work-Study

A work-study program gives students a part-time job to help pay for school or training expenses. Jobs are available in many career areas. In addition to the financial need based federal work-study program, the VA has a work-study program. There are 4 requirements. You must be:

  • Enrolled at least three-quarter time in a college degree, vocational, or professional program
  • Have found an open job either at a nearby VA facility or in a VA-related role at your school
  • Able to finish the work-study contract while you still qualify for education benefits
  • Using an approved VA education benefits program to pay for your education or training

You can do any of these 6 hands-on programs while enrolled in a school or training program. Check with your academic advisor or training program coordinator to see what options you have. Don’t miss a great opportunity to get industry specific, hands-on experience that sets you up for career success.

 

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States Offering In-State Tuition for Veterans After 3 Years from Discharge

States that Offer Veterans In-State Tuition Benefits

The Choice Act requires schools to allow non-resident veterans to qualify for in-state tuition for up to 3 years after their military service has ended.

For veterans to qualify for in-state tuition, they must use their Post 9/11 GI Bill within 3 years of separation from active duty service.

Beyond the Choice Act

While all states meet the Choice Act requirement and 27 states have passed laws that make veteran students eligible for in-state tuition beyond the 3-year limit, confusing and inconsistent laws remain in multiple states.

It stands to reason that amending the Choice Act will ensure that veterans have full access to the GI Bill benefit.

States That Offer Resident Tuition Beyond 3 Years to Veterans

All schools provide in-state tuition beyond the 3-year cap for veterans unless otherwise specified.

  • Florida – veterans, spouses and dependents all eligible beyond 3-year cap
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky – veterans, spouses and dependents all eligible beyond 3-year cap
  • Maine
  • Maryland – veterans, spouses and dependents all eligible beyond 3-year cap
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi – veterans, spouses and dependents all eligible beyond 3-year cap
  • New Jersey – veterans, spouses and dependents all eligible beyond 3-year cap
  • New Mexico – veterans, spouses and dependents all eligible beyond 3-year cap
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio – provides additional in-state tuition option called “GI Promise.”  Requires one year of active duty.
  • Oregon – attend public university and show evidence of physical presence in state within 12 months of enrollment
  • Pennsylvania – veterans and dependents all eligible beyond 3-year cap at state-related and state-owned institutions of higher learning including community colleges
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota – provides free tuition for some veterans
  • Tennessee – at public university
  • Texas – requires proof of intent to live in Texas
  • Utah – for veterans and their immediate families attending USHE institution that live within the state or have proof of intent to live in Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

States Granting Tuition with Limits Beyond 3 Years

These states are Choice Act compliant, however while they exceed Choice Act requirements, they are still inconsistent with the Forever GI Bill.

  • Alabama – Eligible for in-state tuition up to 5 years. After 5 years, veterans may qualify for in-state tuition if they live within 90 miles of an Alabama campus or attend an individual university that allows in-state tuition for active duty service members or veterans.
  • Alaska – University of Alaska system provides waiver for veterans eligible for the VA education benefit, their spouses, and dependents.  However, other public schools in Alaska do not.
  • Colorado – GI Promise Act offers in-state tuition adjustments, but not all veterans may qualify.
  • Connecticut – Covers 100% of tuition costs for veterans beyond the 3 year limit.
  • Delaware – University of Delaware provides waivers for qualified veterans. Offers benefits to dependents of POW or those MIA/KIA.
  • Georgia – Veterans are eligible for in-state tuition for up to 10 years.
  • Idaho – Veterans who meet requirements outlined in state statutes are eligible for non-resident tuition rates. These requirements are not consistent with the Choice Act.
  • New York – Veterans using Chapter 31 or 33 qualify for in-state tuition.
  • Nevada – Veterans and dependents are eligible for in-state tuition up to 5 years after separation from active duty.
  • Oklahoma – Veterans are eligible for in-state tuition for up to 5 years after separation from active duty.
  • US Virgin Islands – University of the Virgin Islands Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning Program provides free tuition to qualifying veterans.
  • Washington – State law lets individual institutions determine their own waiver program requirements and requires residency for in-state tuition.

States That Do Not Grant Resident Tuition Beyond 3 Years

These states are Choice Act compliant, but do not grant resident tuition beyond the Choice Act requirements.

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas – Scholarships for spouses and dependents of POWs or those MIA/KIA.
  • California – Offers tuition waivers to active duty service members, those living in the state a year prior to discharge, and dependents
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana – Indiana University System provides in-state tuition to any veteran who enrolls and establishes residency within a year of separation from active duty.
  • Louisiana – Act 581 provides an alternative avenue for in-state tuition with more strict requirements than the Choice Act. Disabled veterans and dependents qualify for in-state tuition.
  • Massachusetts – Offers waivers for those who qualify as veterans and permanent legal residents under state law.
  • Missouri – Missouri Returning Heroes Act provides a $50 per credit hour cap on tuition rates for qualified combat veterans. Dependents of active duty service members and veterans are eligible for in-state tuition.
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina – Some programs exist for dependents.
  • West Virginia – Only public universities comply with the Choice Act. Read West Virginia Veteran Benefits for more information.
  • South Carolina
  • New Hampshire – Some programs exist for dependents.
  • Vermont – Some programs exist for dependents.
  • Washington, DC
  • Wyoming

Choice Act Ready for an Upgrade

Legislation surrounding the GI Bill can be confusing and differ from state to state. Amending the Choice Act can support congruence between this act and the Forever GI Bill.

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act (Forever GI Bill) of 2017 allows veterans to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits at any time after separation from active duty service.

Section 702 of the Veterans’ Access, Choice and Accountability (Choice) Act of 2014 requires schools to provide in-state tuition to eligible student veterans in order for the school to receive GI Bill funding.

 

For more detailed information on state-by-state benefits, refer to State Veterans Benefits for all 50 States and Territories.

 

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States Offering Free College Tuition for Veterans & Dependents

States with Free Tuition for Veterans and Their Dependents

One part of raising children is figuring out how you will pay for college when the day comes. As a military service member, you probably wonder how your time in service can help. Or, as a veteran, you might be curious about your state and if they offer any tuition waivers for veterans. The good news is, certain states do provide free college to veterans and veterans dependents in military friendly colleges or at other higher education institutions

States with Education Benefits for Military and Veteran Dependents

Here’s a quick list if you’re looking for information about states that offer education benefits to dependents of veterans.  For more info, click on the state name to jump directly to your state.

States with Free College for Disabled Veteran Dependents

The following states offering specific education benefits for the dependents of disabled veterans:

States that Offer Free College for Disabled Veterans’ Dependents

Some states offer free college for disabled veterans and dependents.

Alaska

The dependents of service members who are Alaska residents, and died in the line of duty, listed by the DoD as a POW, or killed in action, are entitled to a waiver of undergraduate tuition and fees.

Arizona

In Arizona, there is a tuition waiver. Dependent children up to the age of 30 of an Arizona National Guard member or US Armed Forces member, who were members of the state of Arizona, or stationed in Arizona and were killed in the line of duty or who died from injuries that were suffered in the line of duty while traveling to or from duty qualify.

Service members who have been medically discharged from the military or those with a Purple Heart and whose disability rating determined by the US Department of Virginia is 50% or more.

Kentucky

Kentucky has a tuition waiver for the following:

  • Children
  • Stepchildren
  • Spouses
  • Un-remarried widows or widowers

These benefits may be used towards 2-year, 4-year or vocational schools funded by the Kentucky Department of Education.

In order to qualify, one of the following must be true of the veteran:

  • Died on active duty
  • Died as a result of service-connected disability (determined by VA)
  • 100% service-connected disabled
  • Totally disabled (not service-connected) with wartime service
  • Is deceased, was KY resident at time of death, with wartime service
  • Social Security Administration award is not acceptable

NOTE: Applicant need not be KY resident

For more info, please go here.

Louisiana

Louisiana provides a state benefit for exemption of tuition and select fees for:

  • Surviving spouses of deceased or disabled war veterans
  • Children of veterans with at least a 90% service-disabled rating
  • Children of war veterans who have a 100% disability rating due to individual un-employability

This exemption is good for 4 years of schooling, as long as it is completed in not more than 5 years.  There is no age limit for a surviving spouse.  Children are eligible until the age of 25 and must attend on a full-time basis.

To apply please contact your local Parish Veterans Service Office. For more info please visit the website.

 

North Carolina

As a part of who can receive a scholarship, a child of a veteran must have a parent who must either be deceased, disabled, be a POW or be MIA, or a combat veteran. The veteran will have needed to meet the qualifying criteria during wartime.

South Dakota

Children of veterans who were KIA, or who have died of other causes while on active duty, are eligible for free tuition at a state-supported school. The child needs to be under the age of 25, be a resident of South Dakota, and the parent will have needed to have been a resident of South Dakota for at least six months immediately preceding entry into active service.

Texas

And when it comes to the Hazelwood Act in Texas, Spouses and dependent children of eligible service members, active duty, reserves, and the Texas National Guard who died in the line of duty or the result of an injury or illness related to military service qualify. Spouses and dependents of those who are missing in action, or who became totally disabled for purposes of employability as a result of a service-related injury or illness are also entitled.

Washington

Washington state will waive undergraduate tuition and fees, up to 200 quarter credits or equivalent semester credits for dependents of 100% disabled veterans who are eligible, at state community colleges, colleges, and universities.

 

If your state is not on this list, it is possible that it could be added in the future.

List of States Veterans and Dependents Education Benefits

Here is what you need to know about them broken down by state.

Alaska

In Alaska, National Guard members can receive up to 100% tuition assistance at any University of Alaska system schools.

The dependents of service members who are Alaska residents, and died in the line of duty, listed by the DoD as a POW, or killed in action, are entitled to a waiver of undergraduate tuition and fees.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, the state law provides that tuition at state educational institutions will be waived for certain veterans and certain dependents.

In order to qualify, veterans must be attending a state regional community or technical college, or a state university.

They must either be a veteran who served 90 days of active duty during a period of war, have been accepted to an approved institution, and be a Connecticut resident at the time of acceptance to the institution.

What about dependents?

A veteran’s dependents can also qualify for a tuition waiver if the veteran is declared missing in action while serving in the armed forces after January 1, 1960.

Florida

Florida has the Congressman C.W. Bill Young Tuition Waiver Program. This program will waive out-of-state tuition fees for all honorably discharged veterans who reside in the state and who are enrolled in Florida public, post-secondary institutions.

What about spouses and/or dependents?

This is also extended to spouses and dependent children who reside in Florida and who are using GI Bill benefits for enrollment in Florida Public, post-secondary institutions.

Illinois

Illinois has an Illinois Veterans’ Grant (IVG) Program that pays tuition and mandatory fees at all Illinois state-sponsored colleges, universities, and community colleges for eligible Illinois veterans.

In order to qualify, veterans must be:

  • an honorably discharged veteran
  • reside in Illinois
  • have at least one full year of active duty in the US armed forces, to include veterans who were assigned to active duty in a foreign country in a time of hostilities in that country regardless of the length of service
  • they must return to Illinois within 6 months of discharge from the service

See also

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, they have a tuition waiver for all Massachusetts veterans to all state colleges and universities. Veterans would need to be in an undergraduate degree program or certificate program, must also be a legal resident of Massachusetts, and must not be in default of any federal student loans. Veterans are eligible on a space-available basis for a waiver of full or partial tuition based on proper documentation of the eligibility of the veteran.

Members of the National Guard qualify for a waiver of both fees and tuition at all state colleges and universities.

Montana

Montana has a state veteran tuition waiver. If a veteran meets all of the eligibility requirements, they can get a waiver of registration and incidental fees.

In order to qualify, a veteran must have an honorable discharge from any branch of the US military, on active duty, other than training purposes. They must also be a state resident of Montana for fees and tuition purchases. They must have been VA education benefits must have been exhausted or expired and they must qualify under any of the following sections:

  1. Served December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946; June 22, 1950, to January 31, 1955; or January 1, 1964, to May 7, 1975.
  2. Qualified students who are working on an initial undergraduate degree and received an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service after May 7, 1975.
  3. Qualified students who are working on an initial undergraduate degree and received the Southwest Asia Service Medal for service in the Persian Gulf between August 2, 1990, and April 11, 1991.
  4. Awarded the Kosovo Campaign Medal and working on their initial undergraduate degree.
  5. Served in a combat theatre in Afghanistan or Iraq after September 11, 2001, and received either the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal or the Iraq Campaign Medal and working on their initial undergraduate degree.

Veterans who qualify for this waiver can receive it for a total of 12 semesters and must maintain satisfactory progress as established by the Board of Regents for the Montana University System.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, they have the Wartime Veteran Scholarship Fund. This can be used by any veteran who has served in combat since 1990, and who has exhausted all of their available federal GI Education Benefit options. Eligible combat veterans are those who have served since 1990.

This scholarship is for tuition costs and books directly related to undergraduate and master’s degree work at a public New Mexico Institute of Higher Education.

Veterans will need to be residents of New Mexico for a minimum of 10 years and also awarded a medal for service in the Armed Forces of the United States in support of any US Military campaign or armed conflict as defined by Congress or presidential executive order for service after August 1, 1990.  This includes one of the following:

  • Southwest Asia Service Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  • Iraq Campaign Medal
  • Afghanistan Campaign Medal
  • Any other issued medal

New Mexico also has a Vietnam Veterans Scholarship. This is for veterans who have been residents of New Mexico for a minimum of 10 years, have served in Vietnam, and were issued the Vietnam Campaign or Service Medal are eligible.

This scholarship will pay full tuition and books at any state-funded post-secondary school.

New York

New York has the Veterans Tuition Awards that are managed by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC).

Awards are for full-time and part-time students for eligible veterans that matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York state.

Veterans will need to be New York state residents, be discharged under honorable conditions and who are one of the following: Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975, Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990, Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001, or Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961, as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

North Carolina

North Carolina offers scholarships for children of veterans. They are eligible for a four-year scholarship at a North Carolina approved school. The veteran parent must either be deceased, disabled, be a POW or be MIA, or a combat veteran. The veteran will have needed to meet the qualifying criteria during wartime. The child must be under 25, be a natural child of a veteran, or be adopted before the age of 15, been born in North Carolina, and have been a resident of North Carolina since birth, and a current resident. The parent veteran will have needed to be a resident of North Carolina at the time of entry into the qualifying period of service, or the child will have needed to have been born in North Carolina and have lived exclusively in North Carolina.

South Carolina

South Carolina has a tuition program for children of certain war veterans. The benefit would be a tuition waiver at any state-sponsored university, college, or post-high school technical education institution.

Children need to be 26 years old or younger and need to be a child of a wartime veteran. They also need to be admitted to any state-supported college, university, or post-high school technical education institution free of tuition as long as their work and conduct are satisfactory. The veteran will also need to be a resident of South Carolina at the time of entry into service, be a resident during service and still be residing in the state, or have been a resident of the state for at least a year and still residing in the state. If the veteran is deceased, they would have had to reside in the state for at least one year before they passed. The veteran will have also had to have served honorably during a war period.

South Dakota

South Dakota provides for certain veterans to take undergraduate courses at a state-supported university.

Veterans must have been discharged under Honorable conditions, be a current resident of South Dakota and qualify for in-state tuition, and qualify as a veteran.

Qualifying as a veteran would mean serving on active duty any time between August 2, 1990, and a date to be determined, receiving an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or other United States campaign or service medal for participating in combat operations against hostile forces outside the boundaries of the US or having a service-connected disability rated 10% or more that is disabling.

Veterans who are eligible can receive one month of free tuition for each month of qualifying service with a minimum of one, up to a maximum of four academic years.

What about spouses and/or dependents?

Children of veterans who were KIA, or who have died of other causes while on active duty, are eligible for free tuition at a state-supported school. The child needs to be under the age of 25, be a resident of South Dakota, and the parent will have needed to have been a resident of South Dakota for at least six months immediately preceding entry into active service.

Tennessee

Tennessee has the Helping Heroes Grant which is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The award is for $1,000 per semester for a student who enrolls in 12 or more semester hours. Students will receive $500 per semester for 6-11 semester hours.

To be eligible, a veteran must be honorably discharged after serving in the US Armed Forces, or a former or current member of a reserve or Tennessee National Guard unit who has been called into active military service. They also must have been a Tennessee resident for one year preceding the date of application for the grant, be awarded Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, on or after Sept. 11, 2001, be enrolled at an eligible 2 or 4 years postsecondary institution, haven’t earned a baccalaureate degree yet, not in default of a federal or Tennessee educational loan, and other qualifications.

The grant may be awarded for a maximum of eight full semesters.

Texas

Texas has the Hazlewood Act, which is an education benefit offering up to 150 credit hours of tuition and most required fees at a state-supported college or university at no cost to the veteran.

In order to be eligible, the veteran must be a Texas resident upon entering military service, be classified as a resident by the institution for the term or semester they are applying for, have served at least 181 days on active duty service, have an honorable or general under honorable conditions discharge, have no federal veterans’ education benefits. Or if they have benefits, they need to be less than the value of the tuition and fees for the term the veteran is applying for. They also can’t be in default of any student loans, either federal or those made or guaranteed by the State of Texas.

What about spouses and/or dependents?

Veterans who are eligible can assign or transfer unused hours of exemption eligibility to a child under certain conditions. In order to qualify, the child must be a Texas resident, be the biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or claimed as a dependent in the current or previous tax year, be 25 years old or younger on the first day of the semester that they are claiming the exemption for, and meet the GPA requirement of the program as well as not having an excessive amount of credit hours.

Spouses and dependent children of eligible service members, active duty, reserves, and the Texas National Guard who died in the line of duty or the result of an injury or illness related to military service qualify. Spouses and dependents of those who are missing in action, or who became totally disabled for purposes of employability as a result of a service-related injury or illness are also entitled.

Utah

Utah has the Veterans Tuition Gap Program. This enables qualifying military veterans to receive tuition assistance for the last school year at state institutions of higher education. This is for tuition only and does not include housing, books, or other expenses.

In order to qualify, veterans must be a Utah resident, admitted to a state school, have no previous degrees, and are eligible for Chapters 1606, 30, 31, 32, 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill, but have it be exhausted.

Washington

In Washington state, they have authorized state community colleges, colleges, and universities, to waive all or a portion of eligible veterans’ tuition and fees. This is to include national guard members. They must have served during a war or conflict, served in another country or international waters, or in support of those serving on foreign soil or in international waters. They also need to have an honorable discharge. They will also need to be a resident with Washington domiciliary.

What about spouses and/or dependents?

They also waive undergraduate tuition and fees, up to 200 quarter credits or equivalent semester credits for dependents of 100% disabled veterans who are eligible, at state community colleges, colleges, and universities.

Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, they have their own GI Bill. The Wisconsin GI Bill forgives full tuition and segregated fees for eligible veterans and their dependents for up to eight semesters or 128 credits, whichever is greater, at any University of Wisconsin System or Wisconsin Technical College System school. This is separate from the Federal GI Bill.

To be eligible the veteran must be a Wisconsin resident at the time of entry into active military service and be a resident for at least five consecutive years preceding the beginning of any semester or session for which they register at a qualifying institution.

What about spouses and/or dependents?

Eligible veteran’s spouses or children may use this benefit if the veteran has been awarded a service-connected disability rating of at least 30% or has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-connected ability.

To qualify a veteran must meet the following:

  • have served at least 90 days or more during a war period
  • have served on active duty at least two continuous years or full initial service obligation during peacetime
  • was honorably discharged because of a service-connected disability, a disability subsequently adjudicated to have been service-connected, or due to a reduction in the US Armed Forces
  • served in a designated crisis zone
  • received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, a Vietnam Service Medal, a Navy Expeditionary Medal, or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, or an expeditionary or service medal equivalent to those already mentioned
  • served for any period under Section 1 of Executive Order 10957 dated August 10, 1961.

See also

Wyoming

Wyoming provides a veteran tuition benefit in the form of free tuition and fees for overseas combat veterans, surviving spouses, and their dependents.

There were some changes in 2018, so those that were currently enrolled would be entitled to full payment as well as the use of 10 semesters of education as long as their entitlements have been used by August 31, 2020. After that, all participants that are currently enrolled or those who enrolled after the summer 2018 semester will only be entitled to payment of tuition and will be limited to 8 semesters within an 8-year period.

 

One last item to note: Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, United States military veterans and their families may be eligible for college assistance grants and other educational benefits. With the help of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), these grants can be used to pay for education at any accredited college, vocational school, junior college, or university in the United States.

 

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Discounts and Freebies for Military and Veterans

 

>> For more freebies and discounts, please make sure to sign up for the MyMilitaryBenefits discount newsletter for all kinds of ways for the military community to save.  It’s free!!

 

 

Civilian Jobs After Serving In The Military in Aviation

Joining the military and working in aviation can be a smart choice. Not only can you have a successful career while serving in the military, but you can take your experience and the skills you learned to the civilian world.

Civilian Jobs After Serving In The Military in Aviation

If you have served in Aviation, depending on what your job was, you may have learned how to fly a airplane, how to maintain an airplane, or other skills that can help in a post-military career in aviation. Here are a few career paths you might want to choose to pursue, depending on your skills and career plans.

>> Use our Veteran Job Matcher to find job opportunities with companies looking to hire veterans and transitioning military.  Click here to get started.

Program Manager in Aviation/Aerospace

If you are interested in the engineering side of aviation, becoming a Program Manager in Aviation/Aerospace would be ideal. To work in this type of job you would be responsible for preparing proposals, and leading projects in aviation and aerospace. Knowing the fundamentals of air transport, airport operations, and airline revenue management would be important. You would work with engineers, civic planners, environmental science professionals, as well as government officials. You should also have some leadership skills to bring to the job.

In order to have this type of job, you would need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related subject. You also will need to be registered as a professional engineer in their respective state.

According to Payscale.com, the average salary of a Program Manager in Aviation/Aerospace would be $108,917 as of May 16th, 2019.

RELATED: Getting a Degree in Aeronautics or Aviation

Commercial Airline Pilot

If you were a pilot in the military, becoming a commercial airline pilot once you get out of the military can be a good idea. You will already have experience flying planes and will have flight hours you can put towards your commercial pilot licence. Working as a pilot, you should have good depth perception, and quick reaction time, as well as problem solving skills. Because you have flown in the military you would be familiar with flying a plane, but will need extra training on commercial flying.

To become a pilot it would be a good idea to have an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s. However, having flight training in the military can take the place of that. You will need 250 flight hours for your commercial pilot licence, and those you have flown during your time in the military will count towards that. You can get a job flying passengers or even cargo.

According to Payscale.com, the average salary of a Commercial Airline Pilot would be $72,327 as of May 16th, 2019.

Aircraft Mechanic

If you worked as an aircraft mechanic in the military, that can carry over into a civilian job. As an aircraft mechanic, you would perform repairs, and do preventative routine maintenance on aircraft and helicopters. You would need an eye for detail, and have a basic understanding of how things work. You would be responsible for making sure the aircraft is safe, and that any issues are repaired and fixed as soon as possible.

While you can become an Aircraft Mechanic by going to a FAA approved AMT training school or by having on-the-job training, the FAA also gives credit for time spent in aviation maintenance while serving in the military. Colleges and other AMT training programs will also give that credit too.

According to Payscale.com, the average salary of an Aircraft Mechanic would be $49,727 as of May 16th, 2019.

Aviation Meteorologist

If you are interested in meteorology, or have worked as a flight meteorologist, weather officer, or other related job in the military, working as an aviation meteorologist can be the right for for you.

In this type of job you would provide weather information to airline flight dispatchers and pilots. You would determine current weather conditions for all altitudes and take into account what conditions may affect a flight, such as what can cause heavy turbulence.

You would rely on weather radar, computers, weather stations information, and other tools. Additionally, you would also need to be able to work under pressure and have a familiarity with aviation.

Commercial airlines will probably want you to have a bachelor’s degree in meteorology, aviation meteorology, or even another type of science.

Your training and skills in the military can also count towards your education and the experience companies are looking for. Beyond working for a commercial airline, you could work for a private company, which might do work for the government or even the military.

According to Payscale.com, the average salary of a Aviation Meteorologist would be $53,241 as of May 20th, 2019.

If continuing in the aviation field is important to you after you finish your time in the military, make plans for the career you want to pursue, and work to start any education or training you might need before you would start applying for those jobs.

Aviation Jobs Across the Different Branches

All five branches do have a form of Aviation. The Air Force has the biggest about of aviation type jobs with 43 different careers.

The Army has 21 different Aviation MOS. While the Marine Corps and the Navy also have many different options to serve in an aviation combat role.

The Coast Guard offers jobs such as Aviation Maintenance Technician, Aviation Survival Technician, and Avionics Electrical Technician.

 

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Civilian Jobs “After the Military” For:

>> Use our Veteran Job Matcher to find job opportunities with companies looking to hire veterans and transitioning military.  Click here to get started.

 

Veterans: Enroll & Launch Your Education Adventure

Now it’s time to enroll and launch your education adventure.  It is important to note that the enrollment process, procedures, and requirements differ from school to school.

You may find that some schools require minimum scores on the SAT or ACT assessment exams.  While others may waive these requirements for adult learners like veterans. In addition, some schools may require you to take placement exams to determine if you need remedial courses.

I’m Enrolled, What’s Next?

It is during the enrollment stage that you will need to submit your Joint Services Transcript (JST) and in some cases you may be asked for your high school transcripts. Learn more about gathering and submitting transcripts.

You will also want to include any documentation or scores for any of CLEP Exams or DSST exams you may have taken in the past.

Here are some resources to help you navigate this final step:

Your Pre-Launch checklist is now complete. The list was designed to ensure you have a firm footing as you prepare to start college. We have several resources and articles that can help you as you complete the enrollment phase.

List of Education Resources for Veteransy

Here is a quick list of resources to help you succeed in school:

 

 

 

As a Student Veteran, You Already Have Everything You Need to Be Successful in College

You Already Have What a College Student Needs

A college degree is arguably the best way to reach your career goals, create new opportunities, find your dream job, and increase income. Unfortunately, the cost, time, and effort it takes to earn a degree can be overwhelming. But, thanks to your military experience you have a leg up in all three of those areas.

Let’s break it down this way:

The Cost Of A College Education

The cost of a college tuition alone can run over $40,000 a year. But, thanks to your military education benefits you can virtually eliminate the cost of higher education through programs like military tuition assistance and the GI Bill©.

The Time Required to Get a Degree

Earning a degree typically takes between 4 and 5 years. However, your military experience can reduce the number of classes needed to earn your degree through a program known as ACE (American Council on Education). ACE is used by schools to determine the number of college credits they can grant for your military training and experience.

The Effort Needed For Your Education

Unlike most freshman college students that have never had to push themselves through adversity, your training and experience in the military has given you the focus and tenacity to meet the demands of earning your degree.

Your combination of education benefits, life experience, and support programs will ensure your success as you prepare for going to college. So, don’t let your concerns about Money, Time and Effort slow you down.

 

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Combat Engineering: Civilian Jobs After The Military

Equivalent Civilian Careers for Combat Engineers After the Military

All of the skills you acquire while serving in the military as a combat engineer, can help with future careers in the civilian world.

Jobs for Combat Engineering Veterans

Here are a few civilian jobs after serving in the military as an engineer (Combat Engineer, Construction, Electrician, Etc).  These job descriptions include salary information, education and training requirements.

Here are a few civilian jobs to consider after working in combat engineering in the military:

Electrician

An electrician works on and installs wiring in homes, businesses, factories, you name it. They work indoors, outdoors, on new construction, renovation, or new equipment installation. There are many levels to being an electrician including being a residential wireman, a journeyman electrician, and a master electrician. A combat engineer’s experience such as with wiring explosives can help in this position.

Like the military, you need to have a high school diploma to get started. But, in many states you will have to pass an exam before you can start your apprenticeship. The best way to prepare for the exam and your career as an electrician is to take classes at your local junior college or vocational “trade” school, or training programs through your local electrician’s union.

Apprenticeships can last a few years and will allow you to learn the trade and get prepared for going out on your own as an electrician. After you complete your apprenticeship, you will need to get your license in your state if you state requires that, or in your city or county if they require that.

According to Salary.com, the average salary of an Electrician would be from $47,811 to $60, 951.

>> Find opportunities with job recruiters and staffing companies looking to assist veterans and military spouses.  Get started today!

Construction

Going into construction can also be a good post combat engineer career choice. Using the skills you have learned during your time in the military.

Like an electrician, construction workers can work on commercial, industrial or residential construction. Building structures, bridges, and road work. There are also options when it comes to starting out in this career.

You can register as an apprentice and learn on-the-job training as well as in-class training. Or, take classes at a transitional or technical/vocational college. You can take a shorter program, sometimes just a few weeks, in order to get a certificate to use in finding employment. You can also look for an entry-level job to get started right away, learning while at your job. Classes in english, math, physics, and shop and welding will come in handy.

According to Payscale.com, the average salary of a construction worker is between $21,193 to $54,974.

Building Inspector

Finding a career as a building inspector is another good choice for someone who has been a combat engineer. As a building inspector, you would examine the structural quality and overall safety of a variety of buildings, and ensure buildings comply with municipal and state codes, ordinances, and zoning regulations. They use tools that take measurements, identify potential programs, and sample materials.

Since working as a building inspector can involve climbing high ladders or crawling through tight spaces, going into this career field after being a combat engineer can be a smart idea. The knowledge and experience you have gained in that MOS can help you with this type of career.

You will need a high school diploma for this line of work but some employers will require more. The training requirements can also differ based on your jurisdiction or state. Going to school to earn a certificate or an associate’s degree would be a good idea, and some go on to gain their bachelor’s degree which will allow them to replace work experience when looking for a job. Many states also require a license or certification. You can also gain extra certifications in order to help you become more employable.

According to Salary.com, the average salary of an Building Inspector is $54,311.

Civil Engineer

Becoming a civil engineer after your military career is another option. To be a civil engineer, you would need to have an advanced understanding of engineering, particularly the construction of roads, dams, buildings, and grids. Combat engineers will have gained this type of training during their time in the military. Those who have a knowledge or interest in the creation of building and maintenance of large-scale infrastructure can also do well in this career as well as those who are leaders who have good organizational skills.

Working as a civil engineer, you will conceive, design, build, supervise, operate, construct and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector. This would include roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. Some of the more common employers for civil engineers are an engineering service, state, local, or federal governments, and nonresidential building construction companies.

You would need to get your bachelor’s degree in order to work as a civil engineer. Getting your graduate degree would be best if you want to gain a senior position. Some of the classes you would take for this type of degree would be math, statistics, engineering mechanics, and systems. License requirements to work as a civil engineer do differ based on your state.

According to Salary.com, the average salary of an Civil Engineer is between $68,329 to $107,680.

Combat Engineering: Background

United States first formed a military engineering capability in 1775, when the Continental Congress established an Army with a Chief Engineer and two assistants. Then, in 1802, the Corps of Engineers was organized by the President.

In the Army, Combat Engineers are a part of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and fall under MOS 12B. The Army Corps of Engineers are the builders of the Army, there are about a dozen jobs, including Prime Power Production Specialist (MOS 12P), Bridge Crewmember (MOS 12C), Prime Power Production Specialist (MOS 12P), Prime Power Production Specialist (MOS 12P) and Carpentry and Masonry Specialist (MOS 12W) who often do their work in combat situations.

The Navy has a civil engineer corps and Seabees, which form the Naval Construction Force (NCF) of the United States Navy. The Navy Seabee Community is comprised of Occupational Field-7 ratings – Builder (BU), Construction Electrician (CE), Construction Mechanic (CM), Engineering Aide (EA), Equipment Operator (EO), Steelworker (SW) and Utilities Tech (UT).

In the Air Force, you can find engineers under civil engineering as well in a combat engineer role in the Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer units known as “Red Horse.” Air Force engineering specialties include Structural Specialists (AFSC-3E3X1), Electrical Systems Specialist (AFSC-3E0X1), Utilities Systems AFSC-3E4X1), Engineering Specialists (AFSC-3E5X1), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialists (AFSC-3E8X1).

In the Marine Corps, combat engineers fall under the 1371 MOS. Which is part of the larger group of combat engineering related occupations (1300 Series MOS). Other Marine engineering jobs include MOS like, Heavy Equipment Mechanic (MOS 1341), Engineering Equipment Operator (MOS 1345), and Metal Worker (MOS 1316).

Combat engineers learn many skills during their time in the military such as:

  • Constructing fighting positions
  • Fixing or floating bridges
  • Figuring out obstacles and defensive positions
  • Placing and detonating explosives
  • Conducting operations that include route clearance of obstacles and rivers
  • Preparing and installing firing systems for demolition and explosives
  • Detecting mines
  • Basic urban operations
  • Learning how to operate heavy equipment
  • Ability to use hand and power tools
  • Being able to perform strenuous physical activities over long periods of time
  • Being interested in engineering
  • Possibly enjoying working outdoors

When trying to decide what to do after your military career is over, figuring out what jobs would work well with your MOS can be helpful. Think about what you liked about being a combat engineer and go from there. There are many different options.

 

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Job Hunting?

Civilian Jobs After the Military For:

>> Find opportunities with job recruiters and staffing companies looking to assist veterans and military spouses.  Get started today!

 

 

Military & Veteran College Scholarships and Grants

College Scholarships and Grants for Military Veterans

Introduction

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a proliferation of scholarships for veterans, military scholarships, and even education grants targeted at the military spouse community.

There are currently about 19 million U.S. veterans, as reported by the Pew Research Center earlier this year. That’s less than 10% of America’s adult population.

Even so, only an estimated 40% of those veterans are using their GI Bill benefits according to Brookings. More than 2.9 million veterans have entered into higher education, some have used their GI Bill benefits, and others have not.

Why?

Because institutions of higher learning and companies across America are realizing the value that comes from the military community. The discipline, loyalty, and courage inherent in your service make you some of the best students and employees these organizations have ever seen.

Defining the Terms

What is meant by “Scholarships for Veterans” and “Military Scholarships”?

Generally speaking, a Veteran is someone who has served any portion of their life in one of the military branches. Some serve for a few years, others serve for decades. All have made sacrifices for the country.

When someone is “Military”, that usually means that they’re currently serving in the active, reserve, or guard component of a branch of service. They are on the frontline of Freedom.

Scholarships for Veterans are those sources of education funding that target the veteran community. These scholarships come from federal government agencies, state organizations, companies, and nonprofits across the country.

 

Find Scholarships, Grants and more for Military, Veterans and Their Families!

 

Military scholarships are those that target a current military member. Like scholarships for veterans, these opportunities come from a myriad of different sources.

Oftentimes, though, the term “military scholarship” applies to active duty, reserve, National Guard, veterans, and military spouses. Not always, but often enough to caveat that here. Be sure to read the eligibility requirements.

Regardless of where you stand in the military community, either veteran, military spouse, or currently serving, scholarships and grants serve to help you achieve your goals.

RELATED: Degrees for Military and Veterans

Why Apply for Military Scholarships?

It’s a Numbers Game

I mentioned above that the veteran population makes up less than 10% of the total U.S. adult population. Additionally, less than 1% of our citizens are currently serving.

What this means for you, the seeker of military scholarships, is that there is less competition than for those scholarships that are open to everyone.

Now don’t read that wrong, there is still competition. But, it is limited to those currently serving, or to those who have served before.

Unused Funding

Every year, scholarship opportunities go unused. This is a travesty considering that student debt continues accumulating every year. 

The reason these scholarships for veterans and military go unused is for lack of applicants. If you’re applying for scholarships to fund your education goals, then apply to every scholarship for which you are eligible.

You Deserve It

Do not feel guilty for trying to get as much funding as possible. There is money out there that companies, agencies, and state governments have set aside to support the military community.

If you meet the requirements, then you have every right to apply for that funding source. You chose to raise your right hand and defend the US of A. Now, others have chosen to show their support and appreciation by offering military scholarships and scholarships for veterans.

 

General Requirements for Military Scholarships

While each organization that offers money for military scholarships can set their requirements for awardees, some general guidelines apply.

First, you should somehow be affiliated with the military, usually a veteran or currently serving. While most are open to all branches of service, some target a more specific demographic.

For example, the National Ranger Memorial Foundation offers the Ranger Memorial Scholarship to U.S. Army Rangers of any age and their dependents.

In any case, be prepared to offer proof of service, either through a DD-214, using ID.me, or submitting a letter from your company commander.

For many scholarship applications, you will be required to write an essay or some other form of writing. Sometimes they just want to hear your story, and at other times they want to see if you will follow instructions. 

Pay close attention to due dates, writing requirements, and any other information listed on the application.

Finding Scholarships and Grants for Military

CollegeRecon researches and presents to you every military scholarship, grant, and funding opportunity we can find. If the information is not clear, we reach out to the organization sponsoring the scholarships for veterans and get clarification.

You deserve every funding opportunity to accomplish your education and career goals. To take things a step further, CollegeRecon offers a unique Scholarship Finder Tool that can help you find all the scholarships available to you.

Tips for Applying to Military Scholarships

Here are some helpful reminders when applying to military scholarships:

  • First, apply for as many scholarships as you can.
  • Keep a calendar of pending due dates. Don’t let those slip by!
  • Do NOT procrastinate on the essay. Take the time to write the best one you can.
  • Stick to the word count, even if that means cutting and revising.
  • Have someone else read your application and essay.
  • Be prepared for rejection. You’re awesome, but so are your military brothers and sisters.

In the end, apply the resilience you learned in the service to your applications for military scholarships. 

To find more helpful ideas and insights, check out 13 Tips for Military & Veterans on How to Apply for Scholarships

Types of Scholarships for Veterans

Financial Aid for Active Service

The most common form of financial aid for active service members is Tuition Assistance (TA). Each service offers TA to their active service members, and it can be used to cover the costs associated with a college degree.

Getting a degree while on active duty is easier than you think. Read Active Duty and College: College While in the Military to discover how it works.

It is also worth noting that military college students can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). While many students understand that student loans are a by-product of applying for FAFSA, there are also grants you can receive.

Check out FAFSA: What You Need to Know for more information on this resource.

Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who display a financial need and have not already earned a degree.

And get this, even if you’re using the GI Bill, or receiving Tuition Assistance, you can still apply for FAFSA!  

Don’t worry about the loans, though. You can decline them once your aid eligibility is reported to your school.

Check out the following resources for more information:

Veterans Scholarships from Colleges and Universities

It’s not just the federal government and Fortune 500 companies that offer scholarships for veterans. Many universities award their veteran students with financial and academic benefits as well.

Some of these scholarships are awarded for students in specific degree programs at specific institutions. Others are awarded for academic excellence.

Check out the regional scholarships CollegeRecon has broken down for you:

Also, be sure to check out scholarships from your local community college. They are an often overlooked resource for accelerating your education.

College Grants for Veterans

Grants are monetary awards given for a specific purpose that do not need repayment. They are the antithesis to loans and are abundant for education.

We’ve already mentioned the Pell Grant, which can only be received by filling out the FAFSA Application. While not specific to veterans, it is the most widely received grant in today’s education system.

The Pell Grant does not need to be repaid, and the amount you receive depends on your financial need, the costs of school, and whether or not you’re a full- or part-time student.

The GI Bill, either MGIB or Post-9/11, tap dances on the line between earned benefit and education grant. It certainly is a benefit that all veterans deserve, and in most cases it does not need repayment.

However, unlike grants and scholarships, The GI Bill is almost guaranteed for all veteran degree seekers. (There are minimum discharge requirements that must be met.)

For more information about the GI Bill, check out the following resources:

Scholarships for Military Spouses

There has been a paradigm shift in society’s perception of the Military Spouse. This occurred in large part due to the OEF/OIF campaigns, but also as a result of social media’s ability to instantly raise awareness to issues faced by the military family.

As a result, more and more scholarships are available to military spouses and dependents than at any other time in our nation’s history. The family has always been the backbone of the service members who defend our freedoms.

In our flagship article, Military Spouse Scholarships, CollegeRecon presents 15 of the best scholarships and grants available to military spouses. 

Additionally, we’ve explored College Scholarships and Grants for Children of Veterans, which highlights 14 funding opportunities for military dependents.

Check out the following resources for more information:

Grants and Scholarships for Active-Duty Service Members

For those active service members, there are unique scholarship and grant opportunities for you!

Each service has a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) that awards military scholarships to active, Guard, and reserve service members. There are over 1100 institutions of higher learning that participate in one or more ROTC programs, and most offer 2-, 3-, and 4-year options.

Read the Army ROTC Scholarships, Colleges & Requirements article for more information about the Army’s program.

The Navy ROTC program covers both the Navy and Marine Corps.

Likewise, the Space Force will likely fall under the Air Force ROTC program for their education and commissioning needs. More to follow on that topic.

Another education program available to active Army Soldiers is the Green to Gold program. This is a two-year program that provides Soldiers the opportunity to complete a baccalaureate degree or a two-year graduate degree. This program leads to a commission as an Army officer.

Similar to the Army’s program, the Air Force hosts The Enlisted-to-Officer Path. This program gives Airmen the opportunity to earn their degrees and a commission in the Air Force.

Finally, Tuition Assistance (TA) is a program that provides education funding to military service members while they are still serving. Tuition Assistance can cover up to 100% of the cost-per-credit hour of many institutions.

Check out the following resources for more information:

Scholarships for Women Veterans

For those women veterans, there are some great programs and scholarships that will help fund your education.

Whether you’re going into STEM, Nursing, or Business, we’ve brought together some of the best scholarship opportunities for you.

First, read Top 8 Scholarships for Female Service Members & Veterans to discover the very best ones out there. Then, check out these other resources:

Scholarships for Disabled Veterans

As with other demographics, there are ample opportunities for our disabled veterans to obtain funding for their education.

Whether it’s finding money for a current degree, or paying off student loans from a previous one, check out some of these great resources.

Military Scholarships: Scholarships by Military Branch

Each military service offers programs for their members to help achieve career and education goals. We’ve touched on the ROTC programs and other commissioning programs. But what about programs that do not require a commission?

We’ve compiled a list of service-specific programs, some of which are simply scholarships for service members within those branches. Some of these scholarships apply for active military, veterans, and even family members.

Featured Scholarships

There are so many great programs out there for the military community. CollegeRecon wants you to have all the information available to help you on your way.

For this reason, here are some scholarship opportunities that have not yet been covered:

FAQs

There are millions of veterans today, and so many of you are pursuing your education goals. Because many situations are unique, it’s hard to answer every question in one article.

However, we have compiled some of the most asked questions and presented them here:

More Resources on Scholarships for Veterans

Were you looking for scholarships based on a career field? If so, CollegeRecon has numerous resources for some of the hottest job fields, and probably some you haven’t even considered!

If you don’t see what you’re looking for there, check out our page Paying For School, which has even more leads on military scholarships.

CollegeRecon also has one of the coolest Scholarship Finder Tools out there! By answering a few simple questions, you will get results tailored to your goals and aspirations.

Do you know what you want to study, but not where to go? Use CollegeRecon’s School Finder Tool to find schools and programs tailored to your needs.

Finally, if you are eligible for any form of GI Bill, please do not miss our GI Bill Education Information and Benefits page. 

 

Find College Scholarships for Military, Veterans, Spouses & Dependents

Conclusion

There has never been a better time than now to get that degree. Whether you’re just starting, in the middle, or nearing the end, there are so many sources of funding available to you.

You deserve the education you want, so let CollegeRecon help you find military scholarships, or scholarships for veterans, that will fund your education and career goals.

Don’t wait for your future to happen. Make it what you want!

(Image courtesy of SSgt. Joshua Chacon, U.S. Marine Corps, via Marines.mil)

 

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4 Veteran Owned Businesses (Veteran Entrepreneurs) to Know

Veteran Owned Businesses You Need to Know About

These four veteran owned businesses are relatively young (founded within the past five years) and have all found success because there’s an obvious need in the United States as a whole, or they filled a specific void in the military community. We think they are worth knowing about & supporting if you are looking to patron veteran owned businesses…

Plated

Founded by Nick Taranto, US Marine Corps, Infantry.

Nick Taranto learned early on that you can have big starry-eyed dreams, but without a toolkit and skills of how you can accomplish those dreams, they won’t come to fruition. It was while enrolled at Harvard for an MBA program where Taranto met military personnel who had that vision, drive, and knew what it was like to harness the power of dozens or hundreds to all work toward a common goal.

Taranto then enrolled in the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School and was ultimately commissioned as an infantry officer.

Fast forward to 2014 when Taranto and co-founder Josh Hix got on Shark Tank for their business idea called Plated. The past five years have been quite a ride for the co-founders as their original Shark Tank deal with Mark Cuban fell apart, however when the show followed up for “Beyond the Tank”, investor Kevin O’Leary was so impressed by the duo’s progress that he made an investment.

In September 2017, one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers bought Plated for $300 million.

Millie

Founded by Ken Robbins, U.S. Army, Armor & Jason Dempsey, US Army Infantry.

Ken Robbins and Jason Dempsey teamed up in early 2015 after completing their twenty-year Army careers. It should come as no surprise that their business venture’s mission is to support and help the military community. Robbins & Dempsey are the co-founders of MILLIE, a real estate marketplace that connects military and veteran movers with trusted resource providers.

Over 200,000 service members exit the military each year. An additional 260,000 are given orders to PCS to a new duty station. The military will ship a family’s personal property, but deciding where to live & how to navigate the moving process is largely left to the service member or their spouse.

Because of this, these moves are a significant source of stress for military families. Unfortunately, few quality resources are available to assist with the moving process. It’s difficult to find an agent that military families can trust when looking to buy a house.

Robbins & Dempsey’s goal is to make MILLIE a one-stop shop and the most visible and trusted resource for veterans and military families that are PCSing.

Sword and Plough

Founded by Emily Núñez Cavness, active duty officer in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps & Betsy Núñez

Sword & Plough founders, sisters Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez, grew up in a military family. Emily’s experiences serving in the Army inspired her to start Sword & Plough with the mission to strengthen civil-military understanding, empower veteran employment, and reduce waste.

The brand repurposes military surplus and incorporates that material into bags and accessories. They work with U.S manufacturers that are owned or partially operated by veterans. They also donate 10% of profits to veteran organizations. Sword & Plough creates American made products that promote social and environmental impact.

Black Rifle Coffee Company

Founded by Evan Hafer, Green Beret

At 20 years old Evan Hafer was consumed with the desire to serve his country. He joined the Washington National Guard after high school and then went on to become a Green Beret. He served the United States for twenty years. Before each of his 40 different deployments, he would always roast ten pounds of coffee to take with him. He says that what he roasted himself was always better than anything he could ever get while on deployment.

Hafer separated from government service in 2015, and it didn’t take long for him to figure out what his next step was.

Black Rifle Coffee Company is owned and operated by U.S. military veterans and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, where it roasts and distributes premium coffee blends.

 

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Veteran Scholarships to Help Pay for College

College Scholarships for Veterans

There are a lot of fantastic programs for those who have served our country, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  But don’t forget about extra scholarships for veterans that are offered out there. They can give you a little bit of extra money towards your educational goals.

Ranger Memorial Scholarship

25 scholarships, $1,000 each

The Details: The National Ranger Memorial Foundation partnered with the Ranger Battalions Association of WW2 to offer up this scholarship for qualified Rangers of all ages.

The Deadline: Applications are accepted between January 1st through June 1st, and you would be notified in July.

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: link

AMVETS Scholarship

AMVETS offers a few different scholarships for different amounts.

AMVETS Generation T Scholarships

$5,000 each

The Details: This scholarship is through a corporate grant from Lowe’s Company, Inc, and will offer $5,000 to each winner. They will be offering the scholarship in 5 skilled trades, appliance repair, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and HVAC. There is a 50% women and diversity focus. 

The Deadline: Their open window is in September and October

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: link

Lowe’s AMVETS Technology Scholarships

10 awards, $5,000 each

The Details: This scholarship offers $5,000 to each winner. Applicants must be a student veteran, be a junior or senior at an accredited institution, and be enrolled in computer science. There is a 50% women and diversity focus. 

The Deadline: Their open window is in September and October

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: link

 

RELATED: How to Apply for Scholarships for College

The Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation Memorial Scholarship

2 scholarships, $12,000, $3,000 a year for four years

The Details: This scholarship is in memory and honor of Dr. Aurelio M. Caccomo. 

The Deadline: April 

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: link

 

Find Money to Pay for School with Scholarships for Military and Veterans

 

The Pat Tillman Foundation Scholarship

Average of $10,000 per academic year

The Details: This scholarship is to be used for tuition, books, and living expenses. The award is chosen on merit, clear academic goals, extraordinary leadership potential, and a deep desire for positive change. Veterans, active duty, including National Guard or Reserves can apply.

The Deadline: The next application cycle opens in February.

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: link

AFCEA War Veterans Scholarship

$2,500

The Details: This is a merit-based scholarship to persons on active duty in uniformed military services or honorably discharged veterans, including the National Guard and Reservists. You need to be currently enrolled in an eligible STEM major at an accredited four-year college or university. Distance learning or online programs affiliated with major US institutions are also eligible. You also must have served in the war in Afghanistan or Iraq, 2003-present. This award is for tuition and fees, books, supplies, and equipment.

The Deadline: May 31st

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: AFCEA

VFW’s Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship

Up to $5,000

The Details: This scholarship is for service members and veterans. The award will be for tuition and fees only. You must be an E5 or below or been one at separation. Also, you will need to demonstrate financial need. You should have been accepted or currently enrolled in a VA-approved program or school at an accredited post-secondary institution.

The Deadline: For fall, January 1st-April 30th. Spring, August 1st-November 15th.

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: VFW Website

Law Office of Matthew L. Sharp Annual Military Scholarship

$1,000

The Details: This award is to be used at a vocational or trade school, a two or four-year school, or a graduate school. You will need to provide proof of military service.

The Deadline: Typically August 1st

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: link

TonaLaw Veteran’s Scholarship

$1,000 awarded semi-annually

The Details: This scholarship is for veterans of any branch.  Also, you must be a student at an accredited school or accepted to begin within 6 months. This award is from the Law office of Thomas Tona, P.C.

The Deadline: Due July 31st for the fall semester, November 30th for the spring.

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: link

The H & P Veterans Helping Veterans Scholarship

4 scholarships, 2 in the fall, 2 in the spring, $1,000

The Details: This scholarship is for veterans who plan to use their education to help other veterans. This award is from Hill & Ponton Disability Attorneys.

The Deadline: May 31st and November 1st

Website for more information and to apply for the scholarship: link

Your Local College

Make sure to check what scholarships your local college or university might offer. Some might offer special discounts for veterans as well. The award amount can vary but can be another way to find the money for school.

Scholarships are worth applying for and worth spending time on. They can save you money to help pursue your educational goals.  And you always have a chance of winning the award!

 

Find Money for College for Military, Veterans, Spouses and Dependents

 

 

Scholarships for the Military Community

 

 

Cost of College: What Does Your Education Cost?

After you decide to go to college, whether you are a high school senior, or have been serving in the military for ten years, you will need to figure out the costs of college as well as how you will be paying for everything. The costs associated with going to college differ based on the school, your living situation, and if you are going to go to school full or part-time.

Here is a breakdown of the costs associated with school and how you can help pay for them:

Paying for College Tuition

Your tuition is the cost of instruction. Colleges can charge this by semester, quarter, or even credit hours. Public universities have an in-state rate and an out-of-state rate. To be considered in-state you most likely will need to have been living in that state for a full year. Tuition rates can be different based on your major too.

Paying For Fees

College fees are for services associated with the college or university. They usually include things like the library, student government, and activities. They will vary based on the school and what they have to offer.

Often schools combine the tuition and fees into one amount. You should make sure to check out the breakdown, so you know exactly what the money’s for.

According to the College Board, the average tuition and fees for the 2017-2018 year were:

  • $34,740 for private schools
  • $9,970 for in-state public schools
  • $25,620 for out-of-state public schools

For Veterans, or members of the military community using the Post-9/11 GI Bill:

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is going to be one of the primary ways you can pay for your tuition and fees. The GI Bill should be able to cover the cost of going to any public college and up to $23,671.94 for a private school

Note 1: That is the rate as of August 1st, 2018. Prior to August 1st it’s $22,805.34.

Note 2: As of Veterans Day 2015, all 50 states provide in-state tuition to veterans regardless of official state of residence.  So there is no out-of-state cost of tuition for veterans using their GI Bill.

If you, however, need them to pay for more than that, you can look into the Yellow Ribbon program which will allow you to have the school and the VA pay the difference between the annual maximum cap that the GI Bill pays and the actual cost of the school.

Tuition Assistance is also a way to have your tuition paid for. The terms vary by your branch but all of them include paying up to $250 per credit hour, and the money is paid directly to the school.

RELATED:

Paying for College Room and Board

No matter who you are, you will have to pay to live during the time you go to college. For a more traditional college student, this can mean living on campus in the dorms. If this is what you are planning to do, there will be a certain amount that you would have to pay per semester or year to live there. You might have different options based on the school and what they have available to you.

If you are a freshman or sophomore, there could be a requirement to live on campus at your school. This will depend on the rules of the college or university. In other cases, there could be a waiting list to live on campus.

If you decide to live off campus, instead of room and board you would pay for your rent and any living expenses. If you are trying to decide what is cheaper, you would want to take a look at the cost of rent in the area, what your share would be if you had a roommate, and compare that to the school’s room and board costs.

Dining plans are also a part of room and board, and those can be flexible. You might want to get a full plan paying for three meals a day or a smaller plan assuming you won’t have all of your meals in the dining hall.

The average costs of room and board for the 2017-2018 year was $10,800 for a four-year public school and $12,210 for a private college or university.

The Post 9/11-GI Bill will give you a monthly housing allowance based on BAH rates for the state you plan to live in. This money will go straight to you and you could use it towards room and board, or living off-campus.

RELATED: Calculate Your BAH With Our BAH Calculator

Books and Supplies

Another college expense would be books and supplies. These sometimes include a computer or other required equipment. You can buy used textbooks to save money, and some schools allow you to rent them.

The average costs for books and supplies for the 2017-2018 school year was $1,250 for a public school and $1,220 for a private school.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill will give you $1,000 a year to help pay the cost of books. Due to the averages listed above, most likely that will cover all or almost all of your books and supplies.

Personal Expenses

You will have personal expenses while going to school such as the cost of transportation, a cell phone, and entertainment costs. These are usually costs you would have anyway, even if you were not going to school, but they are good to be aware of when planning your budget for the school year. If you live on campus and only have to go on a short walk to get to your classes, you will be paying a lot less than if you live 30 minutes from campus and have to commute.

Scholarships can be a good way to find the pay to pay for your schooling beyond the GI Bill and Tuition Assistance. This is even more important for military spouses. While some military spouses can qualify and receive MYCAA, not everyone can, and that might not be enough.

There are scholarships such as the AMVETS, which gives $4,000 each year, Fisher House for Military Children which gives $2,000 or Pat Tillman which can give you an average of $10,000 for school. Scholarships usually always pay for tuition and fees and sometimes for room and board, and books and supplies. There are different terms based on the award on what you can use the money for.

CLEP and DSST are exams you can take to receive college credit. Taking these exams means not having to take as many classes. This can lower your tuition rates, and if you can take enough of them, you can even shave off a semester or even a year from your college plan. You can also get college credit for your military service through ACE, which is the American Council on Education that evaluates military service for college credit.

Using the data from CollegeRecon, here is a comparison of costs based on a few different educational options:

The University of Maryland – Public

Tuition and Fees: In-state-$10,399, Out-of-state-$33,606

Room and Board: $12,004

Books and Supplies: $1,250

Other Expenses: $2,440

Total: In-state-$26,093, Out-of-state-$49,300

Baylor University – Private

Tuition and Fees: $43,970

Room and Board: $12,163

Books and Supplies: $1,200

Other Expenses: $3,080

Total: $60,413

San Diego State University – Public

Tuition and Fees: In-state-$7,460, Out-of-state-$19,340

Room and Board: $15,966

Books and Supplies: $1,854

Other Expenses: $2,944

Total: In-state-$28,224, Out-of-state-$40,104

Yale University – Private

Tuition and Fees: $51,400

Room and Board: $15,500

Books and Supplies:$3,670

Other Expenses: $720

Total: $71,290

Although seeing the full figure of admission cost for colleges and universities can be overwhelming, as a military service member, spouse or dependent, you do have many options. There are a lot of ways to pay for school that doesn’t include having to pay 100% of the costs yourself. Make sure to take advantage of any program you qualify for so you can have the best experience when it comes to paying for college.

 

 

Special Operations Forces Jobs after the Military

Civilian Jobs After Serving in the Military: Special Operations Forces

The most elite level of military service is arguably, Special Operations Forces. Each of the military branches have special operations forces units.  There are a lot of skills that those serving in the special operations forces can bring to a post-military career. Specific careers can also be a perfect fit and would be worth pursuing. Here are a few civilian jobs after the military for those who served in roles in special operations forces.

Units such as the Army’s Green Berets, Marine Corps Raiders, Air Force Special Warfare, and Navy SEALS are well known both in and outside the military world. These groups are known for their strength, leadership, focus, intelligence, and, of course, bravery.

Note: Although the Coast Guard is not part of the DoD’s Special Operations Command (SOC), they do have an elite special tactics team known as the Deployable Specialized Forces. The DSF’s mission focuses on maritime law enforcement, force protection, and anti-terrorism intervention, stateside and around the world.

Special operations forces service members have also been known to go after high-value targets such as Osama Bin Laden. They are involved in reconnaissance missions, humanitarian assistance, counterinsurgency, as well as other highly specialized activities.

They are evaluated on their ability to lead as well as how they work with others. They need to show that they have courage, integrity, and humility to get the job done.

The Healthcare and Medical Fields

The Air Force Special Warfare teams include Pararescue (PJ) specialists who are uniquely qualified medics that have been trained for special warfare rescue work.

The medical field can be perfect for special forces service members with medical training as well as those who want to go into that for the first time. There are indeed a lot of options from becoming a nurse to a Physician Assistant, a medical doctor, or even a surgeon.

During your time in the special forces, you might have learned about how to treat battlefield injuries, how to do minor surgery, how to deliver babies, how to treat infants and children, how to bandage wounds, and set broken bones. You might have had to do some of this is a stressful situation under a lot of pressure, and those skills will help you in a civilian medical field.

You can use your GI Bill to go to nursing school, work towards becoming a doctor by going to medical school, or even do a certificate program to become a medical assistant. There are plenty of options depending on what you want to do as a career and what experience and education you already have.

Personal Security

Working as a personal security guard can be the right choice for someone who has served in special forces. As a personal security guard, you will be protecting people as well as property from criminal activities and events. You might work for a celebrity, CEO, or anyone who needs personal security.

You would escort people to and from different locations, monitor activity, do surveillance, contact law enforcement as needed, and always be on alert. You would also need to be in good physical shape to be prepared for anything that can happen.

You will need to be licensed in your state, and that can vary based on where you live. You can also get certified through ASIS and obtain your Certified Protection Professional or your Physical Security Professional certificates. These can put you ahead in the job market and you may be able to receive reimbursement for the certification exams through the GI Bill.

Having a special forces background will look good when applying for this type of job. People want to feel safe with their security guard and knowing you have a background in special forces will help with that. You already know what it is like to have to be on guard and aware of what is going on around you at all times and can bring that skill to the job.

Intelligence Officer

Becoming an intelligence officer after special forces can be the right fit. In this type of job, you would be employed by an organization and then work to collect, compile, and analyze information for them. You can work in a variety of different fields from working with the police, with the CIA or FBI, or even private corporations.

The discipline, strength, training, sense of mission, and dedication to duty will all be traits you have learned while in the special forces that can help you with a career in intelligence.

You will need to have a four-year degree if you don’t already have one. While you probably don’t need to have one specific major, getting a degree in politics, international relations, law, and criminology can be a good choice. There are a lot of different ways to go to school after serving in the military and using your GI Bill, or other VA funding to do so is a good idea. There are also scholarships for veterans to use to help pay for school.

The Business World

After serving as a special forces service member, you might want to go into the world of business. While you won’t be doing the same types of things you did while in the service, the leadership skills you learned during your time there will help.

There are different ways to be involved in business, from getting a job and working your way up in a well-known company or starting your own business. If you have been in the special forces, you should have the drive to be able to be successful as an entrepreneur in your own business.

There are a few different ways you can get the education you would want to be more successful working in the business world. You can go to school to receive a two or four-year degree in subjects such as business administration, human resources, communications, or finance.

You can also go to business school and receive your MBA (Masters in Business Administration.) You can go to school online or in-person or a combination of the two using your GI Bill and other VA funding options.

Many schools recognize the leadership and experience veterans bring.  Some schools provide GMAT waivers for the military in recognition of this.

Whatever you decide to do, you can bring the skills you learned during your time in the special forces to the civilian workplace. A lot of what you have experience with can help you in civilian careers, no matter what you want to do. These listed above are a good starting off point if you are trying to decide what direction to go in after military life is over.

More about details on Special Operations Army and Marine Corps MOS, Air Force AFSC, and Navy and Coast Guard Ratings:

Army Special Forces (Green Beret) MOS include:

Special Forces Officer – 18A

The Special Forces Officer is a captain who is responsible for planning, coordinating, directing and participating in Special Forces operations. He has several duties, including training, resource management, mission, and logistics planning, and working with the U.S. and foreign government agencies.

Special Forces Weapons Sergeant – 18C

Special Forces Weapons Sergeants employ U.S. and foreign small arms, light and heavy crew-served weapons, anti-aircraft and anti-armor weapons.  They are also relied upon to control and supervise tactical offensive and defensive operations as well as perform various airborne operations.

Special Forces Engineering Sergeant – 18D

The Special Forces Engineer Sergeant is a construction and demolitions specialist. As a builder, the engineer sergeant can create bridges, buildings, and field fortifications. As a demolitions specialist, the engineer sergeant can carry out demolition raids against enemy targets, such as bridges, railroads, fuel depots, and critical components of infrastructure.

Special Forces Communications Sergeant – 18E

Special Forces Communications Sergeants operate many kinds of communications gear, from encrypted satellite to high-frequency burst communications systems. They also have advanced computer and networking skills. The communications sergeant is responsible for establishing and maintaining tactical and operational communications.

Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant – 18F

The Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant collects and processes intelligence, plans force protection, conducts threat vulnerability assessments, and is trained in photography, digital intelligence systems, biometrics, forensics, and digital media exploitation.

Marine Corps Raiders (MARSOC) MOS Details

Critical Skills Operator – MOS 0372

All Marines, regardless of MOS, must successfully complete MarSOC Assessment & Selection (A&S), Individual Training Course (ITC), and must request and be granted a lateral move from their original MOS to the new Critical Skills MOS – 0372.

Air Force Special Warfare specialty classifications (AFCS)

Combat Controller (CCT)

Specialists who operate in remote, often hostile areas. Acting as a one-man attachment to other special forces teams, these highly specialized Airmen are trained in a wide range of skills, including scuba, parachuting, and snowmobiling, as well as being FAA-certified air traffic controllers in order to establish air control and provide combat support on missions all over the globe.

Pararescue (PJ)

Specialists rescue and medically treat downed military personnel all over the world. These highly trained experts take part in every aspect of the mission and are skilled parachutists, scuba divers, and rock climbers, and they are even arctic-trained in order to access any environment to save a life when they’re called to do so.

Special Reconnaissance (SR)

Deploy by any means – from airborne, maritime, or land-based platforms – deep behind enemy lines to collect and exploit key information, develop targets, and tilt the battlespace in our favor. Performing on the cutting-edge of technology, SR surveil and prepare the battlespace to provide global access, air, space, and cyberspace superiority.

Tactical Air Control Party (TACP)

Specialists imbed with Army and Marine units on the frontline with the incredible responsibility of calling in an airstrike on the right target at just the right time. These highly trained experts go through intense physical, mental, and technical training in order to withstand the demanding conditions of battle and provide their team with the firepower they need for continued success on the battlefield.

Navy Special Warfare Teams aka SEAL Ratings

Special Warfare Operators (SO)

Perform maritime and land-based Special Operations in urban, desert, jungle, arctic, and mountain environments. Duties include combat diving, paradrop operations, small boat operations, tactical ground mobility, small arms and crew-served weapons, fast roping, rappelling, explosives, communications, trauma care, intelligence gathering and interpretation, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Explosive (CBRNE) defense measures.

Special Warfare Boat Operators (SB)

Support and perform maritime Special Operations in open ocean, littoral, and riverine environments; provide maritime insertion and extraction of Special Operations Forces (SOF) and others; possess unique skills in the operation, maintenance, and repair of specially configured combatant craft; operate small arms and crew-served weapons, operate, maintain and repair tactical communications equipment, and use paradrop techniques to insert combatant craft. Other skills include small boat tactics, tactical ground mobility, trauma care, intelligence gathering and interpretation, and chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear defense measures.

The Coast Guard’s Deployable Specialized Forces

These are open to a variety of Coast Guard Ratings.

Maritime Enforcement Specialists (ME)

A cadre of professionals well-grounded in knowledge and skills pertaining to law enforcement and security duties. ME are responsible for protecting America’s ports, waterways, and interests at home and abroad. Maritime Enforcement Specialists are trained in Maritime Law Enforcement, Anti-terrorism, Force Protection, and Physical Security.

Gunner’s Mate (GM)

One of the oldest ratings in the Coast Guard. GMs work with all types of ordnance, from 9mm small arms to ship board 76mm cannons. As a GM, you will be responsible for training personnel in the proper handling of weapons, ammunition, and pyrotechnics. Additionally, GMs receive training in maritime law enforcement.

Boatswain’s Mate (BM)

Rating sits at the operational core of every Coast Guard mission. BMs are the service’s experts in all aspects of deck seamanship and navigation. Additionally, BMs can receive training in maritime law enforcement.

Machinery Technician (MK)

Offers opportunities for assignment at every Coast Guard cutter, boat, and shore station. Many MKs are also called on to act as federal law enforcement officers.

 

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Other “After the Military” Articles:

 

 

Post-9/11 GI Bill: The Ultimate Overview

There are several different versions of the GI Bill, but here we are discussing the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  About 80% of all users of the GI Bill utilize this version. In order to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill you must have active military service on or after September 11, 2001.

Post-9/11 GI Bill: All The Ways You Can Use It

  • College Degrees – Associate, Bachelor, or higher
  • Vocational/Technical Training including non-college programs
  • On-the-Job/Apprenticeship Programs
  • Licensing & Certification Reimbursement
  • National Testing Programs like SAT, CLEP, AP, DSST
  • Flight Training
  • Correspondence Training
  • Work-study
  • Tuition Assistance Top-Up
  • Tutorial Assistance

Going to College or University

Sure, you can use your GI Bill to go to college, everybody knows that.  Did you know that you can use your GI Bill to get an associates degree, bachelor degree, or higher?  If you have one degree you can use your GI Bill to get another one.

If you are a bit rusty on your academic skills after being in the military, you can use your GI Bill for refresher training.

You can use your GI Bill at community colleges, state colleges, private colleges, online colleges, foreign colleges and more.

What Costs Does The Post-9/11 GI Bill Cover?

  • Up to 100% Tuition and Fee Coverage
  • Monthly Housing Allowance (see GI Bill BAH Rates)
  • Up to $1,000 a year for Books and Supplies
  • Ability to Transfer GI Bill to spouse and dependents

If you go to a state school, the VA will pay all your tuition & fees for necessary classes. You will also be provided a monthly housing allowance.

  • The GI Bill BAH Rate is equivalent to the Basic Allowance for Housing rate that an E-5 with dependents would receive.
  • Your housing allowance rate is based on the ZIP code of the school you are attending.
  • You are not eligible to receive a housing allowance if you are on active duty.
  • The GI Bill pays you up to $1,000 each year for your books.

There are a few differences if you go to a private or foreign school. Your tuition reimbursement is limited to a legislatively mandated maximum amount which changes each year.  The Post 911 GI Bill will currently pay up to a maximum of $26,042.81 for the 2021-2022 school year for private or foreign colleges. This is up from $25,162.14 for the 2020-2021 school year and $24,476.79 for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Yellow Ribbon Schools

Schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program have partnered with the VA to help offset the costs not covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  Here is a list of participating Yellow Ribbon Schools.

If you go to a foreign school your housing allowance is based on the national average US housing allowance.

One more thing, if you are going strictly to online classes – no classroom sessions – your housing allowance is ½ the national average.

The current MHA or Post 9/11 GI Bill BAH rate for online schools is $901.00 for the 2021-2022 academic year (Aug 1, 2021 – Jul 31, 2022).

If you are going to school as a less than full-time student you only get a percentage of your GI Bill. So, if you are only attending classes as a half-time student you get half of the housing allowance, etc.

Still not enough? If you served less than 3 years of active duty your payment will be reduced too. But this doesn’t affect most people.

 

>> Use CollegeRecon’s Program Matcher to find GI Bill®-Approved Schools.  This tool will take your Education Goals and find schools with matching programs.  

 

Most people think the GI Bill means college and nothing else. Well, we are here to tell you that yes indeed, the GI Bill does pay for college, but it also pays for so much more.

Vocational/Technical School

Want to learn a trade or sharpen your technical skills?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill will help you. If you want to go to a technical or trade school to learn:

  • Computer Networking
  • Cake Decorating
  • Law Enforcement
  • Dental Hygiene
  • And many more…

The GI Bill will basically pay you the same amount as if you were going to college.

Testing Programs – SAT, LSAT, GMAT, LCAT

Need to take a test to get into college like the SAT, LSAT, GMAT, or LCAT? Want to take a test for college credit like the CLEP, DSST, or AP test?

RELATED: Colleges With GMAT Waivers For Military

The GI Bill will pay you up to $2,000 for each test. There’s no limit to the number of tests you can take, and it doesn’t matter if you pass or not. You can even retake tests you passed if the test is required to recertify or keep a license you need for work.

Certification & Licensing Programs

Looking to get a certification or license for a profession such as:

  • Realtor
  • Mechanic
  • Medical Technician
  • Therapist
  • Computer Network Engineer
  • Website Developer
  • Project Manager
  • Other professionals

The GI Bill has that covered and your tests may be reimbursable by the VA.  There is no limit to the number of tests you can take, or number of times you may take the same test. And, VA will pay for tests even if you fail them.

The VA will pay you up to $2,000 per test.

On-The-Job and Apprenticeship Training

Want to become a master of skilled trades or professions like union plumber, firefighter, steamfitter, electrician, or gunsmith?

The GI Bill will pay for approved apprenticeship or on-the-job training programs that allow you to get paid your GI Bill money while you draw a paycheck.

The payment process for these programs works a bit differently than other GI Bill programs.

When you are in an apprenticeship program you draw a salary. Usually, you start out with a very low rate of pay and get raises every six months while you are in training. Depending on your job, an apprenticeship can last 18-36 months until you reach fully qualified or journeyman status.

To offset this, the GI Bill payments are as follows:

  • 1st 6 months of training – 100% of your applicable housing allowance
  • 2nd 6 months you get 80% of your applicable housing allowance, but you get a raise from your employer
  • 3rd 6 months you get 60% of your applicable housing allowance, but you get another raise from your employer
  • 4th 6 months you will receive 40% of your applicable housing allowance, but you will get another raise from your employer
  • For the remainder of your training, you will get 20% of your applicable housing allowance

You also get up to $83 per month for books and supplies.

Flight Training

If you flew planes in the military, you might like to do that after you get out. Problem is that to fly commercial aircraft you usually need platform-specific qualifications. These qualifications can be very expensive, for example, a B787 rating can cost you upwards of $30,000 depending on your current certification. The GI Bill will help you pay for those expensive classes.

To get a flight rating you usually need classroom, simulator, and flight hours, this can vary. For example, if you’ve already qualified on the MH60 or UH60 helicopter you may not need as many sim, flying or classroom hours as somebody who has never flown one.

To get any GI Bill payments you need to be in possession of a private pilot’s license and a FAA medical certification.

Flight School Payment Amounts

Payment amounts vary depending on what type of school you are going to.

If you are enrolled in a:

Degree program that consists of flight training at a state college

You can basically expect to get your full cost paid for by the GI Bill, a monthly housing allowance and a stipend for books-and-supplies. However, this is very rare as there aren’t a lot of state colleges offering flight training.

Degree program that consists of flight training at a private college

You can be reimbursed up to the full cost of the training or the legislatively mandated national maximum amount (whichever is less) each year. You may also receive a monthly housing allowance and books-and-supplies stipend.

Vocational flight training program

You can be reimbursed the cost of the training up to the annual maximum amount which is mandated by law. Currently, that annual maximum amount is $14, 881.59 in 2021, up from about $13,000.

Tuition Assistance Top-Up

If you’re on active duty, you may use Tuition Assistance. Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

While Tuition Assistance technically can pay the full cost of your college tuition, in reality, most branches will normally pay a maximum of 75% of the actual tuition. You must pay for your books and other expenses out-of-pocket.

This is where Tuition Assistance Top-Up comes in. The Tuition Assistance Top-Up program will pay you your GI Bill to make up the difference between what Tuition Assistance pays and what your actual charges are.

Tuition Assistance Top-Up can be a good or a bad use of your GI Bill. Normally, it isn’t a good one and not one we’d recommend.

Using Tuition Assistance Top-Up is a good deal if you plan to use Tuition Assistance to complete a degree while on active duty, and don’t plan to continue your education after service.

Tuition Assistance Top-Up can also be helpful for just taking a few courses with Tuition Assistance while on active duty. Then you can save most of your GI Bill to use after you get out of the military to complete your education in a military friendly college.

You need to consider carefully your own situations, and check with your education officer or counselor, before applying for Tuition Assistance Top-Up.

Tutorial Assistance

OK, you’re going to college and having a hard time of it, in fact, you may be close to failing your classes, don’t despair. The GI Bill will even pay you to hire a tutor to help you get back on track with your classes.

The VA will pay you up to $100 a month for a private tutor, up to a maximum amount of $1,200. The tutor must meet the college’s qualifications and can’t be a close relative.

So, as you can see if you are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill you have lots of different options on how you can use it. The GI Bill is a great benefit that most people don’t get, make sure you use it.

 

NEXT STEP: How to Get Your Post-911 GI Bill Benefits

 

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