Serving in the Reserves was for many years not as lucrative when it comes to educational opportunities. But there have been a number of recent changes to the law, and the efforts by Congress to change what money is made available to Reservists serving their country, It is now easier and more advantageous, and there are more possibilities to attend college or university, or receive job training and serve in the Reserves of the Armed Forces. In 2005 Congress enacted the Reserve Educational Assistance legislation. It was put into force as part of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act, and it created additional opportunities for those serving in the Reserves to receive educational support.
This is a new DoD program to help reservists who want to go to school or attend university, or those who are seeking other vocational or educational training to get the needed financial help they require to attend school. This new program makes anyone that has served on active duty for 90 days after September 11th, 2001, or been activated for a period of more than 90 days as a Reservist, eligible for increased educational benefits and financial educational support.
Using REAP to help pay for your education is a smart choice, but it is a choice that many Reservists are not totally aware of. Because it has started recently, in 2005, this program does not have the same exposure as other programs, and if you have served in the Reserves for a long time you may not be aware of the educational money that is available. The secretary of each of the five services, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps decide what the eligibility is for their service, and set up other program parameters. Each of the services has REAP funding at different rates, but they all have a level of funding if you have served at least 90 days as an Activated Reservist, or other TAD active duty status of 90 days or more.
Amounts of REAP funding vary, and a lot depends on what service you are with. As a rule, the basic amounts vary according to the following details: If you serve 90 days but less than a year you are eligible for about $440 dollars a month, if you serve between 1 and 2 years of active duty you will be eligible for about $660 dollars a month, and if you have served more than 2 years as an Activated Reservist or on Active Duty as a Reserve Servicemember you will be eligible for between $880 dollars a month and the full Three year rate of $1100 dollars a month in REAP benefits. These amounts are a general guide; the Secretary of each of the Services decides the specific funding amount.