When it comes to military perks, most will instantly think of the educational benefits associated with being a soldier. In fact, thousands of Americans have turned to the military in hopes of being able to get access to higher education for free. This article will explain in more detail the specific programs a soldier must use in order to be able to get their education for free.
The first program that allows soldiers to get free education is the Montgomery GI Bill. This is a bill that is geared towards individuals that are on active duty. What happens is the soldier agrees to get their monthly pay reduced by $100 for 12 months. In return, they will receive $1,101 a month for their education. This money will be paid for a maximum of 36 months. During this time soldiers can receive a variety of certifications and specialized training whether they are civilian or military-related. If they are ambitious, they can even get a Bachelor’s Degree, though the Bachelor’s Degree program they are a part of would have to be accelerated and relatively cheap. Most colleges will offer discounts for military personnel, but they tend to charge hundreds of dollars per credit hour. It would be very easy to exceed the $1,101 limit if a solider was trying to use their money for a four-year education.
The second program that allows soldiers to get a free education is the Veterans Educational Assistance program. Soldiers that are eligible for this program must have served in the military for at least 181 days, or for 24 months active duty if enlisted after September 7, 1980 for the first time. Veterans are also required to have an honorary discharge, if they cancelled their service before their contractual obligation was up. If these requirements are met, Veterans are able to get completely free education for up to 36 months.
The final program is designed to allow the spouses and children of military men and women the opportunity to get a free education. The name of this program is the Survivor’s and Dependent’s Educational Assistance Program, (DEA). In order for a family to qualify for this program, the military person must be deceased or severely disabled during their service. The family of Military persons who are healthy but considered POWs, (Prisoner of War), could also be eligible for free education. The age at which the dependants can still be covered under the program ranges from 18 to 26. In terms of how long the program provides educational benefits, the timeframe is up to 45 months.
In conclusion, when one joins the military, it is possible that they can get their education completely free either for themselves or, (in more unfortunate circumstances), their families. It should be noted that for some states military persons may have to pay their money up front, but since the money gets reimbursed at the end of the semester (provided the person makes at least a C average), the military still considers their educational benefits to be free.