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The armed forces offer a variety of student assistance programs to their members. The following information and web sites will help you find out what is available to you.
On June 22, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the "Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944," better known as the "GI Bill of Rights." The famed legislation for World War II veterans has since been recognized as one of the most important acts of Congress. The purposes of the current educational assistance program, known as the Montgomery GI Bill -- Active Duty (MGIB), are stated in chapter 30 of title 38, United States Code. They are:
- To help the members of the Armed Forces adjust to civilian life after separation from service
- To give those who cannot afford a higher education the chance to get one
- To restore lost educational opportunities and vocational readjustment to service members who lost these opportunities as the result of their active military duty
- To promote and assist the All-Volunteer Force program of the Armed Forces
- To aid in the retention of personnel in the Armed Forces
- To enhance our Nation's competitiveness through the development of a more highly educated and productive work force
There are four primary federally sponsored education benefit programs:
Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (MGIB)
The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty.
Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
VEAP is available if you first entered active duty between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985 and you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. Your contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the Government. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
DEA provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
In exchange for a service commitment, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program provides you with money for college while you're in school. You must take one military science course along with your other college courses and, upon graduation, enter the service as a commissioned officer. (There is no military commitment for the first year in ROTC, allowing you to pursue ROTC on a trial basis to see if ROTC is for you.) Full ROTC scholarships pay for almost all tuition, fees and books charges for four years of college. ROTC scholarships also come in one, two and three-year lengths.
US Navy/Marine ROTC
The Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Program was established in 1926 to provide a broad base of citizens knowledgeable in the arts and sciences of Naval Warfare. The program provided an opportunity for young men to undertake careers in the naval profession. The Marine Corps entered the NROTC Program in 1932, offering qualified NROTC graduates commissions in the United States Marine Corps.
US Airforce ROTC
Air Force ROTC has a long history of tradition and honor that dates back to the turn of the last century. Established with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916, it is the largest and oldest source of commissioned officers for the Air Force.
The first Air ROTC units were established between 1920 and 1923 at six universities across the country. After World War II, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, chief of staff of the War Department, signed General Order No. 124, establishing Air ROTC units at 77 colleges and universities throughout the nation.
US Army ROTC
Founded in 1916, Army ROTC remains the broadest avenue for men and women seeking to serve as officers in America's Army. An Army officer is a prestigious professional who serves as a leader of the most respected institution in America.
Army ROTC also is a college elective you can try out for up to two years with no obligation. Unlike traditional college programs, Army ROTC gives you a wide range of experiences while you work toward a degree. You'll combine classroom time with hands-on experience, learning skills that are sure to give you an edge over your peers when it comes time to look for a job. Whether you're planning a career in the Army or the corporate world, Army ROTC is a smart elective course to take.
Related Military Links
U. S. Department of Defense
U. S. Military Career Guide Site