Here are descriptions of some of the financial aid available to military personnel and veterans. All of these are subject to change, because, well, the government runs them so there are no guarantees. Also, there may be programs at the state or local level, such as institutional scholarships, that aren’t mentioned formally here, but they do exist.
For those still in the military:
- Tuition Assistance, provides $4,500 annually to active-duty personnel to attend college during off-duty time (McGrevey & Kehrer, 2009)
- Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students; established in 2003, offers financial protections to active-duty military personnel “during a war, military operation, or national emergency” (McGrevey & Kehrer, 2009), also includes relief to activated personnel repaying student loans (McGrevey & Kehrer, 2009).
- Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, also known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940; offers financial, civil, and legal protections to servicemembers (McGrevey & Kehrer, 2009).
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994; protects employment rights and benefits for those in the National Guard or reserves (McGrevey & Kehrer, 2009).
For those separated from the military:
- Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 went into effect on August 1, 2009 (Radford, 2009)
- Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bill Programs for those pursuing post-secondary training or education (McGrevey & Kehrer, 2009).
- May be eligible for Post-9/11 if they have served “at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2011” and meet one of the five other requirements (Radford, 2009)
- Post-9/11 upplies a housing allowance, a stipend for books, and cost of attendance (Radford, 2009)
- Montgomery benefits are available for 10 years after separation, Post-9/11 benefits go up to 15 (Radford, 2009)
- Some student veterans may be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program if they attend an institution with a higher cost (Radford, 2009)
McGrevey, M., & Kehrer, D. (2009). Stewards of the public trust: Federal laws that serve servicemembers and student veterans.New Directions For Student Services. In R. Ackerman, & D. DiRamio, Creating a veteran-friendly campus: Strategies for transition and success (New Directions for Student Services No. 126, pp. 89-94). San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Radford, Alexandria Walton. (2009.) Military Service Members and Veterans in Higher Education: What the New GI Bill May Mean for Postsecondary Institutions. American Council on Education. Retrieved from: http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Military-Service-Members-and-Veterans-in-Higher-Education-What-the-New-GI-Bill-May-Mean-for-Postsecondary-Institutions-.aspx