If you are an active duty military service member, you may qualify for tuition assistance that lets you take civilian college courses during off-duty hours. After completing active duty, veterans can also take advantage of the Montgomery GI Bill or Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Military tuition assistance
Tuition assistance (TA) is available for courses offered in the classroom or through distance learning that are part of an approved academic degree or certification program. In addition to college degree programs, TA is available to officers who wish to complete a high school diploma. By law, officers who use TA incur a service obligation that is calculated from the date of course completion. Active duty officers incur a service obligation of two years and reserve duty officers incur an obligation of four years.
Montgomery GI bill
The Montgomery GI bill is broken down into two service programs: Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR).
MGIB-AD grants up to 36 months of education benefits to service members who have completed at least two years of active duty. You generally have 10 years to use your MGIB benefits, but the time limit may change depending on the type of training you receive and the number of years you have served.
MGIB-SR grants up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible members of the Selected Reserve, including the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard and Air National Guard. In order to receive benefits, members must have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve.
Post-9/11 GI bill
The Post-9/11 GI bill is an education benefit program for individuals who served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2001. In addition to paying a percentage of tuition, eligible members also receive a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend of up to $1000 per year. You may receive up to 36 months of benefits and will remain eligible for 15 years after you last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days.