If you are a current service member or a veteran, you have some unique opportunities to help fund your education and repay your loans. In this module, we will provide you with information on:
- How to access GI Bill® benefits*
- Active duty tuition assistance
- What to do if you had debt prior to enlisting
*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
Are you a current service member or a veteran? To thank you for your service, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has a variety of ways to help you pay for your education.
For veterans, you may be eligible for GI Bill® benefits which cover most qualified educational expenses! To begin the process:
- Check to see if you are eligible
- Weigh the benefits offered at different schools you are considering
- Apply to schools
- Apply for GI Bill® benefits
If you have loans from before your service or you are currently in the military, there are also educational benefits available to you! Take a look through the rest of this module to learn more and find links to resources!
What steps do I take to use my GI Bill® benefits?
By far the best known educational benefit for veterans is the GI Bill®, which provides substantial funding for qualified educational expenses for approved programs and training. To apply, you should do the following:
I am currently in the military and would like to start school or career technical training. What are my options?
During your service, you may have the opportunity to take advantage of military tuition assistance. This assistance may cover up to 100% of tuition costs and is administered by your service branch. To learn more about the tuition assistance options available to you, reach out to your education counselor.
I went to school before joining the military. What can I do about my loans?
For servicemembers with federal or private student loans taken out before beginning active duty, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) may be able to help you. Through this program, those currently serving on active duty are eligible to have the interest rate on all pre-existing student loans reduced to six percent. However, if a servicemember consolidates their loans while serving in the military, they are no longer eligible for SCRA benefits. To take advantage of the SCRA interest rate reduction, send a copy of your active duty orders along with a written request to your loan servicer.
Check Your Understanding
#1. The GI Bill® is the only educational assistance program offered for service members and veterans.
This is False: There are also tuition assistance programs for active duty service members
#2. If you have student loan debt from before enlisting, there are no benefits available to help you with that debt.
The answer is False: you may be eligible for a 6% interest cap through SCRA
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If you are still a little confused, you may want to review this module.