Can I get Lower Tuition Fees as a Veteran or Service Member?

Students who served their country as a member of the military qualify for the GI Bill, but they may also qualify for a military tuition discount. Many colleges across the country offer these discounts. Discounts are available for those enrolled in traditional degree programs and for those who want to study online. They can use those discounts to significantly lower the overall costs of attending that college, which helps them stretch their money and any financial aid they receive a little further.

What is a Military Discount?

A military tuition discount is a discount offered by some colleges for students who served in the military. Many colleges today offer discounts for students who work for certain partner organizations and those who meet other requirements. A military discount is only available to select students, but students can combine it with other discounts or with their financial aid packages. It may bring down their tuition costs by 10% or more. Some schools offer a discount that reduces tuition costs by half. Students can usually use the discount to take classes towards a bachelor’s degree and on graduate and doctoral classes.

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Who Qualifies?

Military discounts are available for students who served in any branch of the military. Some colleges may not let students who served in a lower branch like the Army National Guard though. It generally applies to those who served in a major branch and completed their enlistments. This usually means that the student served for at least four years. Students must show proof of their service to qualify for a discount. Schools may also offer discounts for the dependents of military students such as their children or spouses as well as veterans and those currently enlisted.

Finding Out if a College Offers a Discount

Checking with the financial aid office or department is the best way for students to find out whether the school offers a tuition discount for military students. Colleges that cater to military personnel often ask students to meet with an admissions counselor. The counselor will go over how the discount works, who qualifies and what students should do to get that discount. Other colleges ask questions on their applications about whether the student served. It will use their responses to determine if students qualify for the discount.

Other Ways to Pay

Using a military discount can significantly bring down a student’s tuition and reduce the amount that he or she pays out of pocket. This discount also allows students to use the financial aid that they receive to pay for any remaining tuition costs and their living expenses too. According to Federal Student Aid, which is a division of the Department of Education, financial aid can include grants and scholarships. Military students can also qualify for a special loan program that allows them to take out student loans while in college. These loans feature a low interest rate and will not build up interest while the student is in college. They can also defer the payments on their loans when needed.

Military students can pay for college in a number of ways. They can enroll in school while on active duty status or once they retire. In addition to using the GI Bill and other types of financial aid, they may qualify for a military tuition discount too.