According to a 2012 study by the National Center for Education Statistics, a young person with a Bachelor’s Degree earns, on average, 50% more than a comparable young person with only a high school diploma.
If you’ve been looking for careers, you understand the importance of having a college degree. It’s the equivalent of what a high school diploma was 40 years ago. A degree serves as the gateway to better options and more opportunity.
Looking for a way to pay for school? The National Guard has you covered, with benefits like:
- Federal Tuition Assistance Program
- The Montgomery GI Bill
- The Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Army National Guard Kicker
- ROTC Scholarships that can pay up to full tuition plus an allowance
- The Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
Read on to see how the National Guard can pay for college and put cash in your pocket.
Federal Tuition Assistance
The Guard can help you with your college tuition and general fees. The amount is based on in-state public institution tuition rates, and can be applied to the other financial assistance programs listed below.
Montgomery GI Bill
In addition to the Federal Tuition Assistance Program, you may qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill for a monthly allowance of up to $356 totaling more than $12,000 in a four-year period. Best of all, this money is sent directly to you (not to your school) to spend on books, supplies—or anything you want.
Post-9/11 GI Bill
For Soldiers with at least 90 days of Active Duty service on or after September 11, 2001, the Post-9/11 GI Bill can cover up to 100% of your tuition, depending on the length of time you’ve served. You may also be eligible for an annual stipend of $1,000 for books and supplies, and your benefits may be transferrable to your dependents.
Plus, for individuals paying higher private school, graduate school or out-of-state tuitions, the Yellow Ribbon Program may be able to provide the necessary additional funding.
Army National Guard Kicker
The Army National Guard Kicker supplement to the Montgomery GI Bill pays up to $350 per month in living expenses—up to $12,600 over 36 months. You’ll need to apply and qualify for this program.
Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships
ROTC is a college elective that allows you to earn a commission straight out of college as a second lieutenant in the Army. This leadership program also provides a way to help hold down the cost of college by offering two-, three- and four-year ROTC scholarships, as well as monthly allowances for some cadets.
- A wide range of merit-based scholarships that pay up to full college tuition
- Additional funds to pay for books, supplies and other school fees
- Tax-free stipends up to $500 per month if you qualify
All ROTC scholarships require a service commitment. Your local recruiter or your school’s military science department or can furnish complete details.
Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
For Soldiers and officers who have an existing student loan obligation at the time of enlistment in the Guard, the Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) may pay up to $50,000 for certain jobs, with a six- or eight-year enlistment as a member of a unit.
In addition, current Guard members who extend their enlistment contract for a minimum period of six years are also eligible for this program, provided they meet certain requirements, including a qualifying score on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test and being in a valid Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in a National Guard unit.
This incentive is also available to applicants entering Officer Candidate School (you must have at least 90 college credit hours and agree to a minimum six-year commitment).
Additional Programs and Resources
The Guard has other programs and services to help you earn additional college credits, prepare for your graduate school exam-all while earning your Guard pay. Learn more about:
For complete details about federal education programs and any funding packages your state may offer, talk to your local recruiter.