Many people join the military with the far off notion that they would like to use the military to pay for school. Then, they get caught up in a career, and pursue an extended time in the military and their plans for an education get pushed to the side for the time being, But it is important to keep one eye on the future when it comes to military educational funding, because there are things that you can do to increase the funding available to you down the road.
Montgomery GI Bill- Using the Montgomery GI Bill is an easy choice, and it is fairly well known, but there are parts of the bill that you can take advantage of NOW, while still on active duty. There is a program called Top Up, where you contribute an additional sum of money, up to $600 dollars in some cases. This additional contribution multiplies for you, and when you are ready to receive the MGIB funding it makes you eligible for up to $5,400 dollars in additional funds that you would not have been available to you. But this is only an option if while on active duty you participated in the Top Up option, so it’s a good idea to contact your command and inquire about the program.
Tuition Assistance- Tuition Assistance is available in any of the five military branches of the United States Armed Forces. You may ask, “well how does this apply to me, I am on active duty?” Well there are sometimes seminars, or short duration classes that are available, as well as distance learning opportunities that may be lucrative for you, even though you are on active duty. You may work full time and have a busy schedule, but there may at times be short-term classes that you can take to start to build an educational portfolio. This can mean a lot for you down the road, and reduce the amount of credits that you have to take later on.
Scholarships: You should inquire about the different scholarships that are available. There are literally thousands of scholarships, some of which go unclaimed simply because people do not apply for them. As an active duty member of the military, there are a number of scholarships that are available to you or your dependants because of your military service. It is a great idea to take the time to investigate what is out there, and apply for any scholarships that you qualify for.