Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support, or DANTES, is a Department of Defense-funded program that helps current and prior service members reach their educational goals. DANTES provides monetary support to individuals who want to take college entrance exams or earn college credit by taking subject tests. Some DANTES funding may be available to members of the reserves or dependents of current service members. DANTES also encourages service members to consider a teaching career and will help them attain it after their service commitment is complete.
Troops to Teachers (TTT) is a DANTES-managed program that is overseen and funded by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Defense. It helps service members who are beginning to transition out of the military find positions as primary or secondary teachers for their second careers. The TTT program does not certify service members. Instead, it provides counseling services to help service members find the necessary requirements for each state and enroll in certification programs.
- Eligibility: All service members who are exiting or have exited the military honorably and are interested in becoming K–12 teachers are eligible for this program. Service members who want to teach high-needs subjects (math, science, special education, or foreign languages) may have good luck finding employment. However, TTT will provide services for service members interested in any subject matter.
- Funding: To receive funding, service members must have already retired from active duty or have less than one year remaining on their active duty commitment, or have been medically discharged due to a service-related disability. Individuals may be required to serve at least three years in the reserves following their separation from active duty.
- Service members who are enrolled in a teaching program at an accredited institution, commit to teaching in a high-need school for three years, and commit to serving three years in the reserves (if they have not been discharged or retired from the military due to a service-related disability) are eligible for up to $5,000 to help with the cost of their education and licensing and certification tests (including the PRAXIS exam). This stipend is not available to service members who are eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.
- A bonus of $10,000 may also be available as an incentive for qualified service members to teach at a high-need school, a Bureau of Indian Affairs school, or a school in which the percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch is at least 30% and at least 13% of students are IDEA students.
- Application process: Service members can apply online.
College entrance exams are those that are required for entry into a undergraduate or graduate-level program. Service members must have a valid, nonexpired CAC card to receive funding for their exams. A valid CAC card will say “Geneva Conventions Identification Card” on the bottom, “United States Government” on the upper left-hand corner, and “Uniformed Services” and the branch of service on the upper-right side of the card. Spouses and dependents of service members (with the exception of Coast Guard spouses) are not eligible for DANTES benefits.
- SAT and ACT: DANTES will pay for either the ACT or SAT for qualified service members. Service members must take their test at a DANTES test site. Retesting may be paid for in the event that a current score is required by a program should the previous test be too old to submit. Service members who wish to test again to improve their score must pay for the test themselves.
- GRE and GRE Subject Tests: DANTES will pay for one GRE Revised General Test and one GRE Subject Test in the lifetime of a service member provided he or she is applying to or enrolling in school(s) that require the GRE for admission and is currently fulfilling a service commitment. Service members must agree to apply for reimbursement within three months of taking the GRE. To be reimbursed, service members must have a valid CAC card and upload their score report and their payment receipt. Service members who wish to take either test again must pay for it themselves.
- GMAT: DANTES will pay for one administration of the GMAT in the lifetime of a service member provided he or she is applying to schools that require the GMAT for admission and is currently fulfilling a service commitment. Service members must agree to apply for reimbursement within three months of taking the test. To be reimbursed, service members must have a valid CAC card and upload their score report and their payment receipt. Service members who wish to take either test again must pay for it themselves.
- LSAT: DANTES will not pay for or reimburse this exam.
Just like high school students who take AP tests can test out of introductory-level college courses or earn college credit for high scores, service members can earn college credit by taking exams in particular subjects. Not every postsecondary institution will provide credit for passing scores on these exams, so service members should look into their current or prospective institution's policies before signing up for a test.
- College Level Examination Program: The CLEP program provides introductory-level college credit to individuals who earn qualifying scores on any one of 33 subject tests. DANTES provides funding for one CLEP exam in each subject area for all active duty and reserve military personnel provided the test is taken at a "fully funded" testing site; service members can select their testing site when registering for the exams. DANTES will also pay for the spouses and civilian employees of the Air Force and Army Reserves and both active duty and reserve Coast Guard. Over 2,900 institutions accept CLEP test scores for credit. Learn about CLEP tests here.
- DANTES Subject Standardized Test Program: The DSST program provides introductory- and upper-level college credit to individuals who earn qualifying scores on any one of 39 subject tests. DANTES will fund one DSST exam in each subject area for active duty and reserve military personnel provided the exam is taken at a "fully funded" test site. Over 2,000 institutions accept DSST exam scores for credit.
Page last updated: 04/2017