One of the best benefits of joining the military is the access that military personnel and their families receive to education benefits.
The many education programs run by the military provide its members with government funded money to pay for tuition as well other educational costs, making college degree programs affordable for many individuals who otherwise wouldn’t ever be able to afford it.
Higher education is vitally important in the modern marketplace, and it can boost a military personnel’s chance of promotion to a higher command as well as qualify him or her to land a successful career if they choose to return to civilian life.
Here is a breakdown of 5 of the most important education benefits programs available for members of the military, veterans and their dependents:
Post 9/11 GI Bill
The Post 9/11 GI Bill is designed to make college affordable for military members. Eligible military members can receive up to 100% of their entire program’s tuition costs- all of which is paid for by the US Government. A monthly housing allowance is available, as are funds for the cost of textbooks and other learning materials. The huge savings provided by this program have helped make college a realistic and attainable goal for thousands of military personnel and their dependents.
Yellow Ribbon Program Schools
Yellow Ribbon Program schools are participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Yellow Ribbon schools typically charge high tuition rates, but compensate military members by offering exclusive discounts and additional financial assistance. Up to 100% of tuition can be covered by the Yellow Ribbon Program, putting extremely respected, but expensive, degree programs within the reach of many military members. If your Post 9/11 GI bill benefits won’t be enough to cover the entire cost of your education program, make sure to check out Yellow Ribbon Program participating schools to try and find one that will help cover the gap between your benefits and their total cost.
BAH Pay for Online Students
As of October 2011, those military personnel enrolled in distance learning programs were finally made eligible for BAH pay for online students. BAH pay (basic allowance for housing) means that an allowance will be awarded to eligible applicants which can be used to cover personal housing costs. Military members can therefore claim a housing allowance even if they are studying online, which is often a more practical and economical educational option, and one that better fits in with the unique responsibilities and scheduling issues faced by military personnel.
Family Transfer Benefits
The GI Bill allows eligible military members to transfer some of their benefits to family members. Using family transfer benefits allows certain members of the military to provide their children, spouses and in some cases other family members with either heavily discounted or an entirely free education. This benefit system allows entire families to enjoy the benefits of a government subsidized higher education, and is especially useful for those members of the military who aren’t interested in utilizing education benefits themselves, but who want to make the most of what’s been provided to them.
Military Friendly Schools
Some schools are more military friendly than others, offering tuition discounts, participating in optional benefits programs and providing unique resources specifically geared toward military students. Military friendly schools typically offer a significantly better value than those colleges and universities that haven’t set out to tailor their experience for military personnel. Typically, these schools participants in the Yellow Ribbon Program, accept Post 9/11 benefits, offer online education programs and cover course materials, application fees and other expenses related to earning one’s degree. When searching for your own degree program provider, make sure to see what kind of military specific financial benefits are available to you from each of the schools that you’re vetting.
The above mentioned educational benefits can serve as invaluable financial resources for military members seeking a higher education program. Take the time to research your benefits, figure out your best opportunities, and you could stand to save yourself tens of thousands of dollars for just a few hours of additional work. Good luck out there!