The U.S. military as a whole offers educational benefits to current and retired service members and their families. The most well-known of these is the GI Bill, which intends to provide eligible individuals with the money they need to pursue further education. The GI Bill only applies to current active duty and reserve service members unless they elect to pass their benefits on to family members. Service members may also be eligible to take standardized tests for free through DANTES or have student loans repaid if they are in a medical field. Family members of fallen service members are offered special scholarships for their education.
Different benefits are available to different types of Armed Service members. Some may only apply to individuals who are serving on active duty, while other are only available to veterans, reservists, or military dependents. The chart featured in this article shows which educational benefits offered by the U.S. military are available to whom.
The Montgomery GI Bill and the more recent Post 9/11 GI Bill both provide up to 36 months of educational benefits to members of the military who meet certain specifications. Individuals must pay into the Montgomery GI Bill for a return in benefits later, but the Post 9/11 Bill is available to soldiers who served on active duty on or after 9/11/01. Benefits can be used for almost any type of education.
DANTES is a program that receives funding from the Department of Defense to support service members who are transitioning out of the military or hoping to return to school. DANTES will cover the fees for the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT for active duty service members. Individuals serving in the reserves or on active duty can also take CLEP Tests and DANTES exams that also result in college credit for free.
Students with a degree in a medical field, including dentistry and veterinary science, who want to enter the military may be eligible for up to $40,000 a year for loan repayment. Military-bound students who want to earn a medical degree may apply for the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship program, which completely covers graduate-level tuition. Those who’ve already started their residencies are also eligible for grants.
Active duty service members and their families may be eligible for in-state tuition despite not living in their home state. This is one of many educational benefits that are available to service members and their families. Other benefits include Perkins Loan cancellation, military apprenticeships, and tuition assistance for active duty service members.
The Armed Forces is not just made up of active duty and reserve soldiers, but also their families, and there are benefits specifically for spouses and children of service members. Military spouses pursuing a two-year or less degree may be eligible for a career advancement scholarship. Surviving spouses and children of service members who died in the line of duty may be eligible for both scholarships and financial assistance.