Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paying For College: Military Education Benefits

Members of the United States military have access to a variety of financial aid options designed to help them advance their military career as well as transition to civilian employment. Here is a list of the military education benefits that can be used to pay for classes at Rio Salado College.

  • Tuition Assistance –This is similar to corporate tuition assistance programs and is an employment benefit for active duty members of the armed services including activated National Guard and Reservists. Tuition assistance funds do not need to be repaid. Each branch has its own criteria for eligibility. Interested service members are encouraged to talk to their chain of command for more information. 
  • Tuition Top-Up Program – Students who have been approved for federal tuition assistance by a military department who are also eligible for Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty benefits or the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits may take advantage of the Tuition Top-Up Program. This program pays the difference for courses that cost more than tuition assistance will cover. Funds are taken from the student’s GI Bill entitlement and will be distributed directly to Rio Salado College. Note: Top-Up funds combined with VA funds may not exceed the total cost of the course. 
  • Montgomery GI Bill – The Montgomery GI Bill is an elective program available to service members in the U.S. Armed Forces. Those who opt-in to this program pay $100 a month for 12 months and must complete a minimum service obligation before receiving benefits. Students who qualify for Montgomery GI Bill benefits are encouraged to contact our Veterans Affairs office to discuss their options with our Military Advisement Team. 
  • Post- 9/11 GI Bill – The Post-9/11 GI Bill offers education benefits to veterans with at least 90 days of service after September 10, 2001. It is also available for those discharged after 30 days with a service-connected disability. Service members must have been honorably discharged in order to be eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Students who qualify for Montgomery GI Bill benefits are encouraged to contact our Veterans Affairs office to discuss their options with our Military Advisement Team. 
  • VEAP - The Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) is an opt-in, 2 to 1 fund matching savings program with limited availability
  • REAP – Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) is designed to provide assistance to reservists called to active-duty in response to a war or national emergency. Students who are eligible for this program are encouraged to contact our Veterans Affairs office to discuss their options with our Military Advisement Team. 
Active duty service members, veterans and their families can find additional information and assistance at the East Valley Veterans Education Center, on our Military Central webpage or by contacting the Veterans Affairs Office