Those who served their country often attend college later and use financial aid for veterans to cover some of their costs. They can attend training programs that build off the skills they developed in the military like the programs offered by community colleges and vocational schools. Veterans can also enroll in a traditional college or university and earn a four-year degree. When they receive more financial aid, they can even cover the costs of earning a graduate degree or a doctoral degree. Veterans have access to different types of financial aid.
One option for veterans heading back to school is a tuition discount. Many schools offer a discount for those who on active duty status and a discount for veterans who retired from a branch of the military. Some schools also offer discounts for the dependents of those students, including their children and spouses. A discount can significantly reduce the amount of money that students pay out of their own pockets. It can even reduce the tuition rate by half. Instead of offering a standard discount, some schools provide military students with a grant that lowers their tuition rates.
Ranking: 30 Best Military-Friendly Colleges
Veterans of all ages can also look at some of the available scholarships that are out there. Both internal and external scholarships are available. Internal programs are those offered by specific schools, while external programs are those offered by other organizations and sources. Veterans can look for scholarships available from nonprofit organizations that help veterans. Many scholarships are also available for students who want to go back to school. The application process may require a short essay that the applicant writes in response to a question. Military scholarships may also require proof of the student's military service.
The GI Bill is the most common type of financial aid for veterans. Launched after World War II, this program provides veterans with money that they can use to pay for their tuition and any other costs they have. They can actually use some of their annual funds to for their housing and living expenses. This lets them focus on their studies without worrying about working full time or part-time. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the GI Bill covers all the costs of attending a public school and provides students attending a private school with more than $23,000 in funds each year. Students can also apply for rural benefits for moving to a major city from a rural area to attend college.
Students currently enlisted in the military, veterans, and dependents can all apply for student loans too. Undergraduate students qualify for subsidized student loans, while graduate and doctoral students qualify for unsubsidized student loans. They can make payments on their loans while still in college or after they graduate. Student loans are available from both the federal government and other lenders. Private lenders offer alternative student loans and may charge slightly higher interest rates than the government does.
Leaving the military is a serious decision that men and women do not take lightly. They can make the transition to civilian life much easier when they decide to go back to school. Student loans, the GI Bill and other types of financial aid for veterans make it easier for those students to pay for their schooling.