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You are serving our country, and we applaud you. You are building honor, character, dignity, and respect with every day you spend as an enlisted member of the United States military. What more could you want? Well, maybe you'd also like more education. Active military personnel qualifies for perhaps the most comprehensive package of educational assistance available. Take advantage of the benefits, and begin your educational journey today.

Resource: Best Colleges for Veterans, Ranked by Return on Investment (ROI)

The G. I. Bill

The G. I. Bill is perhaps the best publicly-known military educational assistance available. details the distinctions in the G. I. Bill programs at greater length, but in short, here's a summary of the available options.

The Montgomery G. I. Bill provides up to 36 months or eight semesters of monthly tuition payments at a qualifying US academic institution. The program serves US military who completed active terms of service during the 1990's, up through the passing of the Post 9/11 G. I. Bill. The current payment rate for the Montgomery G. I. Bill is set at $1,648 - that's $59,328 in total available aid over the life of your benefits package - and payments may be higher if you have enrolled in supporting programs during your active military service. Program participants must have completed two years of active military service, hold a completed high school diploma, and must have intentionally enrolled for the program at the beginning of military service to receive benefits.

The Post 9/11 G. I. Bill is a sweeping educational provision for current active military, based largely on accumulated length of military service. Benefits can cover up to 100% of tuition and fees, including a monthly housing allowance, as well as cash for books, a one-time relocation assistance package, and the option to transfer program benefits to a family member. Program qualifications and specifications can be confusing, so it is best to apply through the VA and speak directly with a benefits administrator. Program participants have up to ten years after military retirement to utilize Post 9/11 G. I. Bill funds, and must contribute $100 a month of military pay into the program through their first year of active military service.

Armed Forces Active Duty Tuition Assistance

Active enlisted military qualify for a number of additional funding programs. Each branch of the military offers a specific program of tuition assistance to its active members, separate from provisions under the G. I. Bill. The programs are collectively known as Armed Forces Active Duty Tuition Assistance (TA). Tuition assistance is designed for active enlisted servicemen who wish to pursue additional education during off-duty hours, and all course end-dates must occur before the termination of a service member's active duty period. The program funds only degrees that are more advanced than the degree level you currently hold, so if you already hold a Bachelor's degree, benefits will only apply toward a Master's. The program caps out at the Master's degree level in the Army and Air Force, and there are specific restrictions on the number of credits a student can pursue in the Navy or Marines. Below are links to tuition assistance available by branch:

Take Advantage

With this large a pool of available aid, enlisted military wishing to pursue higher education have the best educational financing package available in the United States. We think that's fitting, and we thank you, our nation's finest.

Related: Best Value Schools - Tuition Reimbursment Programs - How Do They Work?

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